Just in case my comment in the last post about mangling Czech at my long-suffering colleagues led anyone to believe that I was suffering from delusions of adequacy in this language, here is a true and accurate account of this morning's efforts.
I have translated it into English with appropriate adjustments for accent, vocabulary and the conversational style and panache of a voluble 3-year old going through that phase where they say the same thing over and over and over and over again, possibly accompanied by rhythmic beating on a saucepan. And I'm probably making myself look good here.
Me: Gott mourning, Janoš*
J: Good morning.
Me: Hello-jour, JanOhš?
Me: How ere yeuh, Janoš?
J: Who's been here before. Fine, and you?
Me: We- Weh- Whee- Fine.
J: Can no longer speak as breathing and speech organs fully compressed by fit of hysterical laughter.
I turn to my new victim. He is hiding under his desk but fortunately I am still able to shout in the direction of his feet:
Me: Good morning, Pre- Pzh- Prshemsyl.*
P: In muffled but fluent English. You can say Premek, it's easier.
Me: Still in English. No, it's okay. I have to practice.
P: Sighing noise drifts up from under desk. It's Přemysl.
Me: Pzhhrrremyls. No hang on, Przhm- PrzhemSYL.
P: Sobbing noise emerges from beneath desk. That's right. Swiftly changes subject. In Czech: How are you?
Me: Hello. How are you?
P: Fine. And you?
Me: We- Weh- Wherh- WELLuhgh.
(Still more peculiar noises emerge from beneath desk, but Přemysl is trapped by his ergonomic office chair and cannot move without tearing his trousers 'neath my dainty foot.)
Me: Goudd wheekEND?
P: Yes, thank you. And you?
Me: Yes. Yes, I have a goudd wheekEND. (Cannot do past tense yet). On sotto voce: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, SAT- Saturday I wakeuppp 5 hours 30 minutes (note: digital time only). We go to metro stay-shUN. In English: No, wait… In approximate Czech: STYA-shun. (Bangs desk with with fist to emphasise required stress on first syllable). We read. We swim. We ski. In English: What's "wait"?
P: In Czech. Wait.
Me: We wait. Our... In English: oh shit, what's friend?
P: In Czech. Friend.
Me: Our frie- rzfi- compani-onions they come. We go-by-vehicle (Czech verb for "to go" depends on transport used) tah Florenc. We-nous-allons-go-by-vehicckle Karlovy Vary. We walke Karlovy Vary. We walke Loket. 18 kilometre. We are big hongryie. We eat Loket.We slep slope, in English: oh dammit. Back to Czech for foreign idiots: SLEETP! We wakeoupppp. We walke Loket. We sees castle. We go. On, muttering: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, resonant and booming: SUN-day we walk... in English: shit sorry, more Czech for idiot foreigners: go-by-vehicckle Prajj.
(Looks round for reassurance and paeans of adulation. J is studiously at work, wearing headphones. Apart from the odd scuffling noise, there is silence from beneath desk.)
Me (soldiering on bravely, like good little Švejk): We go-by-vehicckle at 13 hour 0-50. In English: No wait, shit, ummmmm… Czech version 1.0: 15? 50? 500? 32? English: Oh yeah, Czech: 5!…. Hour 0-5. I am glad it hap-PY wheekehnd.
(Beams with exhausted pride at mastery of newest construction. Tears are running down Janoš' face. Přemysl appears to have abandoned his trousers and escaped by removing his desk drawers and the back of the stationary cupboard. Silence falls like a lead knedlik [potato dumpling]. Enter Maciek, pursued by a bear. Or was it bare?)
Me: Gott mournang, Maciek.*
M: In fluent English: I am Polish. I don't speak Czech.
Me: Tough. Goudd Mournzingg, Maciek.
M: Sighs. Realises efforts to fend me off with a rolled-up newspaper are in vain. Hello.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent victims of linguacide.
PS. Edited 'cos my opinion of my html skillz was a tad over-inflated and I messed up a load of the nested stuff, then did a double post. Sorry.