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
Last Wednesday, 26 April, Theresa May invited Michel Barnier and Jean-Claude Juncker to dinner at No.10. Tim Shipman’s report (May is living in another galaxy) in yesterday’s Sunday Times gave an insight into some of what went on and is well worth a read (I downloaded without £). But the full horror becomes apparent in … More The Brexit dinner: delusion at every course