Almost, but not quite

Around here you will often hear the word docela translated as “quite”, and the other way around. My textbook (gathering dust right now) translates those two words that way. Only trouble is, they don’t mean the same thing. Soup Boy brought it up again this morning; he had an interesting conversation with a girl last night, the confusion caused by this mistranslation.

For instance, in English, “quite good” is more emphatic than just good. It’s good-plus. Docela dobře is good-minus. “Sort of good” would be a better translation.

I think you can easily imagine the sorts of problems a misconception like that can lead to in a conversation between a guy and a girl. “Quite close” and “sort of close” are quite different.


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