Tricky Words in this week's OVI
Relations and relationships. Relation is an example of a word which has more than one meaning, depending on the context it is used in, so it is necessary to know at least two translations for it,
which are basically "vzťah" and "príbuzný". I mean the latter as a person who is a family member, and in that sense it is a synonym for "a relative", so you can say "friends and relatives" or
"friends and relations".
But then there is the same translation "vzťah" for relation and relationship, so what is the difference? Again basically I would say that relationships are more personal, existing between
individuals and involving emotions, whereas relations are more impersonal, possibly between individuals as in "professional relations" and "neighbor relations", or between companies as in "business
relations", or otherwise between countries and states as in "diplomatic relations" and "foreign relations".
This Friday is a public holiday in Slovakia (and in the Czech Republic as well) commemorating the arrival in Greater Moravia of the missionaries (or apostles) Cyril (also known as Constantine) and
Methodius in the year 863 (AD of course). Being excellent linguists, they knew that the best way to spread the word of God to the Slavic people in this area was to translate the Bible into a
generally-comprehensible form of Old Slavonic language, for which they needed to create a new alphabet.
Their approach was phonetic, devising a character (a symbol or letter) for each sound which people used in speaking, which is why it's called "hlaholika" in Slovak and "Glagolitic" in English. Its
later modification is called "Cyrillic script" in English, known as "azbuka" here, which is the Slavic equivalent of "alphabet".