The Linguist

The Linguist 59,2 - April/May 2020

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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24 The Linguist Vol/59 No/2 2020 FEATURES Q How does the Estonian Embassy promote the culture and language? A There are over a dozen Estonian societies across the UK, the oldest one being the London Estonian Society established in 1921. Estonian publishers join the London Book Fair every year, and they have also developed a project for iPhone involving Estonian children's books. Music represents an essential part of the Estonian culture; composer Arvo Pärt, and conductors Neeme and Paavo Järvi, are known worldwide. You can study Estonian at the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (SSEES) and the Estonian School in London, which opened its doors in 2009 to teach the language to children, with the support of the embassy. Q What is your favourite Estonian word? A Öötöö means 'night work', as in working late at the office. The word sounds nice, but I hope I won't need to do it myself. Q What is unique about the language? A Estonian is spoken by about 1.1 million people. A Uralic language, it is one of the four official languages of the European Union that is not of Indo-European origin. Its nouns and adjectives decline in singular and plural in 14 cases. Due to common historical influences, one can identify many similar words in Estonian and German, even though the languages are not related. Q What would you like people to know about Estonia? A We have a very good education system; our children are ranked first in Europe for applied skills by the OECD (Organisation for The Estonian Ambassador to the UK, HE Tiina Intelmann, discusses the embassy's culture and language outreach work with Romana Sustar Economic Cooperation and Development). Estonia is a digital country, offering 2,400 e-services to businesses and 600 to its citizens; 99% of its public services are online. Q Tell us about Estonia's literary history… A In 1525, the first book in the Estonian language (a Lutheran manuscript) was printed, but it was destroyed immediately after publication. The birth of native Estonian literature came in the early 19th century. Kristjan Jaak Peterson is considered to be the founder of modern Estonian poetry. His birthday, March 14, is celebrated as Mother Tongue Day, a national holiday. HE Tiina Intelmann has been Ambassador to the UK since 2017. She has an MA in Italian Language and Literature. Twitter @TiinaIntelmann and @estembassyuk. Council member Romana Sustar MCIL CL is a multilingual digital marketing manager, language tutor and reporter. Twitter @RomanaSustar Estonia declared its independence from Russia on 20 August 1991 following a referendum in which 77.7% voted in favour. Four weeks later it was admitted to the United Nations. 68.5% of citizens are Estonian, while a quarter are ethnically Russian. The country joined both the European Union and NATO in 2004, and Estonian forces now share their military base in Tapa with 1,100 NATO troops. Approximately 15,000 Estonian citizens live in the UK, mainly in London, Bradford and Leicester. FACT FILE: ESTONIA CULTURAL IMMERSION A virtual reality experience for Invest Estonia (above); and (inset) HE Tiina Intelmann Embassy insights

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