It's okay!

Válet si šunky (Фото: Штепанка Будкова, Чешское радио 7 - Радио Прага)

Welcome to SoundCzech – our Czech language series in which you can learn Czech phrases and idioms through song lyrics. In today’s edition, we’ll hear a song by the popular Czech rock group, Chinaski. The song we are playing for you today, Tabáček, is from their 2005 album “Music Bar.” The word to look out for is pohoda, which translates as contentment or peace.

There are few words that are as universally used by Czechs in everyday conversation as the word pohoda. The word means something like well-being, contentment or composure and has become a real all-rounder in the world of Czech words, perhaps best compared to the English word okay.

If you want to say you are fine or doing okay, then you’d say “Jsem v pohodě,” which literally translates to “I am in contentment.” “Je to v pohodě,” or even just: “V pohodě” is a phrase that is excessively used in colloquial Czech to express agreement or to say that something is fine by you. Managing something without any trouble is “zvládnout něco v pohodě.”

“Jarní pohoda” is pleasant spring weather, and if someone’s composure is cool, they are called a pohodář - a laid back or calm person, the kind that Chinaski may be describing in their song. Have another listen.

Even though their song subject might have taken the pohodářství, or coolness, a bit too far, enjoying contentment, leisure and tobacco, as well as an extended lecture of the newspaper in his reclining chair, followed by the realization that he might be relaxed to the point of being a lazy, no-good person.