Czech by Numbers - Seven


You are listening to Radio Prague's special Czech language course Czech by Numbers which explores numbers and their usage in everyday Czech speech. This is lesson number seven - lekce číslo sedm. The word for the number seven - sedm is very similar in all Slavonic languages and you can hear how much the sound resembles the English numeral.

Seven is considered to be a lucky number in many cultures. Sedmička je šťastné číslo. In folk tales and fairy tales, characters and objects often occur in sevens, for example Snow White and the seven dwarfs - Sněhurka a sedm trpaslíků, and there are also the useful seven-league boots - sedmimílové boty, and, of course, the Seven Wonders of the World - sedm divů světa. And so on and so forth.

The figure of seven is called sedmička, as we said before. The word can be used to describe a molar tooth, the seventh grade in school or a number 7 tram. In colloquial language, the word sedmička means a 7.5 decilitre bottle of wine. Sedmák is a seventh-grader and one seventh is sedmina. The ordinal number is sedmý. A well-known expression být v sedmém nebi means to be in the seventh heaven, to be extremely happy.

A similar word, sedma, means a seven in cards. The expression zelený jak sedma, literally "as green as a seven", describes someone who is feeling sick and looks pale. The expression comes from the picture of green leaves on the card.

Sedmilhář, literally a "seven-liar" is just a poetic word for a liar, for someone who likes to make up stories. A similar-sounding, also rather poetic word is sedmikráska - a "seven-beauty" in literal translation, meaning a daisy.

And that's it for today - we'll be back in seven days time. Till then good-bye - na shledanou.