Monday, 6 February 2017

Toomas Karmo (Part B): Practicalities of Studying Estonian

Quality assessment:

On the 5-point scale current in Estonia, and surely in nearby nations, and familiar to observers of the academic arrangements of the late, unlamented, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (applying the easy and lax standards Kmo deploys in his grubby imaginary "Aleksandr Stepanovitsh Popovi nimeline sangarliku raadio instituut" (the "Alexandr Stepanovitch Popov Institute of Heroic Radio") and his grubby imaginary "Nikolai Ivanovitsh Lobatshevski nimeline sotsalitsliku matemaatika instituut" (the "Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky Institute of Socialist Mathematics") - where, on the lax and easy grading philosophy of the twin Institutes, 1/5 is "epic fail", 2/5 is "failure not so disastrous as to be epic", 3'5 is "mediocre pass", 4.5 is "good", and 5/5 is "excellent"): 4/5. Justification: Kmo had time to do a reasonably complete and (within the framework of the version 2.0.1, 2.0.2, 2.0.3,  .. process) reasonably polished job.

Revision history:
  • 20170208T1838Z/version 2.3.0: Kmo moved discussion of pub-or-campfire song from Viivi Luik upward, into the discussion of adessive case., and expanded it. - Kmo reserved the right to make minor, purely cosmetic, nonsubstantive tweaks over the coming 48 hours, as here-undocumented version 2.3.1, 2.3.2, 2.3.3, ... . 
  • 20170208T0049Z/version 2.2.0: Kmo appended to the posting a call for reader feedback. - Kmo reserved the right to make minor, purely cosmetic, nonsubstantive tweaks over the coming 48 hours, as here-undocumented version 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.2.3, ... . 
  • 20170207T2222Z/version 2.1.0: Kmo improved his discussion of the fourteen Estonian case,  and corrected a humiliating mistranslation (he had somehow written "peacetime summer", instead of "peacetime spring", for "rahukevad"), and perhaps made other small adjustements. - Kmo reserved the right to make minor, purely cosmetic, nonsubstantive tweaks over the coming 48 hours, as here-undocumented version 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, ... . He decided to deem even small possible upcoming adjustments in his treatment of Viivi Luik (for  instance, repairs involving the insertion of missing vocabulary explanations, or adjustments in the use of the block caps that signal major vocabulary items) "minor, purely cosmetic, nonsubstantive tweaks". 
  • 20170207T0410Z/version 2.0.0: Kmo finished converting upload into coherent prose. He now embarked on a process of polishing. He reserved the right to make minor, purely cosmetic, nonsubstantive tweaks over the coming 48 hours, as here-undocumented versions 2.0.1, 2.0.2, 2.0.3, ... . 
  • 20170207T0004Z/version 1.0.0: Kmo uploaded outline. He hoped to convert this into coherent prose over the coming 4 hours. 

[CAUTION: A bug in the blogger server-side software has in some past weeks shown a propensity to insert inappropriate doublespacing or inappropriate interparagraph whitespace at some points in some of my posted essays. If a screen seems to end in empty space, keep scrolling down. The end of the posting is not reached until the usual blogger "Posted by Toomas (Tom) Karmo at" appears. - The blogger software has also shown a propensity to generate HTML that is formatted in different ways on different client-side browsers, perhaps with some browsers not correctly reading in the entirety of the "Cascading Style Sheets" which on many Web servers control the browser placement of margins, sidebars, and the like. If you suspect "Cascading Style Sheets" problems in your particular browser, be patient: it is probable that while some content has been shoved into some odd place (for instance, down to the bottom of your browser, where it ought to appear in the right-hand margin), all the server content has been pushed down into your browser in some place or other. - Anyone inclined to help with trouble-shooting, or to offer other kinds of technical advice, is welcome to write me via]

3. A Possible Preliminary to Systematic Estonian-Language Studies

3.1 Principles

I wrote last week for a very mixed readership, including in its ranks individuals with some command of Estonian. Tonight's remarks, on the other hand, are directed mainly to prospective students who presently have no Estonian at all. Last week I wrote in Estonian, appending an English translation as I went along. In view of the shift in readership, I write tonight in English only. 


Students of psycholinguistics, take due and careful note: it is possible - in fact, it is easy - to think in a language which one has not yet started studying systematically. 

My object tonight is to lead prospective students of Estonian, who do not at present know our language at any level whatever, into thinking a sequence of a few dozen actual Estonian thoughts. I try to bring my readership into this alarming Yoga lotus position through a short set of exercises. They might perhaps be completed in one four-hour working session, or in two or three two-hour sessions. They could to advantage be completed, despite the press of nonphilological duties, by those members of the British Forces stationed in Estonia, or by appropriately enthusiastic (and yet busy) young people, of mixed Estonian and non-Estonian parentage, here in Ontario. 

With that exercise in Yoga lotus-contortions behind them, my readers can if they desire turn next to systematic study, with Web sites and grammar books, and with a dictionary - perhaps even using some of the various resources that I hope myself to be recommending in a later installment of this present multi-part essay. 

3.2 Some Phonetics

Estonian, like Finnish and Ciceronian Latin, and unlike English, is fortunate in having a nearly phonetic writing system.

At the core of Estonian is a rather short alphabet:

  • Aa (always - even when doubled in a long or superlong syllable - like the "a" in English "father", and never like the "a" in English "cat")
  • Bb
  • Dd
  • Ee (always - even when doubled in a long or superlong syllable - like the "e" in English "semi", and never like the "e" in English "we")
  • Gg (always like "g" in English "godfather", and never like the "g" in English "nudge") 
  • Hh
  • Ii (always - even when doubled in a long or superlong syllable - like the "e" in English "we", and never like the "i" in the English "I am" 
  • Jj (always like the "y" in English "you", and never like the "j" in English "judge")
  • Oo (always - even when doubled in a long or superlong syllable - like the  ô in French "rôle" or the o in German "Hoffnung": so "oo" is never sounded like "oo" in English "food")  
  • Pp
  • Rr
  • Uu (always - even when doubled in a long or superlong syllable - like the "oo" in English "food") 
  • Õõ (always - even when doubled in a long or superlong syllable - like the first component in that diphthong in Standard English which is "õu" - as when HM the Q, in a televised Christmas Message some decades ago, solemnly stood on a bridge in or near St James's Park, overlooking some small body of water, and solemnly tossed her pebble down, and solemnly spoke of that outreach of ripples which one experiences once one has cast one's stõun into one's pool) 
  • Ää (always - even when doubled in a long or superlong syllable - like the "a" in English "cat" or Swedish "Valhallavägen", and never like the "a" in English "father" - i.e., never (despite the occasional malpractice of Toronto classical-radio disk-jockeys introducing in English the work of composer Arvo Pärt) like the "ä" in the German "schläfst du gut")
  • Öö (always - even when doubled in a long or superlong syllable - like the "ö" in German "Göttingen")
  • Üü (always - even when doubled in a long or superlong syllable - like the "u" in French "Tu as tué nos célébrations"; i.e., like "ü" in German "Frühstück, Frühstück über alles") 

To this agreeably short list are, admittedly, added nine letters for loan-words and the like, yielding the overall alphabet Aa, Bb, Cc, Dd, Ee, Ff, Gg, Hh, Ii, Jj, Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn, Oo, Pp, Qq, Rr, Ss, Šš, Zz, Žž, Tt, Uu, Vv, Ww, Õõ, Ää, Öö, Üü, Xx, Yy

So far as the extended alphabet goes, comment is needed only regarding the pronunciation of two letters: 

  • Šš always as in English "sugar"
  • Žž as the voiced equivalent of "Šš" - i.e., like the final consonant in the French "Moulin Rouge" 
Care must be taken to avoid going Anglo on diphtongs: "oa" in "ilma loata" ("without permission") is like the "oa" in the Hawai'i placename "Mauna Loa", not like the "oa" in "country road"; similarly, "au" is like the "au" in the German "Maus" and "Haus", not like the "au" in the English "fraught with peril". 


It is striking that Estonian lacks the Icelandic thorn (þ/ð) sound, in other words the Greek theta sound - which in English is prominent in both an unvoiced form ("Thanks, Thaddeus, for thinking of thick thongs for thin things") and a voiced form ("rather thy bothersome, blathering brotherhood than Mother's lather, Smithers"). 


Accent in Estonian is more regular than in English, falling on the first syllable in truly native words, and going to some other syllable in only a subset of the imported words (the eatery is a "RES-to-ran", even as in a native Estonian word; but "Pa-RIIS" is the French capital). (Uncle R, in 1950s or 1960s occupied Tallinn, sent Dad a book of travel memoirs: the author was struck at dockside by the way inglise keel, English, sounds  hüplev, "jumpy".)

A more systematic study would linger over questions of secondary accent, in those long words which are the glory of Estonian as of German -  "TAgavaraREhepeksuMAsinateta" - "in the absence of reserve threshing machines". ("TAgavara" = "reserve"; "REhi" = "threshing floor"; "peks" = "beating"; "MAsin" = "machine", "MAsinad" = "machines", "MAsinateta" = "without machines".)

A more systematic study would additionally attend to palatization, which Estonian shares with Russian. The palatized "palk", or "board/beam", for instance, is a different word from the unpalatized "palk", or "pay/wages". (The difference might perhaps be marked crudely by writing, albeit in defiance of the established orthography, "paljk", for the palatized word, keeping for the unpalatized word the received spelling "palk".) 

And a more systematic study would also pay some attention to a rather exotic feature of Estonian (already hinted at in my reference to "superlong" syllables in the examination of the alphabet), involving a trio of syllable "durations". This stands in contrast with most languages. Latin, for instance, has a less elaborate two-way scheme, in which every syllable is deemed simply either "long" or "short".


We cannot think in Estonian unless we have a modest ability to read Estonian printed letters and turn them into approximately correct phonemes. Perfection is not to be sought at this early stage. The reader need seek only to avoid the lamentable situation I found myself in toward the end of the Cold War, chatting over cocktails and canapés, or something similar, with a Dean at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. 

Our conversation on that unhappy afternoon or evening ran more or less as follows:

DEAN: And so there is some diplomatic activity, despite the occupation?

ME: Oh yes actually, we have for instance a Consul in New York actually actually, Dr Aarand Roos. 

DEAN: How do you spell that?

ME: With four letters - R-like-Romeo, O-like-Oscar, O-like-Oscar, S-like-Sierra. 

DEAN: Ah yes. We would pronounce that "RUUS". 

(At this point I successfully suppressed the urge to make some biting remark, about Cultural Imperialism or something. I guess it was time to switch over to a topic the Dean might prove better at - as it might conceivably have been, to Catholicism, or to American-rules football.) 

For the reader's vocal practice, I adapt, taking on Estonian spelling and incorporating an appropriate ethnic reference to Estonia, an ethnically non-Estonian (in the original, perhaps ethnically German?) joke that I heard some years ago: 

Raadio disress kool is höörd at Estonian Kõustgaard onšoor fasilliti. Fromm šipp kamms öördžent messidž: "Help, help, vii aar SINKING."

Estoonian fasilliti votš-offiser sez into reidio, "Yes, gõu onn, pliiz."

Šipp reidio riplaiz, "Vii are SINKING."

Estoonian votš-offiser transmitts, "Kontinjuu, pliiz; tell as moor."

Šipp reidio häs traabl bii-ink peišent, änt kontinjuus nau in samm änger, "Vii are SINKING: MEI-dei, MEI-dei, juu idi-otts; vii are SINKING."

Estoonian offiser izz peišent. Viss-aut getting ät oll ängri, he sez into maikrofõun: "Jess, ziss is guud, ziss is konstraktiff - but tell us pliiz, vott aar juu sinking a-BAUT?"

Although this should be self-explanatory (the point of the joke is that Estonian phonetics lacks the Icelandic thorn, i.e., the Greek theta), I do take the precaution of gilding my lily, by writing my anekdoot also in the irrational spelling system of Anglosaxonia:

A radio distress call is heard at an Estonian Coastguard onshore facility. From the ship comes an urgent message: "Help, help, we are SINKING." 

The Estonian facility watch-officer says into his radio: "Yes, go on, please." 

The ship radio replies, "We are SINKING." 

The Estonian watch-officer transmits, "Continue, please; tell us more." 

The ship radio has trouble being patient, and continues now in some anger, "We are SINKING. MAYday, MAYday, you idiots; we are SINKING." 

The Estonian officer is patient. Without getting at all angry,  he says into the microphone, "Yes, this is good, this is constructive - but tell us please, what are you thinking ABOUT?" 

3.3 Some Syntax

Where Latin nouns have just five cases (including the rather inconspicuous vocative), or six if the archaic locative (contrary to common classroom practice) be added, Estonian has fourteen. 

To hope happily with the little thinking-in-Estonian exercise I am about to present, the reader need possess only the dim awareness that multiple cases do exist. 

Nevertheless, I do add a list here, showing in a rough-and-ready way how the cases run:

1. Nominative ----- nimetav:  leib   = bread; leivad = breads
2. Genitive ---- omastav:  leiva = of-the-bread; leibade = of-the-breads
3. Partitivfe ---- osastav:  leiba = some bread (as when one eats some bread); leibu = some breads
4. Illative ----- sisseütlev: leivasse/leiba = into (the) bread; leibadesse = into (the) breads
5. Inessive ---- seesütlev: leivas = within (the) bread; leibades = within (the) breads
6. Elative ---- seestütlev: leivast = from within (the) bread; leibadest = from within (the) breads
7. Allative ---- alaleütlev: leivale = onto (the) bread; leibadele = onto (the) breads
8. Adessive ----alalütlev: leival = on (the) bread; leibadel = on (the) breads
9. Ablative ---- alaltütlev: levalt = from on (the) bread; leibadelt = from on (the) breads
10. Translative ---- saav: leivaks = for, as, into (the) bread ; leibadeks = for, as, into (the) breads
11. Essive ---- olev: leivana = as (the) bread; leibadena = as (the) breads
12. Terminative ---- rajav: = leivani up to (the) bread; leibadeni =  up to (the) breads
13. Abessive ---- ilmaütlev: leivata = without (the) bread; leibadeta = without (the) breads
14. Comitative ---- kaasaütlev: leivaga = with (the) bread; leibadega = with (the) bread

This will inevitably be more than a little cryptic. What is going on with "some" and "the" and "(the)"? A full explanation will have to wait on a systematic study of the Estonian case system, such as a formal textbook provides. For the present inexact purposes, it suffices to make just a handful of remarks:

  • Estonian resembles Latin (and diverges from Hebrew) in lacking a definite article. Estonian partly compensates for this semantic gap by distinguishing "partial object" from "total object". English distinguishes "They are buying bread" from "They are buying the bread." Estonian, in a loosely analogous way, distinguishes the "partial object" construction "Nemad ostavad LEIBA" (in which the object of the verb is in the partitive case) from the "total object" construction "Nemad ostavad LEIVA" (in which the object of the verb, being singular, is in the genitive case: singular total objects are in the genitive, and  plural total objects are in the nominative: for the admittedly rather odd "They are buying breads/They are buying the breads," Estonian has "Nemad ostavad LEIBU/Nemad ostavad LEIVAD"). 
  • The correspondence with English absence-of-definite-article and English presence-of-definite article is admittedly inexact. Strictly speaking, Estonian uses the total object for an action which is presented as in some sense complete and well demarcated. So, for instance, the partial-object construction "Nemad söövad [are eating] LEIBA" reflects the usual situation, in which people are being polite enough, making their consumption of bread an indefinitely demarcated activity. Perhaps they are nibbling on bread sticks, awaiting the waiter's approach with soup. "Nemad söövad LEIVA" (total object), on the other hand, means "They are engaged in eating up the bread." This would mean that the diners have embarked on some furious project of gobbling the available bread consignment up in its entirety, in the spirit of the sausage-loving dog in my upcoming philological joke, or in the spirit of the USA-television "Cookie Monster".

Surely the stickiest feature of the Estonian case system is this distinction between total and partial object. Most other features of the case system are easy. For the present, inexact, purposes, it suffices to give a mere list of illustrations:

1. Nominative ----- nimetav: Leib on siin (The bread is here)

2. Genitive ---- omastav: leiva hind (the price of some bread/the price of the (particular, indicated) bread; leibade hinnad (the prices of breads-in-general/the price of the (particular, indicated) breads)

3. Partitive ---- osastav: Siin on leiba; veokis on leibu (There is some bread here; there are some breads (some crates of baguettes, some crates of panini) in the lorry/truck)

4. Illative ----- sisseütlev: Uss ronis leivasse; hiired jooksid leibadesse (The worm crawled into the bread (or into some bread); the mice ran into the breads, i.e. into the pile of bread crates in the lorry - or, alternatively, ran into some pile-of-breads or other); a  famous song ends with the sentence Raiusin kõik raamatusse = "I chiselled it all into a book" (cf in YouTube "Veikko Ahvenainen Lauliku lapsepõli", upload of user "saurus000000" - the singer recalls her/his childhood, and how (s)he wrote it all down for posterity) 

5. Inessive ---- seesütlev: Uss on leivas; hiirte salk varjus ennast leibades (The worm is inside the bread, or inside some bread; the band of mice concealed itself inside the breads/inside some breads - e.g., in the interstices of the pile of bread crates in the warehouse)

6. Elative ---- seestütlev: Uss tuli leivast; leivast sai kanatoit/leibadest sai Vanadema kanatoit (The worm came from, emerged from, some bread or the bread/From some bread or the bread came - was produced - Gran's chickenfeed); Soomest tuli üks nõid (One wizard came out of Finland - emerging, so to speak, from the dark and brooding interior); James Thurber'i jutus nõid väänab verd kaalitakest ja kaalikaid verest (In the James Thurber story, the wizard squeezes blood out of  turnips, and turnips out of blood
7. Allative ---- alaleütlev: Ta paneb võid leivale (He/she/it puts some butter onto some bread, or onto the bread)

8. Adessive ----alalütlev: Leival on paks koor (On the bread is a thick crust); or again Harjumaal on uus nädalaleht ("On Harju County is a new weekly newspaper" - i.e., "Harju County has, possesses, a new weekly newspaper"). A third, now twofold, illustration of usage is furnished by the campfire-or-pub song which runs,  See oli ennemuistsel a'al/ Kui heeringas elas kuival maal [(i) poetic contraction for ennemuistsel ajal - nominative singular, genitive singular, and nominative plural ennemuistne aeg ("prehistoric time"), ennemuistse aja ("of a prehistoric time"), ennemuistsed ajad ("prehistoric times"); (ii) nominative singular, genitive singular, and nominative plural are kuiv maa ("dry land"), kuiva maa ("of dry land"), and kuivad maad ("dry lands")]. The rhyming couplet in its entirety translates, "That was on/upon a prehistoric time [English analogously says "once UPON a time"]/ When the herring lived on dry land." - The next couplet explains that herrings in that epoch had an aversion to water, and that people kept them in the manner of cats:  See oli ennemuistsel a'al,/ Kui heeringas elas kuival maal./ Ta hoidis ennast eemal veest/ Ja teda peeti kassi eest.

9. Ablative ---- alaltütlev: Levalt tilgub sulavõid (From on some bread, or from the bread, is dripping some melted butter); Soomelt tuleb üks purjelaev (One sailing ship is coming from from - from, so to speak, the surface or edge of - Finland) 
10. Translative ---- saav: Taigen saab leivaks (The dough is becoming bread - as when the duly kneaded loaf is heating up in the oven); kivid said leibadeks (The stones turned into "breads" (into a number of loaves))

11. Essive ---- olev: Me pidime kooki sööma leivana ("We had to eat bread as cake" - perhaps the year is 1789, and Marie Antoinette has just said, with reference to the hungryr, Qu'ils  mangent de la brioche

12. Terminative ---- rajav: Õllelomp ulatus leivani; õllelomp ulatus leibadeni (Tartu student fraternity, in a beery celebration of Brüderschaft in the German academic tradition, with heavy mugs (steins) on the table - "The beer puddle reached right up to the bread/The beer puddle reached right up to the breadloaves": in a student fraternity, one's Cantusbuch , or songbook - this German loanword itself incorporates a bit of Latin - is on occasion equipped with studs on one cover, so that Cantusbuch can be laid horizontally on  beer puddle without the beer wetting its pages)

13. Abessive ---- ilmaütlev: Taluomanikud olid leivata, olid koguni tagavararehepeksumasinateta (The owners-of-farms were without bread (singular), were without even reserve threshing machines (plural)) 

14. Comitative ---- kaasaütlev: Helpful illustration of multiple possibilities, in a philological joke told me by Mum when I was  small - Ema, ema, koer sõi mu leiva ära! - Oi, mu laps: kas MEELEGA? - Ei, Ema, VORSTIGA.  "Mum, Mum, the dog totally ate up my bread! - O my child: with maliciouis intent? - No, Mum, with sausage."

3.4 An Exercise in Estonian Thinking

For our exercise in Estonian thinking, I take a passage from (roughly) the twelfth and thirteenth pages of a dark classic of the occupation, Viivi Luik's  Seitsmes rahukevad  ("The Seventh Peacetime Spring"). This exercise in historical critique, cast as a child's naive memoir, was published in Tallinn at the house "Eesti Raamat" in 1985, to a total length of around 190 pages. In quoting from it, I hope and believe I am staying safely within the "Fair Use" terms of copyright law. I make this legally optimistic assumption because my quoted material is just one tiny portion - comprising under two-thirds of one page - from a hefty whole.

I gather that although some partial translation of this book into English exists, somewhere, there is presently no full English translation.

For author Viivi Luik generally, the English-language supplies just a few tantalizing biographical details. No doubt more helpful - but I have not yet had time to examine it - is the Estonian-German-English site


A few additional prefatory remarks:

  • For each sentence from Viivi Luik, my reader will want first (1) to glance over my offered initial vocabulary; then (2) to read aloud the sentence as I write it out in a mixture of Estonian and English, in so-to-speak "eestlish" ("eestlane" = "Estonian individual"; "eesti keel" = "Estonian language") - reading aloud repeatedly, until the always-so-plastic brain begins thinking in "eestlish"); and finally (3) to read Viivi Luik's actual sentence, aloud, repeatedly, in Estonian, until the neurons in their plasticity nudge "eestlish" thinking out in favour of fully eesti thinking. 
  • To help the reader in possible subsequent systematic studies, I have taken the liberty of typesetting some specially useful words, such as forms of the verb "to be", in ALL-CAPS.
  • Estonian sometimes typesets unusual, exotic, words and turns of phrase   l i k e    t h i s, in sõrendamine", or "thinning-out". It is really a rather pretentious device, suitable for discussing in scholarly print such things as the Japanese tea ceremony, or again the rites de passage of adolescent Papua New Guinea highlanders, or perhaps again some concept in differential topology - we find ourselves defining integrals on m a n i f o l d s, with a restriction in the case of flux integrals to those specially-well-behaved manifolds that, in contradistinction from the dreaded Möbius strip, are o r i e n t a b l e. Viivi Luik uses the so-scholarly typesetting device to comedic effect, conveying the idea that to her child-narrator not only is the refrigerator an exotic, never-to-be-seen anthropological construct, but so also are toasted bread, orange juice, and bedtime baths.
  • In reading aloud the ending, with its haunting references to the final red glow in the western sky and to darkening greenery,  one should picture an August evening at the high latitudes - in the British case, in the Orkneys; in the Canadian case, at the port of Churchill. The twilight at 58-or-59-degrees-north lingers for a long time, since the Sun is for a long time gliding just a few degrees below the horizon. The summer has seen eerily long days, with the late-June dusk almost merging into pre-dawn twilight. Now, however, the nights that are getting long, and even children know the still-luxurious greenery is in due course going to be replaced with snow. 
  • Viivi Luik's final "Fiftieth Year" is puzzling: is her reference to the year 1950 (given that her book ends in, if my arithmetic is right, the year 1952), or to the Fiftieth Year of the grandmother's housekeeping in an unwelcoming environment? Are the readers themselves, perhaps, supposed to suffer pangs of uncertainty regarding Viivi Luik's exact chronological reference?

sein, seina, seinad
= wall, of-a-wall, walls

tuba, toa, toad
= room, of-a-room, rooms

ees =

mina/ma olen
Sina/Sa oled
tema/ta on
meie/me oleme
Teie,teie/Te,te olete
nemad/nad on
= I am
thou art
he/she/it is
we are
ye are
they are;
mina/ma olin
Sina/Sa olid
tema/ta oli
meie/me  olime
Teie,teie/Te,te olite
nemad/nad olid
= I was
thou wert
he/she/it was
we were
ye were
they were

mina/ma löön
Sina/Sa lööd
tema/ta lööb
meie/me lööme
Teie,teie/Te,te lööte
nemad/nad löövad
= I pound
thou poundest
he/she/it poundeth
we pound
ye pound
they pound;
= pounded, pounded in

pikk, pika, pikad =
long, of-a-long, long (plural)

jäme, jämeda, jämedad =
thick, of-a-thick, thick (plural)

nael, naela, naelad
= nail, of-a-nail, nails

ots, otsa, otsad
= end, of-an-end, ends

rätik, rätiku, rätikud
= cloth, of-a-cloth, cloths

pea, pea/pää, pead/pääd
= head, of-a-head, heads

põld, põllu, põllud
= apron, of-an-apron, aprons

ja =

üks, ühe =
one, of-one;
kaks, kahe =
two, of-two;
kolm, kolme =
three, of-three;
neli, nelja =
four, of-four;
viis, viie =
five, of-five

saag, sae, saed
= saw, of-a-saw, saws

vibu, vibu, vibud
= bow, of-a-bow, bows

/.../ into the seinad of the eestuba OLI löödud some PIKAD jämedad naelad; on their otsad hung some rätikud of the pea type, some põllud JA ÜKS saag of the vibu type.

/.../ eeestoa seintesse OLI löödud PIKKI jämedaid naelu, nende otsas ripnes pearätikuid, põllesid JA ÜKS vibusaag.

painduv, painduva, painduvad
= flexible, of-a-flexible, flexible (plural)

mees, mehe, mehed
= man, of-a-man, men

üks, ühe; kaks, kahe; kolm, kolme; neli, nelja; viis, viie
= one, of-one; two, of-two; three, of-three; four, of-four; five, of-five

pink, pingi, pingid
= bench, of-a-bench, benches;
kruu- = equipped with (or of pertaining to) a carpenter's vise

nurk, nurga, nurgad
= corner, of-a-corner, corners

tasakesi =

PIKAD painduvad saed of the kahemehe type were standing in the eestuba behind the kruupink in the nurk and jingled tasakesi when people walked around in the tuba.

PIKAD painduvad kahemehelised saed seisid eestoas kruupingi taga nurgas ning kõlisesed tasakesi, kui toas käidi.


tala, tala, talad
= beam, of-a-beam, beams

lagi, lae, laed
= ceiling, of-a-ceiling, ceilings

mina/ma paistan
Sina paistad
tema/ta paistab
meie/me paistame
Teie,teie/Te,te paistate
nemad paistavad
I appear
thou appearest
he/she/it appeareth
we appear
ye appear
they appear;
mina/ma paistsin
Sina paistsid
tema/ta paistis
meie/me paistsime
Teie,teie/Te,teie paistsite
nemad paistsid
I appeared
thou didst appear
he/she/it appeared
we appeared
ye appeared
they appeared

= weaver's reeds

From between the talad of the lagi paistsid kangasoad.

Laetalade vahelt paistsid kangasoad.

kandiline, kandilise, kandilised
= square-edged/angular, of a square-edged, square-edged (plural)

= themselves;
mina ise olen = I myself am;
Sina ise paistad =
thou dost thyself appear

pruun, pruuni, pruunid
= brown, of-a-brown, brown (plural)

Talad ise OLID kandilised, jämedad JA pruunid.

kogu =
the entire

Kogu lagi OLI pruun.

ema, ema, emad =
mother, of-a-mother, mothers

köök, köögi, köögid =
kitchen, of-a-kitchen, kitchens

I followed EMA into the köök.

Läksin EMA järele kööki.

väljas =

pime, pimeda, pimedad
= dark, of-a-dark, dark (plural)

mina/ma ei ole/pole
Sina/Sa ei ole/pole
ta ei ole/pole
meie/me ei ole/pole
Teie,teie/Te/te ei ole/pole
nemad/nad ei ole/pole
= I am not
thou are not
he/she/it is not
we are not
ye are not
they are not

latern, laterna, laternad =
lantern, of-a-lantern, lanterns (plural)

mina/ma põlen
Sina/Sa põled
nemad/nad põlevad
meie/me põleme
teie/te põlete
nemad/nad põlevad
= I burn
thou burnest
he/she/it burneth
we burn
ye burn
they burn
thou burnest;
mina/ma põlesin
Sina/Sa põlesid
nemad/nad põlesid
meie/me põlesime
Teie,teie/Te,te põlesite
nemad põlesid =
I burned
thou didst burn
he/she/it burned
we burned
ye burned
they burned 

aga =

juba =

VÄLJAS  POLNUD pime, AGA in the köök a latern JUBA põles.

VÄLJAS POLNUD pime, AGA köögis põles JUBA latern.


vana, vana, vanad =
old, of-the-old, old (plural);
vanaema, vanavanaema, vanavanavanaema =
  grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great grandmother

kartul, kartuli, kartulid =
potato, of-a-potato, potatoes

piht, pihu, pihud
= palm, of-a-palm, palms

peo, peo, peod =
hand, of-a-hand, hands

siga, sea, sead =
pig, of-a-pig, pigs

söök, söögi, söögid =
food, of-a-food, foods

pada, paja, pajad =
pot, of-a-pot, pots

aur, auru, aurud =
vapour/steam , of-a-vapour, vapours

mina pigistan
Sina/Sa pigistad
tema/ta pigistab
meie/me pigistame
Teie,teie/Te,te pigistate
nemad/nad pigistavad =
I squeeze
thou squeezest
he/she/it squeezed
we squeeze
ye squeeze
they squeeze;
mina pigistasin
Sina/Sa pigistasid
tema/ta pigistas
meie/me pigistasime
Teie,teie/Te,te pigistasite
nemad/nad pigistasid =
I squeezed
thou didst squeeze
he/she/it squeezed
we squeezed
ye squeezed
they squeezed

mina higistan
Sina/Sa higistad
tema/ta higistab
meie/me higistame
Teie,teie/Te,te higistate
nemad/nad higistavad =
I sweat
thou sweatest
he/she/it sweated
we sweat
ye sweat
they sweat;
mina higistasin
Sina/Sa higistasid
tema/ta higistas
meie/me histasime
Teie,teie/Te,te higistasite
nemad/nad higistasid =
I sweated
thou didst sweat
he/she/it sweated
we sweated
ye sweated
they sweated

Vanaema squeezed boiled kartulid to pieces with her peo into the seasöök, from the padad arose aur and the seinad higistasid.

Vanaema pigistas keedetud kartuleid peoga seaöögi sisse puruks, padadest tõusis auru ja seinad higistasid.


kümme, kakskümmend, kolmkümmend, nelikümmend, viiskümmend =
ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty

aasta, aasta, aastad =
year, of-a-year, years

Viiskümmend aastat oli vanaema siin kartulid of the siga type pigistanud to pieces.

Viiskümmend aastat oli vanaema siin seakartulid puruks pigistanud. 


kitsas, kitsa, kitsad =
narrow, of-the-narrow, narrow (plural)

kõrge, kõrge, kõrged =
high, of-the-high, high (plural)

ruum, ruumi, ruumid =
room, of-a-room, rooms

nõgine, nõgise, nõgised =
sooty (or sometimes, by extension, just grimy, soiled), of-a-sooty, sooty (plural)

uks, ukse, uksed =
door, of-a-door, doors

labidas, labida, labidad =
shovel, of-a-shovel, shovels

leib, leiva, leivad =
bread, of-a-bread, breads

luud, luua, luuad =
broom, of-a-broom, brooms

ahju, ahju, ahjud =
oven, hearth, wood-burning stove, wood-burning heater  

puss, pussi, pussid =
hunting-knife, of-a-hunting-knife, hunting-knives

sigadetapp = killing of pigs
(kanatapp = slaughter of a chicken (kana), enesetapp = suicide)

The kitsas kõrge ruum with a nõgine lagi, behind the UKS the labidas of LEIB type and luud of ahju type, on the sein the pussid of type sigadetapp.

Kitsas kõrge ruum nõgise laega, ukse taga nurgas leivalabidas ja ahjuluud, seina peal seatapupussid.


pink, pingi, pingid =
bench, of-a-bench, benches

vesi, vee, veed =
water, of-a-water, waters

pang, pangi, pangid =
pail (bucket), of-a-pail, pails

pakk, paku, pakud =
chopping-block, of-a-chopping-block, chopping-blocks

mina raiun
Sina/Sa raiud
tema/ta raiub
meie/me raiume
Teie,teie/Te,te raiute
nemad raiuvad =
I chop
thou choppest
he/she/it choppeth
we chop
ye chop
they chop;
raiumine = chopping (also chiselling, as when making an inscription in stone) 

kauss, kausi, kausid =
bowl, of-a-bowl, bowls

mina pesen
Sina/Sa pesed
tema/ta peseb
meie/me peseme
Teie,teie/Te,te pesete
nemad/nad pesevad =
I wash
thou washest
he/she/it washeth
we wash
ye wash
they wash;
pesemine = washing

silm, silma, silmad =
eye, of-an-eye, eyes

The pink for the pang of vee type, the pakk for raiumine and the KAUSS for the pesemine of SILMAD.

Veepangepink, raiepakk ja silmapesukauss.


pitsiline, pitsilise, pitsilised =
lacy, of-a-lacy, lacy (plural)

serv, serva, servad =
edge, of-an-edge, edges

paber, paberi, paberid =
paper, of-a-paper, papers

kus =

mina/ma seisan
Sina/Sa seisad
tema/ta seisab
meie/me seisame
Teie,teie/Te,te seisate
nemad/nad seisavad =
I stand
thou standest
he/she/it standeth
we stand
ye stand
they stand;
mina/ma seisin
Sina/Sa seisid
tema/ta seisis
meie/me seisime
Teie, teie/Te,te seisite
nemad/nad seisid =
I stood
thouu didst stand
he/she/it stood
we stood
ye stood
they stood

toos, toosi, toosid =
tin, of-a-tin, tins

kompvek, kompveki, kompvekid =
candy, of-a-candy, candies

kööme, köömne, köömned =
caraway, of-a-caraway, caraways

piparmünt, piparmündi, piparmündid =
peppermint, of-a-peppermint, peppermints (plural) [noun and adjective]

vars, varre, varred =
stem, of-a-stem, stems

õis, õie, õied =
blossom, of-a-blossom, blossoms

pärn, pärna, pärnad =
linden, of-a-linden, lindens

The PABER on the riiulid, with pitsilised servad, KUS SEISID rusty old toosid of kompvek type with köömned, piparmundi varred and õied of pärn.

Pitsiliste servadega paber riiulitel, kus seisid vanad roostetanud kompvekitoosid köömnete, piparmündivarte ja pärnaõitega.

aken, akna, aknad =
window, of-a-window, windows

ruut, ruudi, ruudud =
square, of-a-square, squares

külm, külma, külmad =
cold, of-a-cold, cold (plural)

põrand, põranda, põrandad =
floor, of-a-floor, floors

tsement, tsemendi, tsemendid =
cement, of-a-cement, cements
[a foreign term which takes its accent on the final syllable,
in contrast with the normal stress-the-first-syllable rule]  

An AKEN with KAKS ruutu and a KÜLM põrand of tsement type.

Kahe ruuduga AKEN ja KÜLM tsementpõrand.


nõu, nõu, nõud =
dish, of-a-dish, dishnes

pesu, pesu, pesud =
washing, of-a-washing, washings

masin, masina, masinad =
machine, of-a-machine, machines

külmutus =
chilling, cooling

kapp, kapi, kapid =
cupboard, of-a-cupboard, cupboards

sinine, sinise, sinised =
blue, of-a-blue, blue (plural)

hele, heleda, heledad =
light-or-bright, of-a-light-or-bright, light-or-bright (plural) 

valge, valge, valged =
white, of-a-white, white (plural)

laud, laua, lauad =
table, of-a-table, tables

mahl, mahla, mahlad =
juice, of-a-juice, juices

pehme, pehme, pehmed =
soft, of-a-soft, soft

muna, muna, munad =
egg, of-an-egg, eggs

hommik, hommiku, hommikud =
morning, of-a-morning, mornings

ainult = only;
meist ainult kilomeeter =
away from us at a distance of just one kilometre

mõni = some;
sada = hundred;
mõnisada = a few hundred

mina/ma äratan
Sina/Sa äratad
tema/ta äratab
meie/me äratame
Teie,Te/teie,te äratate
nemad äratavad =
I awaken
thou awakenest
he/she/it awakeneth
we awaken
ye awaken
they awaken;
äratavad =
of a character to awaken
of of-a-character-to-awaken
of a character to awaken (plural)

hirm, hirmu, hirmu =
fear, of-a-fear, fears

kujutav, kujutava, kujutavad =
depictable, of-depictable, depictable (plural);
ette = in front, ahead of oneself;
ettekujutav, ettekujutava, ettekujutavad =
imaginable, of-imaginable, imaginable (plural);
ettekujutamatu, etteujutamatu, ettekujutamatud =
unimaginable, of-unimaginable, unimaginable (plural)

Nõudepesumasinad, külmutuskapid, a helesinine ceramic heater and a valge ceramic heater, LAUAD with plastic covers, / ... / , toasted LEIVAD, mahl from oranges, PEHMED 3-minuti MUNAD of HOMMIKU type olid meist AINULT mõnisada kilometeetrit, hirmuäratavad JA ettekujutamatud.

N õ u d e p e s u m a s i n a d, k ü l m u t u s k a p i d, helesinine k a h h h e l JA VALGE k a h h e l, p l a s t i k k a t t e g a LAUAD /.../ r ö s t i t u d LEIVAD, a p e l s i n i mahl, PEHMED 3-minuti HOMMIKUMUNAD olid meist AINULT mõnesaja kilomeetri kaugusel, hirmuäratavad JA ettekujutamatud.


kusagil =

mina/ma elan
Sina/sa elad
tema/ta elab
meie/me elame
Teie,teie/Te,te elate
nemad elavad =
I live
thou livest
he/she/it liveth
we live
ye live
they live;
mina/ma elasin
Sina/sa elasid
tema/ta elas
meie/me elasime
Teie,teie/Te,te elasite
nemad elasid =
I live
thou didst live
he/she/it lived
we lived
ye lived
they lived

inimene, inimese, inimesed =
person, of-a-person, persons -
what I recall, without having time to get words exact, of  
most famous line in Estonian cinema from this 1970s-thru-1980s period
(said by a sleek Tallinn matron visiting the island of Muhu,
and seeking accommodations): "John, ütle talle, et meie maksame;
meie oleme Tallinnast; meie oleme NÕUKOGUDE inimesed";
"John, tell her that we are going to pay; we are from Tallinn;
we are SOVIET persons")

heeringas, heeringa, heeringad =
herring, of-a-herring, herrings
(cf rhyming-couplet  illustration of Adessive, i.e., of alalütlev, case, above)

enne =

kui =

ta, tema, teda =
it, of-it (also as total object), it (partial object)

enne kui =
before ("before when")

ma hakkan sööma
Sina/Sa hakkad sööma
tema/ta hakkab sööma
meie/me hakkame sööma
Teie/te hakate sööma
nemad hakkavad sööma =
I am starting to eat
thou art starting to eat
he/she/it is starting to eat
we are starting to eat
ye are starting to eat
they are starting to eat;
ma hakkasin sööma
Sina/Sa hakkasid sööma
tema/ta hakkas sööma
meie/me hakkasime sõõma
Teie,teie/Te,te hakkasite sööma
nemad/nad hakkasid sööma =
I was starting to eat
thou wert starting to eat
he/she/it was starting to eat
we were starting to eat
ye were starting to eat
they were starting to eat

KUSAGIL lived inimesed who would skin their heeringas ENNE KUI starting to eat it. /.../

kuSAGIL elasid ininmesed, kes nülgisid heeringa ENNE ära, KUI nad teda sööma hakkasid.

mina/ma jooksen
Sina/Sa jooksed
tema/ta jookseb
meie/me jookseme
Teie,teie/Te,te jooksete
nemda jooksevad =
I run
thou runnest
he/she/it runneth
we run
ye run
they run;
jooksmas =

vann, vanni, vannid =
bath, of-a-bath, baths

aeg, aja, ajad =
time, of-time, times

laps, lapse, lapsed =
child, of-a-child, children

minema = to go;
minemas = going

mina/ma magan
Sina/Sa magad
tema/ta magab
meie/me magame
Teie,teie/Te,te magate
nemad magavad =
I sleep
thou sleepest
he/she/it sleepeth
we sleep
ye sleep
they sleep;
magama = to sleep

minemine, minemise, minemised =
a going, of-a-going, goings

peegel, peegli, peeglid =
mirror, of-a-mirror, mirrors

udune, uduse, udused =
foggy, of-a-foggy, foggy (plural)

paks, paksu, paksu =
thick, of-a-thick, thick (plural)

varn, varna, varnad =
hook, of-a-hook, hooks

mina/ma ootan
Sina/Sa ootad
tema/ta ootab
meie/me ootame
teie/te oodate
nemad ootavad =
I wait
thou waitest
he/she/it waiteth
we wait
ye wait
they wait;
mina/ma ootasin
Sina/Sa ootasid
tema/ta ootas
meie/me ootasime
Teie,Te/teie,te ootasite
nemad ootasid =
I waited
thou didst wait
they waited
we waited
ye waited
they waited

voodi, voodi, voodid =
bed, of-a-bed, beds

särk, särgi, särgid =
shirt-or-town, of-a-shirt-or-gown, shirts-or-gowns

öö, öö, ööd =
night, of-a-night, nights

KUSAGIL vesi was already jooksmas into the vann, it was the AEG for the LAPSED to be MINEMAS to magama, the peeglid were turning udused, PAKSUD bath towels hung on the varn and OOTASID, the VOODID were made, the SÄRGID of ÖÖ type were being put onto the LAPSED.

KUSAGIL jooksis vesi juba v a n n i, oli LASTE magaMINEKUAEG, peeglid muutusid uduseks, PAKSUD vannilinad rippusid varnas ja OOTASID, VOODID olid üles tehtud, ÖÖSÄRGID aeti lastele selga. /.../ 

võib =
it is permitted, it could be;
võib-olla =
it could be that

see, selle, need =
this, of-this, these

hetk, hetke, hetked =
moment (instant), of-the-moment, moments

mina/ma vannitan
Sina/sa vannitad
tema/ta vannitab
meie/me vannitame
Teie,teie/Te,te vannitate
nemad/nad vannitavad =
I give-a-bath-to
thou givest-a-bath-to
he/she/it giveth-a-bath-to
we give-a bath-to
ye give-a-bath-to
they give-a-bath-to;
vannitati =

vabadus, vabaduse, vabadused =
freedom, of-freedom, freedoms;
tee, tee, teed =
thoroughfare, of-a-thorougfare, thoroughfare;
puu, puu, puud =
tree, of-a-tree, trees;
puiestee, puiestee, puiesteed =
boulevard, of-a-boulevard, boulevards;
Vabaduse puiestee =
"Boulevard of Freedom" (a 6-kilometre Tallinn boulevard)

päris =
fairly, pretty definitely

kindlel, kindla, kindlad =
certain (secure), of-a-certain, certain (plural);
kindlasti =
for sure, certainly

ka =

Sarkanarmija iela =
an analogue of Vabaduse puiestee, in Riga

Lönnrotinkatu =
an analogue of Vabaduse puiestee, in Helsinki

Valhallavägen =
an analogue of Vabaduse puiestee, in Stockholm

Perhaps at SEE HETK some (a-bunch-of; indefinite) LAPSED were being vannitatud KA on Sarkanarmijas iela JA on the Vabaduse puiestee, AGA PÄRIS KINDLASTI on Lönnrotinkatu and Valhallavägen.

Võib-olla vannitati SEL HETKEL LAPSI KA Karkanarmijas ielal ja Vabaduse puiesteel, AGA Lönnrotinkatul ja Valhallvägenil PÄRIS KINDLASTI.

seesama =
the very same

punane, punase, punased =
red, of-a-red, red (plural);
puna, puna, punad =
red blush (as in the West at dusk), of-a-red-blush, red blushes

tuhat, tuhande, tuhanded =
thousand, of-a-thousand, thousands

maja, maja, majad =
house, of-a-house, houses

roheline, rohelise, rohelsed =
green, of-a-green, green (plural);
rohelus, roheluse, rohelused =
expanse of greenery, of-an-expanse-of-greenery, expanses of greenery

õhtu, õhtu, õhtud =
evening, of-an-evening, evenings

ÜKS ja seesama  KÜLM puna over hundreds of tuhanded of majad, a growing-dim rohelus, in an ÕHTU in august in the Fiftieth aasta.

Üks ja seesama külm puna sadade tuhandete majade kohal, tumenev rohelus, viiekümnenda aasta augustiÕHTU.


To pull this all together, I reproduce the passage in full, appending also my own full English translation: 

/.../ eeestoa seintesse oli löödud pikki jämedaid naelu, nende otsas ripnes pearätikuid, põllesid ja üks vibusaag. Pikad painduvad kahemehelised saed seisid eestoas kruupingi taga nurgas ning kõlisesed tasakesi, kui toas käidi. Laetalade vahelt paistsid kangasoad. Talad ise olid kandilised, jämedad ja pruunid. Kogu lagi oli pruun.

Läksin ema järele kööki. Väljas polnud pime, aga kõõgis põles juba latern. Vanaema pigistas keedetud kartuleid peoga seaöögi sisse puruks, padadest tõusis auru ja seinad higistasid. Viiskümmend aastat oli vanaema siin seakartuleid puruks pigistanud. Kitsas kõrge ruum nõgise laega, ukse taga nurgas leivalabidas ja ahjuluud, seina peal seatapupussid. Veepangepink, raiepakk ja silmapesukauss. Pitsiliste servadega paber riiulitel, kus seisid vanad roostetanud kompvekitoosid köömnete, piparmündivarte ja pärnaõitega. Kahe ruuduga aken ja külm tsementpõrand.

N õ u d e p e s u m a s i n a d, k ü l m u t u s k a p i d, helesinine k a h h h e l ja valge  k a h h e l, p l a s t i k k a t t e g a lauad /.../ r ö s t i t u d leivad, a p e l s i n i mahl, pehmed 3-minuti hommikumunad olid meist ainult mõnesaja kilomeetri kaugusel, hirmuäratavad ja ettekujutamatud. Kusagil elasid ininmesed, kes nülgisid heeringa enne ära, kui nad teda sööma hakkasid. /.../  Kusagil jooksis vesi juba v a n n i, oli laste magamaminekuaeg, peeglid muutusid uduseks, paksud vannilinad rippusid varnas ja ootasid, voodid olid üles tehtud, öösärgid aeta lastele selga. /.../ 

Võib-olla vannitati sel hetkel lapsi ka Sarkanarmijas ielal ja Vabaduse puiesteel, aga Lönnrotinkatul ja Valhallavägenil päris kindlasti. Üks ja seesama külm puna sadade tuhandete majade kohal, tumenev rohelus, viiekümnenda aasta augustiõhtu.

/.../ Long, thick nails had been pounded into the walls of the front room: on them hung headscarves, aprons and a bowsaw. Long, flexible two-man saws stood in the front room behind the carpenter's bench, in the corner, and jingled softly when people walked in the room. Weaver's reeds showed from between the rafters. The rafters themsevles were square-cut, thick, and brown. The entire ceiling was brown. 

I followed Mum into the kitchen. It was not dark outdoors, but a lantern was already burning in the kitchen. Gran squeezed boiled potatoes to bits in her hand for pig-food; from the pots rose steam, and the walls sweated. For fifty years Gran had been squeezing pig-potatoes to bits here. A narrow, high room with a sooty ceiling, behind the door in the corner a bread-baking shovel and the hearth-whisk, and on the wall the knives for butchering pigs. A bench for the water bucket, a chopping block and the bowl for washing one's eyes. Lacy-edged paper on the shelves, on which stood rusty old candy-tins with caraway seeds, peppermint stems, and linden blossoms. A window with two panes, and a cold cement floor. 

Dishwashers, refrigerators, a light blue ceramic heater, and a white ceramic heater, tables with plastic covering,  /.../ toasted bread, orange juice, soft-boiled three-minute morning eggs - were only a few hundred kilometres away from us, fearful and unimaginable. Somewhere lived people who would skin their herring before starting to eat it. /.../ Somewhere the water was already running into a bath, it was the children's bedtime, the mirrors were fogging up, thick bath towels hung on hooks and waited, beds were made, nightgowns got put onto children. /.../ 

Perhaps at that instant children were being given baths also on the Sarkanarmija iela and on the Freedom Boulevard, but most certainly on the Lönnrotinkatu and the Valhallavägen. One and the same cold red twilight over hundreds of thousands of houses, and over dimming greenery, on an August evening in the Fiftieth Year. 

--Has this experiment worked for the reader? Does it indeed prove possible to think in Estonian, before embarking on systematic studies of the language? And if the experiment has worked, then would someone be helped by my uploading other such bits of vocabulary-plus-Eestlish? Any private e-mail feedback would be gratefully received via - Readers are herewith respectfully reminded that explicit comments in the blogger formalism, as opposed to mere private e-mails, are vetted, under the rules published here in 2016 April. In brief, the rules are the following: there is no censorship of content, but also no anonymity: anyone posting via blogger is asked to incorporate in the body of the posting true name, verifiable e-mail address, and a disclosure of municipality-plus-country of current residence.  

[This essay to be continued, I hope, next week, in the four-hour UTC interval 20170214T0001Z/20170214T0401Z.] 


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