Hello and welcome to a fresh edition of SoundCzech, Radio Prague’s Czech language course in which you can learn Czech phrases with the help of song lyrics. The word for today is zmizet, which means to disappear. We will be listening to a song by Helena Vondráčková called Kam zmizel ten starý song – where did that old song disappear to.
In English, a common expression is to vanish into thin air. The Czech version is to disappear like steam over a pot - zmizet jako pára nad hrncem. Other related phrases are zmizet jako dým - to disappear like a puff of smoke, and zmizet jako by se vypařili - to disappear as though they had evaporated.
You may hear Czechs use the expression zmizet po anglicku– to disappear in the English style. Zmizet beze stopy is to leave without a trace, literally translated it means to vanish without leaving a footprint. In Czech, a person does not disappear as though the earth had swallowed him up. Instead, it is said that they vanished as though water had closed over them – zmizeli, jako kdyby se nad nimi zavřela voda.
If you want someone to get out of your sight you can say zmiz or zmizni. These simply mean disappear. “Koukej zmizet!” is a synonymous expression which literally means “look to get lost”.
On a lighter note, the Czech word for white-out also comes from the word zmizet. It is called a zmizík– a vanisher.