Es werden Posts vom Oktober, 2020 angezeigt.

Life in Estonia, part 4: Puhkeruumi vestlused - break room conversations

I sit on a desk all day, so in order to stay healthy, I get up every hour, go down the stairs and into the other part of the building to make another cup of tea in the employees’ break room. In the mornings I very often meet Külli there, whose office is just across the hall. And Tarmo and his desk neighbor usually come to fill up their coffee mugs around ten. When I run into Tarmo, he naturally asks about my progress with the statistics program. “Well, the regression analysis is going quite well, but I’ve been wanting to make survivor curves and haven’t succeeded in that yet.” “There must be some simple way to do it. There is a simple way for everything in STATA”, he says. “I have to look up how I did that…” “Or you could use the program MedCalc” suggests professor Valdmann while he puts his cup into the coffee machine. “You can get a free trial for two weeks and with that program it is very easy to make these graphs. If you have any questions, let me know!” He held three lectu

Puhkeruumi vestlused: Pausenraumgespräche - Life in Estonia, Teil 4

Um nicht den ganzen Tag am Schreibtisch zu sitzen, stehe ich etwa einmal in der Stunde auf, gehe in den anderen Gebäudeteil, die Treppe runter und mache mir in der Personalküche eine neue Tasse Tee. Vormittags ist ganz oft Külli da, deren Büro sich direkt gegenüber befindet. Tarmo und seine Schreibtischnachbarin holen sich fast immer gegen zehn neuen Kaffee. Wenn ich auf Tarmo treffe, fragt er natürlich kurz, wie es mit dem Statistikprogramm voran geht. „Naja, die Regressionsmodelle klappen schon ganz gut, aber ich wollte gerne so eine Kaplan-Meyer-Kurve erstellen.“ „Da gibt es sicher eine ganz einfache Möglichkeit. Es gibt für alles eine einfache Methode in STATA! Ich muss mal nachgucken, ob ich das irgendwo finde…“ „Du kannst ja auch mal MedCalc probieren, es gibt eine kostenlose Testversion und damit kann man die Kurven ganz leicht erstellen“, mischt sich Professor Valdmann ein, während er seine Tasse in den Kaffeeautomaten schiebt. „Und wenn du Fragen zu dem Programm hast

Essentials for your Estonian accent - a not-so scientific approach to linguistics

Dear Estonians, please do not feel like I am making fun of you with this. I love you, I love your language and I love your accent. I have noticed that when I have a longer conversation with you in English, I fall into a similar accent. And the scientist that I am, with two semesters of linguistics on my CV, I am now simply analyzing what makes this unique accent. Of course, there are great generational differences. Younger people tend to have a lighter accent and struggle less with the different sentence structure and grammar. But if you listen closely, you can still hear it… Dear Germans, I’m sorry that this isn’t available in your language – but you gotta understand that that would make no sense. So, here are some basic rules that will make you sound Estonian when you speak English: a)      The randomized distribution of articles. As Estonian doesn’t have articles, it’s sometimes hard to tell when to use them and when not. So you will drop sentences like „Could you give me cup

Life in Estonia, part 3: I think I am a scientist now

  It’s a Finnish student again. I realize that there is actually no reason why anybody should knock on this door to see me – the only two people who need to communicate with me at work are Tarmo with whom I use an instant messenger app and Toomas, who sits next to me most of the time. After stating the obvious (“Toomas ei ole” – “He’s not here”) she asks in English: “Do you know when he’ll be back?” “He usually comes in at twelve.” Of course she is back five past twelve. Only after she has closed the door again do I realize that I didn’t actually have to apologize for my boss not being here. He tends to show up in the office by the time I’m halfway through my day already. Then I get to listen to his online lectures and the students who have technical problems while he’s out getting more coffee, and we chat while the students are doing group works and he has muted himself. I should actually be working, but what can you do? Every once in a while he turns around to me and asks a que