M for money


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Hello and welcome to the ABC of Czech. My name is Pavla Horakova and today I'm here with Kamila Rosolova. We've reached M in the alphabet and our topic today is "money".

Although the Czech Republic plans to start using the single European currency in a few years' time, the country still uses its national currency the crown or koruna. The crown is a made up of one hundred hellers. There is no such thing as one heller or haléø - the smallest Czech coin is worth ten hellers. By the way, heller coins are made of aluminium.

If you come to the Czech Republic, first of all you will probably need to find a bank or banka where you could exchange your money or peníze or your traveller's checks - cestovní ¹eky. You can also look for an exchange office - smìnárna - which are plentiful in Prague but outside big cities you could find yourself in difficulty. You will want to know the exchange rate or smìnný kurs or the commission - provize at the bank or exchange office. The easiest way to get your money is to find a cash machine or bankomat and simply withdraw Czech crowns. Most big shops and restaurants in the Czech Republic take credit cards - platební karty - which are becoming more and more popular in the country.

There are a few sayings and idioms containing the word peníze or money. About greedy people Czechs say Je na peníze, literally he/she is after money. Dirty money is ¹pinavé peníze and to launder money is prát peníze. Czechs also say peníze nesmrdí or money doesn't stink, a saying that comes from Roman times and which is to say that however dirty the job, the money you get for it in the end is always just money.

Another, rhyming saying is Bez penìz do hospody nelez. Literally it means Don't go to the pub without money. I'll leave you now to contemplate the depths of Czech folklore but before that let me remind you that you can find all previous editions of the ABC of Czech both in sound and text on our website, www.radio.cz/english. And this is all from me, Pavla Horakova and me Kamila Rosolova, na shledanou.


See also Living Czech.