Czech by Numbers - Number II

23-09-2006

Hello and welcome to Czech by Numbers, Radio Prague's own Czech learning programme in which we examine the use of numbers in everyday Czech. Today we'll be looking once again at the very word number or číslo.

Apart from its mathematical meaning číslo can also mean a number, a piece, for example in a cabaret, or an issue of a magazine as in lednové číslo - the January issue. If you hear a person, mostly a child being called a číslo, you can be sure he or she is quite a character or a naughty little kid.

Then we have the grammatical number - gramatické číslo, which in Czech includes množné číslo - the plural, jednotné číslo - singular and relics of dvojné číslo - the dual number.

In maths, apart from natural and all those other numbers we discussed earlier, I'm sure we all heard about Ludolph's number - Ludolfovo číslo, more commonly known as Pi - .

In physics, there is Machovo číslo or Mach number which is defined as a ratio of the speed of an object relative to the speed of sound.

Drivers will be familiar with oktanové číslo - the octane rating, which is a "measure of the autoignition resistance of fuels used in spark-ignition internal combustion engines".

In the Czech Republic you will often come across the term rodné číslo (literally "birth number") which is a ten-digit personal identification number assigned to every individual at birth. From the first 6 digits, you can tell the person's birthday and sex, the other three define where he or she was born and the last one completes the sequence in a way which makes the whole number dividable by 11 to make it valid.

Another identification number of an individual is číslo občanského průkazu - your ID card number - which you are often asked to submit in official dealings or upon entering various institutions. If you don't have a Czech ID card, your passport number číslo pasu will do just fine. And finally, another important number is číslo účtu - your account number.

And that's it for today. We'll be back with more numbers next time. Till then, na shledanou.

23-09-2006