Czech Translations Hinge on Word Ending More Than Placement

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Notes on the Czech academic credential evaluation, taken from the 2019 NAFSA GuideCzech Republic 

 

Translation, definitions, and Czech language 

Many Czech educational terms can be translated into English multiple ways, and certain English academic terms have multiple Czech translations. For instance, vzdelání and vzdelávání both mean ‘education’, as does škola (used more in conversation than in writing), although škola can also refer to the actual school building, as can the term ucilište. 

 
Vzdelání and vzdelávání both mean ‘education’ and can both be applied to any category or level of education. However, vzdelání is the educated state one reaches after having undergone vzdelávání, which is the process of learning. 
Strední odborné vzdelávání = Upper Secondary Education 
Strední odborné vzdelání = Upper Secondary Education 
 
Strední škola, translated literally, means “middle school,” though the middle that it occupies is between Basic School (Základní škola) and Higher Education (Vysoká škola), rather than between Elementary School and High School (as in the U.S.). Vysoká škola/VŠ – comprised of Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral programs – translated literally, means “high school”. 

 
When examining Czech documents, bear in mind that unfamiliar word-endings and word sequences do not necessarily indicate a different meaning. The Czech language has seven grammatical cases and three grammatical genders, which means a word – in either singular or plural form – can have over 20 possible endings, depending on its context. As the subject, for instance, singular zkouška is rendered ‘zkouška’. However, in other situations, zkouška (in singular and plural forms) can be rendered zkoušky, zkoušce, zkoušku, zkouškouzkoušek, zkouškám, zkouškách, or zkouškami. 

 

With a word’s meaning hinging more on its ending than on its placement in a phrase, word sequence is more flexible, so a sentence or phrase can be rearranged multiple ways without altering its meaning. 
Cestou domu Petra videla Jonáše – On the way home, Petra saw Jonáš. 

Cestou domu videla Petra Jonáše – On the way home, Petra saw Jonáš. 

Petra cestou domu videla Jonáše – On the way home, Petra saw Jonáš. 

 
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