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"Po dvou měsících v tom bytě nechtěl bydlet."

Translation:After two months, he no longer wanted to live in that apartment.

April 20, 2018



I went with, “After two months in that apartment, he no longer wanted to live”, but it belatedly occurred to me that that was probably another “live”... the old “wohnen” / “leben” distinction, but in Czech.


He no longer wsnted to live means (more or less) that he wanted to die.


Correct — and so I’m now thinking that would be something like, “Po dvou měsících v tom bytě, už nechtěl žít”, or something to that effect...


I also translated it as 'After two months in that apartment he no longer wanted to live' based on the sentence structure and words there. If I hadn't actually seen the English translation of it - I would never have got this one :-)


It is a funny one! But for any newcomers, the use of the verb "bydlet" is the clue... it means "to live (in)" in the sense of to dwell/occupy/inhabit, rather than in the sense of not to be dead. :-)


Agreed. But just to add to that — if I remember correctly — rather than bydlet / žít, the real issue here for me was the difficulty that I as an English-speaker had been having in decoupling word order from meaning. I do not have this problem in German, for example. To complicate the situation, in Czech, meaning is only partially decoupled from word order, with the various possible word orders expressing different emphases, nuances, or even entirely different meanings.

I think it is ultimately a matter of retraining oneself to listen for word endings and emphasis, and then (as in all things linguistic) slowly, with a great deal of practice and exposure, waiting for it to become automatic. For those like me with limited prior exposure to Slavic languages, this would in most cases be a very significant undertaking.

You seem to be focused on Czech, though, so I’d be interested in your take.


When I got to the end of this sentence at the first go, I also had "no longer wanted to live..." thoughts! But because I recognized "bydlet" -- and because not wanting to live seemed kind of dramatic -- I avoided falling into the "trap" (at least, I THINK I did).

I agree with all of the points you made, and will say without embarrassment that I HATE WORD ORDER in Czech!!! Only recently have I started to feel like I'm getting something of a grip on it, but it is NOT easy for me, as there's just something too non-intuitive about it, coming from English. After nine months of the course, though, I AM starting to feel somewhat more confident... practice, practice, practice is what it takes, at least for me. Best of luck to you, and to all of us, in our shared "significant undertaking"!


I think this is an excellent example of Czech humor!


I think that this should also be an acceptable English translation: After two months he didn't want to live there anymore.


why not? "After two months in that apartment he did not want to live there any more?


That may not be accepted because there is no "there" equivalent in the Czech sentence.


I mean: After two months in that apartment he didn't want to live there anymore.


As I mentioned earlier, the possible problem with that suggestion is that there is no equivalent of the English word "there" in the Czech sentence. But as a native AmE speaker, I agree that your phrasing often would be used, especially in the US. I will be happy to add translations that include "there" if the CZ natives on the team feel that would not require a different sentence in Czech.


Yes, you did mention it earlier. I'm more of the thinking that a translation should communicate an equivalent message in the other language, and thus, think that, at least in this case, it shouldn't matter that there is no equivalent for "there" in the Czech sentence. If translations were always to take account of equivalent words then many translations would sound too awkward, too literal. My suggested answer, as well as other common usage options, that communicate the same message in the same register I think should be accepted. Sometimes I find it funny, and sometimes annoying, that I understood a Czech sentence completely, yet I keep getting it wrong due to the acceptable English translation. I think Duolingo is great, but there are little details like this that would be great to refine as time goes on.


Sometimes using the same words would result to awkward sentences, that is correct.

But that is.not the case here, your translation is a translation of a different sentence and thus it is not acceptable according to the Duolingo Golden rule.

Po dvou měsících v tom bytě už TAM nechtěl bydlet.

Notice that the original has: (Po dvou měsících) (už v bytě nechtěl bydlet) while you are proposing (Po dvou měsících v tom bytě) (už...).


Why is "Po dvou měsících uz..." wrong, please?


We need the complete sentence.


A comma after mesisich could help in making the meaning of the Czech sentence clearer.


No such comma is used in Czech. Czech does not separate adverbials as clauses as English does. It is not just a orthographical distinction. The adverbial is an integral part of the clause and if there were clitics in the clause, they would come to the second position right after the adverbial. Therefore, to comma would make no sense and would be completely misleading.

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