The Czech language is fun

So, it’s Friday night, I’m in, at home, having a pack of flavoured cashews with a glass of wine before a bathe and a Spanish omelete. I know, I know, how the other half lives, eh? These international businessmen living it up.

And I note on the pack of my cashews that they’re called “kesu v testicku”. And, well, yes, the shape of cashews could be compared to testicles I suppose, so I ponder, do the Czechs call cashews “balls”?

No, no, they don’t. Kesu is cashew. V. testicku means “in batter”. Which, alarmingly, sounds even more appropriate really.

In other international businessman news the Portuguese government has sent me a tax bill (tiny, no problem). Which they sent to the wrong address (it’s for the equivalent of council tax, they know the house I owe it on but cannot send the bill to the house I owe it on) and even the damn court order demanding payment doesn’t provide the necessary numbers to pay it.

Portugal has outstanding government debt of some €240 billion.


13 thoughts on “The Czech language is fun”

  1. As to the first bit of news, it’s been a long day, I suppose.

    As for the second, HMRC have been assiduously following the Portuguese model, which may explain the real £30 billion tax gap. Oh, but then that doesn’t cover all the tax HMRC collects when people take their pension, or retire, when the normal rate (from anecdotal observation) is about 35% for the first year.

  2. The French for ‘rubber stamp’ is ‘tampon’. Not normally a talking point, but it is when you’re a kid on holiday, you spot boxes of breakfast cereal emblazoned ‘Tampon Gratuit!’, and you only know what ‘gratuit’ means.

  3. Talking of testicles, the Climate Sustainability lot at the U of EA have published another report about out 5 remaining years of coal and gas reserves.

    Not for nothing is EA Unit the home of Academic Fiction Writing in the UK.

  4. Bloke in Costa Rica

    “Embarazada” does not mean “embarrassed” in Spanish (except as a cognate). It means “pregnant”. “Avergonzado(a)” is the correct word.

  5. @BiS My wife failed to do this a couple of weeks ago, to local smirks.

    And about 20 years ago while working for Sony, I managed to call a senior VP a prick in his own language.

  6. The geoscience department of the French company I work for is abbreviated to GISE. Pronounced in French as jizz. Still makes me laugh when managers talk about the importance of including jizz in the project.

  7. Bloke no longer in Austria

    Not rude but just daft.

    The German for pancakes is Pfannkuchen
    literally “pan cakes”
    In Austrian it is Palatschinken – which looks a bit like “flat ham” and puzzles German speaking non-natives.

    A lot of the nicer Austrian sweets come from Bohemia and Palatschinken derives from palaty schinky
    Which is Bohemian for “pan cake”

  8. As schoolchildren we hooted with delight when we learnt the French pronunciation of Tour Eiffel.

  9. Bloke no longer in Austria

    Our French class used to crack up at the word “batiment” – our teacher was quite perplexed that we pronounced it
    “batty man ”
    and this was 20 years before Ali G.

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