laupäev, märts 08, 2008

'terve', i mean 'tere'

Estonia is considering hiring 300 unemployed Finnish police officers to handle its internal shortage of police. However, Finnish authorities have their reservations, namely lower salaries, variations in levels of police authority between the two countries, and the fact that Estonia might have to change some laws to make it all work:
Implementing the move would require a change in Estonian legislation, which currently requires that police officers be Estonian citizens.
I wonder how they'll clear that one up. Perhaps tweak the laws to require police officers be Estonian or Finnish citizens? It's been 15 years since the Riigikogu passed its Law on Aliens, forcing all Estonia loyalists into awkward acts of contortion to explain de jure legal continuity to the rest of the global village. But, may I dare say that some of the ramifications of those acts keep coming back to bite the government in the ass, such as in this case.

Another obstacle of turning poliisi into politsei is the language issue. This strikes close to home because just yesterday I was in Tartu Kaubamaja listening to some shoppers talk to a employee handing out free samples in the toidumaailm in a very, well, messy Estonian dialect. "Their Estonian is really bad," I thought to myself, before realizing that they were speaking Finnish.

I am not sure how deep Finnish-Estonian interoperability goes, but it seems as if some Estonians can quite easily communicate with Finnish speakers, while others cannot. This woman at the toidumaailm seemed to be doing fine, while I am not so sure someone speeding in Hiiumaa would understand if they were stopped by the poliisi. However, Estonia could use some more traffic police, so by all means, put Pekka out on the Tallinn-Tartu highway and give him some heat-seeking missiles. Please. Pyydän. Palun.

25 kommentaari:

Наблюдатель ütles ...

"Their Estonian is really bad," I thought to myself, before realizing that they were speaking Finnish...
In Ida Virumaa no one would notice the difference :-)

Giustino ütles ...

In Ida Virumaa no one would notice the difference.

I have only been to southern Ida-Virumaa -- Tudulinna and Rannapungerja. It seemed like the rest of Estonia ~shrug~

But in Otepää I had some trouble with the automated Alexa machine at the gas station. Another driver tried to help me out, but he was speaking some terrible Estonian.

Then I realized he was an Estonian speaking Russian to me -- because I don't look like an Estonian. I had to say 'mida' and give him a weird look before he explained the rest to me in Estonian.

Наблюдатель ütles ...

Vabandust...
The demarcation line is somewhere between Kauksi and Mustvee.
I happen to know Ida Virumaa better because during the occupation I had to pass through that territory en route to Tartumaa. I remember that you could not walk more than 10 m from the bus at the Sillamae stop because it was a restricted area, both due to the nuclear facility and its proximity to Finland.
I remember Kauski in 1970. It was absolutely lovely and relatively unknown to the general public. Following my release from the GULAG and a 25 year hiatus I returned there in 1997 and was amazed at how little the place had changed in the interim. There are great places there in Peipsi but too far from Tallinn, even from Tartu.
I remember being in Otepaa with an Estonian journalist--an a nationalist at that--in December 2002. The locals tried to speak to him in Russian so as to point out that as far as they were concerned he was as foreign being a long-haired biker leather-jacket-clad Tallinner as a Russian. They nearly beat us up because the village girls showed more interest in us, city slickers, than in them

Rainer ütles ...

Наблюдатель, has your alleged GULAG-experience been so fertilizing on you that no matter what the subject you always end up raising "the Russian issue"??

Наблюдатель ütles ...

Rainer, since you asked--«has your alleged GULAG-experience been so fertilizing on you that no matter what the subject you always end up raising "the Russian issue"??»--I will answer: Yes, anything wrong with that? Ask any Estonian who had a stint in the tibla paradise and you get the same senstiment.
Giustino, Estonians do resort to Russian on occasion: When Ruutel was selected (rather than elected) president, many Estonians called each other on the phone and congratulated each other in Russian

Giustino ütles ...

What does 'Наблюдатель' mean? Do you mind spelling it in the Roman alphabet?

Giustino ütles ...

When Ruutel was selected (rather than elected) president, many Estonians called each other on the phone and congratulated each other in Russian

Would you believe I tried to ask directions in Brighton Beach, NY, and the person answered back, 'cto?'

'Russian-speakers', my dear friend, are everywhere. There's no need to burst into xenophobia should one mention the words 'Estonia' and 'language' in the same sentence.

This blog post was about the poliisi. Here's a question: what do the poliisi do in their time off? Make jam, watch Latin American soap operas, shop at Stockmann?

Rainer ütles ...

Наблюдатель is spelled nablyudatel', and it means "observer" "surveyor. I think in this particular case you can also say "a person with a fixation"...

Kristopher ütles ...

Here's a question: what do the poliisi do in their time off? Make jam, watch Latin American soap operas, shop at Stockmann?

This.

Alex ütles ...

I'm all for it. There definitely needs to be more police in Estonia. Tallinn or maybe Tartu probably isn't too bad, but you get out in BFE SE Estonia and need the police for something, you'll be waiting a mighty long time.

I called the police once not too long ago to report a body lying on my property in Polvamaa being guarded by an angry dog. Took almost 2 hours for a patrol to come out. They wouldn't send an ambulance without the police coming first.

Talk about speeding, I was coming back to Tallinn today and noticed they're getting sneaky in Melliste, Tartumaa with a dirty unmarked Skoda nabbing speeders.

Plenty of dirty Skoda's around, so lets fill them with Finnish police.

Juan Manuel ütles ...

Calling Finnish policemen to Estonia is the strangest thing I have ever heard. Why not train and employ some unemployed locals?

By the way, the Russian alphabet is very easy to learn, it takes no more than a few days to be able to read anything in Russian. It may be useful, given that you leave in a piiririik...

Kristopher ütles ...

And a quibble -- sto (cto) would mean "one hundred" while "shto" is "what" or "huh?"

But maybe what you heard was a Brighton Beach accent or something.

Giustino ütles ...

Calling Finnish policemen to Estonia is the strangest thing I have ever heard. Why not train and employ some unemployed locals?

It takes time to train police, and many of the unemployed locals are unemployable. Better to give work to the 300 cops that are already trained.

By the way, the Russian alphabet is very easy to learn, it takes no more than a few days to be able to read anything in Russian. It may be useful, given that you leave in a piiririik...

Even if I spent all that time memorizing what th letter 'ю' stands for, I still would have no idea what the word 'nablyudatel' meant.

To put it in perspective, I have been trying to learn Italian for a long time. But I have gotten pretty much nowhere. I understand a lot of it, but ask me to speak, and you will hear the sound of silence.

My life is very busy and the fact that I live in this country and many relatives do not speak English has encouraged me to spend those spare minutes memorizing the difference between 'elamus' and 'enamus'.

Not to mention that learning the Russian alphabet would mean accepting 50 years of brutal Soviet occupation. ;)

And a quibble -- sto (cto) would mean "one hundred" while "shto" is "what" or "huh?"

I have no idea how to represent Russian words in the Cyrillic alphabet other than Газпром, which is easily distinguished by its use of the number 3.

Наблюдатель ütles ...

«Наблюдатель is spelled nablyudatel', and it means "observer" "surveyor. I think in this particular case you can also say "a person with a fixation"...»
Yes, my nick means exactly this and also someone who's on the lookout--for virulent and vile estophobes from vene Delfi, like Mr. Maple, former Pravda correspondent, and his sidekick Fu (aka D. Mihhailov, a Marxist sociology teacher).
I certainly do not have any fixation and am not allergic to either the Cyrillic script of the Russian language--I wouldn't have picked a Cyrillic nick--but when you are in Estonia, Russia figures prominently, and this is not an obsession. It is the Russian mind that is obsessed with a messianic superiority fervor. Russia raped Estonia and killed its elite, deporting and murdering the best and the brightest, and to this day they refuse to acknowledge it. They have no guilt complex.

Наблюдатель ütles ...

Law enforcement is essentially a local function. I would not call traffic cops law enforcement. Rather, it is a form of revenue collection (or extortion), so in the some states you have state troopers patrolling the turnpike and local police in towns.
A cop, unlike a soldier fighting a foreign war, must be a local person known to the locals and accepted locally. If a suomalainen can do that and be accepted as one of us, fine. This is why in cases of civil disobedience the authorities in certain unnamed countries do not use police--you don't want to beat up your neighbor and then see him every day--but rather bring dogs, sturmabteilung, and stormtroopers from far away, usually terrorists in uniform

Marcus ütles ...

It takes time to train police, and many of the unemployed locals are unemployable. Better to give work to the 300 cops that are already trained.

That's true, but I don't see how the Finns can be employed as politsei without a decent command of Estonian.

Of course, it shouldn't take too long to teach Finnish cops Estonian, if the will is there. A month or two of intensive studying should do it.

Наблюдатель ütles ...

Marcus, I see two problems:
1. Police must be local, not federal; and
2. If there is enough money, there will be enough police.

AndresS ütles ...

That's true, but I don't see how the Finns can be employed as politsei without a decent command of Estonian.

They can partrol Vanalinn and other touristy areas. That way they'd be dealing with their own and Brits who can't tell the difference between Estonian and Finnish anyways. :)

Opens up Estonian coppers to patrol in other places.

erueestlane ütles ...

I haven't bothered to look into the source of all this, so I'm not sure if G is pulling our collective leg or what. The whole idea sounds so far out. How can Finnish cops be considered to work in Estonia? It's like have Canadian mounties patrol Chicago or something. Public reaction to that would be interesting to see.

How about Mexican cops patrolling the tony neighborhoods of San Diego?

I am not drawing parallels, just trying to imagine how funny that would be.

Наблюдатель ütles ...

Eru,
It's not funny. Canadian mounties might be well received in Chicago's white suburbs but Mexican federales could do a better job in San Diego than our coppers--they won't be constrained by political correctness.
Finns patrolling Vanalinn sounds plausible but... they might get distracted by all those good-looking Estonian babes, both Russian-speaking and Estonian-speaking, especially when they don't speak much and just do what they do best:-)

Kristopher ütles ...

Finnish cops on Estonian streets - the possibilities for fun are endless, a la the film Kinnunen:

Finnish traffic cop with Breathalyzer: Puhu!

Estonian driver: About what? What do you want me to talk about?

Luarvik ütles ...

Parliamentarians - they can come up with all sorts. One populist MP does not official position make.
As far as hiring police goes, Estonia has never actually considered, and probably never will consider it :)

сторожевой пес ütles ...

rainer. . . Heil, heil!. . . mocks Наблюдатель for a fixation. Maybe the glorious scumsucker is manipulating biographical facts and stirring things up in this bloggers pit where there are indeed boundaries of what is an acceptable opinion and what will be ridiculed. But at least this multi-typolingual phantom has a degree of mastery over language and historical fact. Which is more than I can say for certain blockheads who pipe up here.

On a different subject, the Latvians are getting ready to march again. This is the first time since Schengen. Watch the borders and watch the skies. Those bastards are getting restive again.

Richard ütles ...

They are hiring Poles as police in the UK you know.

Anonüümne ütles ...

As long as the Finnish Police are good-looking men with muscular bodies, short hair, and tight uniforms, I am all for it!