Kamarád(ka) vs přítel(kyně)
What, if any, is the difference between the usage of these terms? Bonus question: during the communist era, was kamarád/ka the standard way of addressing each other? (It sounds very much like the English comrade, or German Kamarad, that's why I was wondering)
"Kamarád/ka" is always a friend without any romantic relation, "můj kamarád Ondra" = my friend Ondra
"Přítel/kyně" can also mean a friend in general, but with a personal pronoun it may mean also romantic partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, "moji přátelé ze školy" = my friends from school, "starý rodinný přítel" = old family friend, "moje přítelkyně" = my girlfriend
Never, during the Communist regime people had to use "soudruh/soudružka"
Note that the main word for a party member in German was not Kamarad, but (Partei)Genosse. Soudruh was used in Czech.
If a man says about another man that he is "můj přítel" I would assume he is his friend. For a gay romantic partner I weould expect "partner" or something similar. But if it is clear, "přítel" can be probably used as well. Better to ask someone with first-hand experience.
Yeah, I didn't remember that expression. But now I'm not sure how Kamerad was used, lol. I do remember it from a DDR German book I used as a kid, but it was a very long time ago. Maybe I'll ask it in the German forum.
As you can see here the term is mainly used in the military (Note the spikes during both world wars) it refers to the members of your group. The military meaning is more or less dropped depending on the context, for example if you play with friends you could be viewed as a group hence the others would be your "Spielkameraden". I don't know why the usage drops after 2000 though.
"Kamarád" means a friend. Usually without a romantic relation. It is very common in spoken czech, much more frequent than "přítel".
The word "kamarád" comes from the german Kamerad. Many czech words come from german language, but they often have informal, conversational meaning, many of them are not standard. For example: a face = obličej, but we often use ksicht ... from german Gesicht. And many many others. Many germans lived in the Czechoslovakia before the WW2, especially in towns and cities. German language was prefered by nobility, teachers, rich people. The czech countries were for 400 years under the rule of Habsburgs and german was an official language. many words were only german, there was no czech equivalent for them. Many czech words were created recently, it means about 200 years ago. The czech language restoration started in a period called the Czech National Revival (see wikipedia). The czech linguists from this period were very active, so they created many new words from german and latin original terms. So we have these silly names of months instead of widespread Januar, Februar ....
If I talk about a friend, I don't use "můj přítel". It sounds more like "my boyfriend". So I use only "můj kamarád". Or even more often "kámoš" [kaamosh], but it is an ungrammatical word.