To have enough time

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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sound Czech –Radio Prague’s Czech language programme which helps you learn idioms through song lyrics. Today, we’ll be listening to a song by the legendary duo Jiří Suchý and Jiří Šlitr called “Pramínek vlasů”, which translates as “A Lock of Hair”. The phrase to listen out for is “je totiž neděle a mám dost času”.

“Je totiž neděle a mám dost času” translates as “it is Sunday, you see, and I have the time to”. To do what? You may ask. Well, the answer comes in the previous line, when Jiří Šlitr sings “nebudu vstávat, dál chci ležet zasněný”, which means, “I won’t get up, I want to lie and daydream some more”. It’s Sunday and the singer “má dost času”– “has enough time”. As an aside, I had a quick ask round the office for what the Czech for a “long-lie” or “lie-in” is – the closest thing to a “lie-in” I could find was “lenošení”.

A “lenoška” is the Czech for a chaise-longue, but the verb “lenošit” just means to laze about in bed. Finding out the Czech for a long-lie was pretty darn hard – but maybe that is not surprising in a country where people routinely and voluntarily go to work at around 7am.

Photo: CTK
But back to our temporal, “časové” idioms. Time in Czech can “fly”, as in English. When you are having a good time in this country, “čas letí”– “time flies”. Unlike in English, however, time in the Czech Republic can also “run”. “Čas běží” or “time is running” just means time is passing, or in some situations, time is flying. But “čas běží” I think maybe suggests that while time is speeding by, it isn’t going quite as fast as when “čas letí”. So, time “runs” in Czech, and when it starts to speed away from you, you can say, “čas ubíhá” - “time is running out”.

“Čas ubíhá” as far as this Sound Czech is concerned, but before I go, here are a few last time-related phrases to mill over. When time is dragging by very slowly indeed, as in English, you find yourself having to “zabíjet čas”, or “kill time”. If you want to say “time will tell” in Czech, then you say “čas ukaže”– “time will show”.

Which is quite a philosophical note on which to end this Sound Czech. But it is “nejvyšší čas”, or “high time” to sign off. So na shledanou! Goodbye and mějte se! Take care!