Articles

Seven ways to say Secretary

In Czechs, Language on September 22, 2008 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , ,

If English has taught Czechs anything, it is that one can make things sound “better” than they would in Czech. Names of professions and corporate speak are a perfect example. HR specialists, I am sure, know best.

Take secretary, for example.

During the pre-1989 communist Czechoslovakia, a secretary was a girl, or a middle-aged woman, whose primary task was to prepare black coffee for “mister director” [pan reditel]. Oh, and she had to know how to type.

2008 secretaries run entire offices and they have way more sophisticated tasks. Please keep your blowjob upon request jokes to yourself. :) Many secretaries these days hold B.Sc. or M.Sc. degrees in (macro/micro)economy or business administration.

And the job ads have to appear accordingly…

So we no longer say secretary [sekretarka]. We use English terms instead:

  • Executive Assistant
  • Chief of the Office of the General Manager
  • Personal Assistant
  • Main Office Assistant
  • Assistant to CEO
  • CEO Office Manager
  • Front Office Executive

Please note these terms were seen or heard in the Czech Republic and some of them might have been make up, by literally raping of English. If you think some of them do not exist in native-English-speaking countries, I think it illustrates the absurdity even more…

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