Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Language 2; Estonian

I visited my family this weekend, so the end of the week I sort of crashed. I didn't learn as much as I would have wanted to, not did I finish the week as I would have wanted to. I would have wanted to be able to read Albanian, and I believe one can learn to read a language adequately in a week, from scratch. After all, it's not "from scratch" with any language - we already know one language.

Yesterday some stupid program/virus/something made the internet inaccessible, so I'm late with my Estonian. :-(

I am also pretty sour because I have lost a website. There used to be a site with all these interesting sayings and words in a lot of langugages. A LOT of languages. That would have made my job with the vocabulary flash cards easier. I'm not talking about Jennifer's wonderful work, no. This was very simple with practically only a huge table with related languages side by side... I had the link to that a year ago. Now I can't find it.
Well, well... welcome to the internet.

Now, back to my family - when I was waiting for the buss and then train, I was listening to the different languages used around me. There was some Slavic language, I assume Serbo-Croatian, as we got a lot of refugees from the Bosnian war. There was a lot of Arabic and a little Aramaic (Suryoyo/Syriac). There was a little Spanish. Now, if I was smart, I'd learn these languages.
But - alas, I'm not smart. I have my list, and it is really hard for me to change my mind about such things, so I will study Estonian this week, Hungarian the next and North Sami on week 44. I have designed the list so that I study one language group at a time, and I prepared for this week as I visited the library last week, with Estonian in mind...
It's only in the week 45 I can adjust the list and put the Syriac and Arabic in, and continue with Hebrew and Maltese. Related languages, you see.

So - don't be as stubborn as I am. It is never too late to change your mind, and deciding to do something different is not a bad thing.
You are not "a quitter", you are an intelligent, sensible and flexible person, able to change your decisions as you have learned something you didn't know when you first made the decision. It's like with Edison. He didn't fail 90 times, he found out 90 ways the idea didn't work. It would be stupid to call him a quitter because he didn't stubbornly try to force impractical and stupid ways to work, but left them to pursue new ways.
Really, life is too short to do things just because you made an uneducated decision in your past.
It is okay to divorce an abusive spouse, it is okay to stop reading a bad book, it is okay to change your toothpaste to something you actually like and that you actually think works, it is okay to eat meat and stop eating meat too.
Be kind to yourself. Life is too short to do things just because you think you ought to.
Don't study languages because you think you should, but because you love them, or someone whose mothertongue that language is, or something made in that language, or what ever. Polyglots aren't better people than anyone else, we just know more languages.

Back to Estonian:

I'm still not okay with the Estonians using "our" national enthem. It is, to me, nothing but the Finnish national enthem. I know it's stupid and mean and intolerant, but - I am very nationalist in that way.
Nevertheless, that Estonian girl who made the video has made a very good job with explaining the letters and giving examples of words in Estonian where the letters are being used.

Now, again, it seems like I made a mistake - again. There's enough Finnish material online... Estonian? Not so much... (Sure, there are about 5 times more Finns than Estonians around, but

Estonian language course in Scribt 
UniLang Estonian

Eesti Viki

Forvo: Eesti

Vepsä sanakirja

Äripäev Estonian newspaper online

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