False Friends

What an unbelievable coincidence!

Not only do Poland and Indonesia have exactly the opposite meaning for this word, their flags are opposites as well!

Words in different languages that look or sound similar but differ significantly in meaning are called “false friends.” Words like these can lead to miscommunications with speakers of other languages that are weird, confusing, and hilarious.

The Spanish word embarazada is another good example of a false friend.  Embarazada sounds very close to the English word embarrassed, but actually means pregnant. Many Spanish students will come across this “friend” at some point. Even professionals can miss it sometimes-  this mistake was made by a pen company whose Spanish advertisements for ballpoint pens translated to: “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”

German and English in particular have a ton of language frienemies to watch out for.

Several English words with very different German meanings:

bald – soon

herb – bitter, harsh;

fast- almost

Mist – dung

Gift – poison

Croatian Travel Destinations – Croatian Culture for kids

Croatia has many beautiful places that are worth a visit.

Even though Croatia is a small country, it has seven national parks. These are parts of nature that are protected from harm by law.

The oldest national park is Plitvice, or Plitvička jezera (Plitvice lakes). They are made from 16 wonderful lakes.

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The Source: Google search for images “Nacionalni park Plitvička jezera”

Near the Plitvice lakes there is another national park, the mountain Risnjak. It is a beautiful place full of natural wonders.

The Source: Google image search for “NP Risnjak”

National park Risnjak is not the only mountain that is protected. There is also Northern Velebit. It’s a part of the longest mountain in Croatia. There is a kind of a flower that grows only there, and nowhere else in the world.

The Source: Google search for images “Nacionalni park Sjeverni Velebit”, and “Velebitska degenija”

The mountain Velebit faces the sea, and a bit further in the sea there is a national park Kornati. Kornati are islands in the part of the Adriatic Sea that belongs to Croatia. Kornati are rocky islands that are beautiful, but not full of life.

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The Source: Google search for images “Kornati”

There is another island that is a national park, and that is the island of Mljet. Mljet is an island covered with forest and full of life.

The Source: Google search for images “NP Mljet”

National park Waterfalls of Krka is based on the river Krka and its beautiful waterfalls.

The Source: Google image search for “NP Krka”

These national parks are all based in the part of Croatia near the sea. There is only one national park in the continental part of Croatia. It’s a swamp area called Kopački rit. It is full of life. There are many kinds of birds living there, deer and doe, fish and many other animals.

The Source: Google image search “NP Kopački rit”

Beside national parks, there are many other places to visit as well.

Cities on the coast side of Croatia are pretty with their thousands of years old churches and old houses. For example, there is an old Roman Empire Arena in a city of Pula. It is about 2,000 years old. You can go inside and see how where the gladiators fought. Today, concerts take place there.

If you like continent and green nature better than sea, Croatia has many mountains, hills, and plains to offer. There are old castles you can visit.

The plain of Slavonija is known for its golden fields of wheat.

If you love science, you will want to visit the Museum of Nikola Tesla. He is a Croatian who lived in USA for more than a half of his life. He is one of the greatest scientists, but he is not as famous as some others are because he didn’t like to be in the center of attention. He invented radio, radar, X-rays, robots, but others took credit for those things.

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Croatian Etiquette: Proper Behavior and Manners – Croatian Culture for kids


Croatian people are very friendly. When you meet someone who is Croatian for the first time, you shake hands with him or her and look them in the eye. When you become friends with them, you can kiss girls quickly on each cheek one time, or hug boys and pat them on the back.

The Croatian people like to spend time together. They go to each other houses and have dinners together. They talk a lot while they’re eating. Usually they are making jokes and talking very loudly.

Croatian people like playing cards. Popular games are called “briškula”, “trešet”, or “bela”.

Sometimes, they will even sing traditional songs.

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When you want to talk to someone you don’t know well, you call them “Gospođice” (Miss), or “Gospođo” (Mrs.) and their last name. Mr. is “Gospodine” and his last name, for example, Gospodine Jones.

When you leave, you can say “Zbogom” which means goodbye. See you later is “doviđenja”. Some people even say “Ciao”, like Italians.

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Common Croatian Words and Phrases – Croatian Culture for kids

Croatian seems like a hard language to learn, but it’s not really. It’s easy to read because each letter is always read the same way.

When you are in Croatia, there are some common words and phrases you can use to get around, and they’re not too difficult to learn.

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Greeting people depends on the time of the day. Before noon, you say “Dobro jutro”. Between noon and evening, you say, “Dobar dan”, and when the night falls, you say “Dobra večer”.

When you want to ask someone how he or she is doing, you ask “Kako si?” They can say they’re okay, “Dobro sam”.

When you give someone a book, for example, you can say here you go, or “Izvolite”. They will answer with “Hvala”, and that means thank you. “Nema na čemu” means you’re welcome.

When someone sneezes, you tell them “Nazdravlje!”

When you want to wish someone to enjoy their meal, you say “Dobar tek”.

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If you want to apologize to something, you can say “Oprostite”, but most Croatian people will understand sorry as well. They watch a lot of American movies, so they started saying sorry instead of “Oprostite” even to each other.

Yes is “Da”, and no means “Ne”. When you want to say please in Croatian, you say “Molim”.

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Common Croatian Names (boys and girls) – Croatian Culture for kids

Most popular Croatian name is definitely Ivan, and variations of that name. Ivan is a name for boys. In English, it is the same as John.

Ivan can come in many variations. They could be Ivo, Ivano and Ivica for boys, or Ivana, Iva, Ivona for girls. “I” in those names is read like ee in week, not like i in ivy.

Other popular Croatian names for boys are Luka (Luke), Marko (Mark), Filip (Phillip), Josip (Joseph), Antonio (Anthony), Karlo (Carl), Petar (Peter), and so on. Most of these names are traditional and exist in Croatian language for a long time.

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For girls, besides Iva and Ivana, the most popular names are Ana (Anne) and Marija (Mary). There are cases when in one school class with 20 children, there are three or four girls named Marija, or three or four boys names Ivan.

Other popular names for girls are Lucija (Lucy), Mia, Lana, Nika, Dora, Sara, Katarina, Martina, Marina, and so on.

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Say ” Happy Birthday” in a different language


Chinese – 生日快乐 – Shēngrì kuàilè

German – Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag

Japanese – お誕生日おめでとうございます – Otanjōbiomedetōgozaimasu

Dutch – gelukkige verjaardag

Arabic – عيد ميلاد سعيد

Czech – všechno nejlepší k narozeninám

Greek – χαρούμενα γενέθλια – charoúmena genéthlia

Finnish – Hyvää syntymäpäivää

Turkish – Mutlu yıllar

French – joyeux anniversaire

Hebrew – יום הולדת שמח

Polish – z okazji urodzin

Hindi – जन्मदिन की शुभकामनाएँ – Janmadina kī śubhakāmanā’ēm


Italian – Compleanno felice

Korean – 생일 축하합니다  – saeng-il chughahabnida

Japanese – お誕生日おめでとうございます – Otanjōbiomedetōgozaimasu

Portuguese – feliz aniversário

Spanish – feliz cumpleaños

Swedish – Grattis på födelsedagen

Romanian – fericit ziua de naştere

Norwegian – Gratulerer med dagen

Vietnamese – Chúc mừng sinh nhật

Ukranian – днем народження – dnem narodzhennya

Urdu – سالگِرہ مبارک – salgirah mubarak

Thai – สุขสันต์วันเกิด – sook sun wan gerd

Malay – Selamat hari lahir

Latin – Felix dies natalis

Language learning for kids

Popular Children’s Literature of Italy

–          Aesop’s Fables (Dover Children’s Thrift Classics):

(Author- Aesop, Pat Stewart) Ages 4 to 8

–          The Adventures of Pinocchio: The Story of a Puppet:

(Author- Carlo Collodi, Iassen Ghiuselev)  Ages 9 to 12

–          Pompeii:

(Author- Peter Connolly) Ages 9 to 12

–          The Buried City of Pompeii: What It Was Like When Vesuvius Exploded (I Was There):

(Author: Shelley Tanaka, Greg Ruhl)

            Ages  9 to 12

–          Vulca the Etruscan (Journey Through Time Series):

(Author: Roberta Angeletti, Beatrice Masini) Ages 8 to 12

–          Leonardo and the Flying Boy:

(Author: Laurence Anholt) Ages 8 to 14

–          Bravo, Zan Angelo!: A Commedia Dell’Arte Tale With Story & Pictures:

(Author: Niki Daly) Age 10+

–          The Legend of Old Befana:

(Author: Tomie De Paola) Ages 4 to 10

–           Big Anthony: His Story:

(Author: Tomie De Paola) Ages 4 to 8

–          Opera Cat:

(Author: Tess Weaver, Andrea Wesson) Ages 4 to 8

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Inventions for Kids: French Inventions, DID YOU KNOW???

  • AQUALUNG: a breathing apparatus that supplied oxygen to divers and allowed them to stay underwater for several hours. It was invented in 1943 by Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
  • BAROMETER: a device that measures air (barometric) pressure. It measures the weight of the column of air that extends from the instrument to the top of the atmosphere. There are two types of barometers commonly used today, mercury and aneroid (meaning “fluidless”). Earlier water barometers (also known as “storm glasses”) date from the 17th century. The mercury barometer was invented by the Italian physicist Evangelista Torricelli.
  • BATTERY: a device that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. Each battery has two electrodes, an anode (the positive end) and a cathode (the negative end). An electrical circuit runs between these two electrodes, going through a chemical called an electrolyte (which can be either liquid or solid). This unit consisting of two electrodes is called a cell (often called a voltaic cell or pile). It was invented by Alessandro Volta.
  • BICYCLE: a wooden scooter-like contraption called a celerifere; it was invented about 1790 by Comte Mede de Sivrac of France.
  • ELECTRIC IRON: The electric iron was invented in 1882 by Henry W. Seeley
  • MAYONNAISE: invented in France hundreds of years ago, probably in 1756 by the French chef working for the Duke de Richelieu, The first ready-made mayonnaise was sold in the US in 1905 at Richard Hellman’s deli in New York.
  • METER (and the METRIC SYSTEM): Was invented in France. In 1790, the French National Assembly directed the Academy of Sciences of Paris to standardize the units of measurement. A committee from the Academy used a decimal system and defined the meter to be one 10-millionths of the distance from the equator to the Earth’s Pole (that is, the Earth’s circumference would be equal to 40 million meters). The committee included the mathematicians Jean Charles de Borda (1733-1799), Joseph-Louis Comte de Lagrange (1736-1813), Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749-1827), Gaspard Monge (1746 -1818), and Marie Jean Antoine Nicholas Caritat, the Marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794).
  • PENCIL: invented in 1564 when a huge graphite (black carbon) mine was discovered in England. The pure graphite was sawn into sheets and then cut into square rods. The graphite rods were inserted into hand-carved wooden holders, forming pencils.

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Historical French Figures: From Disney to Helping the Blind See

William the Conqueror actual French name is Guillaume le Conquérant, and he was Duke of Normandy, a large area of northern France.  He is a historical figure of France because in 1066 he took his army across the Channel, and killed the English King, Harold, and most of the English nobles in the Battle of Hastings. He conquered England and put his Norman followers as leaders. His knights built strong castles like Dover, and his bishops built fine cathedrals like Canterbury. For 300 years, the King of England and all the important people in the country spoke only French. Today, English still has thousands of words which come from French.

Claude Monet is an artist, the leading member of the Impressionist painters. His most famous painting is the “Water-lillies” which he painted in the elaborate garden he had made for himself.

Claude-Achille Debussy was a French composer whose work is often linked with the Impressionist painters. He is famous for piano pieces such as “Children’s Corner” and his orchestral work “The Afternoon of a Faun” (“L’apès-midi d’une faune”).

Alexandre Dumas wrote the two historically known adventure classics “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo”.

Victor Hugo credited forDisney film and video “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. The original novel was written by Victor Hugo and is known in France as “Notre Dame de Paris”.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is theauthor of “Le Petit Prince” a well- known French children’s book.

Napoléon Bonaparte was a famous French general who became Emperor of France in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Napoleon was responsible for introducing measures which form the basis of many of France’s institutions that still exist today, including an educational law to set up state grammar schools (lycés) which aimed to provide well-trained army officers and civil servants. During Napoleon’s reign France was constantly at war. Napoleon built a huge empire, so that by 1812 he controlled the greater part of Western Europe. Eventually he was defeated when France was invaded by Russian, Prussian, Austrian and British armies. Finally, Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba. He managed to escape and ruled France again for just a hundred days before being defeated by Wellington at Waterloo. He was sent as a prisoner to St. Helena, where he died in 1821.

Louis Blériot is credited as a French airman who became the first person to fly the English Channel. On 25 July 1909 he flew from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes.

Louis Braille is credited towards inventing the system of raised dots which form letters for the visually impaired to read. Louis was blinded in an accident at the age of 4. He was sent to one of the first schools for blind boys in Paris, where they were taught simple skills to help them earn a living without begging. Without being able to read, it was difficult for blind people to have much education. The system is now used everywhere in the world.

Ferdinand de Lesseps is credited towards building the Suez Canal – regarded at the time as the world’s greatest engineering triumph, and tried but failed to build a Panama Canal.

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Czech culture for children – Fun facts, food, music, language and more…

Children’s Games of Czech

1)      Pesek (Duck -Duck Goose): For this game, all of the children sit down in a circle, facing one another. There is one child that is “it”, and they sing a song while going around in a circle. The person who is “it” goes around singing the song until he or she taps one of the seated children on the head, and once that person is tapped, they chase the person who is “it” until the person who is “it” takes the newly tapped child’s position on the floor. This game has no definite ending, and can go on as long as the children wish to play it.

Common Czech Cuisines

The traditional Czech cuisine consists of roast pork, with sour kraut and dumplings. Some popular foods all have the same sides, like soups, potatoes, and more. While the Czech Republic has recently turned the cuisine over to a healthier menu, one cannot forget what meals make the Czech cuisines memorable.

Popular soups: potato, garlic, and chicken noodle

Popular Main Dishes: Chicken, Pork, Beef, or Fish. Usually roasted, certain meats are served during certain events and certain times of the year. For example, Carp (a fish) is served only at certain times a year.

Popular Appetizers/Side Dishes: Boiled, Roasted, and Mashed Potatoes, Dumplings, Rice, and Bread

Popular Czech Sweets

If its sweet bread, it’s a popular Czechoslovakian dessert. Some common sweet treats of the Czech Republic includes, but are not limited to the following; pancakes, yeast cakes, fruit filled dumplings, sugar dumplings, and more. Strawberry cookies and galache are just two examples of the deliciousness served on occasion. Like in the United States, the Czech Republic enjoys cake as well, such as poppy seed and vanilla. Vanilla crescents, pecan cookies, and so much more are common desserts in Czechoslovakia.

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Simple Czech Cuisine Recipes

  1. Yeast Dumplings
  • Ingredients: 1/2 package dry yeast, 1 cubed bread roll, 2 cups warm water, 4 cups instant flour, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 tablespoon salt
  • Directions: – Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water with sugar

-In a big bowl combine flour, salt, egg and bread roll. After yeast rises, add to mixture and knead for 10 minutes. Form 4 rolls on a sheet with flour. Cover and let rise.

-Boil salted water and gently place in water – maybe one or two at a time. Cover and cook about 20 minutes.

-Test for doneness with toothpick. It should be light and puffy. Remove from water and slice.

2. Pancakes (Palačinky)

  • Ingredients: 2 eggs, am, fresh fruit or even Nutella for spreading, pinch of salt, 1/4 cup butter for pan, 3 tbs sugar, 2 cups flour, 2 cups milk
  • Directions: -Beat together eggs, salt, sugar milk, and flour until smooth. Heat a non-stick frying pan and brush with butter.

-Pour a thick layer of batter into the pan – spreading it to cover the base of the pan. The pancakes should be very thin. The thinner the better.

-Fry on both sides until golden brown. Spread with filling of your choice and roll into a tube. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or add whipped cream a cherry and be creative.

3. Garlic Dip

  • Ingredients: 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 3 garlic cloves, minced, 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1/2 cup shredded cheese (muenster, mozzarella, etc.)
  • Directions: -Shred cheese coarsely. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and shredded cheese.

-Use a garlic press to mince the garlic directly over cheese mixture, Mix well and serve.

Children’s Games

The citizens of Czech Republic celebrate Children’s Day on June 1st annually. On this day, families take their children to local churches and parks, in which the parks hold carnivals and fun events for the kids of the republic. This day celebrates peace, harmony, and great health of all children.

3 Must Go See’s

  1. Prague City Center: one of the most visited areas; it is a central point of Prague. Here is where one can find shops, amusement centers, restaurants, and so much more. Many visitors and citizens visit here for a great time, or wonderful sights to see as well.
  2. Petrin Lookout Tower: 60 meters high, this tower is compared to the Eiffel Tower. Many people use the lift to get to the top, which hovers on the hill over the city. It’s a major tourist attraction.
  3. Prague Castle: Holding the Bohemian crown jewels on display, everyone who visits has no other option than to stop at the most common viewed place in Prague. Standing as one
  • of the grandest and largest castles in the world, it holds many cathedrals, museums, galleries, and gardens.

Festivals/Celebrations of Czech Republic

  1. New Year’s: While tourists fill the streets of Prague, the local citizens escape the city for the mountains. Regardless of where everyone is, everyone engages in the festivities of fireworks and family time to bring in the New Year.
  2. Folklore Festival: This festival celebrates the history of Prague. For three days, colorful mini festivals fill the city, with food, music and much dancing in the streets.
  3. Easter: The tradition of Easter in Prague is for a young boy to chase a girl with branches and switches, to ward off ugliness for a year, and the girl must give the young boy a colorful egg.

Fun Facts

  • Czech people are the heaviest beer consumers
  • There are 2000 castles in the Czech Republic
  • The official language of Czech Republic is Czech.
  • About 59% of the population is agnostic, atheist, or non-believer. About 26.8% is Roman Catholic while 2.5% is Protestant.
  • The country has four national parks, the oldest being Krkonoše National Park (Biosphere Reserve). The other three are Šumava National Park (Biosphere Reserve), National Park Podyjí, and Èeské Švýcarsko National Park.
  • The former tennis champion Martina Navratilova, statistically the second best female player of the 20th century behind Steffi Graf, is a Czech.

Czech Customs and Culture

–          Do not go to someone else’s home without bringing flowers, or a sweet treat

–          You are expected to remove your shoes upon visiting someone’s home, most homes will have slippers for you

–          Czech culture means less private space, culturally, they are a lot closer than Western civilization

–          They seldom call people by their first name, unless they are family

–          Initial greetings are formal and reserved

–          The oldest woman or honored guest is generally served first.

Sounds of the Czech Republic

Traditional Czech Republic music requires traditional instruments. Majority of the instruments used are handmade, and are done so delicately. The wood chosen for these instruments is an intricate process in itself, as the trees used for them have to be at least 100 or more years old. Fiddles, drums, and accordions are some examples, but the saxophone is a widely used instrument as well. Some traditional music genres of the Czech Republic includes but are not limited to; modern music, folk music, alternative music, jazz, and the blues. One of the most notable Czech Republic marks of music is the “Underground Movement,” which battled conformity, political oppression, and consumerism. In the 1960’s, the communist government did not agree with this movement, as it was a “threat to society.” Yet, Westernized music does not fail to make its way to the Czech Republic for the younger generation who is not as into traditional music as their elders.

Czech Attire

A lot of Czech Republic clothing is determined by the area and time period of which it derived, and its purpose.

–          Blata: Lying in the České Budějovice, Tábor, Jindřichův Hradec and Vodňany regions, the women’s clothing is decorated lavishly, and extremely embroidered. The Plena is the most common part of any clothing outfit, and resembles a decent sized scarf. In the 19th century, chemises were added to it as embroidery, an in the early 20th century late 19th century, beads were added as well.

–          Doudlebsko: This area is in South Bohemia. This area is the poorer region, and their clothing reflects it. Their clothing is less lavish, and less embroidered, rather simple and plain. Males are often seen wearing bearskin trousers, a shirt, and a hat. Belts are worn to carry money, not for fashion.

These are just a couple of examples. Clothing depends on the region, the status of the individual and/or family, and the time period of which the clothing was introduced to the Czech society.