Strč prst skrz krk

No, that’s not gibberish in the title of this episode, it’s Czech. It is a sentence just about anyone over here will quote when you mention vowels. It translates, more or less, to “Put your finger through your neck.” It doesn’t seem that useful in daily conversation, but it is notable for having no vowels at all. The Czechs are a frugal people, saving up their vowels, but they are also binge spellers, writing whole words with no vowels at all only to write others with strings of vowels, each of which is voiced.

I do not know enough czech to come up with my own vowel-free sentences yet, but it sounds like a fun game.

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7 thoughts on “Strč prst skrz krk

  1. I had already noticed some similarities between the Czech vocabulary and the Hebrew. In written Hebrew, vowels don’t really exist at all, except for diacritical marks. And, except in elementary-school primers or language textbooks, those diacritical marks are largely absent. If you know the language, you already know the words, so you know what the vowels are.

  2. How does that sentence sound when spoken? It looks like it would sound like coughing up a hairball.

    The Cowboy’s Sweetheart is back in the saddle as MOH. Isn’t it about time to change that poll?

  3. One thing about Czech – it’s pronounced just like it’s spelled. This particular sentence, though, seems to me more like spitting than coughing – more in the mouth than in the throat.

    And welcome back as MOH! Terms have been lasting longer lately (which is a nice way of saying traffic is down here in the Empire.)

  4. Well, Czech is mostly pronounced the way it’s spelled — or at least I’m told it would be even more phonetic if the Hapburg Empire hadn’t tried suppressing the Czech language, causing written Česky to lag behind the spoken language.

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