Anglické jazykové okienko

Anglické jazykové okienko

Andy's Wordshop

New insights into Halloween. This comes from All Hallows Eve (predvečer Všetkých svätých), and it's not meant to be a celebration of witches, evil spirits and horrible faces, but superstitious (poverčivé) people's attempt to get rid of (zbaviť sa) the forces of darkness using masks, lights and noise, when the nights get noticeably longer in the fall (jeseň). The Celtic (Gaelic) name for this day is Samhain (say: só-uin), which means either "end of summer" or "assembly", but in any case it involved people coming together to celebrate the harvest (žatva) and to get ready for winter by making sure everyone had enough food, and keeping the spirits of the dead happy too by making offerings. People went from house to house exchanging delicacies (pochúťky), which was the origin of today's "trick or treat" children's activity.

Tricky Words in this week's OVI

Incident, accident. The root of these words cide- comes from Latin and means "to fall", so in Slovak the literal equivalent should be "prípad". In German this is "der Fall", and the usual English translation is "a case" (which comes from the same Latin root in fact). Literal equivalents might be interesting, but they probably don't help with practical speaking, because for that we need to know the modern meanings of words. So an incident is simply "something that has happened" (udalosť), whereas an accident is "something BAD that has happened" (nehoda). If there's an incident in the factory, it's a risky situation that leads to a lot of shouting and warnings being issued, but if there's an accident then equipment gets damaged and people probably get hurt. In Slovak there are similar words "nehoda" and "náhoda": the latter means "something that has happened BY CHANCE", i.e. a coincidence.

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