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Excuse me, what are you driving?


In case you were wondering what to call a tram driver in Brno, Radio Student just cleared it up. A tramvaj, the standard Czech word for tram, is often called a šalina in Brno dialect. Thus, the driver of a tram is officially a řidič tramvaje, or more colloquially, a tramvaják. Likewise, unless you want to get some very strange looks by asking about the řidič šaliny, refer to a Brno tram driver as a šalinář. Of course, there are many female tram drivers in Brno, and one of them should be referred to as a šalinářka.

And if you're a regular Brno tram and bus rider, don't forget your šalinkarta when you ride since "riding blackly" (načerno, that is, without a ticket) is illegal.

Isn't šalinkarta a cute little word? šalina plus karta (card) equals šalinkarta - your tram card! Czech can be charming despite its nineteenth-century fustiness after all!

Just to make sure there is enough vocabulary for today, elektrika may also refer to a tram. Or, technically, any sort of vehicle powered by electricity.


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