Promises are made and fools are happy
“Sliby chyby” – is a popular Czech saying made up of two words promises –mistakes. In other words, it is unwise to make rash promises or as Czechs say “slibovat hory doly” – to promise mountains and valleys. You can also promise to deliver the skies with the phrase “snést někomu modré z nebe” meaning that you will bring the blue colour of the sky down to earth for someone. A mistake to make the promise, and an even bigger one to take it seriously.
Someone who makes a habit of making rash promises – and never keeping them – is often labeled a “slibotechna” – which is something like a workshop for promises. Many a politician has been called a “slibotechna” by the press with remarks such as “nikdo vám nedá tolik, kolik my vám slíbíme” - nobody will give you half as much as we will promise you. Another phrase you will come across quite often is “slíbil mnoho, ale skutek utek” meaning - he talked the talk, but didn’t not walk the walk – or as some say –he was all mouth but no trousers.
If you have been fooled by someone’s promise – you can say “naletěl jsem” meaning I fell for it although the literal translation would be I flew for it. Do it too often and Czechs will tell you “sliby se slibují, blázni se radují” meaning promises are made and fools are happy.
Finally, the expression “sliby-chyby” is the closest you can get to the English “promises, promises” so if you doubt someone’s promise of mountains and valleys or the blue sky –the proper response is “sliby-chyby”.
This is Daniela Lazarová saying thanks for learning Czech with me and na shledanou!