Tricky Words in this week's OVI
Color and paint. These two words form another classic example of how the "think twice" principle can help Slovak speakers choose the right word in English. One Slovak
word "farba" is often used in the sense of both of these English words, so if you want to get the right English word you have to think twice in Slovak first: do you mean "farba" in the sense of
"odtieň", or in the sense of "náter"? Color is possibly the main feature of the appearance of something: brown hair, blue eyes, a red car, grey sky, white chocolate, green grass, a little black
dress. Paint is physical material sold in tins or plastic containers in powder, liquid or gel form, and it is applied to things in layers called "coats". In a paint shop you can find sample cards
showing all the shades of color available for specific brands of paint.
The question this week is about English interjections, and how they are different from Slovak "citoslovcia". Some of them are quite similar, e.g. when people feel
pain, Slovaks say "aúú", and English speakers say "ow" or "ouch" /auč/, or to get a baby to eat, Slovaks say "ham", English speakers "yum" /jam/. Others are less similar, e.g. S "hopla", E "whoops"
/wups/, or S "bum", E "bang", and some are quite different, e.g. S "fíha" or "jéj", E "wow" /wau/, or S "hap-či", E "a-tishoo". S "fúj" or "brr" is E "yuck" /jak/, but E "brr" is ONLY for feeling
cold. Animal noises are similar (múú/moo, or miaou/w), or different (haf-haf is bow-wow, and kikiriki is cock-a-doodle-doo). Please send your questions about English language habits to
email@example.com, and I will choose one to answer each week. AB.