Nech sa páči?!

Truly a little wonder in the world of polysemie is the Slovak expression ‘nech sa páči’.  Just when I thought I got the meaning of ‘nech sa páči’ as more or less ‘here you are’, I realized people saying it in situations that could not mean ‘here you are’ at all. Passing a market stand, the shopkeeper addressed me with ‘nech sa páči’, entering a shop it happened the same. When people open the door for you, they accompany the gesture with a ‘nech sa páči’, or just when they offer you their seat or place in a queue. Even the moment where you clink your glasses is preceded by ‘nech sa páči’! I think in English you need a lot of different expressions for all these situations, but it took me an incredible long time to realize that we actually have a proper equivalent in German! As far as I can tell, ‘Bitte schoen’ can be used in the same broad range of contexts, but I am sure I have not yet heard all the possible uses of ‘nech sa páči’.

Anyway, it can be a very help- and useful expression, especially if you still lack most of the rest of Slovak vocabulary.

Miriam

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Jedným zo 7 divov polysémie je slovenský výraz „nech sa páči“. Keď som si už myslela, že som konečne pochopila jeho význam (viac menej zodpovedajúci anglickému Here you are.), uvedomila si, že ho ľudia používajú aj v situáciách, kedy nikomu nič nepodávajú. Predavač v stánku v obchode ma oslovil „nech sa páči“, pri vchádzaní do obchodu som počula to isté. Keď vám niekto otvorí dvere, uvoľní svoje sedadlo alebo miesto v rade, povie „nech sa páči“. Dokonca aj pred pripíjaním sa ozve „nech sa páči“. V angličtine by ste podľa mňa museli použiť oveľa viac výrazov. Trvalo mi neuveriteľne dlho, kým som si uvedomila, že v nemčine vlastne máme ekvivalent: Bitte schoen má rovnako široké použitie ako „nech sa páči“, hoci som určite ešte neobjavila všetky možné významy ohto slovenského výrazu.

Tak či onak, ide o veľmi nápomocné a užitočné slovné spojenie, najmä ak stále neovládate väčšinu slovenskej slovnej zásoby.

Miriam

Preklad: Stanislava Dengová, Jana Jašková

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LANGUAGE CONVERSATIONS AT KOMUNITNÉ CENTRUM SÁSOVÁ // JAZYKOVÉ KONVERZÁCIE V KOMUNITNOM CENTRE SÁSOVÁ

The language is present in our daily routine. It involves everything and it’s the main basis of the human communication. Even if this point is completely clear to everyone, we usually forget about something: language doesn’t only exist in an oral and written form; it lives and grows in our minds. Our reason couldn’t possibly work if we didn’t categorize the reality we perceive and named those categories.

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Here is where the conflict appears. Not every language categorize in the same way; which means, in general terms, that people that speak different languages observe and take notice of the world in a different manner. For example: whilst English (and many other languages) use just one term for referring to snow, the Inuit languages –those spoken in the Artic– make differences through vocabulary between “falling snow”, “snow on the ground”, “dirty snow” or “snow drift”, to name just a few of them.

Having a look at several languages makes you realize how people that share the same tongue have a special perception of things you wouldn’t take notice yourself. This is what creates the gap between languages or mentalities and what fortunately have as a consequence some untranslatable terms. In German, for instance, there is a word that describes the feeling of loneliness and connection to the nature you get when alone in the woods: waldeinsamkeit. The Japanese komorebi stands for the sunlight that filters through the tree leaves or the Spanish sobremesa, which refers to the time spent talking with people on the table after eating lunch.

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The limits of my language are the limits of my mind”, said once Ludwig Wittgenstein. That’s why getting to know other languages doesn’t just help to communicate in different countries or to foreigners in your own land, but also aids you in seeing the world under a different perspective, as our mentality can easily be reflected in our words.

Just in case you are one of those people interested in getting to know a new language or deepen into the ones you already know, Miriam and I offer language conversations in both English and Spanish (with the future possibility of German too) in Komunitné centrum Sásová. In these meetings we usually discuss about a pre-selected topic among all of us and share our opinions and thoughts. Don’t be shy and join us! The more the better this experience could be 🙂

WHERE: Komunitné Centrum Sásová, Tatranská 10, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.

WHEN: Thursday (16:30 – 18:00)

FEES: As EVS volunteers, we work for free. The community centre charges participants €1 per lesson.

Irene.

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S jazykom sa stretávame dennodenne. Zahŕňa všetko a je základom komunikácie medzi ľuďmi. Hoci je táto vec všetkým dobre známa, často na niečo zabúdame: jazyk neexistuje len v ústnej a písomnej forme; jazyk žije a rastie v našich mysliach. Naša schopnosť uvažovať by zrejme nebola možná, ak by sme realitu, ktorú vnímame, netriedili do kategórií a tie nepomenúvali.

Na tomto mieste vzniká konflikt. Nie každý jazyk kategorizuje realitu tým istým spôsobom, čo vo všeobecnosti znamená, že ľudia hovoriaci rôznymi jazykmi pozorujú a všímajú si svet rozličným spôsobom. Napríklad zatiaľ čo angličtina (a mnohé ďalšie jazyky) používa len jeden termín na označenie snehu, inuitské jazyky – ktorými sa hovorí v Arktíde – rozlišujú v slovnej zásobe „padajúci sneh“, „sneh na zemi“, „špinavý sneh“ alebo „závej snehu“, a to sme spomenuli len niektoré z nich.

Keď sa pozrieme na niektoré jazyky, uvedomíme si, ako ľudia hovoriaci tým istým jazykom vnímajú veci špeciálnym spôsobom, ktorý by sme si sami nevšimli. Práve tento jav vytvára priepasť medzi jazykmi alebo mentalitami, čo má za následok nepreložiteľnosť niektorých termínov. Napr. v nemčine existuje slovo opisujúce pocit samoty a spojenia s prírodou, ktorý človeka preniká, keď je sám v lese: waldeinsamkeit. Japonské komorebi znamená slnečné svetlo, ktoré preniká cez listy stromu, alebo španielska sobremesa – čas trávený rozprávaním s ľuďmi za stolom po obede.

„Hranice môjho jazyka sú hranicami môjho sveta“, povedal Ludwig Wittgenstein. To, že rozprávame inými jazykmi, nám neumožňuje len komunikovať s cudzincami v našej či v inej krajine, ale takisto nám napomáha vidieť svet z inej perspektívy, keďže sa naša mentalita môže ľahko odrážať v našich slovách.

V prípade, že patríte medzi tých, ktorí majú záujem naučiť sa nový jazyk, alebo sa v jazyku zdokonaliť, Miriam a ja vám ponúkame konverzácie v angličtine a španielčine (a v budúcnosti možno aj v nemčine) v Komunitnom centre Sásová. Na týchto stretnutiach zvyčajne diskutujeme na vopred zvolenú tému a delíme sa o svoje názory a myšlienky. Nehanbite sa a príďte medzi nás! Čím viac ľudí, tým lepší zážitok 🙂

KDE: Komunitné centrum Sásová, Tatranská 10, Banská Bystrica, Slovensko

KEDY: Štvrtok (16.30 – 18.00)

VSTUPNÉ: Ako dobrovoľníci EDS pracujeme zadarmo. Komunitné centrum si účtuje poplatok 1€ za hodinu na účastníka.

Irene

Preklad: Jana Jašková, Stanislava Dengová

AHOJ from new EVS volunteers // AHOJ od nových dobrovoľníčok

ireneundiWilkommen and bienvenido from us, Irene and Miriam, who until the end of July 2014 will   be EVS volunteers in Banska Bystrica. During our stay, we will try to post on a weekly basis about our activities and experiences abroad. We are not only very much looking forward to discovering Slovakia, its customs and its people, but also to getting to know what it really means to be part of a voluntary project.

Miriam: I am 20 years old, and I am not from too far away actually – I come from Austria. So it is not too big a change in the weather or the landscape :). meifotoWhen I  heard about the EVS program I was immediately excited and knew it was something I would like to do, so I am very happy that I am here in Slovakia now. Being abroad plus doing this kind of voluntary work seemed like the perfect mixture for a ‘gap year‘ in between my English and Linguistic studies at university. Besides language, music is one of my greatest passions, and I would love if I had the chance here to participate in or create some activity related to music. Staying here in Banska Bystrica is my first long term experience with being abroad, and I really think this year could be a chance to grow and to discover ‘hidden things’ in myself I had no idea they were there. Furthermore I am very curious about intercultural experiences – not only with Slovak people, but also with other EVS volunteers.

irene

Irene: I am a twenty-one-years-old Spanish girl. I have always felt a strong fascination about other languages and cultures. That’s why after my first two years of my degree I decided to course the third one in London. This made me more conscious of how I long for living in other countries and facing new tasks. Consequently, once I finished my degree in Spanish Philology in Málaga, Spain, and before deepen into my studies, I decided to take part in a totally new experience. That is why I applied for EVS and, especially, for Slovakia, due to my interest in knowing a life-style as different as the Spanish one. Besides, This project seemed to me the perfect chance to offer a little help to the Slovak community and to develop my own skills and self-knowledge.My main aim here is, on the one hand, to explore the Slovak landscapes and, on the other hand, to be able to fit and contribute in some way in their way of living life.

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Wilkommen a bienvenido od nás, Irene a Miriam, ktoré budeme do konca Júla 2014 dobrovoľníčkami EDS v Banskej Bystrici. Počas nášho pobytu skúsime každý týždeň publikovať novinky o našich skúsenostiach v zahraničí. Nielenže sa veľmi tešíme na objavovanie Slovenska, jeho zvykov a ľudí, ale aj na to, čo to znamená byť súčasťou dobrovoľníckeho projektu.

Miriam: Mám 20 rokov a vlastne nie som vôbec z ďaleka – pochádzam z Rakúska. Takže rozdiel v počasí ani v krajine pre mňa nie je veľký J. Keď som sa dopočula o programe Európskej dobrovoľníckej služby (EDS), hneď som bola preň nadšená a vedela som, že je to niečo, čo by som chcela robiť. Preto som veľmi šťastná, že som teraz na Slovensku. Byť v zahraničí a robiť tento typ dobrovoľníckej práce mi pripadalo ako ideálna kombinácia pre môj „oddychový rok“ v rámci štúdia angličtiny a lingvistiky na univerzite. Okrem jazyka je jednou z mojich najväčších vášní hudba a bola by som veľmi rada, keby som tu mala možnosť podieľať sa na nejakej, alebo vytvoriť nejakú hudobnú aktivitu. Pobyt tu v Banskej Bystrici je mojou prvou dlhodobou skúsenosťou v zahraničí a myslím si, že tento rok by pre mňa mohol byť šancou na rozvoj a objavenie „skrytých vecí“ v sebe, o ktorých som nevedela. Taktiež som veľmi zvedavá na „interkultúrne“ skúsenosti – nielen so slovenskými ľuďmi, ale aj s inými dobrovoľníkmi EDS.

Irene: Som dvadsaťjednaročné španielske dievča. Vždy som bola veľmi fascinovaná inými jazykmi a kultúrami. Preto som sa po prvých dvoch rokoch štúdia rozhodla absolvovať tretí rok v Londýne. Toto mi pomohlo uvedomiť si, ako túžim žiť v iných krajinách a zaoberať sa novými vecami. Preto potom, ako som získala titul zo španielskej filológie v Malage v Španielsku a predtým, ako budem pokračovať v štúdiu, som sa rozhodla pre úplne novú skúsenosť. Z toho dôvodu som sa uchádzala o EDS a obzvlášť o Slovensko, kvôli môjmu záujmu o spoznanie životného štýlu, ktorý je úplne iný než ten španielsky. Okrem toho mi tento projekt pripadal ako výborná príležitosť ponúknuť trochu svojej pomoci slovenskej komunite a rozvíjať svoje schopnosti a sebapoznanie. Mojim hlavným cieľom tu je objavovať slovenskú krajinu a na druhej strane byť schopná zapadnúť a nejako prispieť k miestnemu spôsobu žitia.

Preklad: Andy

Learning the names of the animals in English

One of our weekly regular activity as EVS volunteers in CVČ-Junior is meeting the actors of Divadlo z Pasáže, a community-based theatre that works with people with mental disabilities. Every week we organise different activities with them, ranging from handicraft, to cooking, teaching simple words in our language and many more. (Here you can see some pictures from some or the activities we have prepared so far).

Today I would like to write about last week’s activity as I think it could be a good suggestion for somebody else, but above all because I really had a lot of fun 🙂

The aim of the activity was to teach the actors the names of some animals in English. So we selected about 10 among the most common animals and we prepared some domino cards with the pictures and the names of the animals (on different cards, because later we played domino with them, but I’ll go back to the game later).

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Danka’s imitation of the lion

So we showed every actor / actress one of the pictures that we had prepared. His / her task was to imitate the animal in that picture with gestures and sounds, until the others understood which animal he / she was imitating. This part was extremely funny and the actors proved very creative in their imitations! Once the actors had understood the animal, Andy wrote the name both in Slovak and in English on the flipchart and then the group repeated the name several times in English with Dan.

In the last part of the activity, we played domino with the cards we had prepared: we randomly chose the first card (in which there was a picture of one animal and the name of a different animal) and then the actors, one after the other, had to find the card with the corresponding picture and name of the animals in the first card, and so forth until the end of the cards.

Emanuela

English Classes at Sasova Community Centre

While we are engaged in a number of stimulating and challenging activities at CVČ – JUNIOR, perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of my EVS project has been the opportunity to host weekly English classes at a community centre in Sasova. Personally, it’s the most rewarding regular activity that I participate on.318403_272338622876189_593574197_n

One of the most enjoyable parts of my week is preparing the classes, because I have the freedom to choose interesting topics. Topics have included art, sport, food and different aspects of British culture. Being able to choose different topics in a flexible way means that, each week, I can easily change the classes to practice specific skills that I think the people who come will most need, such as reading, listening, speaking and writing. The classes are also very informal and people usually work together in pairs and small groups, for example, last week, pairs of people had to draw each others portraits, which practiced peoples speaking and listening skills and led to a lot of laughter at the final results.

Currently, the class takes place every Thursday evening for an hour and a half and about six or seven people of very different ages and backgrounds come each week, this makes the classes small, intimate, interesting and friendly and also a lot of fun! The people who come really enjoy improving and practicing their English and feel very comfortable in the relaxed environment (it’s nothing like school!). The motivation and desire of the people who come, to practice their language skills, means that I have already seen a lot of progress in their confidence and ability to use English, which leaves me with a great feeling. It‘s also great to know that I am helping the local community in Sasova, by helping the people who live there to improve their skills and even their employability.

I hope that there is a lot more progress in the future and that I’ll see many more people visit the centre over the coming months.

Dan.

WHERE: Komunitné Centrum Sásova, Tatranská 10, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.

WHEN: Thursday (16:30 – 18:00)

FEES: As an EVS volunteer, I work for free. The community centre charges participants €1 per lesson