World Cup: Translating the Czech commentator Jaroslav Bosák

I wanted to start off by saying that Monday’s World Cup match between the US and the Czech Republic left me with a deep ambivalence that I’m just getting over. The kind of ambivalence you get when your worst enemy goes driving off a cliff in your new sportscar. In a way, I’m glad that the result was so clear, because it means there really _was_ a better team.

I’ve managed to watch quite a few of the World Cup matches now, and have to say: I hate “homers” in any sport. You know the kind: the commentators who refer to the local team as “us,” using the first person plural: “We almost scored!”

As if!

The Czech commentator Jaroslav Bosák is a huge “homer.” But he has his own library of similes that would give the US newsman Dan Rather a run for his money. And that’s why I like him.

I’m a connossieur of colorful phrases, and as an amateur translator I savor opportunities to translate an interestingly-turned phrase. So, with great pleasure, I will attempt to translate this article from today’s

Bosák’s famous comments

How can one understand the phrases of commentator Jaroslav Bosák? Take a look at this explanatory dictionary:

Phrases used by Bosák and attempts at their meaning:

Å evčenko didn’t break through. His father, the tank driver, would’ve had to be there to do that.”
The Ukrainian forward attempted in vain to go through two defenders.

“They’re playing on only one half of the pitch. The caretakers must be happy.”
One of the teams has clear dominance.

“And that had as much in common with football as čabajka [a Hungarian sausage] has with health food.”
The performance of both teams isn’t pretty to watch.

“The organizing service as well as the police acted as if this was a friendly match on the first of May and not as if it was the derby.”
Police and organizers underestimated hardcore fans, so-called hooligans.

“Brazilian samba could be heard in the stadium, while a Prussian march was lost somewhere in the distance.”
Developments in the Brazil-Germany match were fully in control of the Brazilian footballers.

“Yeah, and when I look at Schmeichel, I wouldn’t want to fight with him over who’s going to wash the dishes.”
The then-goalie for Denmark was angry.

“The Belarus defense was hanging on BaroÅ¡ like Christmas ornaments on the tree.”
A mildly critical comment addressed at the tight defense played by opponents on the Czech forward.

“He pulled through the two defenders as if they were painted there.”
A mildly admiring comment addressed at the technically-skilled forward.

“The kidneys of Igor Gluščevič sent out a dangerous shot.”
The former Sparta player shot without knowing how.

“Ooooooh! That, sir, was a foul! I wouldn’t wish that on my wife’s favorite boyfriend.”
An especially tough foul, probably on a sensitive place.

“And in the air, the plaster cast sounded after Zagarokis’ foul”
An even tougher foul, on any part of the body.

“Poborský sped up like Stanislav Gross’ driver.”
Special admiration for the Czech back’s speed.

“I’d like to recall my colleague, Shakespeare: ‘Much ado about nothing.'”
The game isn’t worth anything.

“That was a slice like from a First Republic farmer.”
A red-card foul.

“The coach, Rehhagel, honors the famous adage that the best defense is … defense.”
The tactics of the Greek team, which led to a historic gold at the European Championship, weren’t liked by anyone but the Greeks.

One thought on “World Cup: Translating the Czech commentator Jaroslav Bosák

  1. Doug, I suppose you were less ambivalent when the US played with Italy. A great match (especially after the previous one). Now we have to rely also on American boys 😉

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