J for jobs

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We are back with the alphabet and the letter J. "J" in our series stands for things related to the subject of "jobs".

Hello and welcome to the ABC of Czech. My name is Pavla Horakova and today I'm joined in the studio by Vladimir Tax. We are back with the alphabet and the letter J. "J" in our series stands for things related to the subject of "jobs".

Job is such a nice and short word in English. In Czech you have to twist your tongue a bit if you want to say the word zamìstnání. The literal meaning of the word is "something that keeps you busy". Another related word is zamìstnanec meaning employee. Even longer is the word zamìstnavatel, that is an employer. To make their lives easier Czechs often simply use the word práce or work when they mean job. So for example job market is translated as trh práce.

One of the ways to find a job is to browse through the papers and look for the right job advertisment - inzerát. If you find one you send your c.v. or ¾ivotopis to the company and wait for them to invite you to an interview - pohovor. Then if you are lucky you can sign your contract - pracovní smlouva - and you are no longer nezamìstnaný or unemployed. A word often mentioned by politicians and economists is nezamìstnanost or unemployment. Just for your interest: in June the unemployment rate in the Czech Republic rose to 8.7 percent.

In the old days of communism work was compulsory. The employer had to put a stamp in your ID card and if you did not have one there you were in for trouble if the police asked you to show them your ID. If you did not have a job, you were considered a parasite, or pøí¾ivník and could be sent to jail.

But back to the word nezamìstnaný or unemployed: In shops or public places you often come across the sign Nezamìstnaným vstup zakázán written on doors. Although the wording suggests that jobless people are forbidden to enter, the sign simply means "Staff Only".

And that is all for today's episode but we'll back with more next week. Until then na shledanou, good bye.


See also Living Czech.