Amazing Estonian language skills

Moderator: aaakknu

User avatar
Saaropean
Posts: 8808
Joined: 2002-06-21, 10:24
Real Name: Rolf S.
Gender: male
Location: Montréal
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Amazing Estonian language skills

Postby Saaropean » 2007-01-07, 10:15

I spent the last December week (from 26 December to 2 January) in Estonia. It was amazing how everyone understood my bad pseudo-Estonian. Are Estonians really so used to foreigners raping their language? Chapeau!

I had dialogs like this:

me: Palun, kaks pilet, kaks tund.
kiosk woman: Kaks?
me: Jah.
kiosk woman: Palun.
me: Tänan.

me: Palun, kaks piletid Anglassa, edasi ja tagasi.
bus station clerk: something I didn't understand except for the word "buss"
me: blank stare
bus station clerk: Do you speak English? You have to buy the return ticket from the bus driver.

Moreover, when I ordered õunadmahla, I really got an apple juice! :D Õ is difficult enough to pronounce, but ÕU...

Oh, and my apologies to the people on the 7:45 bus from Kuressaare to Tartu on 31 December who were annoyed by those tourists with the big backpacks. My girl-friend and I had a reservation, but we were 3 minutes too late, so it wasn't valid any more...

User avatar
Loiks
Posts: 3174
Joined: 2005-03-17, 16:17
Real Name: Lauri Laugen
Gender: male
Location: Tallinn
Country: EE Estonia (Eesti)

Re: Amazing Estonian language skills

Postby Loiks » 2007-01-14, 12:16

Saaropean wrote:I had dialogs like this:

me: Palun, kaks piletit, kaheks tunniks.
kiosk woman: Kaks?
me: Jah.
kiosk woman: Palun.
me: Tänan.

me: Palun, kaks piletit Anglasse, edasi ja tagasi.
bus station clerk: something I didn't understand except for the word "buss" (tagasisõidu pilet tuleb osta bussijuhi käest)
me: blank stare
bus station clerk: Do you speak English? You have to buy the return ticket from the bus driver.



I remember I had troubles in 1998 at Berlin bus station. I was travelling from Tallinn via Berlin to Amsterdam. Thanks to Lithuanian/Polish borderguards my bus was late and the only bus in 24 h to Amsterdam was gone already. When I went to ask what I had to do the clerk refused to speak in English; German, Russian or even Turkish were OK. My German or Russian are very poor, Turkish below zero, but somehow I managed to change tickets for the next day and had to spend 24 h at some bench with local tramps.

Eno
Posts: 15
Joined: 2007-01-19, 12:08
Gender: male
Location: Moscow
Country: RU Russia (Российская Федерация)

Re: Amazing Estonian language skills

Postby Eno » 2007-01-22, 12:48

Loiks wrote:I remember I had troubles in 1998 at Berlin bus station. I was travelling from Tallinn via Berlin to Amsterdam. Thanks to Lithuanian/Polish borderguards my bus was late and the only bus in 24 h to Amsterdam was gone already. When I went to ask what I had to do the clerk refused to speak in English; German, Russian or even Turkish were OK. My German or Russian are very poor, Turkish below zero, but somehow I managed to change tickets for the next day and had to spend 24 h at some bench with local tramps.


Sometimes it happens... may be the man really didn't speak English. I remember travelling to Tallinn for the weekend (from St.Petersburg) in 1992 (being 15 years old and totally in love with Estonian language) just to buy some books in Estonian, which were hard to come by in St. Pete. My Estonian was very basic, to say the least. The problem was that the locals thought, probably, that I'm one of the local Russians (which seemed to fall out of favour with Estonians at that time) and when I tried to speak Estonian at a kassa at one of the book shops, I made a mistake and said viiskümmend kaks kopekid instead of kopikat, the woman at the check-out counter corrected me (not without some exasperation) :oops: But , nevertheless, my estonian was understood, which made me very proud then :)

User avatar
Loiks
Posts: 3174
Joined: 2005-03-17, 16:17
Real Name: Lauri Laugen
Gender: male
Location: Tallinn
Country: EE Estonia (Eesti)

Postby Loiks » 2007-01-24, 19:55

It has to be said that back in 1992 and especially before Estonian kroon was taken into use in June (and that was then if you speak about viiskümmend kopikat :)) there was extreme deficit of any goods which made all the people working at any kind of shops very arrogant and rude. The client was never a king as it is now when everyone wants to sell you something, then you had to beg the seller to get anything acceptable either to eat or to put on.

And, by the way, to create negative feelings among Estonians you should have rather spoken in Russian then, so I don't understand why this lady showed off any hostility.

P.S.

Stop this unfair and stupid propaganda war against us!

Eno
Posts: 15
Joined: 2007-01-19, 12:08
Gender: male
Location: Moscow
Country: RU Russia (Российская Федерация)

Postby Eno » 2007-01-26, 13:41

Loiks wrote:P.S.
Stop this unfair and stupid propaganda war against us!


Tere, Loiks!
If your postscriptum is meant for me, I must admit that I've always been more on the Estonian side of the story as regards to propaganda. Sometimes I feel uneasy (if not ashamed) about what I see on the Russian mass-media . Sorry for the off-topic.


Return to “Estonian (Eesti keel)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest