Czech by Numbers - Birthdays and anniversaries

Hello and welcome to Czech by Numbers, Radio Prague's Czech language course in which we look at the different ways of using numbers in everyday speech. Today we'll take a look at expressions and idioms to do with birthdays and anniversaries.

The Czech word for birthday is narozeniny. The suffix -iny can be added to practically any number above ten to mean the particular birthday. For example twenty in Czech is dvacet and a twentieth birthday is dvacetiny. In the same way a thirtieth birthday would be třicetiny and a fiftieth padesátiny. That is sometimes called abrahámoviny after the biblical character Abraham. Another biblical age is 33, often called Kristova léta - "Christ's years". Also related to Christianity, the word křížek - little cross - can be used to mean a decade in a person's age. So for example the idiom "mít pět křížků" means to be in one's fifties.

Photo: archive of Radio Prague
If a number ends in the digit 0, in Czech we say it is kulaté číslo or a "round number". Such a birthday is then called kulatiny. For an important birthday or anniversary you can also use the word jubileum - jubilee.

An anniversary - výročí - can also be "round" - kulaté výročí. So Radio Prague's 70th anniversary in 2006 is a perfectly "round anniversary".

Wedding anniversaries have special names in Czech, too. A twenty-fifth anniversary is called stříbrná svatba - a silver wedding. Fifty years is celebrated as zlatá svatba - a golden wedding and a diamond wedding, or a 60th anniversary, is diamantová svatba.

And this is where we'll end today's episode. Tune in again next time for more useful Czech phrases. Till then good-bye, na shledanou.