How To Speak English With A Slovak

Below is a guest article written by Amy Wicks, Editor of 52 Weeks in Slovakia.  She’ll be online this week responding to questions and comments left below the article.  Thank you, Amy for a great article. – Allan

Confusing Words

January 16, 2018

Amy M. Wicks

Traveling in a foreign land is fun and exciting—new places to visit, new customs to discover, new foods to taste.  But as exciting as all these things are, one element of a foreign country that can prove a little more daunting is the language.  Matching the names written in “normal” letters to the street signs written in Cyrillic, getting on a bus whose destinations are written only in Arabic, or just trying to find a free room in a town where everyone speaks French and only French can all be intimidating.

Now add globalization to this mix and things change a bit. The forces of globalization, while they do usher in great change and advancement for many people in many places, are also gradually sucking the uniqueness from the world.  Little by little, various countries and cultures have forfeited pieces of themselves in favor of some other, more “worldly” element.  Coca-cola and Google are among the most recognized trademarks on the planet, one can travel across much of Europe without ever having to stop to exchange money or show a passport, Facebook now boasts over 750 million members worldwide, and English is slowly seeping into all corners of the globe.

Click here to keep reading How To Speak English With A Slovak

Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two Slovak Words That Do Not Translate Well

Zmrzlina & Šľahačka

January 15, 2018

Allan Stevo

Zmrzlina can be a hard to pronounce word for many new to the Slovak language.  This is partly because the first five letters are consonants. It is commonly translated into English as “ice cream,” but that translation can be misleading as it implies that the product is made from cream (a fattier liquid collected from whole milk), while in fact zmrzlina in Slovakia often doesn’t even contain milk, let alone cream.

The main ingredient is sometimes water, but more often vegetable fat (like margarine). The margarine-like vegetable fat is, in fact, the most common ingredient that I have noticed over years of inspecting zmrzlina labels in Slovakia.

Click here to keep reading Two Slovak Words That Do Not Translate Well

Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vianočný Punč Recipe

Vianočný punč recipe

January 13, 2018

The punc recipe is the same as the varene vino recipe with the addition of one of each of these four items added at the end.

1. Rum
2. Pineapple juice, organge juice, apple juice, or some other sweet juice
3. Small berries, diced pieces of apples, pieces of oranges or some other fresh fruit diced small
4. Dried apricots, raisins, or any other dried fruit.

Another option is to simply place these 4 ingredients in the mug that the punc will be served in and then pouring the hot varene vino into that glass.

Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

Photo credit: ceskatelevize.cz

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Varené Víno Recipe

Varene vino recipe

January 12, 2018

Allan Stevo

Bring a cup of water and a half cup of sugar to a boil and stir until sugar is well dissolved and forms a syrup.

Add, 2 sticks of cinnamon, 6 whole cloves, 2 bay leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground nutmeg, 6 dried juniper berries, one vanilla pod, one whole star anise, 1 tablespoon fresh ground fresh ginger, 3 whole allspice, 3-4 large pieces of lemon zest, 6-8 large pieces of orange zest.

Stir the syrup continuously for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add two bottles of red wine. Warm, but do not boil, the wine.

Allow to cool a bit. Correct for sweetness.

Notes:
Never allow the wine to boil.
Strain before serving.
For white wine, I recommend you remove some of the spices, leaving vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and a few other spices of your choosing.
Cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla are spices that I consider necessary for white wine. Cinnamon and cloves are necessary for red wine. The rest can be played with.
Honey, or a sweet fruit juice such as apple juice can replace the sugar.
To strengthen the alcohol – add some gin or borovicka (for a festive flavor) or a little vodka.
To dilute the alcohol – use more water.
To sweeten the drink – add more honey or sugar.
When a wine is warmed, some of the natural wine flavors that tasted good at room temperature get a little too strong. This is why a lot of sugar may be needed in a varene vino.

Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

Photo credit: slovakiaunderscope.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oškvarky

Oškvarky

January 12, 2018

Allan Stevo

Oškvarky are made by cutting blocks of fresh pork fat into 1 inch cubes and cooking in a cauldron over a fire, constantly stirring until the lard has been rendered and the solid part of the fat and meat has turned into a crispy brown. Oškvarky can be enjoyed salted on their own as a high energy, crispy finger food, but can also be ground and used in traditional dishes such as pomazanka (spread for bread) and for pagac. See pagac recipe.

Crackling is technically the correct translation of oškvarky into English, but if you grew up in Chicago in the 1980’s, there is a nine out of ten chance that the word “crackling” means nothing to you. I find “crsipy pork fat” to be a better translation, because words need to have meaning in order to be understood.

www.SlovakCooking.com has a great article debating the pros and cons of using milk to make oškvarky.

Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

Photo credit: svetvomne.sk

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Recipe For Slovak Onion Soup / Cibulačka

Recipe For Slovak Onion Soup / Cibulačka

January 11, 2018

Allan Stevo

Simple, but delicious – you start with lots of onions, chopped, finely sautéed with butter (which makes everything better) and make it into a soup.  Easy to make and tasty, this soup regularly appears on lunchtime menus.

Directions:

Sautee 3-4 large, finely chopped onions over two tablespoons of butter in a covered soup pot. If the butter is unsalted, add a little salt to bring out the juices from the onions.  Stir regularly, cooking till golden to light brown.

Stir in nutmeg with about 1 minute of sautéing left.  30 seconds later add thyme and 20 seconds after that add sweet paprika.

Add three times as much water as it would take to cover the onions. Chicken stock, vegetable stock, or a bullion cube are also options in place of plain water.

Bring to a boil.

Serve.

Garlic croutons are a good compliment along with a little thickly grated cheese.

Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

Photo credit: tescorecepty.cz

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Medovina

Medovina

January 11, 2018

Allan Stevo

“Medovina is honey wine,”  as the owners of this Medovina producer located in Colorado point out. Honey is very popular in Slovakia and beekeeping is a popular hobby. Warm medovina is widely appreciated in Slovakia as an alternative to tea after coming in from the cold.

Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

Photo credit: dobruchut.azet.sk

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Langos Recipe

Langos Recipe

January 10, 2018

Allan Stevo

This langos recipe comes from www.SlovakCooking.com. Follow this link to take a look at step by step instructions for making langos along with detailed photos.

In a container, combine 3 cups flour, one egg, a packet of yeast, and about a teaspoon of salt and sugar. Also add about 3/4 cups of sour cream. Mix together and add just enough water to make dough.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it gets smooth. Then place it in a greased plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Fashion the dough into a large pancake and place it in hot salted oil until it is golden brown. Flip and repeat.

Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

Photo credit: dobruchut.azet.sk

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
  • join our mailing list
  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments on 52inSk.com