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yks 6nnetu hing
02-13-2015, 04:31 AM
linky (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-12/unsung-heroine-how-swiss-diplomat-rescued-ukraine-talks)


The Unsung Heroine of Minsk Talks
9:38 PM CET
February 12, 2015

(Bloomberg) -- Just two women were at the table as the cease-fire between Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine and the government in Kiev was hammered out. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was one. The other was Heidi Tagliavini.

The discreet, 65-year-old Swiss diplomat worked alongside Merkel, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, France’s Francois Hollande and Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko on the deal to stem the conflict that has devastated eastern Ukraine.

In the “Green Room” of the vast marble-and-glass Independence Palace in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, Tagliavini helped stave off a collapse late in the talks, according to officials who were there. As someone Putin has long felt he could trust, diplomats say, she was able to silence a contingent of separatists who wanted to see the whole deal reworked.




“She is very smart,” Alexander Surikov, Russia’s ambassador in Belarus, said on the sidelines at the Independence Palace as talks stretched into the night. “She really works for security. She helps to keep these talks on the right path.”

A special envoy for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Tagliavini is known among other diplomats as “the facilitator.” She is the only woman in the six-member Trilateral Contact Group that has brought together the Ukrainians, Russians and separatists.

Night and Day

Tagliavini declined an interview request for this story. It is based on conversations with more than a half-dozen diplomats from Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia, and France -- most of whom declined to be identified, citing diplomatic protocol.

Tagliavini has spent much of the past three decades in postings across eastern Europe brokering peace and monitoring wars and elections for the OSCE, the European Union, and the United Nations. She has served at the Swiss embassy in Moscow and on missions in Chechnya, Ukraine and Georgia, always employing a quiet style and Helvetic neutrality that has helped her win the confidence of leaders from all sides.

On Tuesday around 6 p.m., Tagliavini and the Contact Group sequestered themselves in Dipservice Hall, a Soviet-era villa surrounded by an iron fence on Minsk’s tony Frunze Street. They worked night and day, taking only short breaks, drilling into details such as the caliber of weaponry that might be allowed and who would oversee the 400 kilometers of border between Russia and rebel-held land in Ukraine.

Russian Trust

As the group reached possible common ground on each issue, the points of agreement were sent to leaders’ entourages gathering about three miles away in the Independence Palace. By Thursday morning, they had a structure for the cease-fire and rushed to the Palace to present it to the leaders. When the rebels balked at the last minute, Tagliavini shuttled between the various groups to prevent the talks from collapsing. At noon, Putin emerged from the conference room and confirmed the cease-fire to reporters.

“We really appreciate her work,” said Oleksii Makeiev, director for policy and communications at Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry. “She not only has our trust, but what is very important is that she has the Russians’ trust as well. And she has all that trust because she is very professional and experienced.”

Switzerland in January handed over the rotating presidency of the OSCE to Serbia, but Tagliavini kept her role at the head of the Contact Group -- a sign of the confidence members of the group have in her, according to a senior European diplomat.

Chechnya Photos

Tagliavini’s “role in maintaining contact between all sides and thereby paving the way to an agreement has proven to be indispensable,” Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said in an e-mail after the deal.

Tagliavini had her first posting in Moscow in the 1980s. In 1995, she served on an OSCE mission that sought to stabilize the situation in Chechnya. An avid photographer, she took hundreds of photos in the region, and later published a book detailing her time there.

In 2009, she oversaw a 1,000-page report for the European Union analyzing the roots of the conflict between Georgia and Russia. Her conclusion: Georgia initiated the conflict -- which helped her win Putin’s confidence. Officials from Georgia, other European nations and the U.S. criticized the report’s conclusions, saying Russia’s allies in South Ossetia provoked the conflict.

‘The Link’

With close-cropped blond hair, rimless glasses, and always wearing a brightly-colored scarf around her neck, Tagliavini is known by politicians across eastern Europe as “the link,” for her ability to keep parties in talks when tensions start to rise, a Swiss diplomat said.

In July, when Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over rebel-held territory in Ukraine, Tagliavini was already in Kiev. She immediately began work on a deal between Ukraine and the separatists to allow international investigators into the area to collect remains and wreckage. Exhausted and frustrated after marathon negotiating sessions, she would sometimes set off on walks across the city to find a few moments of peace, according to a fellow Swiss diplomat.

While Tagliavini didn’t craft the so-called Minsk Protocol reached by the rebels and the Kiev government in September, she was key in keeping the parties at the table, according to a French diplomat with knowledge of the discussions. That document served as the basis for this round of talks.

‘Good Offices’

Born in Basel in 1950, Tagliavini’s mother tongue is German and she speaks seven other languages, including Russian and Italian. She has a PhD in philology, the study of language from historical sources. It’s her ability to understand languages and the cultural background of people in the region that has helped her navigate the tricky world of east European politics, a French diplomat said.

In a rare interview, with the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, Tagliavini described her work as “offering warring parties a space to discuss a possible peace agreement, seeing to it that they talk to each other, trying to re-establish an element of trust, making proposals, monitoring human rights and rights of refuges and the state of law.” If she has had success, she said, it’s not due as much to her efforts as it is to “Switzerland’s good offices.”

Terez
02-13-2015, 04:52 AM
The Uki on Malazan is not all that confident that peace is at hand. He says that ceasefires are generally broken by Russists who are always declared to be rogue elements by the Russists in control. And so the war goes on. The situation is starting to look frighteningly intractable.

GonzoTheGreat
02-13-2015, 04:55 AM
Perhaps this time it will be different?

yks 6nnetu hing
02-13-2015, 04:59 AM
The Uki on Malazan is not all that confident that peace is at hand. He says that ceasefires are generally broken by Russists who are always declared to be rogue elements by the Russists in control. And so the war goes on. The situation is starting to look frighteningly intractable.

FWIW, I think he's right. The West keeps making the mistake of expecting Putin to actually keep his word.

Then again, you've got to at least try to solve things peacefully, right?

Davian93
02-13-2015, 07:05 AM
FWIW, I think he's right. The West keeps making the mistake of expecting Putin to actually keep his word.

Then again, you've got to at least try to solve things peacefully, right?

I, for one, am shocked that we can't trust the word of an ex-KGB thug turned mafia don/strongman.

I mean, what in that history suggests he would be unreliable?

GonzoTheGreat
02-13-2015, 07:26 AM
I mean, what in that history suggests he would be unreliable?
"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country." George W. Bush, joint press conference

Davian93
02-13-2015, 07:46 AM
"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country." George W. Bush, joint press conference

Odd that a guy who also started an unwarranted invasion of a country with zero real justification would feel that way about the guy who invaded Ukraine for much the same rationale.

GonzoTheGreat
02-13-2015, 08:32 AM
In the 1980s, there were lots of WMD in Ukraine, and they haven't proven that all those were destroyed, have they?

yks 6nnetu hing
02-13-2015, 09:11 AM
In the 1980s, there were lots of WMD in Ukraine, and they haven't proven that all those were destroyed, have they?

they all blew up in Chernobyl, no?




seriously, poor Ukraine. The last 100 years have been horrible for them. Holodomor in the 30s, the War and Holocaust in the 40s, followed by russification and communism... and as a cherry on top of the crap-pile you get *drum-roll* Chernobyl in 1986. But, what cake is complete without some extra sprinkling of foreign invasion and even more war and destruction? sure, let's just add some of that.

:(

Terez
02-13-2015, 09:22 AM
seriously, poor Ukraine. The last 100 years have been horrible for them.
The previous 100 weren't too great either. Peasant class subservient to either the Russians or the Poles or whatever neighbors the Russians favored at any given time.

Davian93
02-13-2015, 11:34 AM
they all blew up in Chernobyl, no?




seriously, poor Ukraine. The last 100 years have been horrible for them. Holodomor in the 30s, the War and Holocaust in the 40s, followed by russification and communism... and as a cherry on top of the crap-pile you get *drum-roll* Chernobyl in 1986. But, what cake is complete without some extra sprinkling of foreign invasion and even more war and destruction? sure, let's just add some of that.

:(

Moscow is never going to forgive Kiev for being the former cultural heart of Russia. Ever ever.

Did you see that they are having major issues at Chernobyl lately too with the current wildfires?

http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2015/02/09/Wildfires-in-Ukraine-could-revive-Chernobyls-radiation/9311423493119/

Khoram
02-13-2015, 02:59 PM
The previous 100 weren't too great either. Peasant class subservient to either the Russians or the Poles or whatever neighbors the Russians favored at any given time.

Except the Russians would never have favoured the Poles.

Terez
02-13-2015, 05:49 PM
Except the Russians would never have favoured the Poles.
Over the Ukrainians, they did. Much of Western Ukraine was subject to eastern Polish landlords in the 19th Century. I know this because Chopin's one true love was one such landowner. He actually fought in the November Uprising, but was somehow allowed to keep his lands and Ukrainian villages after the war was over. One of the things I plan on researching when I learn Polish is how exactly he managed that. Many rebels had their lands confiscated.

Khoram
02-13-2015, 07:10 PM
How many languages are you planning on learning? :p

Terez
02-13-2015, 07:26 PM
There are three I need: Polish, French, and German. I could also do with a bit of Italian, but it's not nearly as important as the other three for Chopin.

German is less useful for Chopin in particular than Polish and French, but when one branches out to his contemporaries in life and in music, German becomes almost as important as French. There were books written about Chopin by his contemporaries in German. There is correspondence between his friends and acquaintances in German. It remained an important musical lingua franca well into the 20th century; many of the early 20th century Chopin scholars (especially Poles) wrote in German as they would write in English today, in order to make their research more widely available.

Chopin himself had a passable facility with German, and sometimes received letters written in German (by Schumann, for example) but his French was better. His father was born and raised in France (hence the name), and he moved to Poland to escape la révolution, married a Polish woman, and ran a boarding school which focused on teaching French to sons of wealthy landowners. That's how Chopin met Tytus Woyciechowski, the aforementioned eastern Polish landowner.

Kimon
02-13-2015, 08:16 PM
There are three I need: Polish, French, and German. I could also do with a bit of Italian, but it's not nearly as important as the other three for Chopin.

German is less useful for Chopin in particular than Polish and French, but when one branches out to his contemporaries in life and in music, German becomes almost as important as French. There were books written about Chopin by his contemporaries in German. There is correspondence between his friends and acquaintances in German. It remained an important musical lingua franca well into the 20th century; many of the early 20th century Chopin scholars (especially Poles) wrote in German as they would write in English today, in order to make their research more widely available.

Chopin himself had a passable facility with German, and sometimes received letters written in German (by Schumann, for example) but his French was better. His father was born and raised in France (hence the name), and he moved to Poland to escape la révolution, married a Polish woman, and ran a boarding school which focused on teaching French to sons of wealthy landowners. That's how Chopin met Tytus Woyciechowski, the aforementioned eastern Polish landowner.

Some degree of fluency in German and French (and English obviously) seem pretty common requirements for scholarship in any of the humanities. In the Classics, in addition to the comprehensive reading exams in Greek and Latin, we also had to pass readings exams in French and German. We were allowed to cheat and use a dictionary on the modern languages though.

What exactly are you studying, Terez? Are you in a Music Studies PhD Program? Are you at Univ. of Illinois?

Khoram
02-13-2015, 08:43 PM
Some degree of fluency in German and French (and English obviously) seem pretty common requirements for scholarship in any of the humanities. In the Classics, in addition to the comprehensive reading exams in Greek and Latin, we also had to pass readings exams in French and German. We were allowed to cheat and use a dictionary on the modern languages though.

What exactly are you studying, Terez? Are you in a Music Studies PhD Program? Are you at Univ. of Illinois?

Luckily, I only have my Bachelor's Degree, and I didn't have to worry about learning any other languages. :D


Although I did take German. To help with reading any documents from Germany. As opposed to other countries. :rolleyes:

Kimon
02-13-2015, 08:55 PM
Luckily, I only have my Bachelor's Degree, and I didn't have to worry about learning any other languages. :D


Although I did take German. To help with reading any documents from Germany. As opposed to other countries. :rolleyes:

I didn't finish my thesis, so I left with just a Masters, no PHD. Of the four, the only one I really remember with any acuity is the Latin. Just don't use the others enough for maintenance.

Khoram
02-13-2015, 09:04 PM
I promptly forgot the German I learned. :/

And the Latin I spent three years studying in high school. XD

Clearly languages are not my forte.

Terez
02-13-2015, 10:11 PM
Some degree of fluency in German and French (and English obviously) seem pretty common requirements for scholarship in any of the humanities. In the Classics, in addition to the comprehensive reading exams in Greek and Latin, we also had to pass readings exams in French and German. We were allowed to cheat and use a dictionary on the modern languages though.

What exactly are you studying, Terez? Are you in a Music Studies PhD Program? Are you at Univ. of Illinois?
I am just working on my own, with the help of some nice book nerds who are native speakers of the languages I need. Though I have been paying for French lessons since Dom went on hiatus (largely due to me stressing him out with my French needs, no doubt).

Basically, there is a book I want to write about Chopin. I need to be an expert in the field before I write it. The most logical place to start was with his extended correspondence, much of which has never been translated into English (and when it has been, badly). So I am translating his correspondence, and everything I do is reviewed by native speakers with good English. I hope to share the work online when I am done so it's a boon that one of my Polish helpers from Dragonmount and one of my French tutors are lawyers. I think I have a pretty good grip on Polish and French copyright law as it concerns these things; now I just need an American to let me know if I can host the website in the US. If not, I'll have to get someone else to host it in another country.

Kimon
02-17-2015, 05:59 PM
FWIW, I think he's right. The West keeps making the mistake of expecting Putin to actually keep his word.

Then again, you've got to at least try to solve things peacefully, right?

Thirty-eight years ago she had been in place by chance to negotiate a treaty between Arad Doman and Tarabon that was supposed to put an end to squabbling over the Almoth Plain, with Domani and Taraboners dodging at every turn and three times nearly starting a war in the middle of exchanges and all the while maintaining smiling faces of utter goodwill. By the time the signatures were dry, she felt as if she had been rolled over rough hills in a barrel full of splinters, and after all that, the treaty turned out to be worth considerably less than the wax and ribbons for its seals.

Sound familiar?

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31511926

Brita
02-18-2015, 03:08 PM
One of Robert Jordan's greatest strengths was his amazing grasp of politics and history and being able to weave that sense of realism into the WoT world.

I miss him.

SauceyBlueConfetti
02-18-2015, 03:19 PM
Spanish. I took Spanish.

Esta Susanna en casa? Si, esta con una amiga. Donde esta in la sala? No, en la cocina.


That's it. And I can count to twenty. If you randomly say that dialogue to people chances are SOMEONE can respond as it was the standard Spanish book-learning in the 80s used for memorization.

I took French in college, one semester and HATED IT with a red hot passion. I can understand quite a bit of spoken French, but not written. And I cannot speak it at all. Terez's current endeavors to teach herself/learn French have me in awe.

I was trying to learn German with an online app, but got sidetracked. I may try again, it seems an easier one than others in relation to (American)English.

Sorry, that was a total hijack, back to your topics.

Khoram
02-18-2015, 05:17 PM
I took French in college, one semester and HATED IT with a red hot passion. I can understand quite a bit of spoken French, but not written. And I cannot speak it at all. Terez's current endeavors to teach herself/learn French have me in awe.

You just need to move up to Canadian and learn from our backwards ways. ;)

Terez
02-18-2015, 08:18 PM
I took French in college, one semester and HATED IT with a red hot passion. I can understand quite a bit of spoken French, but not written. And I cannot speak it at all. Terez's current endeavors to teach herself/learn French have me in awe.

I was trying to learn German with an online app, but got sidetracked. I may try again, it seems an easier one than others in relation to (American)English.
I took German in college. I didn't hate it, and I aced the first semester, but things got complicated in the 2nd semester and I barely passed. (And that only because the prof felt sorry for me.)

One good thing about learning French the way I'm doing it—by translating stuff using GT and dictionaries—is that I don't have to worry so much about mastering the grammar right off. I figure everything out by contextual logic. Sometimes I'm wrong, which is why I need the tutors, to tell me when I've screwed something up. So it's infinitely easier than was my 2nd semester of German, where we were taught about a bunch of grammatical concepts all at once and I couldn't keep up with them.

This way, I don't have to keep up really. I just keep trudging on with the translation, and I pick it all up as I go along. I haven't learned enough yet after 2 years to be able to read French without 1) using a dictionary and 2) getting a headache. But I'm getting there, totally at my own pace. And my not being there yet is not preventing my work from getting completed in the meantime.

I would say French is just as close to English as German. Polish, on the other hand...well, they have a lot of borrowed words, I will say that. Even in Chopin's time, there are recognizable Latin- (or French-) and Greek-inspired words. Today they have a lot of borrowed words from English. I am learning Polish very slowly, but that's okay, because I have a lot of French work to do in the meantime. Hopefully I'll be ready to go faster with Polish by the time I get most of the French done. And hopefully I will also make some progress on German by then.

Terez
02-24-2015, 05:57 AM
A different perspective on Minsk:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/02/time-acknowledge-ukraine-ceasefire-dead-150222052936734.html

Nazbaque
02-24-2015, 07:52 AM
Spanish. I took Spanish.

Esta Susanna en casa? Si, esta con una amiga. Donde esta in la sala? No, en la cocina.


That's it. And I can count to twenty. If you randomly say that dialogue to people chances are SOMEONE can respond as it was the standard Spanish book-learning in the 80s used for memorization.

I took French in college, one semester and HATED IT with a red hot passion. I can understand quite a bit of spoken French, but not written. And I cannot speak it at all. Terez's current endeavors to teach herself/learn French have me in awe.

I was trying to learn German with an online app, but got sidetracked. I may try again, it seems an easier one than others in relation to (American)English.

Sorry, that was a total hijack, back to your topics.

How do you feel about my endeavours in learning Japanese?

Morelikeunwisewoman
02-24-2015, 08:04 AM
I took French in college, one semester and HATED IT with a red hot passion. I can understand quite a bit of spoken French, but not written. And I cannot speak it at all. Terez's current endeavors to teach herself/learn French have me in awe.

Edit: I just realised I can do this:

From my Dads face book:
I took some french in college. I could read and write it well but my conversational french was (and is!) atrocious. So I got a french tutor.

That was ok in theory. In practice she was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen and I ended up falling hopelessly in love with her and found it almost impossible to learn from. So I had to do the only logical thing....I married her. :)

Morelikeunwisewoman
02-24-2015, 08:06 AM
I can't believe I wrote that without first writing: Thats how my mom and Dad met!!!

hukka, I don't swing that way. not that there is anything wrong with it. I'm just not. So embarrassed!

yks 6nnetu hing
02-24-2015, 08:20 AM
lol, so you're half French?

Out of curiosity (and because this has turned into a language discussion): hukka - what does that mean? the only connotation I have is with the Finnish hukka, which is a secondary word for wolf but can be used like... "darn" or "dangit". I think? maybe? I really should know more Finnish than I do. in Estonian, from the same root there's "hukkama" - to execute (in the killing sense), "hukkuma" - to (tragically) perish/die, :"hukka mõistma" - to condemn, "hukka minema" - to rot (for edibles. but also, the youth)

Morelikeunwisewoman
02-24-2015, 08:28 AM
lol, so you're half French?

Out of curiosity (and because this has turned into a language discussion): hukka - what does that mean? the only connotation I have is with the Finnish hukka, which is a secondary word for wolf but can be used like... "darn" or "dangit"

Half american/half french. We are a bit of everything really. Dad is Scottish/Irish but was born in the states. Mom is from Paris. They met in college. And I've never been to europe! I wanted to go after college but it was so much more expensive than coming down here.

Hukka is a laugh sound. I think most people use haha or hehe but we have always used hukka hukka. Its kind of a family thing as my older brother laughs like a donkey and we just kept it on. I do get about it a lot. especially if I text someone. :o

is that too much information? I don't want to get edited...

yks 6nnetu hing
02-24-2015, 08:35 AM
cool! hukka = laugh like a donkey.

as for complicated nationalities, I've a coworker who's a whole UN all by himself. he's half-French, half-Serbian, lives (officially) in Spain, works in the Netherlands, his ex-wife is Argentinean and current girlfriend is a Russian American living in England.

Daekyras
02-24-2015, 08:38 AM
I can't believe I wrote that without first writing: Thats how my mom and Dad met!!!

hukka, I don't swing that way. not that there is anything wrong with it. I'm just not. So embarrassed!

Oh god, imagine people thinking you could be that way. Urgh gross. Marrying a french person. Urgh.

Morelikeunwisewoman
02-24-2015, 08:40 AM
Oh god, imagine people thinking you could be that way. Urgh gross. Marrying a french person. Urgh.

No, I meant married to a woman, Hukka.

edit: you knew that, didn't you?

Daekyras
02-24-2015, 08:45 AM
No, I meant married to a woman, Hukka.

edit: you knew that, didn't you?

Yes, yes I did. :)

Nazbaque
02-24-2015, 09:11 AM
lol, so you're half French?

Out of curiosity (and because this has turned into a language discussion): hukka - what does that mean? the only connotation I have is with the Finnish hukka, which is a secondary word for wolf but can be used like... "darn" or "dangit". I think? maybe? I really should know more Finnish than I do. in Estonian, from the same root there's "hukkama" - to execute (in the killing sense), "hukkuma" - to (tragically) perish/die, :"hukka mõistma" - to condemn, "hukka minema" - to rot (for edibles. but also, the youth)

Not quite. It can mean waste as in "something goes to waste" = "jokin menee hukkaan", but that one is connected to the word "hukkua" which is "to drown"*, though there is also a different saying "menee susille" meaning literally "goes to the wolves" used in the sense that something is ruined or wasted. In certain circumstances it should probably be translated as "lost" rather than "wasted", but for Finns it means both at once when used in that context instead of as a word for wolf.

*It might go as far as the words for drowning and wolves having the same root as they were common ways for a hunter to die. "They were lost" more specifically as "they drowned" or "The predators got them" wolves being the most common predator.

Daekyras
02-24-2015, 09:25 AM
Not quite. It can mean waste as in "something goes to waste" = "jokin menee hukkaan", but that one is connected to the word "hukkua" which is "to drown"*, though there is also a different saying "menee susille" meaning literally "goes to the wolves" used in the sense that something is ruined or wasted. In certain circumstances it should probably be translated as "lost" rather than "wasted", but for Finns it means both at once when used in that context instead of as a word for wolf.

*It might go as far as the words for drowning and wolves having the same root as they were common ways for a hunter to die. "They were lost" more specifically as "they drowned" or "The predators got them" wolves being the most common predator.

Are there any english words that have their roots in finnish?

It seems like an interesting language.

yks 6nnetu hing
02-24-2015, 09:26 AM
Not quite. It can mean waste as in "something goes to waste" = "jokin menee hukkaan", but that one is connected to the word "hukkua" which is "to drown"*, though there is also a different saying "menee susille" meaning literally "goes to the wolves" used in the sense that something is ruined or wasted. In certain circumstances it should probably be translated as "lost" rather than "wasted", but for Finns it means both at once when used in that context instead of as a word for wolf.

*It might go as far as the words for drowning and wolves having the same root as they were common ways for a hunter to die. "They were lost" more specifically as "they drowned" or "The predators got them" wolves being the most common predator.

"hukkuma" in Estonian is most often to drown, but it's also used if someone dies in a fire, earthquake, car crash or other accidental way. I've even seen it in reference to war casualties.

I think maybe similarly, there's a saying "something went into the forest" ("läks metsa") which means something got screwed up or spoiled. Not to be confused with "go into the forest" ("mine metsa") which means that someone is talking nonsense or acting crazy

Daekyras
02-24-2015, 09:33 AM
"hukkuma" in Estonian is most often to drown, but it's also used if someone dies in a fire, earthquake, car crash or other accidental way. I've even seen it in reference to war casualties.

I think maybe similarly, there's a saying "something went into the forest" ("läks metsa") which means something got screwed up or spoiled. Not to be confused with "go into the forest" ("mine metsa") which means that someone is talking nonsense or acting crazy

I live near an estonian couple. They are lovely. How do you say "how is the baby?" They have a wee guy just a little younger than my own wee fella.

yks 6nnetu hing
02-24-2015, 09:40 AM
I live near an estonian couple. They are lovely. How do you say "how is the baby?" They have a wee guy just a little younger than my own wee fella.

aww :)

literally, it would be "Kuidas teie lapsel läheb?"; although most people would use the more generic "Kuidas perel läheb?" (How's the family?)

Daekyras
02-24-2015, 09:44 AM
aww :)

literally, it would be "Kuidas teie lapsel läheb?"; although most people would use the more generic "Kuidas perel läheb?" (How's the family?)

Would that be pronounced kuy-das peril layheb? I am not that great with languages (except math). I usually leave that side up to mrs. Daek.

yks 6nnetu hing
02-24-2015, 09:57 AM
Would that be pronounced kuy-das peril layheb? I am not that great with languages (except math). I usually leave that side up to mrs. Daek.

close :) kuy-das peh-reh-l lay-heh-b

Daekyras
02-24-2015, 10:03 AM
close :) kuy-das peh-reh-l lay-heh-b

Cool. :) gonna try that on Artur later. I hope you are not setting me up here- he is MUCH bigger than me and I don't want to have to run away!

Nazbaque
02-24-2015, 10:07 AM
Cool. :) gonna try that on Artur later. I hope you are not setting me up here- he is MUCH bigger than me and I don't want to have to run away!

Relax it's yks. If it were me you would end up asking why he's laughing his ass off and feeling violated once he told you.

Terez
02-24-2015, 10:10 AM
You could always, you know, verify via Google Translate. They even have a play button to help you pronounce it. :)

Nazbaque
02-24-2015, 01:59 PM
You could always, you know, verify via Google Translate. They even have a play button to help you pronounce it. :)

Google translate isn't really for verifying anything. It works as a starting point if you want a gist of what a word means but with phrases it's utter crap.

Terez
02-24-2015, 03:36 PM
Google translate isn't really for verifying anything. It works as a starting point if you want a gist of what a word means but with phrases it's utter crap.
I use it every day so I know what it does and what it doesn't do. It is good enough to verify that the words yks gave him mean roughly what she implied, rather than "I like to eat babies" or something. GT is a lot more useful for helping you figure out what a foreign phrase says than it is for helping you figure out what you should say in another language. The former doesn't need to be too precise.

Kimon
02-24-2015, 04:54 PM
How do you feel about my endeavours in learning Japanese?

I took a semester of Japanese back in undergrad, but very quickly forgot almost all of it. Almost the entirety of that first semester was devoted to building familiarity with hiragana and katakana. Didn't stick around long enough to start learning kanji. An interesting language, and very unique, which unfortunately adds to the difficulty in learning it.

Of course, one could largely say the same about Finnish, albeit at least there with a (mostly?) common alphabet. Hadn't realized Finnish was related to anything else until yks' comments in this thread. I thought you guys (and Hungarian - are Finnish and Magyar really relatives?) were complete outliers, sort of like Basque and Etruscan. Were the Finns part of the Magyar horde?

Nazbaque
02-24-2015, 06:28 PM
I took a semester of Japanese back in undergrad, but very quickly forgot almost all of it. Almost the entirety of that first semester was devoted to building familiarity with hiragana and katakana. Didn't stick around long enough to start learning kanji. An interesting language, and very unique, which unfortunately adds to the difficulty in learning it.

Of course, one could largely say the same about Finnish, albeit at least there with a (mostly?) common alphabet. Hadn't realized Finnish was related to anything else until yks' comments in this thread. I thought you guys (and Hungarian - are Finnish and Magyar really relatives?) were complete outliers, sort of like Basque and Etruscan. Were the Finns part of the Magyar horde?

The Magyar were one (the southernmost one iirc) of the Finnish-Ugrian tribes so it's actually the other way around.

I havent yet memorised all hiragana and katakana or that many kanji; I've concentrated on the grammar patterns and building my vocabulary. And this really is just a hobby of mine so I only work on it casually. On a whim I made six calligraphy pieces as christmas presents for close relatives when I figured our surname would have been "Kinmura" 金村 in Japanese and really awesome as the kanji 金 "Kin" or Gold is highly significant culturally as it is also Metal in the Eastern Elements. Combined with the kanji for "star" it becomes 金星 "Kinsei" which is the Japanese name for planet Venus (highly appropriate for a Virgo such as myself). And combined with the kanji for "day of the week" it becomes 金曜日 "Kin'yoobi" which is Friday (my favourite day of the week). And as an unintended result of that project I learned that calligraphy is a highly efficient way to learn specific kanji.

yks 6nnetu hing
02-25-2015, 01:34 AM
Of course, one could largely say the same about Finnish, albeit at least there with a (mostly?) common alphabet. Hadn't realized Finnish was related to anything else until yks' comments in this thread. I thought you guys (and Hungarian - are Finnish and Magyar really relatives?) were complete outliers, sort of like Basque and Etruscan. Were the Finns part of the Magyar horde?

The Magyar were one (the southernmost one iirc) of the Finnish-Ugrian tribes so it's actually the other way around.


Not *complete* outliers like Basque is; but they dont'have very much in common with the Indo-European languages such as English, Russian or Hindi.
http://www.uk.capgemini.com/sites/default/files/en-gb/2014/11/201411_cb0_language_tree.jpg

The Fenno-Ugrian languages used to spread all along the Northern part of the Eurasian continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Most of those languages are now dead though, the live ones are shown here:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Fenno-Ugrian_languages.png
this one in a representation that might be more familiar to most people ;)

http://www.languagesgulper.com/eng/uralicmap_files/Uralic%20languages%20large%20map.jpg

Though, I believe the Livonian language died a few years ago, I think I saw in the news that the last native speaker had died. The languages stuck in Russia are under strong suppression, there's no education available in Udmurt or Mari; and the Karelians have as good as lost their language.

yks 6nnetu hing
02-25-2015, 02:02 AM
As for where these languages came from, there are several theories. The oldest and to this day the most parroted (personally, I think it's bollocks) is that the languages spread out from the Ural mountains. Another theory is that the languages moved whether East-West or West-East along the rivers and waterways. Yet another theory is that since there are some very ancient Indoiranian loan words, the language group must have spread out northwards from somewhere between Iran and India.

In any case, all of this took place more than 7000 years ago. Most of the languages that are there now have been where they are for thousands of years. With the notable exception of Hungarian ;)

There are folk songs in Estonian that mention historical events (a meteor hit) in extremely archaic words; according to some linguists, those songs are about 5000 years old. The people must have been present in that area at the time of the hit for the song to stick around (if you move about, you get new things to sing about. Something that's closer by)

Daekyras
02-25-2015, 04:26 AM
As for where these languages came from, there are several theories. The oldest and to this day the most parroted (personally, I think it's bollocks) is that the languages spread out from the Ural mountains. Another theory is that the languages moved whether East-West or West-East along the rivers and waterways. Yet another theory is that since there are some very ancient Indoiranian loan words, the language group must have spread out northwards from somewhere between Iran and India.

In any case, all of this took place more than 7000 years ago. Most of the languages that are there now have been where they are for thousands of years. With the notable exception of Hungarian ;)

There are folk songs in Estonian that mention historical events (a meteor hit) in extremely archaic words; according to some linguists, those songs are about 5000 years old. The people must have been present in that area at the time of the hit for the song to stick around (if you move about, you get new things to sing about. Something that's closer by)

I am always saddened to hear about a language dying out. In Ireland Irish is a failing language. It is even been discussed whether or not it should be taken from our Curriculum or at least made optional (currently every child studies it to the age of 17).

Strange thing is that my Irish skills are incredibly lacking. As I never used it after I left secondary school it has become something I cant fall back on. Regrettably, that is the norm for most Irish people.

Gan Teanga, Gan Tír. (No Language, No Country)

SauceyBlueConfetti
02-25-2015, 01:16 PM
How do you feel about my endeavours in learning Japanese?

I work with a girl who recently returned to the US from Japan...she married a Japanese student years ago, moved there, had a baby, etc. and they divorced after about 10 years. So no big deal. Cause I am slowly picking up random words from her lolol

Nazbaque
02-25-2015, 02:44 PM
I work with a girl who recently returned to the US from Japan...she married a Japanese student years ago, moved there, had a baby, etc. and they divorced after about 10 years. So no big deal. Cause I am slowly picking up random words from her lolol

Haha no baka!!