"Tu slepici nevidím."

Translation:I do not see that chicken.

September 6, 2017

This discussion is locked.


I believe 'slepici' should be translated as 'hen', not 'chicken'. The latter is 'kuře'.


These words do not form 1:1 pairs between Czech and English.

kuře - a young chick, also chicken that is slaughtered and eaten. Be aware that chicken are slaughtered at the age of 39-45 days (free-range ~14 weeks), well before becoming sexually adult.

slepice - an adult female chicken that can lay eggs, a hen

chicken - the bird in general, in Czech kur domácí, Gallus gallus domesticus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken

chicken - a kind of poultry meat, usually from young not-adult chicken, in Czech kuře (noun) or kuřecí (adjective) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_as_food

chick - a young chicken, kuře, kuřátko

Notice that the same adult bird can be called chicken and hen in English. But it mostly cannot be called kuře. Only the very young ones (before becoming sexually adult) are kuře.


Very nteresting!

It's a bit different in Polish:

  • kura means hen
  • kogut means rooster
  • kurczak is a young hen/rooster or the type of meat we eat (I think it might be also used to describe hens in general when used in plural: kurczaki, but I would still expect them to be rather young if named that way)
  • kurczątko is a little baby chick

But I have a question about the Czech word slepice specifically - does it have anything to do with blindness?

Because in Polish ślepy/ślepa/ślepe means "blind", and ślepota means "blindness". Also ślepiec - "the one who is blind".

We even have an expression which connects both words, the hen and the blindness: kurza ślepota (literally hen blindness) which is also alternatively called ślepota zmierzchowa (twillight blindness). It is a type of vision impairment, known as the "night blindness" in English. Copied from Wikipedia:

"Night blindness - "Nyctalopia (/ˌnɪktəˈloʊpiə/; from Ancient Greek νύκτ- (núkt-) 'night', ἀλαός (alaós) 'blind, invisible', and ὄψ (óps) 'eye'),[1] also called night-blindness, is a condition making it difficult or impossible to see in relatively low light. It is a symptom of several eye diseases. Night blindness may exist from birth, or be caused by injury or malnutrition (for example, vitamin A deficiency). It can be described as insufficient adaptation to darkness."

So, is the Czech word for a hen - "slepice" refering to the poor eyesight of hens, especially at night? Or am I on a totally wrong track here? :)


According to Wiktionary, the etymology is derived from "slepý", meaning "blind", yes. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/slepice -- probably because of poor night sight. It's not something that comes to mind to Czechs when they say "slepice", we are not conscious of the connection.

A friend of mine liked to tell a joke:

  • Co je opak slepice? (What's the opposite of a hen?)
  • Rozlepice. (...)

This is not about etymology at all, merely about the superficial sound -- "slepice" sounds similar to "slepit se" -- to become glued together. To unglue something, or to separate two parts of something that were glued, is "rozlepit". The joke brings to the awareness the similarity between "slepice" and "slepit (se)", to which everyone is also normally oblivious.


In most cases slepice was translated as hen and in this case the answer was incorrect when I used a word "hen"? What the hell?!


"hen" is accepted here, it's good to send a report when your answer gets rejected -- then we can see what you entered.


You always must write the complete sentence that was rejected. Usually, the problem is somewhere else. Please see my comment just above to see the differences between the words.


Why would "I don’t see a hen here" be considered a wrong answer? I mean, isn’t "tu" a word both for "here" and "that (fem. acc.)"?


'Tu slepici nevidím.' = 'I don't see the hen.'

'(Tu) slepici tu nevidím.' = 'I don't see the hen here.' The first 'tu' is accusative of 'ta' and refers to the hen. The second 'tu' means 'here'.

Although Czech word order is pretty relaxed, sometimes it makes a difference. :)

Hope it helps and happy learning! :)


I am not 100% I agree with endless_sleeper. I can see how it could be translated as "i do not see a hen here'. That said I do not know anybody who would actually use that particular word order. Sounds like lyrics. "tu slepici nevidím, tam slepici nevidím, kams slepice šla?!


Sure, I don't 100% agree with myself either. It was written that way for the sake of simplicity.

Of course, 'Tu slepici nevidím.' may be interpreted as 'I don't see a hen here' but I don't know of any Czech person who would use this word order, if he wanted to emphasize the location. It just sounds completely unnatural.

You can say 'Tady slepici nevidím.' if you want to emphasize the location 'here'. If you want to use 'tu', then I suggest '(Tu) slepici tu nevidím.,' which emphasizes the location (and the hen as well.)

To sum up:

Slepici tady nevidím. (I don't see any hen here.)

Slepici tu nevidím. (I don't see any hen here.)

Tady slepici nevidím. (I don't see any hen here.)

Tu slepici tu/tady nevidím. (I don't see the hen here.)

Tu slepici nevidím. (I don't see the hen.) (Although it can be interpreted as 'I don't see a hen here' as well, this interpretation sounds totally wrong to my ears.)

Hope it helps and happy learning! :)


What about "Tu nevidím tu slepici"? (As a sort of a statement to oneself when "hledám slepici" and when I want to state that in this place I don’t see the hen)


Again, Shakespeare might say that. But nobody else.

Tu slepici tu nevidím. is much more natural.


Understood. Eyesight is a factor. Its range is a factor. If in a certain enclosure while looking around in there, like in the hen house, tu slepici nevidím would include or mean 'here' in the hen house. Then it wouldn't sound so wrong. It would be too obvious to have to say "tady".

  • 1076

I think slepice is hen and kuře is chicken


No, chicken is any age while kuře is only young (chick). The aimal one buys for meat is kuře in Czech and chicken in English. The older one that lays eggs is dlepice,but can be still chicken in English.

  • 1076

Tohle už anglicky nenapíšu. Takže jestli tomu dobře rozumím v Anglii moc nerozlišují mezi kuřetem a slepicí.


Ale jo. Zvíře (kur/slepice) i kuřecí maso je chicken, dospělá slepice je hen, kohout je rooster, cock, mladý kohoutek cockerel, kuřátko jako mládě je chick. Kapoun je capon. Brojler je broiler.


I have one question: Why is 'tu' used here? as far as I'm concerned 'tu' is only used as the accusative form of 'ta', which doesn't make sense because femenine nouns end either in a,e or consonant. Is this some type of exception, or am I mistaken?


Slepice does indeed end with -e. However, there are also consonant ending female paradigms, namely píseň and kost. Not sure which words we use for these paradigms in this course.


we have "myš" in the same skill, and "sůl" and a non-declining (always sg. acc.) "žízeň" next door.

Learn Czech in just 5 minutes a day. For free.