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@ PERCE_NEIGE - I still know very little about Czech and its different (fascinating!) nuances, but as a neighbouring country we do have the word "robota" in Polish language too, and it simply means, depending on the context: "work, job, labour, task, chore", although it usually applies to the physical work, not the intellectual one.
It has nothing to do with "slave labour" specifically though, at least not in Polish. It's just a noun which comes from the verb "robić"- meaning "to do/to make".
And if you want to praise somebody for a job well done in Polish you can say: "Dobra robota!" - literally "Good work!", in a sense "Well done, that's impressive, congratulations!" whether the work in question was a physical one or an intellectual one. It's just a commonly used set phrase, habitually applied in those circumstances.
"stroj" is one of the model words which children learn at school. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_declension#Masculine_inanimate
You have to get a different perception of softening in Slavic languages so as to grasp it better.
Every consonant can either be soft or not soft, there is no specific list.
Plus the consonant is not actually modified that much (it sometimes kind of is, but let us discuss that later as it is not that important right now), what actually makes it "soft" is a modest English "y" sound (as in "yes") coming after the consonant.
In the case of i and e, the "y" sound is included in the following vowel: treat (ě) as "ye" and (i/í) as "yi". (Y/ý) is a simple "i" sound that does not have the precedent English "y" sound, or, in other words, it does not soften the previous consonant.
So in the case of (Ne) and (Ny) N is not softened, in the case of (Ně) and (Ni) N is softened.
The aforementioned "different perception" means you must treat vowels as either "softening" or "not softening" depending on whether they soften the preceding consonant. That must make it easier for you to grasp the essence of palatalization.
In fact, this is why Cyrillic suits better for Slavic languages since it has different vowel graphemes for the "softening" and "not softening" vowels, but switching to it is unfortunately not even considered hence the political aspect of language.
Just a little fun fact for all the language lovers out there (especially those interested in learning other Slavic languages too):
In Polish "pośledni strój" means something very different than in Czech.
- "pośledni" means: worse, inferior, second-rate, possibly even "defective" and
- "strój" means: outfit, costume, attire.
So the whole phrase means "last machine" in Czech but something like "worse/lame/inferior outfit" in Polish ;)
Although the word "pośledni" itself is not very common nowadays, and feels rather old fashioned. And for the everyday outfit we would usually simply say "ubranie", while "strój" would be used for some special Haloween outfit (for example), so more in the sense of "costume", even though we do have a separate word "kostium" for that too.
Anyway, I love learning Czech, both because of its uncanny similarity to Polish AND because of all the fascinating (and often funny) differences between them! :)