Eesti Elu
Learning Estonian, Sesame Street style (5)
Archived Articles 06 Aug 2009  Eesti Elu
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In a style similar to learning letters and numbers on the classic children's television show Sesame Street, Estonia seems to have begun an in-your-face language acquisition program to help foreigners and members of the Russian-speaking minority learn the basics of the Estonian language. This seitse (seven) on Tööstuse tänav in the Karjamaa neighbourhood of Tallinn's Kopli peninsula is one suur, sinine (big, blue) step towards Estonian integration.

The learning aid doubles as an automaat- or iseteenindav bensiinijaam (self-serve gas station), although the term bensiinijaam is a bit antiquated and long and is more often referred to as a tankla, or place where you fill your tank. This has resulted in the prevalence of the verb tankima: Lähme tangime Seitsmes. – Let's go fill 'er up at Seven.

A series of large, green kaheksad (eights) are rumoured to be going up in the large industrial centres of Ida-Virumaa soon. Üheksa (nine) is also no easy number to remember, just ask any Estonian 2-year-old.

Photo and text: RIINA KINDLAM, Tallinn
 
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