All Slavic languages: Promaja (draft)

QuasiTriestino

Senior Member
American English
During my time in Serbia, this cultural curiosity always caused me to chuckle: promaja.

Promaja is a chilly draft that comes in when you leave a window or door open. I can't tell you how many times I was chastised by older Serbians for letting a little chill in through an open window for fear that it would cause harm. To me, it seemed a little exaggerated, but many swear it causes sickness.

The idea of promaja is ubiquitous is Serbia and in the Balkans in general and I'm curious if other Slavic languages have their own ways of referring to it.
 
  • DarkChild

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Течение/Techenie in Bulgarian and is the most feared health hazard. It's blamed from everything from the common cold to neuralgia and hearing loss. :D
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    Czech:

    průvan from the verb váti/vanouti = to blow (pro-váti/vanouti = to blow through);

    In our country the průvan causes mainly broken windowpanes :). My "babushka" (babička) also didn't like it.

    (also used figuratively)
     
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    oveka

    Senior Member
    Ukraine, Ukrainian
    Ucrainian:
    про́тяг, крізни́й ві́тер, про́дув
    I do not tolerate draft.
     

    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Macedonian:

    провев (provev) masc., but in everyday speech промаја (promaja) fem. is also used, even thought it is considered as Serbism.

    провев comes from the verb вее (vee) 3rdp.sg. "blows" only used for wind; and про- is a prefix.

    But your definition for provev/promaja is wrong.
    Promaja is a chilly draft that comes in when you leave a window or door open.

    What we call promaja/provev is the air current circulating through at least two openings (windows or/and doors) which are on opposite sides.
     
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    QuasiTriestino

    Senior Member
    American English
    What we call promaja/provev is the air current circulating through at least two openings (windows or/and doors) which are on opposite sides.
    I just checked this with a Serbian and you are correct! I guess it's more about the movement of the air through the house/room and not necessarily its temperature? Or maybe it's promaja+ if it's also cold air.
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    Sometimes the mild průvan is pleasing and desirable, for instance in hot afternoon, it vaporizes sweat. Also when you need to ventilate your flat/house quickly.

    So we sometimes say "Udělej průvan!" (make a draught).
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    Slovak: prievan

    like in Czech from the verb viať/vanúť = to blow;
    = mierne fúkať, duť (o vetre, vánku): Odkiaľ vanie vietor?
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    In Russian, the word is сквозня́к (skvozn'ak), formed from the preposition сквозь (skvoz') = through.
    Both in Russia and Hungary, it is seen as a health hazard that can give you a cold, an earache, neuralgia and pneumonia. :rolleyes:
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Russian even has a verb просквози́ть (proskvozít' [pɾəskvɐ'zʲitʲ]) - impersonal "to make sick by a chilly draft" (in expressions like "его́ просквози́ло").

    To my moderately informed knowledge, it has some objective health basis.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    In Polish we call it 'przeciąg'.
    ...and it's related to the word "przeciągać" which means "pull through" as "prze-" is a prefix meaning "through" and "ciąg" is a stem referring to pulling and in one of its meanings means a "chimney draught". But it's not about just any sort of an air movement. It's a strong blow caused by a wind or perhaps differences in temperatures, especially if windows or door are opened in different walls of the building. It may also be a steady flow of cold air coming through leaky windows or door. An unpleasant and unhealthy thing, which - in case of the former - can create a mess or damage in the rooms or easily break the windows.
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    The Czech cognate is průtah, however it means delay, also through road.

    The chimney draught is simply tah (v komíně).
     
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