Day 767: Celebrating Estonian Language

On March 14, it’s more than befitting to talk about Estonian language. Obviously, as an Estonian, a representative of a small nation, I am more than proud of this little language which is, in fact, not so little after all. Just small in numbers. But certainly there are languages in the world that have even less speakers. Estonian speakers? Well, just a bit more than 1 million. It doesn’t matter that we are so small. I think it could even make us stronger. Deep inside, most Estonians are proud of the language and use every opportunity to tell anyone that it almost won the competition of the most beautiful language in the world (the first being Italian). I don’t know if such competition ever existed but thanks to the abundance of vowels, our language sounds very melodic. It is much like singing whereas some Germanic languages rely more heavily on consonants and sound much more rough and tough.

Pronunciation rules are different in each language. Thus, when abroad, everyone pronounces my name wrong. Usually, I prefer to simply show my ID rather than deliberately my name wrong so the other people would understand what I mean and find my booking, etc. My name is Silja, which sounds more like Silvia or Celia, while the common pronunciation I have met is more similar to “shild-sa”. I know, the “j” is the hard part. Having had my fair share of linguistics lectures, including courses in phonetics, I do know how different languages can be. They follow different kinds of logic. You cannot actually blame anyone for saying your name wrong. It’s right in their language. Oh, and when I say my name out loud and later look at how someone has written it down, the results have ranged from “Seeliya” to “Surya” and similar.

Let’s end with a bit of Estonian. A poem by the first Estonian poet to write in Estonian. March 14 is his birthday after all. Kristjan Jaak Peterson.

Kas siis selle maa keel
Laulutuules ei või
Taevani tõustes üles
Igavikku omale otsida?

And translation:

Can the language of this land
In the wind of incantation
Rising up to the heavens
Not seek for eternity?

Progress Report

1. Own and live in a house.

Accepted a translation project and made some plans (to-do list) for our company. Moreover, scheduled another massage appointment with one of the runners in the training camp. Working much more than last year!

2. Write AND publish a book.

I was so dead after the morning workout that I slept, then somehow got out of the bed, did something on the computer (Erasmus stuff, some papers to sign, etc.), and eventually wrote a post for my food blog. On another creative front: made up some Instagram photo descriptions and scheduled the posts.

3. Win a major race.

That was a long training day. 1.5-hour run in the morning, ending after noon. This means it was hot like hell. Quite hard. Got lost too. Another run in the evening. This time, it was even refreshing, better than a few days ago. Daily total: more than 26 km.

Photo of the Day

Morning walk to the ocean.

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