Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Moderator: aaakknu

User avatar
ainurakne
Posts: 703
Joined: 2012-02-16, 22:09
Gender: male
Country: EE Estonia (Eesti)

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby ainurakne » 2018-02-18, 18:19

Naava wrote:
Well, mänd came first before mänd, obviously.... :grin:

Of course. :D Estonian, this is why you need to take the final vowels back. Now.
No need. There's also palatalization, so the words sound different anyway.

Estonian just isn't meant for writing - or well, maybe just the orthography is inadequate - with all the palatalization and three quantities which only make sense when speaking.

Linguaphile wrote:So it should be "in her arm" or (for carrying something) "under her arm" but annoyingly it often gets translated as "armpit" anyway, so you end up hearing about schoolkids walking to school with textbooks in their armpits and farmers carrying chickens in their armpits and so on. :doggy:
:lol:

The exact place of armpit is referred to as "kaenlaauk", though.
Eesti keel (et) native, English (en) I can manage, Suomi (fi) trying to learn, Pусский (ru)&Deutsch (de) unfortunately, slowly fading away

Linguaphile
Posts: 2313
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-02-18, 23:10

ainurakne wrote:The exact place of armpit is referred to as "kaenlaauk", though.

It is, but the problem is that even in Estonian-to-English dictionaries (the few that even attempt to translate it) the word kaenal tends to get translated as "armpit." It's pretty much the only word English has for that general area of the body, even though its meaning is more limited.

Linguaphile
Posts: 2313
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-02-19, 16:32

ainurakne wrote:There's also palatalization, so the words sound different anyway.

Estonian just isn't meant for writing - or well, maybe just the orthography is inadequate - with all the palatalization and three quantities which only make sense when speaking.

Forgot to mention this yesterday: I hadn't even noticed that mänd1 (wooden tool i.e. mänd männa mända) wasn't palatalized until you commented on it, since the dictionary I was using (EKSS) doesn't indicate that. I haven't heard it spoken aloud before, so.... :roll:
You are totally right about the orthography. I think I've mentioned before that when I first started learning Estonian years ago, it was the written form only, from materials that didn't indicate palatalization or quantity. So it is still something I struggle with sometimes and homonyms that differ only in palatalization are the most difficult for me. Also remembering in which cases the palatalization occurs, for example nominative mänd2 and partitive mändi are palatalized but genitive männi is not.
BTW it was actually the realization that quantity - which I had previously not learned for any of the vocabulary I knew up until that point - had a grammatical function, that made me give up for a while and 'abandon' Estonian for several years in the nineties before taking it up again. Because I had been learning it for reading only and had not learned any of the quantities or palatalizations, learning the spoken language was almost like starting over from the beginning (especially since I had forgotten quite a bit of the grammar in the meantime as well). Nothing is ever simple, is it? :D

User avatar
ainurakne
Posts: 703
Joined: 2012-02-16, 22:09
Gender: male
Country: EE Estonia (Eesti)

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby ainurakne » 2018-02-19, 19:09

Linguaphile wrote:Also remembering in which cases the palatalization occurs, for example nominative mänd2 and partitive mändi are palatalized but genitive männi is not.
Nope, all three are palatalized.
From ÕS:
PEENENDUSKRIIPS. Kaashääliku peenendust ehk palatalisatsiooni märgib kriipsuke ' selle kaashääliku järel ülal: s`el'gima, p`an't, k`as't; kahe tähega märgitava pika hääliku puhul on see märk esimese tähe järel: k`ot't, k`as's, s`al'l.

i ja j-i kõrval on palatalisatsioon automaatne ja seda pole märgitud: padi ‹24u: padja, p`atja; p`atju ja p`atjasid›, seljak, m`ut't ‹22e: muti, m`utti›.

...
Palatalization is triggered by any kind i sound following consonants or clusters of consonants that can be palatalized. Even if the i itself has disappeared in some forms (e.g: män'd : män'ni : män'di). Not having an i sound following these consonants makes them unpalatalized (e.g: mänd : männa : mända), although there are exception (e.g. childish or children's speech: kut'su, kät'u, etc...).

But there are also weird stuff, like palatalization (and non-palatalization) transferring to other forms of a word where an i sound disappears (appears). My favorite example:
t`all : talle : t`alle -> t`alli (= t`allesid)
t`al'l : tal'li : t`al'li -> t`al'le (= t`al'lisid)

And palatalization being present in only one form of a word:
tul'i : tule : tuld
käs'i : käe : kätt
etc...

Linguaphile wrote:..., learning the spoken language was almost like starting over from the beginning (especially since I had forgotten quite a bit of the grammar in the meantime as well). Nothing is ever simple, is it? :D
Indeed, I feel bad for people who have to (or want to) start from written Estonian. After all, starting from spoken Estonian would be so much simpler and logical. But unfortunately everyone doesn't have that option.
Eesti keel (et) native, English (en) I can manage, Suomi (fi) trying to learn, Pусский (ru)&Deutsch (de) unfortunately, slowly fading away

Linguaphile
Posts: 2313
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-02-19, 19:49

ainurakne wrote:i ja j-i kõrval on palatalisatsioon automaatne ja seda pole märgitud: padi ‹24u: padja, p`atja; p`atju ja p`atjasid›, seljak, m`ut't ‹22e: muti, m`utti›.

Aitäh!
ainurakne wrote:And palatalization being present in only one form of a word:
tul'i : tule : tuld
käs'i : käe : kätt

Jah, täpselt sarnased sõnad ajavad mind hulluks. Aga milline kergendus, et sõna mänd2 ei ole nii. ÕS sõnaraamatust män'd-männi-män'di leides mõtlesin hetkeks, et kogu selle aja jooksul ma olen (palataliseeritud) männi valesti hääldanud. Ma olin unustanud või ei teadnudki, et ÕS ei märgi palatalisatsiooni i ja j-i kõrval.

User avatar
Naava
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 1095
Joined: 2012-01-17, 20:24
Gender: female
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Naava » 2018-02-19, 20:18

Linguaphile wrote:Well, they often take the final vowels back for the genitive and partitive forms though. So there's that.

True. :D There's still hope for Estonian!

Now you're going to think of pistons whenever you see a pine tree. "They have a really tall Piston Tree in their backyard" and so on. Even in Estonian... "last night's storm blew down the Wooden Stirring Utensil across the street."

I definitely need to use this pine tree to stir my porridge. Go big or go home.

Words for body parts are interesting to translate between English and Finnic languages, particularly hands and feet.

Oooh yes. I'm never quite sure how to translate syli - it just doesn't exist in English. :evil: I guess it's the same word as Estonian süli, though. Could you or ainurakne give examples how it's used so I could see if there's any differences?

. . . so you end up hearing about schoolkids walking to school with textbooks in their armpits and farmers carrying chickens in their armpits and so on.

You should try it. It's the superior way of carrying your chicken!

ainurakne wrote:Estonian just isn't meant for writing

:lol:

I've basically given up with the Estonian pronunciation because I don't even know where to start. The book I have has very few tips for pronunciation, and we weren't taught much about it during the course either. (That's not a surprise though because many of us had difficulties with remembering that <d> is not /d/. I swear I died a bit inside every single time someone read autod as [ɑutod].)

I know that I should palatalize consonants before /i/ and that's what I've decided to do until I get a sudden inspiration to study more. :P

Linguaphile wrote:BTW it was actually the realization that quantity - which I had previously not learned for any of the vocabulary I knew up until that point - had a grammatical function, that made me give up for a while and 'abandon' Estonian

Tbh, it was this same thing that made me decide I'm not going to bother with the pronunciation at the moment. :D I just can't hear any difference between the long and overlong syllables.

Linguaphile
Posts: 2313
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-02-19, 21:20

Naava wrote:I'm never quite sure how to translate syli - it just doesn't exist in English. :evil: I guess it's the same word as Estonian süli, though. Could you or ainurakne give examples how it's used so I could see if there's any differences?

Funny you should mention that one, because I almost brought it up in my earlier post too, then decided what I'd written was long enough already... anyway, I was thinking then of kaenlatäis and sületäis. Sometimes süli has to do with arms, sometimes with laps.... sületäis is an armful, not a lapful, and avasüli is "open arms," but sülearvuti is a laptop computer and sülekoer is a lap dog.
Basically süli refers to the spaces between body parts, not the body parts themselves, so it's never going to be an exact translation of any English expression involving "arms".
English "lap" kind of works in a similar way, but has more to do with the space on top of one's upper legs (when sitting) than it has to do with the space between one's arms and body. It's similar to rüpp in Estonian (alakeha ja reite kujundatud nurk istumisel, although süli is also listed as a synonym).

So to recap (please correct me if it's wrong):
(en) armpit - the small hollow under the arm, directly below the shoulder (kaenlaauk in Estonian)
(en) lap - the space above one's upper legs when sitting, sometimes translated into Estonian as süli; similar to rüpp
(en) bosom - chest, but sometimes considered a good translation for Estonian rüpp
(et) kaenal- the inner, upper part of one's arm, or the space between that part of the arm and the chest
(et) süli - the space between the arms and the body, often translated into English as "arms" or "lap"
(et) rüpp - the space between the thighs and the lower body when sitting, similar to English "lap" but sometimes translated as "bosom"

Linguaphile
Posts: 2313
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-03-02, 3:35

So I was reading an article (Kuidas on tuntud kiirtoidukohad enda nimed saanud?) online today and came across this:
Seega tahtis ta luua nii suure burgeri, et kui inimesed seda näevad, siis nad ütlevad: «Milline burger!» (ing: what a bürger!).
and I'm curious why (if there's even a reason) they've written the English part as "what a bürger" (with ü). I don't hear an ü in there, in English or in Estonian. If they were trying to represent the English sound more closely with Estonian letters, I would have thought ö would be a closer match. Any thoughts? :D

User avatar
ainurakne
Posts: 703
Joined: 2012-02-16, 22:09
Gender: male
Country: EE Estonia (Eesti)

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby ainurakne » 2018-03-02, 5:10

I think it's a typo. The whole article is swarming with mistakes. Looks like a rushed job.
Eesti keel (et) native, English (en) I can manage, Suomi (fi) trying to learn, Pусский (ru)&Deutsch (de) unfortunately, slowly fading away

Linguaphile
Posts: 2313
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-03-02, 5:35

ainurakne wrote:I think it's a typo. The whole article is swarming with mistakes. Looks like a rushed job.
Makes sense. I saw some errors but probably didn't even catch them all... when I see things that don't look right I tend to assume I'm the one who is wrong or that it's just a word (or word form) I don't know. :roll: But yeah, some are just plain obvious typos. Osariigia and so on. What is the rule for when to use an apostrophe before the case ending on foreign names/words? I would have written Wendy'ks, Moby Dick'ist, Kroc'i but they have Wendyks, Moby Dickist, Kroci.

User avatar
ainurakne
Posts: 703
Joined: 2012-02-16, 22:09
Gender: male
Country: EE Estonia (Eesti)

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby ainurakne » 2018-03-02, 6:37

Linguaphile wrote:What is the rule for when to use an apostrophe before the case ending on foreign names/words? I would have written Wendy'ks, Moby Dick'ist, Kroc'i but they have Wendyks, Moby Dickist, Kroci.
When the end of the word is written with a consonant, but pronounced with a vowel. And vice versa.

For example, if Dick was Dike, then:
Dike : Dike'i : Dike'i
(d`aik : daiki or daigi : d`aiki)

I don't know if there are any opposite examples with English words, but at least there are with French:
Bordeaux : Bordeaux' : Bordeaux'd
(bord`oo : bord`oo : bord`ood)


EDIT: this only applies to names. When using regular words, you follow the rules of tsitaatsõnad: you italicise the word and separate the case ending with an apostrophe (the latter are not italicised).
Eesti keel (et) native, English (en) I can manage, Suomi (fi) trying to learn, Pусский (ru)&Deutsch (de) unfortunately, slowly fading away

Linguaphile
Posts: 2313
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-03-03, 3:39

ainurakne wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:What is the rule for when to use an apostrophe before the case ending on foreign names/words? I would have written Wendy'ks, Moby Dick'ist, Kroc'i but they have Wendyks, Moby Dickist, Kroci.
When the end of the word is written with a consonant, but pronounced with a vowel. And vice versa.

For example, if Dick was Dike, then:
Dike : Dike'i : Dike'i
(d`aik : daiki or daigi : d`aiki)

I don't know if there are any opposite examples with English words, but at least there are with French:
Bordeaux : Bordeaux' : Bordeaux'd
(bord`oo : bord`oo : bord`ood)


EDIT: this only applies to names. When using regular words, you follow the rules of tsitaatsõnad: you italicise the word and separate the case ending with an apostrophe (the latter are not italicised).

Aitäh!

Linguaphile
Posts: 2313
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-04-03, 2:27

A couple of questions about words I've come across lately:

#1: Manu: is this really a synonym for juurde? (tulid me manu = they approached us? they came to our place?) Is it commonly used? I'm guessing that juurde is much more common because I don't recall encountering manu before. (Which doesn't mean I haven't, but....)

#2: Jäälaam is an ice field or a block of ice. So what is suitsulaam? Obviously not "a block of smoke." Something like "a wall of smoke" maybe? Just a lot of smoke, or something more specific?

#3: Turdim: in context it is contrasted with a person who is kiitsakam, and I see that a meaning of turd, when describing a person, is turske, priske. So that seems to make sense and so it's a person who is more stout, fat, or heavyset. But in that case shouldn't the comparative form be turrem rather than turdim?

User avatar
ainurakne
Posts: 703
Joined: 2012-02-16, 22:09
Gender: male
Country: EE Estonia (Eesti)

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby ainurakne » 2018-04-03, 5:28

Linguaphile wrote:#1: Manu: is this really a synonym for juurde? (tulid me manu = they approached us? they came to our place?) Is it commonly used? I'm guessing that juurde is much more common because I don't recall encountering manu before. (Which doesn't mean I haven't, but....)
It's dialectal. I have heard it in Võro language a lot, so it must be from South-Estonia. I don't think they use juurde in Võro, so manu should probably cover all the same uses and meanings.

There's actually the whole set: manu - man - mant

I don't think I have heard the other forms outside of Võro, but manu is used more widely. Not very commonly, though.

Linguaphile wrote:#2: Jäälaam is an ice field or a block of ice. So what is suitsulaam? Obviously not "a block of smoke." Something like "a wall of smoke" maybe? Just a lot of smoke, or something more specific?
I may be wrong, but it seems to me that block is a bit too 3-dimensional structure for describing laam. Laam is more 2-dimensional: its height doesn't matter, only how large an area it covers.

The first thing that comes to mind when someone says suitsulaam, is when the air is "heavy", so the smoke doesn't go up, but stays in one place or even comes down almost right to the ground. Then it slowly flows out to cover a larger area, kind of like fog.

Linguaphile wrote:#3: Turdim: in context it is contrasted with a person who is kiitsakam, and I see that a meaning of turd, when describing a person, is turske, priske. So that seems to make sense and so it's a person who is more stout, fat, or heavyset. But in that case shouldn't the comparative form be turrem rather than turdim?
This is the first time I hear this word, so I have no idea what's going on with this.

What's the context? Is an older or newer text? Could it be dialectal? Or slang?
Eesti keel (et) native, English (en) I can manage, Suomi (fi) trying to learn, Pусский (ru)&Deutsch (de) unfortunately, slowly fading away

Linguaphile
Posts: 2313
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-04-03, 6:19

ainurakne wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:#1: Manu: is this really a synonym for juurde? (tulid me manu = they approached us? they came to our place?) Is it commonly used? I'm guessing that juurde is much more common because I don't recall encountering manu before. (Which doesn't mean I haven't, but....)
It's dialectal. I have heard it in Võro language a lot, so it must be from South-Estonia. I don't think they use juurde in Võro, so manu should probably cover all the same uses and meanings.

There's actually the whole set: manu - man - mant

I don't think I have heard the other forms outside of Võro, but manu is used more widely. Not very commonly, though.

Linguaphile wrote:#2: Jäälaam is an ice field or a block of ice. So what is suitsulaam? Obviously not "a block of smoke." Something like "a wall of smoke" maybe? Just a lot of smoke, or something more specific?
I may be wrong, but it seems to me that block is a bit too 3-dimensional structure for describing laam. Laam is more 2-dimensional: its height doesn't matter, only how large an area it covers.

The first thing that comes to mind when someone says suitsulaam, is when the air is "heavy", so the smoke doesn't go up, but stays in one place or even comes down almost right to the ground. Then it slowly flows out to cover a larger area, kind of like fog.

Oh, that makes sense now! My dictionary suggested "ice block" for jäälaam (in the entry for laam), so that's why I brought up the ice. I couldn't quite figure out what smoke could have in common with a block of ice, but that does make sense now. :D

ainurakne wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:#3: Turdim: in context it is contrasted with a person who is kiitsakam, and I see that a meaning of turd, when describing a person, is turske, priske. So that seems to make sense and so it's a person who is more stout, fat, or heavyset. But in that case shouldn't the comparative form be turrem rather than turdim?
This is the first time I hear this word, so I have no idea what's going on with this.

What's the context? Is an older or newer text? Could it be dialectal? Or slang?

2010, but it does seem to have a bit of southern-ish word choice here and there (manu which you explained above, hää, and so on - mostly the those words that can be used anywhere but that do have different 'northern' equivalents) and rather colloquial language, so it could be just about anything - dialect, slang, typo, some other language.... :D The sentence was kes on kiitsakam, teeb peenema häälega, turdim aga suisa bassiga. I don't really need to know the exact meaning, since I get the gist - the larger or stronger [or wetter, or fishier*] people have deeper voices, or something like that, it's not really important to the overall text - but I was curious because when I looked it up I found turd, but the dictionary gives the comparative and superlative forms as turrem and kõige turrem/turrim (and osastav as turra). So I was just curious if I was just missing something obvious. But it could even be a typo for all I know. If it's unfamiliar to you, I don't suppose it's something I need to learn! :D

*Turd (turra) also means "half-dry" and also some type of fish, but I don't think those fit the context too well, and anyway those don't have a turdim form either.
:nope:

Linguaphile
Posts: 2313
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-05-13, 16:49

This question comes from a thread in the translations forum, and I started to post it over there, but I decided it would be more likely that I'd find an answer here (besides, you guys are kinder about errors over here):

Naava wrote:Correcting Finnish (seinä = house wall, muuri = barrier, stonewall: my room has a seinä, but China has a muuri; the translation is also missing the conjunction for some reason.)
...
(en) English Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.
...
(et) Estonian Inimesed ehitavad liiga palju seinu ja liiga vähe sildu.
(fi) Finnish Ihmiset rakentavat liikaa muureja ja liian vähän siltoja.

I am the one who wrote the Estonian translation, and perhaps it needs to be changed, too. I was aware of the difference between sein and müür, but when I started searching online to see if there was a "standard" translation of this phrase, I found a wide variety using both words. The reason I went with seinu was actually because the Finnish version already had seiniä, which Naava then changed to muureja.... :oops:

Some of the variations I found online (none were exactly what I was looking for, nor exactly what I used, but they have the same general idea):
Ehitage sildu, mitte müüre. / Ehitagem sildu, mitte seinu. / Peavad looma sildu, mitte müüre. / ...selle asemel et sildu ehitada, ehitatakse liiga palju müüre / ...ehitada rohkem sildu ja mitte seinu / ...ehitama sildu, mitte seinu / and so on

Among many definitions EKSS has this definition for sein, which seems as though it could fit the context of this saying:
EKSS wrote: sein ‹-a 29 või -a 23› ‹s› 4. PILTL. (millegi ääristava, varjava kohta). Hekk moodustab rohelise seina. Jõe taga kõrgub metsa tume sein. Kõrkjad kerkisid kalda ääres seinana. Pilve tihe must sein varjas päikese. *Veel kullapunane on taeva sein.. M. Under. *.. nende looduslikku peavarju eraldas muust maailmast mahavoolava vee [= tugeva vihma] hall sein. E. Krusten. b. (vaheseina, tõkke kohta inimsuhetes). Sein rikaste ja vaeste vahel. Suhtumises võis tajuda jäika seina. Tunneb, et nende vahelt langes sein. Põrkus bürokraatia ja rumaluse seina vastu. *Väga selgesti võis igaüks märgata, kuidas vanaproua enese ning oma poja ja Kreeta Nõgese vahele hakkas eraldavat piiri panema, seina seadma. E. Vilde.

I feel certain that the use of müür is appropriate, and certain that Naava is right about Finnish. But what about sein in Estonian? Can it also be used in this context without sounding strange, or are the examples above with sein just poor translations?

User avatar
Naava
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 1095
Joined: 2012-01-17, 20:24
Gender: female
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Naava » 2018-05-13, 17:48

Linguaphile wrote: The reason I went with seinu was actually because the Finnish version already had seiniä, which Naava then changed to muureja.... :oops:

:twisted:

Thanks for your trust, but now I'm starting to doubt if I'm right after all! :lol: It sounds like it's a proverb or something, but I had never heard it before. (I had heard about building bridges though.) I googled and found a blog post with seinä, some website where they "break muurit and build bridges", and a quote from Elton John that was translated as "Build bridges, not walls" ("Rakenna siltoja, älä muureja"). I also found this but I don't think they even tried to translate it. I mean, seinämä? Sounds odd, but why not! This is exactly what we needed - another word to confuse us even more.

So, I think I might be right if I say that the translations with seinä were made by people who didn't know English wall can be translated as muuri. I'm not 100% sure though, especially because there is a proverb tulla seinä vastaan ('to meet a wall', I guess).

About Estonian: it could be that those are just poor translations like you said. But I was confused by your translation with sein ( :lol: ) so I checked if it has a different meaning in Estonian, and the FI-EST dictionary did give that as one possible translation to muuri. (...which could be incorrect anyway, because you can't trust this dictionary too much.)

In short, I have no idea what's going on and I don't even know how to speak any language anymore.

Linguaphile
Posts: 2313
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-05-13, 18:27

Naava wrote:In short, I have no idea what's going on and I don't even know how to speak any language anymore.

:rotfl: LOL. I think I feel that way almost all the time.
Anyway, yeah, it's a common phrase, or at least variations of it are (I don't think there's really a 'standard version' of it the way there usually is with proverbs though). Build bridges, not walls and so on. It has become even more common now that our president wants to build (/is building) one along our southern border. And in that context, which word to use seems to be debatable in any language: in English, is it a wall or a fence? In Spanish, is it un muro or una muralla or una valla?
So back to Estonian and the proverb/saying. Sein is usually an indoor wall inside a house, but the kind that can keep your room warm is soemüür and it's inside your house too. I thought the difference was the material it was made of (soemüür is made of brick or tile, sein is wood or whatever material might be behind the sheetrock). But a soemüür can also be a soesein. I get the impression there's some overlap between the two words, i.e. they can be used as synonyms.
But I'm not sure at all and I don't think they're the same in every context. The one in China is Suur Hiina müür and I don't think you could call that one a sein. Maybe the difference is that müür is the free-standing kind (I think a soemüür is free-standing too, even though it doesn't tend to look like it and it's inside a house? It's almost like a fireplace/chimney that just functions as an interior wall between rooms....? And I don't know how to translate it to English)
In this proverb I think it could go either way then... walls between people can be built as the free-standing brick kind or just a wall built between them that makes one large room into two smaller rooms. :twisted: Although since it's contrasted with a bridge, the outdoor free-standing kind makes the most sense. You aren't going to be building bridges between rooms inside your own house. :hmm:

User avatar
ainurakne
Posts: 703
Joined: 2012-02-16, 22:09
Gender: male
Country: EE Estonia (Eesti)

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby ainurakne » 2018-05-13, 18:39

I think both should be okay, although müür feels a lot more logical. After all, müür is a heavy-duty fence that you build to keep something or someone out, or to keep something or someone in.

I think in general, müür is something whose height (and likely also its thickness) is more easily perceivable.
Sein is something that just blocks your way (or limits a space (or supports other parts of a building)) and its height doesn't necessarily matter (as long as you can't just hop over it - its height is out of your reach), or it goes up right to the ceiling (or roof).

Also the thickness. While müür is (usually) perceived as something with limited thickness, there's always something on the other side, then sein could be more abstract: it may not be important what (or if anything at all) is on the other side; sein could be infinitely thick from the perspective of the viewer.

I hope my thoughts make any sense. :whistle:


EDIT: I think every sein is a müür at the time when you are laying it down from bricks (or stones or some other blocks), it becomes sein afterwards when you cover it with a ceiling/roof or make it otherwise a part of a building. After all, this process of laying down the bricks to build a wall is called müüriladumine. :D

Yes, soemüür is made of bricks or other blocks, and the rest of the wall it is integrated into could be made from some other material. But as much as I have seen, soemüür doesn't usually extend up to the ceiling - it could be freestanding, but it could also be like a piece of müür integrated into the rest of the sein.
Eesti keel (et) native, English (en) I can manage, Suomi (fi) trying to learn, Pусский (ru)&Deutsch (de) unfortunately, slowly fading away

Linguaphile
Posts: 2313
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-05-13, 19:17

ainurakne wrote:I think both should be okay, although müür feels a lot more logical. After all, müür is a heavy-duty fence that you build to keep something or someone out, or to keep something or someone in.

I think in general, müür is something whose height (and likely also its thickness) is more easily perceivable.
Sein is something that just blocks your way (or limits a space (or supports other parts of a building)) and its height doesn't necessarily matter (as long as you can't just hop over it - its height is out of your reach), or it goes up right to the ceiling (or roof).

Also the thickness. While müür is (usually) perceived as something with limited thickness, there's always something on the other side, then sein could be more abstract: it may not be important what (or if anything at all) is on the other side; sein could be infinitely thick from the perspective of the viewer.

I hope my thoughts make any sense. :whistle:

Yeah, it mostly makes sense. I'm curious: Naava, does what Ainurakne described sound similar to how the two words are used in Finnish?
By the way, müür is obviously a Germanic loan, so I looked these words up in the etymological dictionary. Both are loans; müür from Germanic, sein from Baltic. It doesn't mention any relationship between Estonian müür and Finnish muuri, but presumably Estonian and Finnish both got the word from Germanic; and the words that mean sein in more distantly-related languages like Udmurt, Mari, Komi, Mansi, and Khanty are apparently related to Estonian pars (in the photo, not the walls but the horizontal beams with the luggage on top, normally/traditionally used for drying) and Finnish parsi. :)


Return to “Estonian (Eesti keel)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests