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 (käsi
le). 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".
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"
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.