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Estonian/Finnish/Hungarian "cheat sheet"

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Chung
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 Message 1 of 19
27 March 2010 at 10:38am | IP Logged 
This post is similar to the one in the recent thread about mutual intelligibility within Slavonic languages. These rules of thumb are ones that I've picked up or adapted from my learning experiences with Estonian, Finnish, and Hungarian along with consultation of books and articles on Finno-Ugric comparative linguistics. I hope that these rules of thumb will be useful for people studying Estonian, Finnish or Hungarian, and for those who are interested in comparative linguistics. I welcome additions, comments or corrections to the rules of thumb. I regret the absence of Lappish material, but given that Finnish and Hungarian are the more frequently-studied Finno-Ugric languages by people on this forum, I do not believe that this post will be completely without interest.

As with the list in the thread on intra-Slavonic mutual intelligibility, I suggest that it'd be better for people not to read this post in one sitting, but to read it slowly and carefully. If necessary do so in more than one sitting lest one becomes confused by the rules of thumb. It should be noted that the divergence between Hungarian and Estonian or Finnish is comparable to the divergence between English and Russian. The number of cognates shared by Hungarian with Estonian or Finnish is relatively low but this is not surprising when it is hypothesized that Proto-Finno-Ugric (the last reconstructed ancestral language common to all of Estonian, Finnish and Hungarian) split into Proto-Finno-Permic (a reconstructed ancestor of Estonian and Finnish) and Proto-Ugric (a reconstructed ancestor of Hungarian) around 2000 BC.

Before going onto the list: Hungarian has virtually no mutual intelligibility with either Estonian or Finnish. At most the occasional Estonian/Finnish word may be vaguely discernible to a monoglot Hungarian (and vice-versa), but differences in grammar and phonology provide enough hurdles to reduce mutual intelligibility to something next to 0.

Estonian and Finnish have some mutual intelligibility, but anecdotal evidence suggests that Estonians have an easier time understanding Finnish, than the reverse case.

Here are some non-technical discussions or observations about the relationship between these three languages:

forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=334033 (thread about mutual intelligibility between Finnish and Hungarian)

www.antimoon.com/forum/t13629.htm (thread about mutual intelligibility between Estonian and Finnish)

www.unilang.org/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=25854 (thread about mutual intelligibility between Estonian and Finnish)

how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1479 5&PN=1 (thread about mutual intelligibility between Estonian and Finnish)

how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1582 7&PN=1 (thread about Finno-Ugric languages in general including some comments on mutual intelligibility between Finnish and Northern Lappish)

answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080214132935AAwg3Xi (question about whether one should learn Estonian or Finnish)

www.histdoc.net/sounds/hungary.html (Professor Gyula Weöres' comments about the relationship between Finnish and Hungarian)

www.antimoon.com/forum/t13800.htm (thread about Finnish, Hungarian and Lappish)

www.helsinki.fi/~jolaakso/f-h-ety.html (Professor Johanna Laakso's page which discusses some similarities between Finnish and Hungarian and also includes a list of cognates)

answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100314121003AAWMapY (question about whether Finnish and Hungarian are similar)

corcaighist.blogspot.com/2010/02/false-friends-finnish-eston ian.html (blog posting about false friends in Estonian and Finnish by an Irishman living in Estonia)

***

Rules of thumb for comparing Hungarian with Estonian and/or Finnish

-----------------------

1) The Hungarian cognate of an Estonian or Finnish word that has the combination of initial K + back vowel usually has the combination of initial H + back vowel instead. (there are a few exceptions to this observation and they have been dealt with in studies by comparative linguists).

“fish”     
Kala (Estonian, Finnish)

Hal (Hungarian)
     
“three”
Kolm (Estonian); Kolme (Finnish)
                                                                            
Három (Hungarian)
     
“armpit”
Kaenal (Estonian - archaic); Kainalo (Finnish)
     
Hónalj (Hungarian)
     
“six”
Kuus (Estonian); Kuusi (Finnish)
                                                                            
Hat (Hungarian)

-----------------------

2) The Hungarian cognate of an Estonian or Finnish word which begins with the combination of K + front vowel will often have the same combination.

“round”
Keerd “coil” (Estonian); Kiero “crooked”, “twisted”, “warped” (Finnish)

Kerek (Hungarian)

“to beg”
Kerjama (Estonian); Kerjätä (Finnish)

Kérni “to request” (Hungarian)

“elbow”
Küünarnukk (Estonian); Kyynärpää (Finnish)

Könyök (Hungarian)

-----------------------

3) The Hungarian cognate of an Estonian or Finnish word which begins with P will begin with F.

“tree”
Puu (Estonian, Finnish)

Fa (Hungarian)
     
“boy”
Poeg “son” (Estonian); Poika (Finnish)
                                                                            
Fiú (Hungarian)
     
“swallow” (i.e. bird belonging to Hirundinidae)
Pääsuke (Estonian); Pääsky (Finnish)

Fecske (Hungarian)
     
“head”
Pea (Estonian); Pää (Finnish)
                                                                            
Fej (Hungarian)

-----------------------
                                                                         
4) The Hungarian cognate of an Estonian or Finnish word that begins with h- or s- tends to lack the h- or s- (N.B. This is true when the ancestral reconstruction has *S-). The underscore preceding the Hungarian cognate indicates the place of the “missing” H or S.

“mouse”
Hiir (Estonian); Hiiri (Finnish)

_egér (Hungarian)

“gall”
Sapp (Estonian); Sappi (Finnish)

_epe (Hungarian)

"vein"
Soon (Estonian); Suoni (Finnish)

_ín "nerve"; "sinew", "tendon" (Hungarian)

“to melt”
Sulama (Estonian); Sulaa (Finnish)

_olvadni (Hungarian)

-----------------------

5) The Hungarian cognate of an Estonian or Finnish word that begins with S will begin with SZ (pronounced as “s” in “soup”) (N.B. This is true when the ancestral reconstruction has *Ś-)

“mouth”
Suu (Estonian, Finnish)

SZáj (Hungarian)

“horn”
Sarv (Estonian); Sarvi (Finnish)

SZarv (Hungarian)

“heart”
Süda (Estonian); Sydän (Finnish)

SZív (Hungarian)

-----------------------
     
6) The Hungarian cognate of an Estonian or Finnish word which has non-initial -d-, -s- or -t- will have non-initial -z-.

“honey”
meSi (Estonian, Finnish)     

méZ (Hungarian)
     
“home”
koDu (Estonian); koTi (Finnish)

háZ “house” (Hungarian)
     
“hand”
käSi (Estonian, Finnish)

kéZ (Hungarian)
                                                                         
-----------------------

7) Hungarian tends to simplify consonant clusters (not including diagraphs) from the ancestral language which the Estonian or Finnish cognates are more likely to have retained.

“fetter”, “shackle”
küTKe (Estonian - rare); kyTKeä “to connect” (Finnish)

köTni “to bind” (Hungarian)
     
“knot”
sõLM (Estonian); soLMu (Finnish)
                                                                            
csoMó “bundle”, “knot” (Hungarian)

“to cram”, “to thrust”
tuNGima “to force one’s way”; “to penetrate” (Estonian); tuNKea (Finnish)

duGni “to stick”, “to plug” (Hungarian)
     
"track", "trail", "vestige"
jäLG (Estonian); jäLKi (Finnish)

jeL "mark", "sign" (Hungarian)

“to know”
tuNDma (Estonian); tuNTea (Finnish)
                                                                            
tuDni (Hungarian)

-----------------------

8) Finnish and Hungarian adhere to vowel harmony with few exceptions. Estonian does not adhere at all to vowel harmony.

-----------------------

9) Stress in Estonian, Finnish, and Hungarian is almost always fixed on the first syllable.

-----------------------

10) Diphthongs (i.e. a unitary vowel whose sound changes during pronunciation. e.g au, äi, ou) appear frequently in Estonian and Finnish. Hungarian has few diphthongs (mainly from loanwords e.g. autó “car”), and instances of adjacent vowels in Hungarian are most often treated with distinct pronounciation for each vowel (e.g. kínai “Chinese” is pronounced with a and i being separate sounds i.e. “kee-na-ee” but NOT “kee-naye”)

-----------------------

11) Estonian has 14 cases, Finnish has 15 cases (16 if one counts the exessive) while Hungarian has 16 to 24 cases (depending on how one counts them).

-----------------------

12) Estonian and Finnish use a few prepositions in addition to many postpositions. Hungarian uses only postpositions, and there are many of them.

-----------------------

13) Estonian and Finnish show negation with a negative verb. Hungarian uses a negative particle with the verb.

e.g.

“We are reading.” / “We are not reading.”
Me loeme / Me ei loe. (Estonian); Me luemme. / Me emme lue. (Finnish)

Mi olvasunk. / Mi nem olvasunk. (Hungarian)

“Read!” / “Don’t read!” (plural)
Lugege! / Ärge lugege! (Estonian); Lukekaa! / Älkää lukeko! (Finnish)

Olvassatok! / Ne olvassatok! (Hungarian)

-----------------------

14) Estonian and Finnsh declension for direct objects can be expressed using nominative, accusative, genitive or partitive. The choice of case depends on how the direct object aligns with telicity (i.e. whether the verb phrase presents a complete action or not), negation, definiteness, or unity/composition (i.e. uncountable direct objects versus countable ones).

In comparison, Hungarian declension for direct objects is expressed with the accusative, regardless of telicity, negation, definiteness or countability of that direct object.

-----------------------

15) Hungarian conjugation considers whether the object fulfills criteria to require indefinite or definite conjugation. In other words, a Hungarian verb’s conjugational endings not only mark the subject, tense and/or mood, but also whether the object is definite or not according to Hungarian grammar. Therefore almost every Hungarian transitive verb has two sets of conjugational endings with definiteness of the object determining which of the two set of endings is to be used for a given verb.

In comparison, conjugational patterns for Estonian and Finnish verbs do not depend on the definiteness of the object but rather on whether the verb is negated or not (see the 13th rule of thumb for an example of negative conjugation in Estonian and Finnish).

A summary of rules of thumb nos. 14 and 15 is that Estonian and Finnish DECLENSION OF THE DIRECT OBJECT differs from Hungarian’s because of considerations of telicity, definiteness, negation or unity. On the other hand Hungarian CONJUGATION differs from that of Estonian and Finnish because of considerations for definiteness of the object.

-----------------------

16) Estonian and Finnish have consonant gradation. Hungarian does not. Suffixes in the first two languages are attached to a stem which can differ noticeably from the “basic” form because of consonant gradation. However the principles of consonant gradation in Finnish are less elaborate than those in Estonian. Consequently Finnish consonant gradation should be less time-consuming to assimilate than Estonian consonant gradation.

In comparison, Hungarian suffixes are often attached to a stem which is identical to the “basic” form.

“to know”

tead|ma (Estonian - -ma is an infinitive suffix)
tietä|ä (Finnish - -ä is an infinitive suffix)
tud|ni (Hungarian - -ni is the infinitive suffix)

“I know [it]” / “he/she knows [it]” / “we know [it]” / “they know [it]”

tean / teab / teame / teavad (Estonian)
tiedän / tietää / tiedämme / tietävät (Finnish)
tudom / tudja / tudjuk / tudják (Hungarian)

N.B. Despite the similarity in form between the Estonian and Finnish stems on one hand and the Hungarian one on the other, the Hungarian word is NOT the cognate of the Estonian and Finnish words. The respective cognates in Estonian and Finnish for Hungarian “tudni” are “tundma” and “tuntea”.

“boy” (nominative singular)
poiss (Estonian); poika (Finnish); fiú (Hungarian)

“boys” (nominative plural)
poisid (Estonian); pojat (Finnish); fiúk (Hungarian)

“to a boy” (allative singular)
poisile (Estonian); pojalle (Finnish); fiúhoz (Hungarian)

“into a boy” (illative singular)
poissi ~ poisisse (Estonian); poikaan (Finnish); fiúba (Hungarian)

-----------------------

17) Estonian, Finnish, and Hungarian maintain a basic three-way distinction in case suffixes for motion relative to a specified location, with additional distinctions made for whether that location is considered enclosed or not. The basic distinction is comparable to the English one in “whence?”, “where?” and “whither?”. Hungarian however has a set of suffixes for making an extra distinction about the motion relative to the vicinity of a specified location. Estonian and Finnish do not express this particular distinction in the same way.

-----------------------


Rules of thumb for comparing Estonian with Finnish

18) In comparison to Standard Finnish, Estonian is characterized by apocope (i.e. loss of unstressed final syllables). There is a somewhat cheeky observation that Estonian looks like Finnish with most of the words missing the final syllable. Colloquial Finnish also shows apocope (especially involving final syllables that end in -i or -n in Standard Finnish words) which Estonian has already standardized.

“We have a big car”
Meillä on suuri auto (Standard Finnish)
Meil on suuri auto (Colloquial Finnish)
Meil on suur auto (Estonian)

“I’m definitely writing” / “Yes, I’m writing”
Kyllä kirjoitan. (Standard Finnish)
Kyl kirjotan (Colloquial Finnish)
Kirjutan küll. (Estonian)

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

yksi, kaksi, kolme, neljä, viisi, kuusi, seitsemän, kahdeksan, yhdeksän, kymmenen (Standard Finnish)

yks, kaks, kol, nel, viis, kuus, seittemä(n), kaheksa(n), yheksä(n), kymmene(n) (Colloquial Finnish)

üks, kaks, kolm, neli, viis, kuus, seitse, kaheksa, üheksa, kümme (Estonian)

11,12,20
yksitoista, kaksitoista, kaksikymmentä (Standard Finnish)
ykstoist, kakstoist, kakskymment (Colloquial Finnish)
üksteist, kaksteist, kakskümmend (Estonian)

“I am from Helsinki.”
Minä olen HelsingiSTÄ. (Standard Finnish)
Mä oon HelsingiST. (Colloquial Finnish)
M(in)a olen (pärit) HelsingiST. (Estonian)

“You are in the castle”
Sinä olet linnaSSA. (Standard Finnish)
Sä oot linnaS. (Colloquial Finnish)
S(in)a oled linnaS. “You are in the town” (Estonian)

19) Estonian and Colloquial Finnish have changed certain diphthongs or clusters that are still found in Standard Finnish.

“to want” / “I want”
tahtoa / taHDon (Standard Finnish)
tahtoa / taHon (Colloquial Finnish)
tahtma / taHan (Estonian)

“to write” / “I write”
kirjOIttaa / kirjOItan (Standard Finnish)
kirjOttaa / kirjOtan (Colloquial Finnish)
kirjUtama / kirjUtan (Estonian)

20) The method of expressing possession for the 1st and 2nd persons in Colloquial Finnish is closer to that in Estonian than in Standard Finnish. Colloquial Finnish usually does not rely on a possessive suffix attached to the possessed object but rather a possessive pronoun + the possessed object without a possessive suffix. In Estonian, this construction is standard. Because of the use of possessive suffixes in Standard Finnish, the use of a possessive pronoun is often considered unnecessary unless the user wishes to emphasize the possessor.

“Our country...”
(Meidän) maamme... (Standard Finnish)
Mei(j)än maa... (Colloquial Finnish)
Me(ie) maa... (Estonian)

“Your child...” (singular)
(Sinun) lapsesi... (Standard Finnish)
Sun laps(esi)... (Colloquial Finnish)
S(in)u laps... (Estonian)

***



Edited by Chung on 05 August 2010 at 6:06pm

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Hencke
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 Message 2 of 19
27 March 2010 at 11:34pm | IP Logged 
Wow, great list of comparisons.

Still, I can't resist nitpicking a little about the following:
(not that it invalidates anything in your excellent post, just thought I'd mention it for completeness)

'sinew'; 'nerve'
Soon (Estonian); Suoni (Finnish)

"suoni" in Finnish actually means "vein" (blood vessel)
(while 'sinew' translates as "jänne" and 'nerve' as "hermo")



Chung
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 Message 3 of 19
28 March 2010 at 12:27am | IP Logged 
Hencke wrote:
Wow, great list of comparisons.

Still, I can't resist nitpicking a little about the following:
(not that it invalidates anything in your excellent post, just thought I'd mention it for completeness)

'sinew'; 'nerve'
Soon (Estonian); Suoni (Finnish)

"suoni" in Finnish actually means "vein" (blood vessel)
(while 'sinew' translates as "jänne" and 'nerve' as "hermo")


Thanks, Hencke. Fixed



ellasevia
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 Message 4 of 19
28 March 2010 at 3:31am | IP Logged 
So, might I ask which of these three languages would be considered the easiest to learn for a native speaker of English, and why? It seems that the grammar or Hungarian is more complicated than that of Estonian and Finnish, but is more regular. Am I right in thinking this?

Furthermore, which would be considered easier for a native English-speaker, Finnish or Estonian? Estonian's grammar looks less complicated than that of Finnish and has standardized the colloquial speech, but I have heard that it is full of irregularities.

Kiitos! Aitäh! Köszönöm!

Edited by ellasevia on 28 March 2010 at 3:32am



Chung
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 Message 5 of 19
28 March 2010 at 4:03am | IP Logged 
I found Hungarian to be the easiest of the three to grasp to a usable level while Estonian was the hardest (it's very debatable whether I can say that I have an even usable grasp of that language!).

The grammar of all three languages is complicated for a newcomer but Hungarian is indeed more regular. Thus it may be easier to assimilate patterns as you learn them. Learning the double-conjugation (definite versus indefinite) of Hungarian was much easier for me than trying to understand declension of the direct object in Estonian or Finnish. As you get deeper into these languages, you'll find other things to keep you occupied (I'm still at the beginner stage in Finnish, but estimate to have reached high-beginner/low-intermediate for Estonian and mid-intermediate for Hungarian). In Hungarian to this day I still struggle with the vagaries of word-order and case governance for various verbs. Hungarian word order is quite flexible and getting the "native-sounding" or "nearest-to-correct" word order is far from easy for a foreigner, even though in theory almost any word order will convey the proper general meaning (if not the subtlety).

I am finding Finnish grammar to be much easier to grasp than Estonian. The apocope (loss of final unstressed syllables) in older forms of Estonian has meant that modern Estonian case forms can look the same in print. Yet to maintain the distinctions Estonians can use up to three vowel lengths (short, long, over-long) to distinguish different case forms or stems. Of course to make life tough, these vowel lengths are not usually marked in texts unless you are consulting a special dictionary or technical manual on Estonian prosody.

Estonian grammar looks just as complicated as Finnish's in my opinion. When you get into the details, the various inflections in Standard Finnish grammar are easier to manage than in Estonian because there's no apocope which leads to syncretized stems (forms that look the same) or complicated rules for determining stems of other words. Apocope wreaks havoc for the foreign learner (in my opinion) when he/she tries to see the details of Estonian inflection. When you compare the formation of the genitive singular, partitive singular and partitive plural (all are important or "core" cases) in Estonian with how it's done in Finnish, you'll likely wonder how you could think that Estonian grammar would be less complicated than Finnish grammar. If anything, you'll probably be grateful for the more predictable setup in Finnish :-P

Kuunhalme from Finland had a bit to say about the difference between Finnish and Hungarian for a foreign learner (he speaks Finnish and Hungarian in addition to a few other languages). You may find his comments useful too.

how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=8454 &PN=1&TPN=6#132314
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aabram
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 Message 6 of 19
30 March 2010 at 10:34am | IP Logged 
Cool analysis. I only wish I had your determination and methodicity with languages
instead of my own hippie-style approach.

Couple of notes though on Estonian.

“to attach”
küTKe “fetter”, “shackle” (Estonian); kyTKeä (Finnish)

Hmm. Whence "kütke"? From top of my head I don't know any other meaning for "kütke" in
standard Estonian apart from imperative plural "Kütke (ahju)!", "Heat (the stove)!".
You can use it in, say, poetry for singular of "kütked", but that is somewhat different
usage. To shackle or to tie up is "köitma", or, in imperative, "köitke!". Translation
of attach varies depending on the context but I can't come up with any which yould be
"köitma". What did you have in mind? Also, in Finnish "kytkeä" is more like to
plug/switch in/on or to connect rather than to fetter or shackle, no?

“I am from Helsinki.”
Minä olen HelsingiSTÄ. (Standard Finnish)
Mä oon HelsingiST. (Colloquial Finnish)
Ma tulen HelsingiST. “I come from Helsinki” (Estonian)

Just to clarify here to be sure you provided correct translation for Estonian phrase on
the same row, not as literal translation for the meaning provided on top of the block.
"Ma tulen" is used strictly when you come from somewhere, where come is used to mean
relocating yourself from point A to point B. If you need to say "I am from..." then you
have to use "Ma olen...". "Ma olen Helsingist" means that you were born or currently
live in Helsinki. It doesn't matter where you are now, you might be in Helsinki as well
answering someone inquiring about your background. But you can use "Ma tulen
Helsingist" only when talking about from where you travelled here.
If that is exactly what you ment then I'm sorry for repeating. That must be one of the
top translation/learning mistakes between English and Estonian. It can frequently seen
in bad movie translations too (fansubs mainly).

Fascinating to see someone to be so intense about Finno-Ugric languages. Keep us
updated with your insights :)

1 person has voted this message useful



Chung
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 Message 7 of 19
30 March 2010 at 5:05pm | IP Logged 
aabram wrote:
Cool analysis. I only wish I had your determination and methodicity with languages
instead of my own hippie-style approach.

Couple of notes though on Estonian.

“to attach”
küTKe “fetter”, “shackle” (Estonian); kyTKeä (Finnish)

Hmm. Whence "kütke"? From top of my head I don't know any other meaning for "kütke" in standard Estonian apart from imperative plural "Kütke (ahju)!", "Heat (the stove)!". You can use it in, say, poetry for singular of "kütked", but that is somewhat different usage. To shackle or to tie up is "köitma", or, in imperative, "köitke!". Translation of attach varies depending on the context but I can't come up with any which yould be "köitma". What did you have in mind? Also, in Finnish "kytkeä" is more like to plug/switch in/on or to connect rather than to fetter or shackle, no?

“I am from Helsinki.”
Minä olen HelsingiSTÄ. (Standard Finnish)
Mä oon HelsingiST. (Colloquial Finnish)
Ma tulen HelsingiST. “I come from Helsinki” (Estonian)

Just to clarify here to be sure you provided correct translation for Estonian phrase on the same row, not as literal translation for the meaning provided on top of the block. "Ma tulen" is used strictly when you come from somewhere, where come is used to mean relocating yourself from point A to point B. If you need to say "I am from..." then you have to use "Ma olen...". "Ma olen Helsingist" means that you were born or currently live in Helsinki. It doesn't matter where you are now, you might be in Helsinki as well answering someone inquiring about your background. But you can use "Ma tulen Helsingist" only when talking about from where you travelled here. If that is exactly what you ment then I'm sorry for repeating. That must be one of the top translation/learning mistakes between English and Estonian. It can frequently seen in bad movie translations too (fansubs mainly).

Fascinating to see someone to be so intense about Finno-Ugric languages. Keep us
updated with your insights :)


"kütke" is a tricky one. I too could not remember learning that word from my Estonian courses and could not find the word in my copy of Johannes Silvet's big Estonian dictionary (published by TEA). However "kütke" IS presented as a cognate for "kytkeä" and "kötni" in the online etymological database for Uralic languages. I also found "kütke" in Paul Saagpakk's big Estonian-English dictionary (published by Koolibri). In the time between the publication of Saagpaak's dictionary (which is quite old despite the stream of reprints) and Silvet's newer one, "kütke" may have become obsolete, thus initially eluding both of us.

"kytkeä" from what I learned means "to attach" (the header of the entry in quotation marks) in addition, "to connect", "to couple", "to turn on" etc.

In any case, "kytkeä", "kütke" and "kötni" are cognates and they are also being used to illustrate how a consonant cluster (here TK) in the Estonian or Finnish word tends to correspond to the Hungarian cognate's lack of that consonant cluster (here just T).

That's interesting about "Ma tulen Helsingist". When I was using "Teach Yourself Estonian" (2008), I came across a set of dialogues where people at an artists' camp introduce themselves and each person begins with something like: "Minu nimi on .... Ma tulen Rakverest/Tartust/jne..." I now also recall learning that I'm supposed to use "pärit" with "olema" when talking about origin (e.g. "Kas te olete ise Pärnust pärit?"). In any case, I've fixed the example per your comments. The point of the example is to show that certain endings in Estonian and Colloquial Finnish look like shortened versions of those in Standard Finnish. At least that's beyond doubt.

Thanks for your comments, aabram.
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aabram
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 Message 8 of 19
30 March 2010 at 8:20pm | IP Logged 
Chung wrote:
"kütke" is a tricky one. I too could not remember learning that word from
my Estonian courses and could not find the word in my copy of Johannes Silvet's big
Estonian dictionary (published by TEA). However "kütke" IS presented as a cognate for
"kytkeä" and "kötni" in the online etymological database for Uralic languages. I also
found "kütke" in Paul Saagpakk's big Estonian-English dictionary (published by
Koolibri). In the time between the publication of Saagpaak's dictionary (which is quite
old despite the stream of reprints) and Silvet's newer one, "kütke" may have become
obsolete, thus initially eluding both of us.


Ah, ok, Saagpakk may indeed include words like those. It's not something one would use
in regular speech but given the context it would be understandable since the root is
common. When building your vocabulary on Saagpakk you may run into risk of getting
blank stares from regular folks when using some of the words :). The dictionary itself
is still in high esteem so you've made good choice when obtaining it.

Chung wrote:
"kytkeä" from what I learned means "to attach" (the header of the entry in
quotation marks) in addition, "to connect", "to couple", "to turn on" etc.


Yup, I later thought the same, it is used in IT context. Just didn't click with me when
I wrote it.

Chung wrote:
That's interesting about "Ma tulen Helsingist". When I was using "Teach
Yourself Estonian" (2008), I came across a set of dialogues where people at an artists'
camp introduce themselves and each person begins with something like: "Minu nimi on
.... Ma tulen Rakverest/Tartust/jne..." I now also recall learning that I'm supposed to
use "pärit" with "olema" when talking about origin (e.g. "Kas te olete ise Pärnust
pärit?").


Just wanted to make sure you realise the difference because one never asks "kust sa
tuled?" when really meaning ta ask "kust sa pärit oled?". Same goes for asnwering. But
seems you've got it all nicely nailed down. Kiiduväärt põhjalikkus!




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