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Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

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Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby polishboy on 2009-02-02, 22:20

hmm, I have found cool textbook for learning Estonian!
http://www.kmatsum.info/eesti/opik/index.html
It is really long textbook, but I wanted to ask, if after learning Estonian, can I write with Finnish people, or it is not so similar.
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Re: Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby DaveL on 2009-02-03, 14:03

Is it just me, or is the link to a Japanese text! As I do not speak Japanese it is of little use to me :-) Also, it appears to have been published in 1991 - the 2 English/ Estonian textbooks I have been studying are quite old texts and the language has moved on, especially in the idioms of conversational language. Just thinking about my own mother tongue, if I talked like I did in 1991 I would get strange looks and appear very uncool :-)

If anyone knows of an up to date, recent text book for students of the Estonian language I would love to hear about it. This forum is really good though as you get a real idea of the formal rules and useage from the Estonian posters who are good enough to take the time to help us beginners, but also the 'conversational', less formal, language they use as well.
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Re: Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby polishboy on 2009-02-05, 21:44

hmmm...
yes!
I like to show off that I know Japanese!
sorry for that, but I spent really much time learning it, so how can I not show off.
hmm...
I noticed some differences like mina is the Finnish mina (with a umlaut).
hmmm, if you want I can translate something for you!
hmm.. I think 1991 is not so out of date.





First Chapter (esimene peatükk)
[index ][next page ]
1.1. 「this is a book」


Estonian language differently with Japanese, ussualy don't make a difference between "this" and "that:.
Estonian "indexing word" (sorry for a weird translation) see, can be translated according to the context into "this" or "that".

Estonian language does not have articles like English.
See on raamat. this is a book
See on vihik. this is a notebook
See on pliiats. this is a pencil.
See on sulepea. this is a pen.
See on kott. this is a bag
See on käekott. this is a handbag.
See on Toomas. this is Toomas
See on Ulla Kook. This is Ulla Kook.
See on proua Kotli. This is Mrs. Kotli.
See on härra Kivi. This is Ms. Kivi.
See on preili Rebane. This is Miss Rebane.
See on üliõpilane Reet Lepp. This is student Reet Lepp.
See on professor Paul Ariste. This is professor Paul Ariste.
【explanation】

(1) In Southern Estonia like Tartu too is used instead of see.

(2) härra, proua, preili are the equivalents of English Mr., Mrs., Miss ,and are shortened to hr., pr., prl.
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Re: Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby Virankannos on 2009-02-06, 11:56

Are Finnish and Estonian mutually intelligible?

To some extent, yes. However, I would say that even though a Finn with no knowledge of Estonian may get the gist of a sentence or a phrase, there are lots of false friends and differences in grammar which can lead one astray. Like Estonian "raamat" means a book, but in Finnish "raamattu" means the Bible. Book in Finnish is "kirja", but in Estonian "kiri" (genitive: kirja) means a letter (the ones you send by mail).

For example, Estonian has a case called terminative (ending -ni) that doesn't exist in Finnish. Similarly, the Finnish instructive doesn't exist as a case in Estonian (only in fixed phrases) and the Finnish comitative is very different from the Estonian comitative (Finnish: -ne- + possessive suffix; Estonian: -ga) Moreover, the consonant gradation is, should I say, "more evolved" in Estonian, which may pose a problem for a Finn in some instances.

All in all, the two languages are mutually intelligible to a degree. I've heard that an Estonian with no knowledge of Finnish understands Finnish better than a Finn with no Estonian skills understands Estonian. I can neither confirm nor deny this, but I can tell that even after a little studying I could understand Estonian much better than without any knowledge.
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Re: Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby Arvi on 2009-02-06, 17:16

There was a story in 90ties about an Estonian woman, who complayned to hotel staff in Helsinky "Teil on siin ruumid külmad!" (Your rooms here are cold!), and got some confused looks :whistle:
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Re: Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby Virankannos on 2009-02-07, 10:58

Yeah, I'm sure she did :lol:
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Re: Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby tunguuz on 2009-02-08, 15:02

polishboy wrote: but I wanted to ask, if after learning Estonian, can I write with Finnish people, or it is not so similar.


The similarity is approximately such as of you master the Swedish language and then you have to communicate with Germans. Or, you know Russian and then you are trying to read Polish or Chech texts. The general tonality of the language is the same. You mostly distinguish the parts of the sentence - where the verb and the object are. You mostly understand what is the current topic - whether they speak about the nuclear physics or they plan to kill you. But things are far from full understanding - you have to check every root word to be sure it means the same. I have seen a little book describing the "false friends" between Finnish and Estonian languages - i.e. similar words that mean absolutely different things.

There is an anecdote on the topic why Estonians with the tamily name Kull (some sort of eagle) usually use a homonyme Kotkas (eagle, too) instead of it. I personally am laughing every time I visit Helsinki by ferry. The monument erected in port area and devoted to Russian czars is secretly called isokulli by many Estonians (hint: iso is "this" or "big" in Finnish and what is the Eagle in Estonian denotes the male "stick" in Finnish...) All this in connection of czar ruling and Russian mat' swearing offers a rather brilliant game of words. :partyhat:

Image

But, what is characteristic for the Finnish/Estonian language pair is that most inclination endings are very similar. From the Indo-European standpoint it is almost like all prepositions are intelligible. You understand the direction, causal relations etc, but you mostly do not understand the root word. The plural is easily recognised. What else? Finnish is more ordered and archaic while Estonian is more irregular and modern - thus it could be that Finnish is easier to comprehend for an Estonian than vice versa. Oh yes, and the swearing is mostly very intelligible between two languages. :mrgreen:
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Re: Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby Loiks on 2009-02-08, 16:01

The most recent false friend sentence me and my friends are laughing at is: Estonian (slang) - Ma lähen linna pappi raiskama 'I go to the city to spend some money'; Finnish - Lähden linnaan pappia raiskamaan 'I go to the castle to rape a priest'.

I must add that in Soviet times Tallinners and Northern Estonians watched Finnish tv and hence we kind of self educated ourselves into Finnish language and life as it was shown in media.
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Re: Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby lumiel on 2009-12-14, 19:13

It might be very rude to ask this but... do Estonians say Perkele!, too? :D
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Re: Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby s4nder on 2009-12-14, 22:53

The Estonian version is "persse!" though "perkele!" and other Finnish swear words are occasionally used. They are like lighter versions of Estonian ones due to the language difference. English swearing also seems much milder for the same reason.
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Re: Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby Levo on 2009-12-15, 17:39

I don't know about other nations in between us, but as for the languages I know, only Finno-Ugrian languages use "into the ass" as a swearing, like we Hungarians. ("Go to the ass" as the longest form).
Anyone knows if Slavs in the vicinity use this?
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Re: Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby Loiks on 2009-12-19, 12:09

Levo wrote:I don't know about other nations in between us, but as for the languages I know, only Finno-Ugrian languages use "into the ass" as a swearing, like we Hungarians. ("Go to the ass" as the longest form).
Anyone knows if Slavs in the vicinity use this?


The Russians prefer male genitals to go in or actually on, they send you there in every second sentence, but v žopu? I don't know how often it is used. Finns are very fond of female genitals, it can be used as noun, verb, adjective, what ever :). And we, Estonians, we go into arses.

And the funniest word in Hungarian is of course persze :).
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Re: Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby Levo on 2009-12-20, 18:22

Loiks wrote:
Levo wrote:I don't know about other nations in between us, but as for the languages I know, only Finno-Ugrian languages use "into the ass" as a swearing, like we Hungarians. ("Go to the ass" as the longest form).
Anyone knows if Slavs in the vicinity use this?


The Russians prefer male genitals to go in or actually on, they send you there in every second sentence, but v žopu? I don't know how often it is used. Finns are very fond of female genitals, it can be used as noun, verb, adjective, what ever :). And we, Estonians, we go into arses.

And the funniest word in Hungarian is of course persze :).

No persze! :)
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Re: Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby lothandar on 2014-01-29, 18:22

Go to the ass?

Menj a seggbe?

Évek óta külföldön élek, úgyhogy lehet, hogy elkopott a magyar tudásom, de ilyen sértésről még nem hallottam.

Menj a faszomba talán?

Hungarian mumbling aside, I grew up in Hungary and moved to Ireland a few years ago.

I failed in my attempt to identify what Hungarian insult "go to the ass" refers to.

We do have one which directs someone to a genital: Go into my dick - Menj a faszomba!

It's one of the more powerful swearings, it sounds rather funny in English though.

I would love to know what "go to the ass" refers to.
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Re: Is Estonian mutually Intelligible with Finnish

Postby ainurakne on 2014-03-08, 17:18

lothandar wrote:I failed in my attempt to identify what Hungarian insult "go to the ass" refers to.
...
I would love to know what "go to the ass" refers to.
I'm not sure if the Hungarian version has the exact same meaning, but Estonian "Käi pers(s)e!" or "Mine pers(s)e!" is used pretty much the same way as "F*ck you!" in American English - usually in a situation when someone aggravates you or makes you really angry with something he/she says or does.
Eesti keel (et) native, English (en) I can manage, Suomi (fi) trying to learn, Pусский (ru)&Deutsch (de) unfortunately, slowly fading away
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