December 20, 2013

  • Let’s All Learn Estonian

    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
    typical estonian

Comments (8)

  • Tania’s no saint. (I’m just learning Estonian so I still think in English and I think that the girl in the photo isn’t dressed appropriately for Estonia – at least not in the winter!) hehe!

    • vell, I did ask her to put on something more ‘covering’ but bless her heart, she vants to be a model. methinks she may over-value the influence of the Gulf-stream in varming the ‘sunny’ Baltic shores.
      Yes, another entirely ‘facetious’ post. I suppose I love the style because the vord has all the vovels, and in order.
      (Yeah, no vorkable ‘double-you’ yet, as ve speak.

  • Esteemed Mr. Solberg, it seems to me you omitted a list of anagrams, which are abundant.
    Tea_Is_On, As_I_Note: Eat_Ions.

    More notably, you did not attempt to find the anagrams of “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” starting with

    Cecil perform deleterious poop aback.

    • Vell, no tutorial is ever exhaustively complete: The Estonians, as I probably need not point out, manage vith a lucky complement of an alphabet. ‘ETAOINS’ is the often-accepted list of most frequently-used letters in English text. (And the basis for Morse-code assignations.) Other tongues are less lucky; ARABIC, for example, nets A CRAB, A BAR, A BARBARIC CAR. and not much more.
      N. Korea, in all seriousness, is pissing me off increasingly. A consummately sad glimpse at mankind at its vorst. Do hell-holes eventually and inexorably explode? is the question there.
      Thanks for reading, J

  • Loved reading this. Funny and “educational” to someone like me who thinks in a different language, speaks the word in yet another one and finally writes in English!
    Are new key boards hard to come by in Tel- Awiw?? Just kidding.

  • Delightful! I don’t know Estonian, but if I had a flat rock and a good tail wind I could knock a couple of them over from my house (as S.Palin used to say ).

    • I’m so tickled that you are still present and in fine form. Your rock, though, vill need serious help to transverse Siberia; that pesky tundra, let alone the steppes, is a rock-eater.
      Nov to discover vether you are present here on Xanga. If not, they nicely publicized ur email. I suppose that’s vhy so many of the surviving mollusks here are drovning in spam.
      You can find me more consistently at Vord Press. There I’m ‘jxsolberg’. But the place is so confusing that I don’t even have a link to give you at present. Back later. Meanvhile, a joy to read your tidings.

  • “Now that we have a color TV, we should add some color to our flag.”

    “See, I’ve added a blue stripe at the top.”

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