I am working on it


Welcome to this weeks edition of SoundCzech in which you can learn Czech phrases with the help of song lyrics. Today’s song is sung by the Eben brothers and is called Já na tom dělám – I’m working on it. And that’s the phrase to listen out for today.

“Já na tom dělám, já na tom makám” are two phrases that mean exactly the same thing – “I’m working on it” except the latter is a slang expression. There are plenty of work-related expressions in Czech. If someone is working hard you can say “dělá jako šroub”– he’s working as hard as a screw or “ten se otáčí” which means he’s really spinning. But you can also just say “ten maká”!

You may be up to your eyes in work, but in Czech you need to say the work is over your head instead “mám práce nad hlavu”. And if you are working non-stop you can tell your boss that you are working “od nevidim do nevidim” – “from when you can’t see to when you can’t see” – meaning from dawn till dusk. Another way of saying you are working very hard is to say “dřu”. “Dřu od rána do večera” means I toil from morning till night. There is also a Czech equivalent of the English saying he’s working has hard as a horse “dře jako kůň”. If you hear that someone is a “dříč”– it means he’s a hard worker. Or else a student who has to work very hard to make up for a lack of talent.

So remember that when someone asks you what’s with the work you were supposed to hand in yesterday – and which you still don’t have – the phrase you need is “já na tom dělám” or “já na tom makám” to a very close friend. And if something is proving extremely hard to accomplish then you can say “je to makačka”– which I am sure is an apt description of today’s Czech lesson. This is Daniela Lazarová saying thanks for learning Czech with me and na shledanou.