SoundCzech It’s splashing on his lighthouse

06-09-2014 02:01 | Ruth Fraňková

Hello and welcome to a fresh edition of SoundCzech, in which you can learn Czech phrases with the help of song lyrics. Today’s song is by the legendary rock group Jasná Páka and the phrase to listen out for is šplouchá mu na maják, which is repeated several times in the songs’ chorus:

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Photo: archive of Radio PraguePhoto: archive of Radio Prague The phrase šplouchá mu na maják literally means its splashing on his lighthouse. It is used to describe that someone has gone crazy, in other words, a sandwich short of a picnic. The singer in the chorus actually says šplouchá a cáká mu na maják. “Cákat” is just another word for “šplouchat”. When describing that a person is mad, you can also say that he is cáklý, in other words, he is splashed. Czech also uses the term vyšplouchnout, literally to splash someone out, which means to let someone down.

Although the Czech Republic has no sea, it doesn’t prevent people from using the word in various idioms. To express that there is very little of something, we use the phrase kapka v moři or a drop in the ocean, just like the English speakers do. On the other end of the scale, we use the word “moře” or sea to express a large quantity, such as “moře lidí” which means loads of people. To say that someone has gone abroad, overseas, we use the phrase být za mořem, to be behind the sea.

Czech also frequently uses the word vlna. The phrase dělat vlny or to make waves means, just like in English, to make trouble. But unlike in English, we can use the verb vlnit se – to wave, not only when describing the undulating sea but also the movements of a dancing person. And that’s it for today’s edition of SoundCzech. Zůstaňte na vlnách or do stay on the waves and until next time, na shledanou.

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