December 20, 2013
How did I know what you’d decided to do this evening? Guess I’m just sharp like that… At any rate, having already posted handy and ground-breaking guides to French, Spanish, and German, (German, for example simply adds -ger to English words, such that in English you use a rod to catch a fish with a fin, whereas in German, the very same activity uses a ‘rodger’ and the fish has a ‘finger’. Nify, huh?)
And so let’s move on to Estonian. Whether you’re planning a trip tp Tablisi (or whatever their capitol is) or just want to meet Nona here, spend a few minutes reading this and you’ll be all set.
Estonian: Probably no other language makes such an efficient use of a limited alphabet. Hawaian comes to mind, but you seen one hula and one luau and you’re ready to move up… to ‘E-S-T-O-N-I-A’.
Flag, so you know you’re in the right country:
Let’s have a quick look at vocabulary, ok?
Hungry? well, relish the TASTE of ONION on TOAST, served by TATIANA in native dress. And have no fear of verbs: food is to EAT. past tense is ATE, and later on you can regale the jealous stay-at-homes about the meal you’ve EATEN. Simple, huh?
Punctuation is also similar to English. For example, the declarative sentence:
“TANIA AN’ I SIT ON A TEN TON STONE AN’ TEST TEAS.” ends with a period as expected. Questions can take two forms, simple interrogative: “NONA SAT IN SEAT NINE, NO?” or conversely, the rhetorical question “AIN’T STAN A SAINT!” which takes an exclamation mark.
Numbers, you will quickly find out, are simplified from the English system you are no doubt familiar with. Yes, Estonians make-do quite well with NONE, ONE, NINE, TEN, and NINETEEN. A few days ‘in-country’ and you’ll wonder why anyone needs the whole decimal mess of pottage.
You will also learn to love TIN roofs, NEON lights, and with some study, even the poetry of the language. (The specialty is SONNETS, of course. The men, dressed in traditional garb write these at an astounding pace, sometimes a dozen a day. Probably an excess of TESTOSTANONE explains this amorous bent, who knows? Or perhaps this typical Estonian girl (below)
But all in all, have a wonderful time there, and perhaps even print and save this post so it’ll be handy whenever you need it. My pleasure/ JS