On Our Street

Hello and welcome to a new edition of SoundCzech, Radio Prague’s Czech language course in which you can learn Czech phrases with the help of song lyrics. Today we will be listening to the song V naší ulici, or in our street, sung by Voxel. The word to listen out for is ulice – meaning street.

Photo: Miloš TurekPhoto: Miloš Turek Voxel sings that as he walks down the street and smiles at the world, people think he has completely lost his mind. The lyrics go “přes okna svých aut, zatmavený do černa, už dávno nevidí jak je tahle ulice nádherná,” which means that through the darkened windows of their cars, everyone has long since forgotten just how beautiful this street really is.

To get the sack at work is octnout se na ulici – to wind up on the street. Someone who is out roaming the streets se bloumá po ulicích. Jít po ulici is to walk down the streets, and to trudge through the streets is vláčet se ulicemi. If as you trudge down the street you decide to buy take-out, that food is jídlo prodávané přes ulici – which literally means food sold across the street.

If it is very crowded on the streets then you can say “na ulici se to hemžilo lidmi” – the streets were teeming with people. Those taking part in a parade pochodují ulicemi – walk the streets. Jít do ulic is to take to the streets, for instance in the case of a protest. If a protest becomes serious and takes on a life of its own it may turn into vláda ulice – or mob rule.

A dead end or a cul-de-sac is called a slepá ulička. An ulička is a smaller street, such as a lane or an alleyway. Ocitnout se ve slepé uličce is to reach a stalemate, or as some might say, to find oneself up against a wall.

That’s all we have time for this week. This is Clare Profous, saying thank you for learning Czech with me, and na shledanou.