Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

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garrett
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Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby garrett » 2018-04-19, 8:40

Hello,

I found these two particles in Estonian translations of European Regulations.

I found kohta at the end of a short clause:

(Regulation) impordi ühiste eeskirjade kohta.

On the other hand, mis käsitleb was at the begining of a longer clause:

(Regulation) mis käsitleb ametlikku kontrolli ja muid ametlikke toiminguid, mida tehakse eesmärgiga tagada toidu- ja söödaalaste õigusnormide ning loomatervise ja loomade heaolu, taimetervise- ja taimekaitsevahendite alaste õigusnormide kohaldamine.

Apparently both mean "on/about". What is the difference between them?

Thank you!

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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby Prantsis » 2018-04-19, 9:40

Tere!

kohta: postposition "about"
mis: relative pronoun, nominative case
käsitleb: verb, indicative mood, present tense, 3rd person singular
mis käsitleb: "that/which handles"

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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby ainurakne » 2018-04-19, 10:42

I would say their meaning is pretty similar, at least in this context.

I'm not very good at legal texts and their precise wording nor am I familiar with the topic, but I think there would be no problem in making phrases like "mis käsitleb impordi ühiseid eeskirju" and "ametliku kontrolli ja muude ametlike toimingute kohta".


There's another "about" - making the object itself elative:
"rääkisime sellest" = we talked about this/it, we had a conversation on this/it

On the other hand, when using "kohta" in the same phrase, you can only make a sentence like "rääkisime selle kohta [midagi]", which roughly means "we said [things] about this/it"; you can't say "we talked about this" with using "kohta" in this sentence.

If the thing you were talking about, is some kind of topic, then instead of "rääkisime sellest" you could also say "rääkisime sellel teemal", "käsitlesime seda teemat" and so on...
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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-04-19, 13:45

I don't have much to add to the responses above, other than to say that while the verb käsitlema literally means "handles," it can also be translated as "deals with" or "has to do with" which may help you to understand how these two phrases have similar meanings - their meanings are pretty much interchangeable in certain contexts in English as well:

käsitleb ametlikke toiminguid = deals with/has to do with official operations
ametlike toimingute kohta = about official operations

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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby ainurakne » 2018-04-19, 14:28

Linguaphile wrote:... the verb käsitlema literally means "handles," ...
Not precisely, at least not in the physical way. The verb "käsitsema" is for that.

But this is a really difficult word to directly translate into English. I can't think of a way to even remotely convey it's exact meaning in English.
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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby garrett » 2018-04-19, 21:25

My question aims to understand whether using each particle may have anything to do with the sentence lenght. I mean, if kohta goes at the very end of a short sentence, it doesn't affect our comprehension of that sentence, but in a long sentence we wouldn't know this important piece of information until having read the whole thing. Mis käsitleb instead forms a relative clause and this way we can know what type of sentence it is from the very beginning. Does it make any sense?

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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-04-20, 1:27

ainurakne wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:... the verb käsitlema literally means "handles," ...
Not precisely, at least not in the physical way. The verb "käsitsema" is for that.

Not in the physical sense of "handle these crystal vases with care so that they don't break" but in the other sense of "she's the one who is responsible for handling that issue/situation/etc"... or at least that is how I understand it. The dictionaries do give "handle" as either the primary translation or one of many, depending on which dictionary you use. (Nastik and Aare both translate it as "handle" and "dissert", although "dissert" isn't a particularly common word.) Maybe the dictionaries that list it as the only or primary translation are influenced by the similarities in etymology (käsitlema, handle). To me "deal with" more often seems like a better fit, but several of the dictionaries at keeleveeb.ee don't even list it.

ainurakne wrote:But this is a really difficult word to directly translate into English. I can't think of a way to even remotely convey it's exact meaning in English.

Yeah, so just now I looked it up in Saagpakk's enormous dictionary, which gives this lovely set of translations:
käsitlema: to treat (of); to deal (with); to use; to handle; to consider; to take up; to explicate; to discuss; to actualize; to treat (with).
käsitsema: to handle; to manipulate; to maul; to scratch; to ply; to wield; to operate; to work; to mishandle.
But you can see, both do include "handle". :whistle: They are just rather different meanings of the verb "handle" in English, the physical one and the situational one.

garrett wrote:My question aims to understand whether using each particle may have anything to do with the sentence lenght. I mean, if kohta goes at the very end of a short sentence, it doesn't affect our comprehension of that sentence, but in a long sentence we wouldn't know this important piece of information until having read the whole thing. Mis käsitleb instead forms a relative clause and this way we can know what type of sentence it is from the very beginning. Does it make any sense?

Ainurakne as a native speaker will probably have a better answer, but personally, I'd say it makes sense and probably happens sometimes but it's not as necessary as you probably think. It's true that if you really want to emphasize something it usually goes at the beginning of the sentence, so if you want a strong emphasis on "about," putting mis käsitleb before the noun could be one way to do that. (Or even mis käsitlebki if you really need to strongly emphasize that part for some reason.) But that is for emphasis, not just for general comprehension. It's not as though using kohta in a long sentence makes the reader sit there in confusion before eventually figuring out what's going on. There are (at least) two reasons for this:

(1) In a sentence like your example the word kohta is not going to have to go at the very end of the whole long sentence (which is what I think you are suggesting). It would still go after the noun that it describes, something like this (ainurakne please correct me, this type of construction is rather difficult for me and I'm likely to get it wrong):
"ametliku kontrolli ja muude ametlike toimingute kohta, mida tehakse eesmärgiga tagada toidu- ja söödaalaste õigusnormide ning loomatervise ja loomade heaolu, taimetervise- ja taimekaitsevahendite alaste õigusnormide kohaldamine"
So kohta does not actually have to go all the way at the very end of that sentence. (Even if I've messed up the grammar there, I'm pretty sure it's still going to be true that the word kohta is near the noun and in the first part of the phrase, not at the very end.) It is not far away so the sentence length isn't really factor.

(2) The second reason is that the use of case forms alerts the reader to know to look for the missing word that completes the idea. The genitive form ametlike toimingute tells me that something else is going to follow it in this sentence and so I know to look for a word like kohta and, if I were more accustomed to this type of text, I'd probably even guess exactly which word was coming before I got to it.
Personally when I see the genitive case used in sentences like this I think of it almost as if it has a arrow pointing from it to some other part of the sentence (usually the very next part), or as if the ideas pass through the words in the genitive case and keep right on going in order to complete the thought; the fact that the phrase is not yet complete after something like ametlike toimingute is quite obvious. So there really is no difficulty with comprehension, you just know to keep reading in order to finish the idea, and the relationship between the words is quite clear.

I don't know how well you know Estonian, so apologies if I'm assuming the wrong level of knowledge. If you're the one translating documents with sentences like these, you probably know more than I do. Although I can read them and understand, I wouldn't even attempt to write such a thing. :D

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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby ainurakne » 2018-04-20, 5:32

Linguaphile wrote:Not in the physical sense of "handle these crystal vases with care so that they don't break" but in the other sense of "she's the one who is responsible for handling that issue/situation/etc"...
Okay...
But doesn't handling an issue or a situation mean some kind interaction with it? While käsitlema deals with the topic as an immutable (read-only) object/entity and only describes it (or discusses about it).

Also, when handling vases, I would rather use käitlema than käsitsema. As käsitsema means more like using something as a tool or means rather than some random thing that you move around.

garrett wrote:My question aims to understand whether using each particle may have anything to do with the sentence lenght. I mean, if kohta goes at the very end of a short sentence, it doesn't affect our comprehension of that sentence, but in a long sentence we wouldn't know this important piece of information until having read the whole thing. Mis käsitleb instead forms a relative clause and this way we can know what type of sentence it is from the very beginning. Does it make any sense?
I think you may be somewhat correct.

While this is generally okay
Linguaphile wrote:"ametliku kontrolli ja muude ametlike toimingute kohta, mida tehakse eesmärgiga tagada ..."
when being really pedantic*, then the relative clause should come right after whatever it modifies, not after the postposition. Especially here where "kohta" applies for both "ametlik kontroll" and "muud ametlikud toimingud", but (forgive me if I'm mistaken) the relative clause seems to only modify "muud ametlikud toimingud".

(* at least that's the impression I got from school; so when writing anything remotely formal, I always try to avoid putting anything between a relative clause and the thing it modifies)

Putting the relative clause before the postposition would only make things worse (and the sentence difficult to follow). And merging the contents of the relative clause into the sentence doesn't create anything pretty either in this case ("ametliku kontrolli ja muude toidu- ja söödaalaste õigusnormide ning loomatervise ja loomade heaolu, taimetervise- ja taimekaitsevahendite alaste õigusnormide kohaldamist tagavate ametlike toimingute kohta"). So, finding a way to move the construct, that means "about", before all this, seems to be the best solution.
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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-04-21, 1:25

ainurakne wrote:Also, when handling vases, I would rather use käitlema than käsitsema. As käsitsema means more like using something as a tool or means rather than some random thing that you move around.

Good to know! Thank you.

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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby ainurakne » 2018-04-21, 5:55

Linguaphile wrote:
ainurakne wrote:Also, when handling vases, I would rather use käitlema than käsitsema. As käsitsema means more like using something as a tool or means rather than some random thing that you move around.

Good to know! Thank you.
Although, käitlema is not so common in colloquial language. You would more likely hear something along the lines of "Ole nende vaasidega ettevaatlik!" or "Vaata, et sa neid vaase katki ei tee!".
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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby Prantsis » 2018-04-22, 22:34

I probably should have checked my translation of käsitlema more carefully, but it was an interesting exchange.

ainurakne wrote:While this is generally okay
Linguaphile wrote:"ametliku kontrolli ja muude ametlike toimingute kohta, mida tehakse eesmärgiga tagada ..."
when being really pedantic*, then the relative clause should come right after whatever it modifies, not after the postposition. Especially here where "kohta" applies for both "ametlik kontroll" and "muud ametlikud toimingud", but (forgive me if I'm mistaken) the relative clause seems to only modify "muud ametlikud toimingud".

(* at least that's the impression I got from school; so when writing anything remotely formal, I always try to avoid putting anything between a relative clause and the thing it modifies)

Kasina toiduvaru ja kahetsusega südames alustasin oma teekonda, kõndides pikki kilomeetreid mööda palavaid liiva- ja kivirandu, rassides läbi tiheda roostiku; kui enam maad mööda minna ei saanud, sumpasin läbi madala vee.” (Mehis Heinsaar)

Do you also try to avoid these kinds of things?

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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby ainurakne » 2018-04-23, 6:06

Prantsis wrote:Kasina toiduvaru ja kahetsusega südames alustasin oma teekonda, kõndides pikki kilomeetreid mööda palavaid liiva- ja kivirandu, rassides läbi tiheda roostiku; kui enam maad mööda minna ei saanud, sumpasin läbi madala vee.” (Mehis Heinsaar)

Do you also try to avoid these kinds of things?
Sorry, but I don't see what exactly and why would I try to avoid here.
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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby Naava » 2018-04-23, 7:02

ainurakne wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:... the verb käsitlema literally means "handles," ...
Not precisely, at least not in the physical way. The verb "käsitsema" is for that.

But this is a really difficult word to directly translate into English. I can't think of a way to even remotely convey it's exact meaning in English.

I think it's interesting that it's so specific in Estonian, because käsitellä in Finnish can mean 'handle' both in the physical and more metaphorical sense. I could tell someone to handle a vase with care by saying käsittele vaasia varovasti but I could also say that an article is about global warming by saying artikkeli käsittelee ilmastonmuutosta.

Does Estonian have more words with a similar ending (-tlema) or could it be a loanword from Finnish? (If it was, it might explain why there's a different word for physical handling.)

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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby ainurakne » 2018-04-23, 8:43

Naava wrote:Does Estonian have more words with a similar ending (-tlema) or could it be a loanword from Finnish? (If it was, it might explain why there's a different word for physical handling.)
Yes, there are more such words (although, among those examples, there are also words where part of the -tlema is already part of the word stem). Interestingly, -tlema has two parallel forms: -tlema/-tleda and more Finnish-like -telema/-tella.

I think -tlema is (often) a similar form to the one present in "lendlema" - a word that was discussed somewhere here, some time ago.

EDIT: when "t" is not part of the word stem, then I guess "lennutlema" is to "lendlema" as "lennutama" is to "lendama".
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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby Naava » 2018-04-23, 9:07

That is indeed very interesting! I wonder why there's two variants. Dialects? (That's my favourite explanation for everything.)

I think -tlema is (often) a similar form to the one present in "lendlema" - a word that was discussed somewhere here, some time ago.

Yes, I remember we talked about this (but I've forgotten the details, lol).

I think the -lema part is the same, but that the -t- might add the meaning 'to make someone do something'. Causative? Something like that. At least that's how it works in Finnish:
lentää - lennellä - lennätellä / 'to fly - to fly around - to make something/someone fly around'

Or it could be that the -ella (or -lema) part is the same but it's added to different stem:
lentää - lennellä ('to fly - to fly around')
lennättää - lennätellä ('to make something fly - to make something fly around')

Of course there are words where this doesn't work, like käsi - kätellä - käsittää - käsitellä ('a hand - to shake hands - to understand - to handle'). But I think the original meaning of käsittää was 'to hold in hand' or something alike.

Uh, I'm sure this had something to do with Estonian. Why am I talking about the etymology of Finnish verbs?? :D

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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby Prantsis » 2018-04-23, 11:05

ainurakne wrote:
Prantsis wrote:Kasina toiduvaru ja kahetsusega südames alustasin oma teekonda, kõndides pikki kilomeetreid mööda palavaid liiva- ja kivirandu, rassides läbi tiheda roostiku; kui enam maad mööda minna ei saanud, sumpasin läbi madala vee.” (Mehis Heinsaar)

Do you also try to avoid these kinds of things?
Sorry, but I don't see what exactly and why would I try to avoid here.

You discussed this:

kasina toiduvaru ja kahetsuse kiuste, mis südames on

And I was wondering if what you said also applied to:

kasina toiduvaru ja kahetsuse kiuste südames

and to:

kasina toiduvaru ja kahetsusega südames

I guess the answer is no.

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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby ainurakne » 2018-04-23, 15:30

Naava wrote:That is indeed very interesting! I wonder why there's two variants. Dialects? (That's my favourite explanation for everything.)
I guess so (or relics from the past). At least I don't sense any difference in their meanings. Maybe just "-telema/-tella" feels more poetic.

Naava wrote:Of course there are words where this doesn't work, like käsi - kätellä - käsittää - käsitellä ...
Hah, "kätlema" was the first example that popped into my mind when you asked whether there are more words with "-tlema". :lol:

Prantsis wrote:And I was wondering if what you said also applied to:
kasina toiduvaru ja kahetsuse kiuste südames
and to:
kasina toiduvaru ja kahetsusega südames
I guess the answer is no.
I see.
No, I only meant relative clauses that are separated from everything else by commas and usually start with a question word.

Prantsis wrote:You discussed this: kasina toiduvaru ja kahetsuse kiuste, mis südames on
I dug around in the rules and it seems that things are actually more complicated with genitive. For example, when a noun itself is omastavas käändes täiend, then the relative clause cannot be put right after this täiend, as täiend can't be separated from the main word. The same goes for postpositions.
So, It seems, I was wrong and "... ametlike toimingute kohta, mida tehakse ..." is actually correct. The same seems to apply to "... kahetsuse kiuste, mis südames ..." as "kiuste" seems to also be a postposition, at least I think it is. :hmm:

But I'm still not sure about the cases when a postposition applies to many items in a list, but the relative clause applies only to the last item (as in kasina toiduvaru ja kahetsuse kiuste -> kasina toiduvaru kiuste and kahetsuse kiuste). I think I would still try to get rid of the relative clause, just in case. For example: "kasina toiduvaru ja südames oleva kahetsuse kiuste".

Or: "hoolimata kasinast toiduvarust ja kahetsusest, mis südames" or "hoolimata sellest, et toiduvaru on kasin ja südames on kahetsus" or something like that.
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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby Prantsis » 2018-04-24, 10:20

ainurakne wrote:But I'm still not sure about the cases when a postposition applies to many items in a list, but the relative clause applies only to the last item (as in kasina toiduvaru ja kahetsuse kiuste -> kasina toiduvaru kiuste and kahetsuse kiuste). I think I would still try to get rid of the relative clause, just in case. For example: "kasina toiduvaru ja südames oleva kahetsuse kiuste".

Yes, that's the point I was interested in.
You somehow said that "X-i ja Y-i kohta, mida..." was less clear than just "X ja Y, mida..." in the case where the relative clause was only for Y (hence your preference for "mis käsitleb"). It surprised me, but then I thought it could make sense because the postposition makes the two terms look more like one unit. And that's why I wanted to know your feeling about this:
((kasina toiduvaru) ja (kahetsuse)ga südames)
...which you find perfectly fine.

ainurakne wrote:For example, when a noun itself is omastavas käändes täiend, then the relative clause cannot be put right after this täiend, as täiend can't be separated from the main word.

In such cases, I think there's often something else to remove the ambiguity. For example, words like "see" or "selline". (Ta räägib selle mehe vennast, kes...)

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Re: Meaning of kohta and mis käsitleb

Postby ainurakne » 2018-04-25, 6:07

Prantsis wrote:((kasina toiduvaru) ja (kahetsuse)ga südames)
Hmm, now that you put it this way, I can realize it is ambiguous indeed.

I guess things also depend on the context a lot. And can be quite subjective (like here:)
Prantsis wrote:You somehow said that "X-i ja Y-i kohta, mida..." was less clear than just "X ja Y, mida..."
depending which words the reader emphasizes and how one organizes the rhythm and pace of the sentence.

Things are obviously much easier when spoken. Then you can more freely shape the meaning depending how you say it.

Prantsis wrote:In such cases, I think there's often something else to remove the ambiguity. For example, words like "see" or "selline". (Ta räägib selle mehe vennast, kes...)
Good point.
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