Friday, June 26, 2009

Slovak Word of the Day 6: novela

novela n.fem. amendment

SME informed us yesterday that Gašparovič opäť nepodpísal protiextrémistickú novelu. This false friend was news to me. My first thought was how strange it was that Gašparovič, the Slovak President, was refusing to sign copies of his anti-extremist novel. Why was he ashamed to be associated with such a novel and who knew that, like the British Prime Ministers Disraeli and Churchill, Gašparovič was a novelist?

But sadly, that was not the case. Novela (which according to my dictionary can also mean "novella"), in this case meant "amendment". As far as I understand the story, the Slovak Parliament has just passed an amendment to the Criminal Code providing for penalties in the case of violence committed with extremist motives and production, dissemination or possession of extremist material, over the President's veto.

The proper word for "novel" in Slovak, by the way, is román.

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