If you look up the verb “shield” in the dictionary, you’ll find it has a purely transitive meaning: “to protect someone or something”. It’s something you do to or for someone else. You can do it to yourself, especially a part of yourself, but you’d generally make this explicit: “I’m shielding my eyes from the sun”. The verb … More Shielding – a subtle shift in meaning
When I say I’m learning Estonian, people (even Estonians) often ask why. I have a number of answers at the ready, depending on who’s asking and whether I think they really want to know. My shortest response is: why not? If they are looking at me as though I’m mad, I might add that I’ve … More Why Estonian?
I’ve just returned home from a two-week course in Estonian at the University of Tartu. During my stay I celebrated the beauty of the town in a photo-blog, and ideas for further blogs (such as “Why Estonian?”) are gestating. But I have an immediate urge to capture my impressions of starting to learn Estonian, as … More A new kind of wine: my first taste of Estonian
Haven’t blogged for a while as I’ve been too busy. And now, a week into my intensive Estonian course in Tartu, my head’s too full of Estonian declensions to write a proper blog. So I thought I’d share some photos from my Saturday morning walk around Tartu’s university park and “Toomemägi” (cathedral hill). I hadn’t … More Ilus Tartu: beautiful Tartu
At a meeting with Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker during yesterday’s NATO summit, Donald Trump reportedly said “the Germans are bad, very bad” for selling millions of cars to the US. That comment, directed at a supposed NATO ally, is damaging enough. But when it hit the press last night, it was mangled into something … More The perils of translation