Tricky Words in this week's OVI
Stricken. This is a terrible time for whole villages and thousands of people all over Eastern Slovakia (and other parts of the country) due to the persistent rain and
unbelievable downpours during the last four weeks, causing destructive floods and landslides prevent-fouc, wrecking people's property and cruelly disrupting their lives. One of the most frequently-heard Slovak
words currently is "postihnuté", not in the sense of "disabled" but of "affected" (which in another context can mean "afektovaný").
But with regard to these floods, "affected" is just not strong enough. Other possible words are "hit", "struck", "afflicted", "overwhelmed" and "stricken". These are
all examples of "príčastie trpné" - hit and struck are the most physical (udreté); afflicted is more typical for illness and disease; overwhelmed means having no more strength to resist; and
stricken is the older form of struck, used in connection with emotive impacts, especially love, panic and disasters.
This week's question is about all the different translations of "ako". English speakers learning Slovak sooner or later have to get their heads around these
differences: ako, aký, akí, aká, aké (not to mention akého, akú, akom or akých). Coping with genders (rody) and cases (pády) is difficult enough for English speakers, who are not used to words
changing their endings, but Slovaks learning English have to learn to use quite different words in specific contexts. There's "Ako sa máš?" - Ako = How; "Ako sa voláš?" - Ako = What; "Aký je nový
šéf?" - Aký, aká, aké = What ... like; "Urob tak, (podobne) ako ja." - ako = like; "väčšie/menšie ako" - ako = than; "rovnako veľké ako" - ako = as. So what is worse - mixing up aký/á/é, or mixing