Eesti Elu
Wish list for your Estonian Santa
Arvamus 16 Dec 2011  Eesti Elu
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It's not too late to write to Jõuluvana in Estonian, you just have to know what and how to ask. If you want something traditional like sokid, vitamiinid or flanell/pidžaamad, the requests are straightforward enough. But I'm sure a lot of you are yearning for gadgets your grandparents never even dreamed of.

You could text Santa from your mobiiltelefon aka mobiil aka mobla. Just like the British say mobile and not cell. In Estonian that's called sending an SMS or sõnum (message). Or you could e-mail him – saada talle e-post. Hey, if you're an upfront sort of person, call him! He'll surely take your call hands-free, as a vaba/käe/kõne with the phone firmly in his autohoidik. Or make that saani/hoidik (sleigh phone holder), with the flying vehicle set on kiirus/hoidik (cruise control).

Many of you crave a new computer I'm sure; an arvuti. A laptop is süle/arvuti, also known as a "läpakas"; a palmtop computer or personal data assistant is a pihu/arvuti (pihk = palm) and tablet computer or tablet – the most famous being the iPad – is a tahvel/arvuti. The latter is famous for its puute/ekraan (touch screen), rather than using a physical keyboard (klaviatuur; also sõrmistik if you're a language purist.)
Nuti/telefon is the Eesti Keele Instituut's approved term for smartphone. But taibutelefon is another option (taip is comprehension, wit, savvy). If you aren't yet in the know, these are a mobiiltelefon and pihuarvuti rolled into one. Listen to music, make calls, send messages and e-mail, surf the web, find out your location via GPS – the navigeerimis/seade, navi/seade for short – navigation device.

Failing eyesight? Perhaps you crave an e-book? The Estonian Santa will understand e-raamat and/or E-LUGER from the word lugeja (reader). Need to transfer digital data? You need a mälu/pulk, a "memory stick" aka USB flash drive. Or perhaps its big brother, a new väline kõva/ketas (external hard drive). Going to the cottage? Better add a neti/pulk (USB internet stick, mobile internet) to your wish list.

Estonians generally stuff sausage casings, not stockings. But if you have a fireplace that begs stockings this time of year, any number of mobiili- or arvutiTARVIKUD (accessories) would be a nutikas choice. If they fit.

Aga muusika? Does anyone not yet have an MP3 player?! That would be an MP3 mängija.... I don't! But I can still listen to podcasts, i.e. tasku/häälingud with my faithful "läppar" on my faithful läpp at home. Although I guess it would be groovy to listen to quality radio programs after the fact while sitting on the bus...

Enough with the technotalk. Perhaps you'd like one of the following, all terms which have recently been accepted by the Eesti Keele Instituut and inducted into the dictionary: mullitaja – with which to blow bubbles, köögi/hunt ("kitchen wolf", i.e. garborator) or a jooksu/lint (treadmill). Estonians are practical. Everyday necessities are appreciated. I once gave my father a kamm (comb) and a bottle of E-vitamiin for Christmas. My Canadian boyfriend at the time thought I was cheap and heartless, but I knew what would make my Issi happy. Kassi/liiv (kitty litter) for the tädi with the cat, kõrre/joogid (juice boxes) for the kid who has everything. Everybody needs a säästu/pirn (energy saving bulb) and every camper needs a bag of vahu/kommid (marshmallows).

Don't worry, jõuluvana cannot be accused of making an äkk/ost (impulse buy) and is not an ostu/sõltlane (shopaholic). He has kept step, supports õiglane kaubandus (fair trade), mahe/tootmine (organic production) and does not want you to make him leave a big fat öko/jala/jälg (ecological footprint).

PS – If there's one word the eesti jõuluvana wants you to learn this Christmas season, it's PULT. That's the remote (control). Oh, and lahkus. Generosity.

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