Tag Archives: interesting

Finally an explanation of all the “British Islands”

british

This was always difficult for me to remember. A diagram really helps.

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Filed under Funny (vtipné), Intermediate (středně pokročilí)

What are dogs and cats telling you?

This great infographic from PETA goes over the basic expressions, gestures and moods your dog or cat might be displaying. See some less known vocabulary below.

  • companion – společník
  • stiff – strnulý
  • wag a tail – vrtět ocasem
  • intimidating – děsivý, zastrašující
  • ruff – haf (sounds like rough – drsný)
  • bark – štěkat
  • sigh – povzdechnout
  • mixed messages – nejasné signály
  • tummy – bříško
  • chatter – brebentění, drkotání
  • yowl – skučet
  • puffed up – zježit

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Filed under Advanced English (pokročilí), Intermediate (středně pokročilí), Vocabulary (slovíčka)

Tooth fairy

imageThe tooth fairy is a fantasy figure of early childhood.The folklore states that when a child loses a baby tooth, if he or she places it beneath the bed pillow, the tooth fairy will visit while the child sleeps, replacing the lost tooth with a small payment.

  • Do češtiny přeložil pan Kantůrek toto slovíčko roztomile: víla Zubnička.

I don’t think we have anything like that, so I was surprised to learn about Tooth fairy in Terry Pratchet’s novels. Than I paid more attention and noticed the Tooth fairy in other cultural references, like movies or books.

I is weird, admittedly, but it’s an interesting piece of trivia about the culture, so I hope you find it interesting and maybe you’ll even hear it used in a regular sentences, as in: “So who will finance this crazy project – a tooth fairy?” (conveying sarcasm)

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So sweet, little weird, really funny

imageJohn Hodgman is my favourite author and comedian, TED Talks is my favourite site, and today, in the Czech Republic, we celebrate the 1st of May, the day of love (much better date for that than 14th of February, of course).

This 16-minute lecture is, as the my colleague put it, little weird, very sweet and really funny. I agree. It might seem strange, because Hodgman starts talking about physicists and aliens and weird movies… But he is an excellent storyteller and his humour is both clever and gentle.

I hope you like it at least half as much as I did. And if you want to improve your language skills, you can watch TED videos with all kind of subtitles.

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Filed under Advanced English (pokročilí), Funny (vtipné), Intermediate (středně pokročilí), Video

Madeleine Albright Interview

Jon Stewart, the host of the popular Daily Show, interviewed Madeleine Albright, and it is excellent. And not only because she introduces the American audience to interesting aspects of Czech history.

Watch the two parts of the interview here and here:

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What will we do with a drunken sailor?

We haven’t had song yet, have we? This one is not of any particular significance, but is pretty famous as “the pirate song”, although it features a sailor, who is, obviously, drunk, and, probably, Irish. The Irish accent is actually the main reason why I think you should listen to it.

Why is the title “drunken” and not “drunk”? Well, the difference is apparently quite subtle. You can use drunk or drunken when describing a noun (drunk/drunken driver) in British English, but only use drunk when no noun is following it (He is drunk!). Or, better advice: don’t get drunk, and you don’t have to worry about it 🙂

And thy lyrics:

What shall we do with a drunken sailor,
What shall we do with a drunken sailor,
What shall we do with a drunken sailor,
Early in the morning?

Weigh heigh and up she rises
Weigh heigh and up she rises
Weigh heigh and up she rises
Early in the morning

see complete lyrics

Note that “up she rises” refers to the ship, and early is pronounced very Irish-ly 🙂

See also: Pirates in popular culture

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Pool–not just for swimming

When you hear pool, you probably think of swimming pool right ahead. But the word pool can have many other meanings. The confusion might stem from the word pool being really two different words, one originating in Old English, other in French. Both are pronounced the same, so you just have to look for the context.

pool, n. (English origin)

  1. a small body of still water
  2. accumulation of liquid (a pool of blood)
  3. swimming pool

pool, n. (French origin)

  1. A game of chance, contestant put staked money together (they pool their bets) and winner takes all
  2. Grouping resources for the common advantage
  3. A group of journalists who cover an event and then by agreement share their reports with participating news media
  4. A mutual fund established b a group of stockholders

b954c2bf-188b-46cb-9fc1-2ce4bb1eb692And there is this verb: carpool – sharing a ride to work, thus saving resources and the planet.

There are actually roads in USA where you can only ride in certain lanes if you are carpooling (that is, if there is more than one person in your car), giving birth to ridiculous attempts like this one 🙂

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Filed under Advanced English (pokročilí), Funny (vtipné), Intermediate (středně pokročilí), Vocabulary (slovíčka)