The Midnight Rider (sabinelagrande) wrote in linguaphiles,

Czech diminutives?

Okay, so I'm writing a story, and my (female) character calls my (male) character "vampire" (he is literally a vampire, it's not a figurative use) as a term of endearment. It's inserted into an English sentence (she says, "I know, [correct form of the word "vampire" in Czech].").

It seems like I should use upír + diminutive? But I don't speak Czech, so I have no idea if that's right or, indeed, how to form the diminutive. Any thoughts?
Tags: czech
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  • 11 comments

barush

January 3 2014, 10:10:48 UTC 9 months ago

Hmm the only diminutive for "vampire" that comes to my mind is "upírek". Vampire is indeed "upír" plus the diminutive suffix.

However, there are seven cases in Czech, and the suffix will change in each of them. So if you want the correct form of how it would be in Czech, it'd be "I know, upírku." I assume it's the fifth case from your example. Hope that helps. (I'm Czech, btw.)

sabinelagrande

January 3 2014, 10:34:00 UTC 9 months ago

Thanks! That's really helpful.

barush

January 3 2014, 13:55:00 UTC 9 months ago

Awesome :)

liszkalupeni

January 3 2014, 12:04:40 UTC 9 months ago

Hi! Here's another Czechwoman for you! :)
Barush has right, it may be "upírek," the fifth case it "upírku." If you need all seven cases, here you are.
1. Upírek
2. Upírka (like "without a vampire")
3. Upírkovi
4. Upírka (like "I see a vampire")
5. Upírku! (vocation)
6. Upírkovi (like "about a vampire")
7. Upírkem (like "with a vampire")
However, there's one more word, it's personally my favourite, and it's the similar form as in English: "vampýr." The fifth case for calling is "Vampýre" without diminuitive and "vampýrku" with a diminuitive. Hope this is helpful!

spiritofdream

January 3 2014, 22:33:00 UTC 9 months ago

I checked comments before reply and here you are! :) I like your answer. (Doteď jsem si myslela, že "vampýr" se píše s měkkým. Cool!)

liszkalupeni

January 4 2014, 00:18:04 UTC 9 months ago

Thank you! Is there any discussion about Czech language you haven't found? :D No hele, já myslím že tohle slovo se zrovna může psát s obojím, vampír i vampýr, viděla jsem obojí v knihách. A líbí se mi víc s Y.


For the founder: My friend here told me that she thought "vampýr" is spelled "vampír," I'm convinced that both variants are right (both you can find in books), so you can choose what pleases your ear and eyes more :)

sabinelagrande

January 4 2014, 02:05:04 UTC 9 months ago

Thank you! I'm a professional linguist, but the thing that goes COMPLETELY over my head is case marking. This was super helpful!

liszkalupeni

January 4 2014, 02:13:11 UTC 9 months ago

Well, for most of the Czech first-grade pupils case marking goes over their head too :D I'm glad I was helpful, good luck with your story!
P.S. "Vampýr/ek" works exactly the same as "upír/ek" when it comes to cases. Thanks God.
P.P.S. I've been studying Irish for three years, and if you think Czech cases are difficult... :D

muckefuck

January 9 2014, 23:02:34 UTC 9 months ago Edited:  January 9 2014, 23:03:13 UTC

Ag magadh tánn tú! Modern Irish barely has a genitive. (It's present in the plural mainly in fossilised forms and in the singular it's often ignored or identical to the citation form.) The dative exists only in fossilised forms (e.g. cionn, tigh) and the vocative is identical to the genitive for one declension of nouns and the same as the usual form plus lenition for all the others.

Or are you talking about Old Irish? Because you might well have a point there.

liszkalupeni

January 10 2014, 10:58:50 UTC 9 months ago

Old Irish is definitely a special case, that's true :) I was talking about Modern Irish, but I did not express myself properly - though, for me the simple genitive is sometimes hard enough too, because to remember where the same forms appear... anyway, I was thinking of the endings mostly, when you have this "agam, agat , aige, aici..." because the same can be applied on Czech - we also have a special ending for each case, and still it's difficult for me. Not the "agam," of course, but e.g. these "orm, ort..." or "as, astu..." etc.
An bhfuil Gaeilge agat ná is Eireannach tú?

muckefuck

January 10 2014, 20:45:02 UTC 9 months ago

Tá beagán agam, ach Meiriceánach is ea mé.

Your examples aren't case endings, they are prepositions with personal endings. That is, agam is the equivalent of ag plus . It can be confusing to know when to use agam rather than orm, dom, liom, etc. but this isn't an issue of case, it's an issue of preposition usage--and preposition usage is a pain in any language (including Czech!) because it's so very arbitrary.