Event Calendar

This is our event calendar! From here, you can find out exactly when the clubhouse will be open and when all our upcoming events will take place. Interested in using the club for your party? Call (305) 891-9130 to reserve your date at the club.

2001 Year in Review


Robert Petrik
North Miami, Florida
December 2001

The American Czech-Slovak Cultural Club had another very successful year full of fascinating events, personalities, and entertainers. A brief summary follows.

In January, the vivacious singer Sisa Sklovska, displayed her marvelous talent, charm, and her ability to thoroughly captivate an audience. Coming from Prague, our club was the first stop on an American tour of several states.

Professor Barbara Weitz of Florida International University, lectured on Bohemian Crystal Through the Ages. She exhibited some exquisite pieces from her personal collection.

During the year a number of Czech and Slovak films were shown at the club. They included the following: The Good Soldier Švejk, its sequel Sir, Beg to Report; My Sweet Little Village, The Shop on Main Street, Kolya, Firemen’s Ball, Loves of a Blond, and Afrodita.

In February, Helene Bain Cincebeaux from Rochester, New York, lectured on A Year in the Life of Our Czech and Slovak Ancestors. In addition, she exhibited part of her extensive collection of folk dress and folk art.

In March, Bryce Belcher, an American who lives in Ceský Krumlov, spoke on Ceský Krumlov: A Town Reborn. He described the transformation of the old buildings into the beautiful town that now welcomes thousands of tourists each year.

A highly successful Veprove Hody (pork feast) attracted a large crowd of hungry eaters.

In April, Dan Baldwin, President and CEO of the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa spoke about NCSML, A Growing National Resource.

The members of the South Florida Button Box Club entertained members on their button box accordions playing some lively Slovenian polkas and waltzes.

In June, Sisa Sklovska returned once again to wow an appreciative crowd of members and guests. Some fans came from as far away as the Orlando area of Florida.

The first annual Dožinky (A Czechoslovakian Harvest Festival) was held in October. This was an outstanding success with plenty of good Czechoslovak food and beer, dancing to live music, a raffle, face painting and a piñata for children, and a bake sale.

In December, the Slovak film director, Lubo Kocka, spoke about his award-winning film “Afrodita” which was shown and enthusiastically received by the audience.

An Email Experience in the Czech Republic or “Click on the Cz”

During a recent trip to the Czech Republic I decided to send a few email notes to my family in the U.S. There was really no important reason to do it. I just thought that it would be fun for them and me. The opportunity presented itself in Brno, at the Hotel Voronez. The hotel had a Windows PC computer with internet access available for guests for a few crowns per hour. So, I sat down at the keyboard and started to work. Before I get into this, a few points about accessing your email account away from home. Just in case that you don’t know…it is impractical to access your U.S based email account using the usual local U.S. telephone number for your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from a foreign country such as the Czech Republic. It would be a really expensive long distance call. Unless you find an “Internet Cafe” that happens to have an account with your internet provider you need to have some form of “Webmail”. Webmail is email that is accessed through a web address, which means that it is available on any computer that has access to the internet, anywhere in the world. Many internet providers, such as AOL and Earthlink, include such a service with normal accounts. There are also email services, such as Hot Mail, that are purely web mail and can also be accessed anywhere in the world. If you intend to use your email account in Europe or any foreign country check your internet service provider for webmail service before you leave. Ok, back to Brno. The first thing to do was to enter my webmail address into the hotel computer. Immediately, there was trouble when I could not not type characters used in web addresses, such as //, : or even the @. I soon realized that the keyboard was setup for Czech, which, of course, it should be. Looking at the lower left of the screen the “Cz” indicated the computer was, in fact, in the Czech mode. See below.

In fact, the keyboard was in the Czech QWERTZ mode which, compared to the usual U.S. QWERTY keyboard, has the “Y” and the “Z” reversed, and other keys are affected as well. The fact that the Cz was visible on bar in the lower right of the screen also confirmed that there was more than one language installed on the computer OK, switching to the computer to English should be no problem. Normally, to switch a U.S. windows computer with Multilanguage Support to another language you type a two key combination; such as Ctrl-Shift or Alt-Shift. I did that and nothing happened! I tried both combinations. Still, nothing happened. Well, I fumbled around for a little while, and finally a member of our tour walked up. “How you doing?” “Not too good. This thing won’t switch from Czech to English..etc,etc.” “Here, try clicking on the Cz, in the lower right.” I did that and a little menu popped up allowing me to select either Czech or English. I selected English (En), and life was, once again, good. All the keys were back where they should be. Email began to flow.

I have worked with computers for a long time, and thought that I was pretty familiar with Windows Multilanguage Support (the Windows function that switches languages, and puts the Cz or En in the lower left), but I did not know that you could click once on the En or Cz and get a menu to select the other language(s). I should have known since all of the other icons in the lower right function in a similar way, and I knew that. Brain lock! Fortunately my friend happened along to help me out of the problem. So, I thought that I would pass this tidbit of information on so that you would not be tripped up too. Remember, when in the Czech Republic click on the “Cz.” I Hope that this is helpful to you. By the way, the helpful person that got me out of my email glitch was your past president, Joe Hartzel.


Editors note: This article was passed down through our club (see credits at the end) over the years. Unfortunately, no one knows who originated the article or when it first appeared. I do know that I remember hearing “Czinglish” used by my parents, grandparents, relatives and neighbors when I was a boy growing up in Berwyn, Illinois during the 1940’s. I really chuckled as I first read this article, as did my wife, and my Dad, who is now 96 years old. Dad really got a kick out of it. He remembers using it with his parents and grandparents. – Bill Stupka, ACSCC 4/9/01

Author Unknown

Many of us, growing up in the old Czechoslovakian neighborhoods in various areas around the United States, have developed a unique vocabulary called Czinglish.. Czinglish is a combination of Czech and English words that we or our friends and relatives use in conversation. These words are very versatile and interchangeable, and the people using them would swear that these words were actually of Czech or English origin (depending on who they were speaking with). As our parents or grandparents were learning to speak English, certain words stuck in their minds especially words that could be”Czecho-sized” by simply adding a Czech suffix or using a Czech modifier with the word. It made conversations flow easier and our parents and grandparents could still speak their native tongue and practice their English at the same time. What developed, as a result was a new language — Czinglish. Here are some examples of Czinglish vocabulary and the English “translations”. See how many you recognize. Some of the words are spelled phonetically and some are spelled simply as they sound. After all, there is no Czinglish Dictionary – yet!

I’m sure there are quite a few more Czinglish words that come to mind. Perhaps someday there will be a dictionary for this versatile language. The following is a little tale that utilizes the Czech and Czinglish vocabulary, much like many of us would use it.

A Little Story in Czinglish
Babi a ja jsme šli shopovat. Jsme šli na sidvoku a podkali jsme Missis Knedlik. Hallo, Missis, jak jse máte?”, řekla Babi. Missis Knedlik řekla, “Hallo, Missis, ja jsu orajt”. Babi Jse ptala, “Pujdete na ten vejk, Missis?” Missis odpovedela, “No, mi jdeme do Michigan na vikend. Budeme pikovat pičesi”. “Okej, tak se uvidime zas, soon. Bye-Bye.” “Okey, tak bye.”

Tak jsme šli do štoru. Tam Jsme na shopovali hodně. Mi Jsme koupili sodu, kornu, aprikoti, dvě čikeni, a nějaky ten ajzkrim. Jsme chteli koupit Kecup, ale jsme ho nemohli findovat. Pak jsme šli do drugstoru koupit Klineks. Jsem chtěla nějaki kendi, ale Babi neměla žadni čejnč. Tak jsme šli domu a dali jsme naše groseri do ajzbuski a do kabinetu. Babi nam dala senviče a sodu a potom jsme šli na bič.

English Translation
Grandma and I went shopping. While walking on the sidewalk, we met Mrs. Knedlik. Grandma said, “Hello, Mrs. how are you?” Mrs. Knedlik said “Hello, Mrs., I’m alright.” Grandma asked “Are you going to the wake, Mrs?” Mrs. replied “No, we’re going to Michigan for the weekend. We’ll be picking peaches.” “OK, well, we’ll see each other again soon. Bye-Bye.” OK, bye”.

We went to the store and did a lot of shopping. We bought soda, corn, apricots, two chickens and some ice cream. We wanted to buy ketchup, but we couldn’t find it. Then we went to the drugstore to buy Kleenex. I wanted some candy, but grandma didn’t have any change. So we went home and put all our groceries in the refrigerator and in the cabinet. Grandma gave us some sandwiches and soda and then we went to the beach.

Those of us who speak fluent Czinglish would not have much of a problem figuring out this tale. But if a native Czechoslovakian would read this, he’d have a hard time with the “Czinglish” words. I wonder how many of these words they now use in the “old country”?

Thank you to Cathy Fremut, Miami, Florida for providing a photocopy of an old carbon copy of this article. Cathy, had obtained it some time ago from Anne Callahan, a fellow American Czech-Slovak Cultural Club member. The original copy had the name, Marie A. Howe, Port Charlotte, Florida, stamped on it. The author is unknown,

The copy was scanned and then fed through an optical character reader to produce this version. It needed a little cleaning up, however an effort was made to keep it is as close to the original as possible. All of the diacritical marks used in the original are included. I hope that you can see them, as there is a bit of question about using diacriticals on the internet. Bill Stupka, ACSCC – 4/2/01

2000 Year in Review


Robert Petrik
North Miami, Florida
September 2000

The American Czech-Slovak Cultural Club in North Miami has witnessed an unprecedented number of entertainers and notable personalities during the year 2000.

In February, Waldemar Matuška and his wife Olga performed to an avid sellout crowd. The legendary Czech singer sang all of the many long-time Matuška favorites and then some. He truly brought down the house.

During the same weekend that Matuška performed, Dr. Ivan Dubovický, Cultural Counselor for the Embassy of the Czech Republic was in attendance. In fact, he introduced this living legend. The next day Dubovický presented an excellent lecture on the Emigration of Czech and Slovaks to the United States.

In April, Martin Bútora, Slovak Ambassador to the United States, along with his wife Zora Bútorová, attended a dinner-dance held to celebrate the inclusion of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

In addition to Czechs and Slovaks, members of the local Hungarian and Polish communities attended the gala event.

In May, Colonel Ivan Bella, the first Slovak to have been in space, spoke about his experiences aboard the Russian MIR Space Station, his training program near Moscow and the mission itself. A few days prior to his presentation, Club President Bob Petrík and Secretary Amelia Canali accompanied Bella on a VIP tour of the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral.

In June, the Slovak singing and recording star, Marcela Molnárová, sang as part of a disco evening. She performed songs from popular American musicals in addition to selections from the latest of her four CDs entitled Láska

Later in June, Milan Markovic, the famous actor, comedian and TV personality from Bratislava tickled everyone’s funny bone. Called the Jay Leno of Slovakia, his sharp satirical wit was in top form for the evening.

In July, the Club was treated to a hilarious performance by the Czech comedian and actor, Miroslav Donutil. Donutil is the most popular comedian performing in the Czech Republic today and has quite a large following as evidenced by the many people who waited their turn to have their photograph taken with him and/or to obtain his autograph.

In August, Sisa Sklovská, star of the operatic, musical comedy, and concert stages in the Czech and Slovak Republics, sang a wide range of music from musicals to opera, pop and even gospel. The audience was dazzled by the great sound of her voice as well as her showmanship, beautiful costumes and her wonderful personality.

In November, Dr. Jan Cimický, the noted Czech psychiatrist and author provided an entertaining evening.

Also in November, Czech Ambassador Alexandr Vondra was a featured after-dinner speaker.

Again in November, Donald S. Martin, President of the Albin Polasek Foundation, spoke on the Life and Works of Albin Polasek.

In December, Professor Barbara Weitz of Florida International University lectured on Prague Café Society.

UPDATE to Using Windows to Create Documents in the Czech Language

Although the article on Windows Multilanguage Support of was published in the FALL 1999 issue of Koreny it was actually written several months earlier.At the time of writing I was using Windows 95 and that is the primary viewpoint of the original article. Since that time new information on the subject has come to my attention.

Windows 98
On the Windows 98 systems that I have seen since writing the article the original CD was not necessary during installation of Multilanguage Support, as it was with Windows 95. An added plus is that, the Slovak language and keyboard is available on Windows 98.

Word 2000
The biggest revelation came early in 2000.In February, during a fit of despondency regarding my old 90 MHz Pentium computer, I dug out a bag of nickels (that had been put aside for use on the Cermak Road streetcar) and bought a shiny super duper whiz bang Pentium 600 MHz computer. Ah, what a day!

The new computer came with the latest edition of Microsoft Windows 98 and Office 2000 installed. Among other programs Office 2000 includes Word 2000. Windows, Multilanguage Support was already installed except for selecting the Czech language and the Czech keyboard. In a minute or two I was in business. Using Word 2000 in Czech, seemed to work fine until I needed to print the material. I fed the document to my HP laser printer, and at first glance everything was looked good. Looking a little more closely I was surprised to find that many of the letters with diacritical marks didn’t print at all…there were simply blank spaces were they should have been!! Horrors! Now what?

I’ll try to make this short. I am not sure if what I was experiencing was a common problem, but the answer was on the Microsoft website ( although it addressed a different issue. Nevertheless the solution was a printer setting that I had never used before.

If you run into this problem here is a solution. In Word 2000 go to File, then Print, then Print Quality. Set Text Mode to “True Type as Bitmaps”.That simple change solved the problem (for my HP Laser printer).The biggest issue is to remember to make the settings on each Czech document.So far, this setting reverts to the default (Auto) each time Microsoft Word is started.

Neat Add-in
While looking for the answer to the printer problem discussed above I stumbled upon a neat add-in that is not included with Word 2000, but is available free of charge from Microsoft. This is the Microsoft Visual Keyboard. It will show you the keyboard layout and the diacritical keys when you use Czech or Slovak or other language. The Visual Keyboard is live so, if you wish, you can enter characters by clicking on them. I find Visual Keyboard very useful. Before this feature I always had to refer to a paper copy of the keyboard layout and a cheat sheet for the diacriticals. Now I can pop the visual keyboard up when I want it, and everything is right there on the screen …and it’s free!! You don’t have to go into your streetcar nickels.

You can get the Visual Keyboard on the Internet at the following address: (URL) This web page has good download information and installation instructions. Remember, this is an add-in for Word 2000 only, and you don’t need to have Windows 2000. Windows 98 will do nicely.

In closing, please be aware that Word 2000 has lots of other Multilanguage functions, including proofing tools and all kinds of things that I don’t need. You might need them so if you have Word 2000 take a close look.

There are two other papers regarding the subject of “Creating Czech Documents Using Windows” in this section. They are:

Using Windows to Create Documents in the Czech Language.

Interactive On-Screen Czech Keyboard

Using Windows to Create Documents in the Czech Language

Before we start, please understand that I am not an expert on the Czech language. My sole reason for writing this article is to help you make use of your computer for communicating in Czech, and without spending any extra money!

The primary use for the Czech keyboard, on my computer, is only to transcribe documents already written in Czech, not create them. All of my grand-parents came from Bohemia. When I was boy, growing up in Berwyn, my parents and grand-parents all spoke Czech around the house, but not Bill (me). I really regret that I didn’t learn the language when I was child. My wife came from the same kind of family (also in Berwyn), but she learned far more than I did. Sure, I learned a lot of words, especially cuss words, but that is of little use when you are trying to communicate in the Czech Republic.

So, here I am trying to talk about the usage of the carka, krouzek and hacek to a bunch of Czechs that, most likely, know the language far, far better than I do. So please forgive me if I make a few mistakes about the language along the way. OK, now we can start this tale.

Recently, some friends and associates from the American Czechoslovak Social Club, in North Miami, FL had the need to create documents in Czech, on a computer. That meant letters with the appropriate diacritical marks. The question was, “How shall we do that?”

We knew that there were commercial programs out there to do the job. In fact, one of the club members was using such a Czech language program, but with limited success. That program didn’t seem to do capital letters with diacritical marks plus the files were saved in an unusual format making it difficult to share files with others.

While we were mulling the problem I dropped Joe Hartzel, CSAGSI President, a note asking what he used for such a task. His immediate answer was, “Windows Multilanguage Support. It’s built-in and costs nothing”.

While I was aware that this function was part of Windows 95/98, I had never even looked at it. Windows Multilanguage Support is not usually installed at the initial installation of a Windows system. So, to use this function it has to be installed. The main prerequisite for installation is the original Windows CD. If you are using Windows 95 or 98 on your computer, you should have that CD. More about installation later.

Since I had my original Windows CD, I decided to give it a try and proceeded to install Multilanguage Support, on my computer. This involved going into the ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS function of Windows and making the CD available at the right time. After that was complete the next step was to add a Czech keyboard layout. (Not a new keyboard, just a new selectable keyboard layout for Czech). The installation of the additional keyboard layout was similar to adding the Multilanguage Support. After a couple of minutes the new keyboard layout was installed and a small icon popped up in the lower right hand corner of the screen. It displayed “En”, indicating that my keyboard was currently set for “English” , and that I was in business. A simple two-key combination will switch the keyboard between En and Cz (Czech).

Note: During the installation I had selected the Czech (QWERTY) keyboard. The QWERTY keyboard layout is commonly used in the United States, and much of the Cz version is the same as the U.S. keyboard. The Czechs also use a keyboard with a QWERTZ layout. This is also available from Windows, but I elected to not use it.

Figure 1: The Windows Czech (QWERTY) keyboard, as laid out on a standard U.S. keyboard. Where there is a difference, the U.S. key is shown to the right of the Cz usage. The keys, highlighted in red, are used to control diacritical marks. Refer to Figure 2 for control details. The keys in blue can directly produce lower case letters with diacritical marks.

Using the Czech keyboard is pretty simple. Most of the time I use it with MS Word and switch back and forth between En and Cz, adding Czech characters as I go. Since some of the bells and whistles found on “store bought” programs, such as on-screen keyboards, are not available I suggest you make use of the graphics that are included. Figure 1, above, is the Czech (QWERTY) keyboard layout to help you find the characters that you want. In addition , Figure 2 is a table to help you create the Czech letters with diacritical marks. All of the Czech characters with diacritical marks that are supported by Windows Multilanguage Support are shown on this table. Considering the inconsistent alphabet information that I discovered in researching this subject, there might be more, but, as far as I know, this is it.

I’m pretty happy with Windows Czech Multilanguage Support. It’s simple to use, it works with Microsoft Word, Excel, etc., it does the job and the price is right.

Figure 2: Using the Windows Czech keyboard to create letters with diacritical marks. For Windows 95/98 systems with Multilanguage Support installed and the Cz (QWERTY) keyboard selected. Refer to the notes below.

Table notes: To aid in using the table, above, the following locates the important control keys on a typical U.S. keyboard, referring to U.S. key caps. These two keys are highlighted in Red, on the upper left and right of Fig.1.

  1. The = and + are on the same red key (located on the top row, right end, next to BACKSPACE).
  2. The ~ key, also red, is used for the ` (located on the top row left end, next to 1).
  3. UC and LC refers to upper and lower case.

Installing Windows Multilanguage Support

The following is for those of you that don’t have Windows Multilanguage Support installed and wish to install it yourselves. If you are fairly familiar with Windows 95/98 the procedure is simple, and will take about 15 minutes. If you are a computer novice it is still simple, but it could be confusing. If you are in doubt, I recommend getting some help.

I will do my best to take you through the installation. Before starting you MUST have your original Windows 95 or 98 CD available. If you don’t have it, don’t start the procedure.

With Windows 95 or Windows 98 running;

  1. Click the START button, on the lower left of the screen, then the SETTINGS button. Then select the CONTROL PANEL.
  2. Click on the icon for ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS.
  3. Click on the WINDOWS SETUP tab (on the top of the ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS window). Note: Several items will already be checked. LEAVE THEM ALONE!
  4. Scroll down to MULTILANGUAGE SUPPORT and check the box.
    Note: If MULTILANGUAGE SUPPORT is already checked, it is already installed (a greyed box indicates a partial installation) . Continue with the procedure.
    Now click DETAILS. Another window will open showing various languages that can be installed. Make sure that CENTRAL EUROPEAN LANGUAGE SUPPORT is selected . Then click on OK. That will take you back to the WINDOWS SETUP screen. Click OK, at the bottom.
  5. Windows will, probably, ask for the Windows CD. Put it in the drive and say OK.
  6. Windows will load the necessary programs and then tell you that the computer needs to be rebooted. Click OK.
  7. Once the computer has rebooted you will be back in the CONTROL PANEL. Now, you will install a new (Czech) keyboard layout. Click on the KEYBOARD icon. Click the LANGUAGE tab on the Keyboard window. Click ADD and then select the keyboard you want. For Czech, I suggest the Czech (QWERTY) keyboard. There is also a Czech (QWERTZ) keyboard, where the Y is replaced with Z.
    Near the bottom of the keyboard LANGUAGE window you can select the KEY COMBINATION that will let you switch between the English and Czech (or other) keyboards. Select the combination that you want and click OK. Windows may want the CD again. Click OK.
  8. After that is all completed you should see a small “En” (English) on the task bar in the far lower right. When you press the key combination (that you selected above) the “En” will switch to “Cz” (Czech) and you can begin using the Czech keyboard. You can switch back and forth, at will. That’s it. You’re all finished.

That wraps up the saga about Windows Multilanguage Support for the Czech language. This program meets my needs and those of my friends at the American Czechoslovak Social Club, in North Miami, FL, and it should do the job for you, too. Should you need features such as an on-screen keyboard reference, then you will need to find a commercial language program. I have heard that Microsoft Word 2000 will have that feature, but it is not available, as of this writing. For now, this will do nicely.

Bill Stupka September 21, 1999

NOTE: I have not intentionally left out the Slovak Language. Unfortunately, Slovak does not appear to be available to Windows 95 users, and that is what I use… However, I recently discovered that it is available to the users of Windows 98. Although I have not researched this subject, it appears that installation and setup for Slovak is the same as the procedure described above. I am not 100% sure that “Central European” support will handle all of Slovak diacriticals. It does do many of them. Without Win98 I haven’t been able to really work on the subject, so there is no keyboard layout or diacritical chart at this time. If you are interested in using Slovak, and have Windows 98, check it out and give it a try.

There are two other papers regarding the subject of “Creating Czech Documents Using Windows” in this section. They are:

UPDATE to Using Windows to Create Documents in the Czech Language.

Interactive On-Screen Czech Keyboard