Blood donation and translation today. It was the phlebotomist's first day drawing blood. Not only that, but I was her first actual blood drawing in the field, as it were. They were kind enough to let me know beforehand and give me the option to demur, but I decided that I could be brave through this. Also, I've always been told I have nice, stable, and prominent veins, and that I am a fast bleeder. (Note: this is really, really, really only a positive thing when donating blood, but *shrugs* not much I can do about it, anyway. More Vitamin K, maybe?) So I let her have a whack at it, and she did splendidly, so that was fine.
Then, to the library for more translation fun!
Today's interesting find was the description of an old man as a "slaměný vdovec," which my big Czech-English dictionary translated as what was for me an unparsable unit, "grass widower." This, according to my the big English directionary upstairs, means something like "one who lives away from his spouse or whose wife is always away for business or pleasure," and is itself a calque of the German "Stroh.witwer."
So what I seem to have discovered for myself is two different calques here; both English and Czech having translated the elements of a German idiom, rather than the Czechs having borrowed an English expression, as I first assumed. Of course, it could have gone into English and then from English into Czech (or vice versa, theoretically, but we're not talking about "pistol," "robot," or "dollar" here) but Czech's historically close contact with German and high frequency of German borrowings and calques lead me to believe it's a case of independent borrowing.