esmaspäev, august 28, 2006


Answers to your excellent questions:

Kuidas läheb?


EPP - Why Estonia??? (Besides your lovely wife ;)

I have always been interested in the Nordic countries. When I was a small boy I used to read my brother's set of encyclopedias and I remember reading about the Lapps who used reindeer for everything. It seemed so cool. And everything is cute and quiet and in pastel colours - it's like the Japan of Europe. And underneath this cute exterior it has this menacing psychology of alcoholism and suicidal depression. Quite a combo.

EPP - Which countries would like to visit and live in?

To live? Of the places I've been I like Vancouver in Canada. I also liked Italy immensely. If I lived there for the rest of my life and was buried in an old dusty cemetery, I think I'd feel just fine. I also have strong urges to go to Brazil and Japan. In fact, I'd like to do a trip from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo, then Buenos Aires in Argentina, and then to Santiago, Chile.

INGA - I have a question about Estonian language - I have heard that it's one of the most complicated languages to learn, is that so?

I haven't tried to learn many other languages so I don't know. I did take Spanish for a long time in school, but I was not particularly great at it and today I remember little. My Estonian is much better than my Spanish ever was.

Danish was hard to pronounce and I feel that Estonian pronunciation is easier, although the Scandinavian languages (aside from Icelandic) are pretty easy to read. Swedish is actually fairly easy to understand, if you have subtitles :)

The Slavic languages are very hard, in my opinion. I have learned some basic phrases, but it is so hard to remember words. Polish seems labrynthian. Russian is impenetrable and even harder because of the alphabet.

Italian doesn't seem to be so bad. I can understand that even with the subtitles switched off. Portuguese is also not so hard for me because I listen to Brazilian music all of the time. So I can understand some basic stuff in there.

The real trouble with Estonian is not the cases. The cases are only tricky when you are speaking it. It's the word order. You have to hear the whole sentence before you can digest it and understand it. In English you start from the very begining and ride the thoughts out to the end. But in Estonian the verb is often at the end. And Estonian sentences, particularly written ones, throw a lot of details into the beginning and then proceed to the action.

Another problem is all of those ü's, õ's, ä's, and ö's. I can't even make the õ sound. I sort of make it, but it's not the real õ sound.

The words are also quite tricky. Little changes in a root word can mean different things. For example, ei lähe means "don't go" while ei lähenda means "doesn't solve."

But altogether, it's not as hard as some other languages. Think about the people who have to learn Japanese or Korean or Chinese? Or how about even Finnish? have you seen Finnish lately?

Porvoon tuomikirkon sytyttämisestä syytteessä oleva askolalainen nuorukainen oli ilmoittanut aikeistaan kavereilleen hieman ennen tekoa. Sytyttäjä ja kaksi hänen seurassaan ollutta nuorta oli palaamassa toukokuun 29. päivänä aamuyöllä Porvoon keskustassa sijaitsevasta ravintolasta, kun 18-vuotias nuorukainen ilmoitti aikeistaan.

Ok, this has something to do with Porvoo's dome church ... I hear it burnt down. But still, Estonian is easier than Finnish. I'm glad I am not learning Finnish at this moment.

TATSUTAHIME - Kas sa tahaksid päriselt Eestis elada? Miks?

Eesti (praegu) on rahulik nurk maailmas. Mulle meeldib Hiuumaad, Saaremaad, ja Tartut. Me praegu elame New Yorgis. New Yorgil on palju kultuur - musik ja midagi mood - aga see linn on must. See küsimus on nii suur - mis koht elada ja miks. Aga tõde on kerge leida. Kui ühel kohal on pühas õhk ja tavaline elu - siis see on tervislik koht olla.

Millises riigis sa mingil juhul ei tahaks elada?

Kus meri ei ole.

JENS OLAF - Who cares about Estonia, who does?

I think Ukraine is the most important East European country for the North American and European foreign policy elite right now. There is this idea that the Baltics are too small and foreign for Russia to see them as a model, but that Ukraine can pave the way for Russian reform.

Estonia is a small, northern country. It is gifted with a small population and thus can distinguish itself by doing things that larger countries cannot. Estonia can have paper free government, and e-lections, and genome projects, and do many pioneering things because of its size and adaptability.

In that way it can distinguish itself.

12 kommentaari:

Anonüümne ütles ...

"Ei lähe" ja "Ei lahenda" - I understand, you are a bit confused between them "dots and no dots" letters.
I am not really sure if the verb "Lähendama" exists in Estonian, but it could mean "to bring (something) closer". "Lähenema" is "to get closer (to something)". Ugh, it is darn complicated now that I think of it!

Eppppp ütles ...

Lähendama - to bring closer.

See reis lähendas meid.

Lahendama - to solve.

Kes oskab seda probleemi lahendada?

Anonüümne ütles ...

Justin, what will happen to your music when (if) you move to Estonia? Will you be looking for a new band there and start anew? Can you go without performing or will you just create meanwhile and then come back to US and perform? My brother in law is a musician of sorts in Tartu.

Giustino ütles ...

I think it would be cool to write songs in Estonian as a non native speaker. But I am currently quite creatively dry right now. I have only written a handful of songs this year. :(

Anonüümne ütles ...

Why only?
You have written THE handful of songs this year - this handful that is all yours and unique! (Not mentioning that it's far more than I have written in my life - none). What's up with the creativity, getting too cozy? Is it true that a little drama in life helps to create?

Giustino ütles ...

What's up with the creativity, getting too cozy? Is it true that a little drama in life helps to create?

You need space to create. The songs are out there - you just need to "hear" them. First comes the music and melody. Then you think of a cool idea that you can "translate" into lyrics. These don't all come at once and there are many false starts.

However, I think that if you have worked for too long on something, it's probably not worth it. Take Villu Reiljan. Is it really worth all the effort to have a half sleeping Arnold Rüütel as president for five more years? Look what a jerk and asshole he has to be to accomplish this pointless goal! If he just went with the flow and stopped worrying so much, then Estonia would elect Ilves and all would be well. Would it really make a difference? If Edgar Savisaar wins big in March 2007 he'll be appointed prime minister no matter who is president.

I mean KESK tied Res Publica in 2003, and Rüütel chose Reform over KESK! See. It doesn't matter. Those guys are trying too hard. And trying too hard, I feel, leads to failure and headache, rather than success.

Anonüümne ütles ...

Lets hope you are right...

luize ütles ...

Justin, Epp oma vastustes ütles, et sa oled lubanud sülti süüa, aga purjus peaga. Kas sa arvad, et sült on muidu lihtsalt vastik või et seda saunapeol ainult süüaksegi?

Giustino ütles ...

Justin, Epp oma vastustes ütles, et sa oled lubanud sülti süüa, aga purjus peaga. Kas sa arvad, et sült on muidu lihtsalt vastik või et seda saunapeol ainult süüaksegi?

Sült is just gross. It's clear jelly with pieces of boiled meat floating in it. It looks like Tallinn harbor in December.

If I have a choice of eating sausages, potatoes, and võileib, I am definitely NOT going to touch the sült.

I have proposed that I may eat it if I had enough to drink. Because when one is drunk and hungry, the person will usually eat anything.

I know this is lost on my German readers, who also like to grind up animals' tongues and make a nice tongue jam out of it.

Anonüümne ütles ...

Have you ever tried Cajun (or just Southern) Hogshead Cheese?
It's very close to Estonian sült, just uses different spices and green bell peppers in recipe. Other than that it consists of a bunch of grouse pig parts and gelatine just like sült.
With hot boiled potatoes, yummy!

luize ütles ...

Sült on väga hea. Sült is goooooood, Giustino! You MUST try.

Anonüümne ütles ...

I would also translate:
lähendama - to approximate.

And - Giustino, I am 100% on your side: sült is definitely gross!