‘Cabin fever’ drives young Czechs out of Soviet-era housing

It’s something like (cabin fever), but let’s say it lasts for 15 years or so…”

“South Town, also known as Jizni Mesto or Prague 11, is an endless field of these buildings, called panelak ”panel buildings” in Czech, which sprung up in the early 1960s and now make up more than 30 per cent of the nation’s housing stock.”

During my first two trips to Prague my wife and I stayed in an apartment in a “panelak” and it was a perfect short-term place to stay: Just enough space for two travelers who didn’t have many possessions. It was in the Pankrác neighborhood, right next to the Metro and an open-air market.

It was perfect then, but now that I have a family of my own I can understand the cabin fever.

Speaking of moles

In the news this past spring: Space is the final frontier for Czech child icon

The 19-centimeter (7.5-inch) toy version of the character, created by Czech animator Zdenek Miler, has been chosen to accompany U.S. astronaut Andrew Feustel on Endeavour’s last mission as NASA ends its shuttle program.

I like the Post’s headline much better than the Wall Street Journal’s, Space Shuttle Stowaway Is a Commie Mole.

Other audio resources: Wiktionary and The Shtooka Project

I was Googling a Czech word the other day to check my work–I’m not a fluent speaker, so I make lots of mistakes. What I found was new to me: Czech language resources on Wiktionary complete with sound files. The sound files seem to all originate from The Shtooka Project, “a non-profit organisation, with the object of creating free audio collections of words and expressions as well as developing software tools to exploit these collections.” The files are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 France license.

New Feature: Audio Clips

I’m very pleased to announce the addition of something folks have been asking for since I first started this site: audio clips. This addition is thanks to the generosity of Pavel Farkas, who volunteered to produce the audio clips and supply them to me in a web-ready format. Not only do I owe him a debt of gratitude for all the work he did to make this happen, I owe him an apology for taking so long to update the site with the new feature. Thank you Pavel!

At the moment there are a couple of browser requirements for hearing the audio: Flash and JavaScript. The sound clips are triggered by the jPlayer plugin for jQuery, and it uses an invisible Flash clip for playback. I’m very interested in hearing feedback from any users who find that this doesn’t work, or find that these browser requirements interfere with their enjoyment of the site.

Thanks again to Pavel, and I hope everyone enjoys the new feature.