I’m in a rush


Hello and welcome to another edition of SoundCzech Radio Prague’s Czech language course in which you can learn new phrases with the help of song lyrics. Today’s song is by Hana Zagorová and is called Spěchám –the word to listen out for today.

Photo: archive of Radio PraguePhoto: archive of Radio Prague “Spěchám” is a one word statement you are likely to hear often in the Czech Republic and it means “I’m in a rush”. Occasionally, people will add a quick explanation such as “specham do prace” I’m in a rush to get to work or “spěchám na schůzku” I’m in a hurry to meet someone, but most often you will just hear the words “později – ted spěchám” meaning “later –now I’m in a rush”. If you are trying to get someone to hurry up just use the imperative “spěchej”.

Another word you may hear used in this context is “chvátám” which also means to be in a hurry. People in a rush may also say “nemám cas” meaning “I have no time”, or “mám honičku” which literally refers to chasing things, but means having a packed agenda. And another common expression is “mám fofr”.

If you are ringing up someone who is late for a meeting with you you may hear them say “jsem na cestě” I am on my way, “ už letím” meaning “I’m flying to get there”, or “budu tam co by dup” – I’ll be there in as long as it takes you to stamp your foot, I’ll be there at the drop of a hat. “Budu tam v cuku letu” means “I’ll be there in a flash”. The vast majority of these are slang expressions one uses when talking to family and friends, so if you happen to be talking to you your boss go for “jsem na cestě, budu tam hned” meaning “I’m on my way –I will be right there.”

Once there, it is advisable to acknowledge you are late apologize with the words “ omlouvám se –jdu pozdě” or “prominte –jdu pozde.” You may hear someone say “mám skluz” meaning “I am falling behind” or “nestíham” which means “I cannot keep my appointments on time” and is sometimes used when you cannot get there at all.

You have been listening to SoundCzech on RP –today focusing on the mad pace of life some people live. For those who live their lives differently I should add the words “klídek “ which means a nice quiet time or taking it easy and “pohoda” which refers to a state of wellbeing.