Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

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littlepond
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Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby littlepond » 2016-01-31, 11:42

Hello, Tere!

I am learning Estonian, and I often use Google Translate as well along with other tools, as it helps sometimes. Recently, on putting the phrase "Tiina abiellub rootslasega", I got the Google Translate translation in English as "Melissa is getting married [to] a Swede". I didn't understand why Tiina was changed to Melissa (when I inputted Tiina alone, nothing happened). Could anyone have a clue? Are those two names equivalent (like John in England with Jean in France)?

Thanks in advance!
 (hi) born in it,  (en) first love,  (fr) can discuss philosophy in it,  (gu) can hear garba all night long,  (it) can just about manage in it,  (de) remnants of forgotten basics,  (et) learning with zest,  (sa) was in school and now want to re-learn,  (no) (sv) (ja) (ta) next on radar

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ainurakne
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby ainurakne » 2016-01-31, 14:08

Google Translate often does mysterious things when dealing with less common or more difficult (difficult from the standpoint of machine translation) languages.

According to this Wikipedia article, Tiina is the shortened form of Kristiina (from Christiana). Although it can be also used for Albertiina or Justiina.
English Tina is short for Christina or Martina.
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby linguoboy » 2016-01-31, 15:31

ainurakne wrote:Google Translate often does mysterious things when dealing with less common or more difficult (difficult from the standpoint of machine translation) languages.

That may be, but this sort of name-substitution problem happens even with bigger languages because of how Google's translation algorithms work. See: http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/005492.html.
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littlepond
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby littlepond » 2016-01-31, 15:45

Thanks a lot, ainurakne, for more information about the name Tiina, and linguoboy, for more understanding of Google Translate's working. So no relation to Melissa!

While Tiina is relatively simple, I have not been able to tell from many other Estonian names if the people are male or female, so I am always curious about names when I read some text and try to do a Google Image search sometimes to find out if the given person is male or female. I guess that as I become more familiar with Estonian names, I may detect some pattern or my memory might be able to tell me which are the common male names and which common female names.
 (hi) born in it,  (en) first love,  (fr) can discuss philosophy in it,  (gu) can hear garba all night long,  (it) can just about manage in it,  (de) remnants of forgotten basics,  (et) learning with zest,  (sa) was in school and now want to re-learn,  (no) (sv) (ja) (ta) next on radar

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ainurakne
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby ainurakne » 2016-01-31, 21:21

You are welcome!

And I thought that we use mostly Christian or Christian derived (or otherwise international) names nowadays. :roll:

I remember reading from somewhere that we originally used common everyday words for names, and that it even didn't matter whether the person was male or female, any name fit for all. I'm not sure how true that is, though.
Nevertheless, we still have names that are regular words (or at least look like regular words), although it could be possible that fair amount of them are (re)borrowed (or reintroduced) from Finnish. Some examples:
  • Kalju (male) - cliff, rock(wall)
  • Koit (male) - dawn (around or during the sunrise) or the glow in the sky around that time
  • Agu (male) - the time before koit, when it's not pitch black anymore, but the sun hasn't started to rise yet; can be also synonymous to koit
  • Eha (female) - twilight (the time of day or the reddish glow in west sky after the sunset) or just a reddish glow
  • Õie (female) - genitive form of õis = the blossoming part of the flower (or any other flowering plant) - I'm not sure how is this thingy called in English
  • Laine (female) - wave
Although such names are often not declined the same way as their regular counterparts.

linguoboy wrote:That may be, but this sort of name-substitution problem happens even with bigger languages because of how Google's translation algorithms work. See: http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/005492.html.
Thanks, I didn't know that.
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby linguoboy » 2016-01-31, 21:33

ainurakne wrote:[*]Õie (female) - genitive form of õis = the blossoming part of the flower (or any other flowering plant) - I'm not sure how is this thingy called in English

The "flower" is the blossoming part. Perhaps you mean the corolla?
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby ainurakne » 2016-01-31, 21:58

linguoboy wrote:The "flower" is the blossoming part. Perhaps you mean the corolla?
Oh, I have had the impression that "flower" is most commonly used for the whole plant that consists of a flower (or many flowers), a green stalk and roots. :oops:
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littlepond
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby littlepond » 2016-02-01, 6:49

Thanks a lot, ainurakne! Your reply is very helpful for me, with the specific examples. I encounter names like Tuulikki or Aive, whose bearers' gender identities I am not able to figure out, because of my lack of familiarity with the culture, I guess. On thinking hard, Aive is maybe equivalent to Ava? And according to Wikipedia, Tuulikki seems to be a spirit in Eastern Finnish mythology and seems to mean "little wind". And Internet tells me that it's supposed to be a female's name.
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby ainurakne » 2016-02-01, 8:59

Where do you find such names? :lol:

In case of Tuulikki, I would have guessed that it is a Finnish name only, although I did find one Estonian who bears that name. The reason is that, in Estonian native words (and names) it's not common at all to have long sounds in unstressed syllables. So if this name would be native Estonian, it would be pronounced and written Tuuliki.
But we also have a similar name, which should be way more common, and it's Tuulika (also female).
"Little wind" (diminutive of wind) in Estonian is tuuleke.

Aive seems to be so rare that I hadn't even heard it before. :oops:
A similar name to Aive is Aime, which is also a common Estonian word, but as this name also exists in other languages, it having a meaning may be just a coincidence.
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littlepond
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby littlepond » 2016-04-19, 17:56

Very belated thanks for your detailed reply: I had exams (not related to Estonian), so I had to cool down in my zeal for learning Estonian! Now I am back!

What does "aime" mean? Is it related to "aimer" ("to love" in French)? You said it's a common word in Estonian, but I have not had the chance to enounter this word (or name) as of yet!

I also came across names such as "Kadi" and "Madli": again, no way for me to tell by names if they are boys or girls! Is there any rule like a word ending with specific vowel or letter denoting usually a boy's or girl's name? (For example, names ending with "a" in Italian or Hindi are often those of females.)
 (hi) born in it,  (en) first love,  (fr) can discuss philosophy in it,  (gu) can hear garba all night long,  (it) can just about manage in it,  (de) remnants of forgotten basics,  (et) learning with zest,  (sa) was in school and now want to re-learn,  (no) (sv) (ja) (ta) next on radar

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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby ainurakne » 2016-04-20, 9:12

You are welcome! I hope your exams went well.

"aime" ~ "aim" ~ "aimus" ~ "aimdus"; also related to the verb "aimama".
It's like a vague idea about something, a feeling that you know something you are not familiar with or a vague idea of what is going to happen (in the future). I'm not sure into which English word(s) does it actually translates to.

"Kadi" and "Madli" are both female names. I think "Kadi" is derived from something like "Katy" or "Cady", but I'm not sure about "Madli". Maybe "Madeline" on "Madely" or something like that. That being said, I doubt they are native Estonian names, they are just heavily Estonified foreign names - and as it seems, changed beyond recognition.

If there are any rules for differentiating between male and female names, then I am not familiar with any. Borrowed names that haven't gone through the extensive Estonification, probably correspond to the same or similar rules as they did in their source language. But everything else is probably random.
And as I mentioned before, in ancient times common everyday words were used as names and the same names could be used for both males and females, so I think it's not "in the nature" of Estonian language to divide names into distinctively framed male and female categories.
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby littlepond » 2016-04-20, 16:24

Ah, "aimus" feels some kind of a premonition, then, though maybe not exactly!

Thanks again for your reply! So if everything is mostly random, how were you able to decide that "Kadi" and "Madli" are female names? Maybe because all Kadis and Madlis you have met have been females?
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby ainurakne » 2016-04-21, 8:43

You are welcome!

littlepond wrote:Ah, "aimus" feels some kind of a premonition, then, though maybe not exactly!
Yes, it can be. Especially with prepended "eel-" (eelaimus, eelaimdus) or "ette" used with the verb (ette aimama).

I also recalled the word I was looking for: "a hunch".
Also "aimu olema" ~ to have a clue.

littlepond wrote:So if everything is mostly random, how were you able to decide that "Kadi" and "Madli" are female names? Maybe because all Kadis and Madlis you have met have been females?
Yes, I have probably either met people with these names or at least heard the names before.

Sometimes I may also just take a guess when an unfamiliar name looks like a derivative of a known one, or just is similar enough.
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby Naava » 2016-04-21, 8:51

Do you have any gender neutral names? I got curious about this and read how these work in Finnish, and I found out that people have been naming their boys and girls "Kaino" since the late 19th century. Do you have anything similar? Is it common to make up your own names?

I also read that it's more common that a female name has only the letters I or A, and that longer names tend to be female rather than male in Finnish. What do you think about this? Kadi and Madli at least work well with this "rule". :D
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby ainurakne » 2016-04-21, 15:52

Naava wrote:Do you have any gender neutral names?
Seems that we have, but it's not very common:
http://menu.err.ee/v/uudised/elu/644445a8-1de4-4863-9c18-f71e5fa1ab6d

In the video there, they show a small table that lists names "Keit", "Renee", "Rene", "Karol", "Carol", "Janika", "Kai", "Toni", "Kaaren" and how many boys and girls are registered with each name.

Naava wrote:Is it common to make up your own names?
I'm not sure.

Naava wrote:I also read that it's more common that a female name has only the letters I or A, and that longer names tend to be female rather than male in Finnish. What do you think about this? Kadi and Madli at least work well with this "rule". :D
And then there's, for example, "Reet" which (probably) originates from Finnish (Reeta, Reetta) and has lost its final A. :D


I also found a selection of native names by/for maausulised, if anyone is interested:
http://www.maavald.ee/maausk/maausust/eluring/40-valik-maakeelseid-nimesid

All of them seem to be native words of Estonian, dialects of Estonian or some kindred languages of Estonian. They also say that since male and female names weren't differentiated before, they won't do that here either, although it is obvious that some names are more suitable for males and some for females.
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby littlepond » 2016-04-24, 17:14

Thanks a lot, ainurakne, again!

What does "maausulised" mean? (I can recognise the "maa" in it for country/land, and "usu" for religious.)
 (hi) born in it,  (en) first love,  (fr) can discuss philosophy in it,  (gu) can hear garba all night long,  (it) can just about manage in it,  (de) remnants of forgotten basics,  (et) learning with zest,  (sa) was in school and now want to re-learn,  (no) (sv) (ja) (ta) next on radar

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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby Naava » 2016-04-24, 18:24

littlepond wrote:What does "maausulised" mean? (I can recognise the "maa" in it for country/land, and "usu" for religious.)

They're the believers of maausk. If I'm not totally wrong, usuline means "someone who belives; believer".
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Re: Tiina equivalent to Melissa?

Postby littlepond » 2016-04-24, 20:31

Oh, thank you so much, and at the same time I also chanced upon this!
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Google'i tõlge

Postby Linguaphile » 2016-09-21, 23:46

linguoboy wrote:That may be, but this sort of name-substitution problem happens even with bigger languages because of how Google's translation algorithms work. See: http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/005492.html.


Such an interesting take on it (from the article: "The translation algorithms clearly know nothing of politics, geography, or sober punctuation.") Thanks for posting the link! I have seen that exact same issue described in the article (with geographical names and language names) when using Google Translate to translate Estonian-to-English and vice versa. It has translated Eesti variously as Africa, Ireland, England, Australia and several others (occasionally it translate it as "Estonia"). Even after reading the article I still can't figure out how it comes up with the others - as far as I can figure it has something to do with "random geographical locations that start with vowels".
Mostly I now use Google Translate for entertainment purposes only.
And then there is the famous "kõik naised on targad, kõik mehed on targad" (all women are stupid, all men are wise) and "alati viin kõik asjad lõpuni" (vodka is always the end of all things) and "Jää vabaks, Eesti meri! Jää vabaks, Eesti pind!" (Free of ice, the Estonian sea! Free of ice, the surface of Estonia!) which have been floating around the internet for a while... one link here: http://publik.delfi.ee/archive/fotod-google-peab-koiki-naisi-lollideks?id=61839982
...although it seems Google has at least corrected the issues with these particular phrases. :rotfl:
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 (es-MX) El aprendizaje es un tesoro que sigue a su dueño por todas partes.
 (et) Õpitu on aare, mis saadab oma omanikku kõikjal.
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