Living life to the full

Hello and welcome to another edition of SoundCzech, Radio Prague’s Czech language course in which you can learn new phrases with the help of song lyrics. Today’s song is by Dalibor Janda and it is called Žít jako kaskadér - Living like a stuntman.

Photo: Barbora KmentováPhoto: Barbora Kmentová Living like a stuntman suggests living a stormy life full of risks and there are several ways of expressing that in Czech. One of the most common expressions used is “žít na plný plyn” which literally translates as stepping on the gas pedal or living at full speed. Another is “žít na nadoraz” – going as far as you can take something or living life to the full. And “žít bouřlivý život” means leading a stormy life. The expression used to describe such a person is “bouřlivák”.

Living at full speed means taking risks and there are various ways of expressing that depending on how crazy the risk is. “Hrát si s ohněm” is the Czech expression for playing with fire. “Dráždit hada bosou nohou” translates as provoking or irritating a snake with your bare foot. And then, in extreme circumstances, you have “strkat hlavu do oprátky” – putting your head in the hangman’s noose.

If you find all that hard to memorize, no worries, you can simply use the English word risk which has become very much at home in Czech. “Risk” means risk and “riskovat” is to take risks. The expression there is no gain without a risk actually rhymes in Czech and goes “risk je zisk”. The expression “hrát vabank” which comes from gambling is to put everything on the line.

If, on the other hand, someone avoids risks at all cost they are “opatrný” or cautious. And you can also use the expression “drží se při zdi” they keep themselves close to the wall. If you say “investoři se drží při zdi” investors are staying close to the wall - it means they are not spending. On the other hand “rozšoupnout se” – something –you are I are more likely to do –means to go on a spending spree.


The episode featured today was first broadcast on July 20, 2013.

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