Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Matěj Jaroš

ZDE ODPOČIVA
MATĚJ JAROŠ
ZEM. 18 SRPNA 1914
ODPOČIVEJ V POKOJI DRAHY MANŽELY
A OTČE DNÉS LOUČIME SE V BOLU V NEBE
SE SEJDEM SPOLU


Translation:
Here rests
Matthias Jaros
Died August 18, 1914
Rest in peace dear husband and father
Now we part in sorrow, in heaven
we will meet together


Czech Dates

If you have only worked with Western European languages, be ready for new challenges when working with a language like Czech. The Czech language is a Slavic language, distantly related to English, German and French, but more closely related to Polish, Russian and Serbo-Croatian. It has sounds, structures and vocabulary that may be unfamiliar and difficult at first. One important difference that a genealogist is likely to encounter is the names of the month. In most of the languages of Western Europe the names of the months are derived from their Latin names. As a result, it is usually fairly easy to guess the names of the months in languages like French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch or German. However, in Czech, you will have to learn or look up the names for the months.

To make things even more difficult, the forms you will find in a dictionary are not the ones you will most likely encounter. Czech is a language like Latin (here) where the relationships between words are signaled by special endings. In dates, you will find the genitive form, which indicates possession, just as in English we use the preposition of in dates, "the third of December". Thus, we find the form srpna "of August" on the tombstone instead of the form srpen, which we would find in a dictionary. It is also common to find abbreviations for the months. The Czech months are listed below, first in the nominative (the dictionary form), next in the genitive as it will appear in dates, and finally in the abbreviated forms.

EnglishCzechGenitive formAbbreviations
Januaryledenlednaled.
Februaryúnorúnoraún.
Marchbřezenbřeznabřez.
Aprildubendubnadub.
Maykvětenkvětnakvět.
Junečervenčervnačerv.
Julyčervenecčervencečerven.
Augustsrpensrpnasrp.
Septemberzářízářízáří
Octoberříjenříjnaříj.
Novemberlistopadlistopadulist.
Decemberprosinecprosincepros.

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