P for politics

Czech Parliament

We've got as far as the letter P in the alphabet, which brings us to the topic of politics

Hello and welcome to a fresh edition of the ABC of Czech. I'm Pavla Horakova and today I'm joined in the studio by my colleague Vladimir Tax. We've got as far as the letter P in the alphabet, which brings us to the topic of politics.

The Czech word politika or politics comes from Greek and although Czech politics may be complete Greek to you, we'll try and explain at least the vocabulary that goes with it.

The word for politician is politik, that's for the masculine gender. Although men prevail in Czech politics, grammar provides female politicians with their own ending: politièka. Unless they are independent, politicians are members of political parties. The word for party is strana and it features in most names of parties represented in the Czech Parliament. The parliament in the Czech Republic has two houses. The lower house is poslanecká snìmovna - or the chamber of deputies - and the upper house is senát or the Senate. The Czech language distinguishes male and female members of parliament. He is poslanec and his female colleague is poslankynì. A senator, senátor a senátorka - that is either male or female - has to be over forty to be eligible, whereas poslanec a poslankynì have to be over 21 years of age.

The government or vláda (coming from the word vládnout or to govern) currently has seventeen members. It is headed by pøedseda vlády or prime minister. The Czech word for minister sounds almost the same as in English: ministr - only it is spelled without the "e". A woman minister is ministrynì. At the moment there are two ministrynì in the Czech cabinet.

Prague castle, which is probably the most famous image of Prague, is the seat of the country's President. This word too, sounds almost the same in English and in Czech: prezident. Because his office is at the castle, which in Czech is Hrad, sometimes this word alone can stand for the president and his political opinions. The expression první dáma is a literal translation of the English term the first lady.

I guess that's enough politics for one day, but tune in again next week if you can for a brand new episode of the ABC of Czech. In the meantime you can listen to all our previous programmes on the Internet where you can also find the scripts. In case you have problems viewing letters from the Czech alphabet, try setting your browser to Central European languages. And that's all for now, until next time, bye-bye. Na shledanou.

See also Living Czech.