Tricky Words in this week's OVI
Parking. In connection with transport, this means stopping and leaving vehicles, mainly cars and trucks (remember that the English "car" means only "osobné auto"), usually in specially-prepared areas called parking lots (car-parks in British English). In Slovakia these are still mostly areas of open, flat land marked out with white lines into aisles /ájlz/ which drivers go up and down looking for a parking space. These white-line markings indicating parking spaces can also be found along the sides of city streets.
In the city there are also parking lots with barriers (závory, rampy) and attendants who collect money from drivers, but take no responsibility for their unattended cars. But multi-storey car-parks (which the Germans call "Parkhaus") are starting to appear in cities in this country, and these may finally teach drivers not to park in the middle of the aisle closest to the exit, because they can use the elevator (BrE. lift) instead of having to walk twenty meters.
This week's question concerns the experience of (not only) Slovak people who have learned English for years in state schools and language schools, making progress and getting good results, only to find they cannot understand a word when they finally arrive in an English-speaking country. Why is this? The first reason is that classroom-based language learning cannot possibly imitate the conditions in a real-life English-speaking environment.
Even modern coursebooks with CDs full of listening exercises still tend to present people speaking a standardized version of the language. But there is no "spisovná angličtina" in real life, and everyone speaks with a local accent or pronunciation (prízvuk, výslovnosť). Luckily people have a natural ability to get used to different accents, but it takes time and patience.
Už po osemnásty raz budeme môcť prostredníctvom firemnej iniciatívy Stromček prianí urobiť počas najkrajších sviatkov roka radosť aj celkom neznámym deťom.