While filling out my insurance contract at Ergo Kindlustus in Tartu today I had a pretty funny conversation. The Estonian-speakers will get it. For those of you who have yet to master this rewarding tongue, bear with me.
On the policy contract you are asked questions such as, Kas Teil on diagnoositud HIV-viirust? -- "Have you been diagnosed with the HIV virus?" That question I understood well enough to answer. Others were more complicated. One question I was asked by the agent was:
Kas olete teinud enesetapukatse?
This question bothered me because what I understood couldn't possible be on an insurance form. That's because instead of what she asked, I heard:
Kas olete söönud enne hapukapsaid?
Literally, "Have you eaten sauerkraut before?" I thought about answering "jah" because we had hapukapsad for dinner last night, but I decided that no matter how much Estonians like their hapukapsad, there's no way they'd ask you that in order to get an insurance policy. As far as I know, hapukapsad has no medicinal properties.
The agent then explained to me that enesetapukatse is when an inimene (person) katsetab (attempts) tappa (to kill) enast (themself). Ah, enesetapkatse -- suicide. Kas olete teinud enesetapukatse? -- "Have you ever made a suicide attempt."
I informed her proudly that I had never attempted suicide, and, to be safe, let her know that I had eaten hapukapsad on many occasions.