Let God give us his blessings


Welcome to a Christmas edition of SoundCzech – Radio Prague’s weekly Czech language course in which you can broaden your Czech vocabulary with the help of song lyrics. Today we’ll hear the traditional Christmas carol “Dej Bůh štěstí tomu domu” or “Let God Bring Good Luck to This House”. The phrase to listen out for is “dát požehnání” or “give blessings”.

The song was traditionally sung by carollers who pray that God should bring good luck to the particular house to which they came carolling. They say they are singing for little baby Jesus, born today in Bethlehem. In the song, baby Jesus gives them Christmas bread, apples, pears and little coins in return for their singing. In the final verse, the carol singers pray that God should give his blessings to the house - dej vám Pán Bůh svý požehnání!

“Dát požehnání” literally means “to give blessings”. “To bless” is “požehnat”. Traditionally, young people asked their parents for “požehnání” before getting married. A blessed person is “požehnaný člověk”. To say about a woman that she is “v požehnaném stavu”– in a “blessed state” – means that she is expecting a baby. You can also say about a person – “dožil se požehnaného věku”– he lived to a ripe old age. But back to “dát požehnání”– give blessings. Here is the phrase once again:

Finally, a very nice form of Christmas greeting is to wish someone “požehnané Vánoce”– a blessed Christmas. That’s all for today’s lesson which can also be found both in sound and text on our website www.radio.cz. Merry Christmas!