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  5. "I am Estonian."

"I am Estonian."

Translation:Olen virolainen.

June 30, 2020



Is eestiläinen accepted?


Yes, though eestiläinen is more colloquial than virolainen.


Some Finns prefer to use "eestiläinen" since they feel it's more respectful than "virolainen" but in general "virolainen" is completely neutral.


As an Estonian, we don't mind either way.


Is virolainen "not respectful" in any context (historically maybe) or just because Eesti would be more sympathetic as it is how the Estonian call themselves?


It is because historically the northeastern province of Estonia (i.e., the province of Estonia that was closest to Finland) was called Virumaa. Finnish-speakers took the name "Virumaa" from the northeastern province and used it to refer to all of Estonia.

Nowadays the area that used to be called Virumaa is divided into two different provinces, Lääne-Virumaa (western Virumaa) and Ida-Virumaa (eastern Virumaa). These two provinces are both in the northeastern part of the country.
So it is not disrespectful, but historically (and currently in Estonian) refers to only the northeastern part of Estonia rather than the whole country.

Latvia does almost the same thing by calling Estonia "Igaunija" which comes from the name of another old province of Estonia, Ugandi (a southern province, so, again, the part of Estonia that was closest to Latvia was used by the Latvians to refer to all of Estonia).

Estonians know this and don't find it disrespectful, but Finnish-speakers who realize that the historical meaning refers to just part of the country may find it more respectful to say Eesti when referring to the whole country.


Wow, that's what I was looking for. Thank you


@Kadaka_Marja: It's the same with "Holland" which is the old name for a part of The Netherlands that now consists of Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland. Amsterdam is situated in the former, The Hague in the latter. This year the government decided to change the marketing of the country from "Holland" to "The Netherlands" (Aug 2020)


And, to be fair, Estonians call Finland "Soome" which only originally referred to South(-west)ern Finland. It's just that Finnish people don't even think about it, since we do the same with "Suomi". :)


Not that I know of. We understand that finns call us virolainen and we live in Viro. In some historic or folk tales we ourselves call the land Virumaa so I doubt it's disrespectful or offensive in any way.


Question: Why is Suomi called "Finland"? Why was the country code in internet changed into ".fi"? Why was the country code on cars changed from "SF" into "FIN"? (Aug 2020)


Was the domain code something else before? The country code on cars was changed simply to make it easier for everyone outside Finland to know what it means, since most languages use some variation of "Finland". (Also there are a lot more country codes starting with "S" than "F", so FIN stands out better.)


I don't know why they changed the country's domain code or license code, but check out this 2 minute video speculating on the origin of the word Finland/Finn: https://youtu.be/3Vst0iY04s4



It's actually the etymology of both words is uncertain.

Finland was maybe the name used in Europe at the time of the Roman empire. 'Land of the end'.



Why is "mä oon virolainen" incorrect?


Because that's too much spoken language, which they don't teach yet on this course.

They would have to draw a line between different dialects (at least mä, mie, mää, and minä are used for "minä") and which ones to accept etc. I think they're going to add the past tense before going on to spoken language (which by the way is a separate lesson in the Japanese course, for example).


Then I think that is like that: ma olen virolainen


remember the dots: ¨mä¨


In the hints, "I am" was translated to "minulla on." That means "I have," right?


It literally means 'I have', but can mean other things too.

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