Eighteen or twenty minus two
Welcome to another edition of SoundCzech - Radio Prague's Czech language course in which you can learn useful phrases through song lyrics. Today's song is from the very first Czech musical Starci na chmelu or The Hop Pickers. The song is called - "The story you are about to see" and the phrase to listen out for is "jeden za osmnáct, druhý bez dvou za dvacet".
"Jeden za osmnáct, druhý bez dvou za dvacet" literally translates as "one is worth eighteen and the other twenty minus two" - in other words they are both exactly the same. Usually this saying carries a negative connotation. If you hear a woman say that about her ex-husbands then you can be certain they were both dolts. A simpler way of saying the same thing - and one that does not carry a negative connotation is "Jeden jako druhý" - "one is just like the other" - they are like peas in a pod. Have another listen to the original phrase.
One relates to shoemaking, the other to weaving. "to je prašť jako uhoď - which refers to hitting and striking being the same thing - having the same effect. Two rather quaint old phrases are "To je na jedno kopyto" or "To je na jedno brdo" - both were coined sometime at the start of the 20th century or maybe earlier. Kopyto is a cobbler's last and it refers to making things from the same mould. Brdo is a harness used for weaving and it also refers to making uniform products. In other words - "jeden jako druhý" or "jeden za osmnáct, druhý bez dvou za dvacet".
It is quite possible that a seamstress coined a similar phrase at some point in time because another way of saying that two things are very similar or identical is " to je to samé v bledě modrém - or literally - "that's the same thing in pale blue". It's the same thing is a slightly different shade. When you want to say that no matter which course of action you decide to take it will amount to the same thing - or the end result will be the same you can use the phrase "vyjde to nastejno". In other words - it will turn out the same way. Eighteen or twenty minus two.
And that's brought us to the end of todays's Czech lesson. This is Daniela Lazarova saying thanks for learning Czech with me and nashledanou!