How to be a successful expat

Enjoying Czech beer in Letna Beer Garden, Prague © Ricky Yates

Just over four years ago, on 19th September 2008, Sybille and I arrived in Prague to begin a new chapter in our life together – a Brit and a German living as an expatriate married couple in the Czech Republic. This blog, which I started writing and publishing just over four months later, is as I state in, About me – including two photos, ‘….my attempt to reflect on ministering to English-speakers from a variety of backgrounds and countries, and living as an expat myself in this fascinating city and country’.

As this fourth anniversary of our expatriate existence recently approached, I started reflecting on what makes for living successfully in another country that is not your own. This post is the result of those reflections, written out of our own personal experience . . . → Read More: How to be a successful expat

The danger of purely relying on spelling checkers

Further to my most recent post that has attracted both a considerable number of comments and also aroused a little bit of controversy, here is a funny poem on a related theme. A reminder that spelling checkers have their limitations.

Spring tulips © Ricky Yates

Eye halve a spelling chequer, It came with my pea sea, It plainly marques four my revue Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a quay and type a word And weight four it two say, Weather eye am wrong or write, It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid It nose bee fore two long, And eye can putt the error rite, Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it, I am shore your pleased two no, Its letter perfect all the weigh My chequer tolled . . . → Read More: The danger of purely relying on spelling checkers

My blogging and online philosophy

Magnolia flowering © Ricky Yates

Ever since I started writing this blog more than three years ago, I have always sought to recognise three important things. Firstly, I am a native first-language English-speaker. Secondly, I am an expatriate, living in a foreign country – in my case, the Czech Republic. Thirdly, I am a Christian minister – an Anglican priest in the Church of England.

Therefore, as far as I am concerned, numerous consequences flow from these three things.

As a native first-language English-speaker, it behoves me to use correct English spelling and grammar; particularly so when I have written and posted many times about the numerous examples of Czenglish which I regularly encounter. As a foreigner resident in the Czech Republic, it is essential that when I write about Czech history and geography, I get my facts and locations correct. As a Christian minister, I . . . → Read More: My blogging and online philosophy

My first wedding of 2012

Myself with Kristin & Petr following their wedding service © Sybille Yates

On Saturday 3rd March, I conducted my first wedding of 2012 when Petr, a Czech, married Kristin, an American. The wedding took place at St. Clement’s Church with a congregation made up of Petr’s Czech relatives, a small number of Kristin’s American relatives, together with numerous mutual friends.

This wedding presented all the usual problems that arise when I conduct a Czech to English-speaker marriage. Petr’s parents and older relatives do not understand or speak English. None of Kristin’s family speaks Czech except for Kristin herself who has lived in Prague for twenty years and has her own business here. How was I to conduct a service that would be understood and appreciated by everyone present?

As with previous Czech to English-speaker weddings, I got Petr and Kristin to produce a completely bilingual order of service . . . → Read More: My first wedding of 2012

Czenglish – an explanation?

Would you like an exclusive French female cousin? © Ricky Yates

I’ve written many times previously about this strange language that I regularly encounter in the Czech Republic which I call Czenglish. I’ve found it on menus, on market stalls, on buildings and on public notices. If you want to see other examples besides those I’ve just linked to, put ‘Czenglish’ into the search box on the top right-hand-side of this page and hit ‘enter’.

On the left is my latest example of this strange language. The Kulat’ák Restaurant here in Praha 6, is proud to offer an exclusive French female cousin to its customers. For the benefit of the proprietors of Kulat’ák, it should be ‘Exclusive Cuisine’.

And when correcting this hilarious mistake, the first statement also needs to be amended to read ‘The first Pilsner . . . → Read More: Czenglish – an explanation?