Wednesday, February 28, 2007

one reason why Chris can't get a job here!


Blogger reet said...

The Law of Language exists, because thousands of Russians who have spent their entire life here just completely refuse to learn Estonian. Even more, these people demand that everybody has to speak Russian to them.
Last year I had a class of Russian students. They were young, thus able to learn new things, they had lived in Estonia their whole life and they had already attended more than 300 hours of Estonian language lessons. Some of them still refused to try communicating in Estonian - not even "Tere" -, saying that they will never use it anywhere. These students were supposed to study (according the law I think, but they also had signed a document stating that they agree to use Estonian language during classes) in Estonian, just for their own good - if they speak both languages, they´ll have a huge advantage on the job market.
If a person shows willingness to learn Estonian language, nobody will fire him/her just for making some mistakes.
Chris is young and smart, he´ll learn the language as soon he needs it every day. Maybe he won´t be perfect, but few born and raised Estonians are. Reading some Estonian books and watching local tv would help - try children´s storybooks like "Naksitrallid" (Elizabeth is just growing out of this age, but they are fun for adults, too) or "Lotte" (also as nice, violence-free cartoon on DVD) - Peter will probably like this in a year or so, maybe even sooner. Sibling quality time would come as bonus. :)

The real reason why he can´t get a job here yet...
Chris is only 17 - almost everybody here in this age is still studying something, in a normal highschool or in a vocational school. It is as good here as impossible to get a job (I don´t think he wants to do something like heavy lifting or farmwork cleaning after cows)without any skills in it and a paper to prove that he has the skills, so - I think, and I know that it is not my business at all - first he should study. Just anything he wants. Nobody says that he absolutely has to do it his whole life. God offers us many possibilities, being 17 and wanting to do something with his life is one of the best. :)

Sorry for the too-long comment and poor English - it is not my first or second language.

Thursday, March 01, 2007 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Kapten Clark said...

A lot of people who read our blog are in America, where it is quite common for a teenager to have a part-time job after school. They can't understand why Chris can't just do something like that here to learn a little extra money. Some people truly cannot understand that there are over 6 billion people in the world and not all of them know English!

The huge advantage for Russian-speakers to learn Estonian, at least in my opinion, and at least at the present moment, is to have Estonian citizenship! To me that is a great advantage, and in fact I have a fantasy that in two and a half years I will even try to sit for that exam myself!

As I'm sure you know, the hard part with Estonian is the grammar, and this is truly not something that we can pick up through TV. That's why I spend so much time studying! English has practically no grammar, and that's why some people can learn it by TV.

I don't speak any Russian whatsoever, and I tend to panic if someone starts speaking to me in Russian. So I don't have this experience; they either have to speak in Estonian or English or we have to get a translator!

I am so sad about the situation with the Russian-speaking population here, but truly -- "ma ei tea mitte midagi sellest!" I am just a foreigner. But I do know that one of the most common ways for people to compliment my poor efforts at speaking Estonian is to say how much better I am than the Russian-speakers who have lived here all their lives.

The situation you describe is common, even in college! I've been studying at Tallinn University, and our teacher said the same thing. Even if kids have been learning Estonian for 10 years, they only want to speak in Russian. It is a little hard for me to understand, when I am working so hard to communicate in Estonian (it would be quite easy for me to just speak English or just use a translator!).

I think that Chris would be very happy to do heavy lifting or farm work! He is strong.

Your English is so wonderful! Please pray for me. Tomorrow night is the Women's World Day of Prayer and I have to read in Estonian 9 times!

Don't forget to VOTE! :-)

Thursday, March 01, 2007 5:41:00 PM  
Blogger reet said...

OK, I understand the job part now. Here most teenagers work only during summertime. Those who work all-year round have often jobs in their parents´ companies or they work together with parents or relatives or some grown-ups they know well. Getting a part-time job without good connections is hard because many people have no interest in hiring an untried teenager. As Estonia is so tiny, many people know each other so we have this "first-cousin policy" (no idea what it is in English)everywhere. Of course, not officially...

The grammar part is very hard, yes, but as soon people understand that you are not-Estonian struggling to speak the language they will forgive you the mistakes. Maybe you would like to look at Justin Petrone´s blog (if you haven´t already found out about him).
He writes a lot about learning Estonian language as American. And I still think that some things you can pick up through books - reading English or German I sometimes wonder why they do say it exactly this way they say it, and I try to find out. This has improved my English and German a lot, because so I´ll find out the logic in the language myself and it is easier to remember.

Good luck tomorrow!

Thursday, March 01, 2007 6:45:00 PM  

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