Estonian: Eesti Tere / Tere Jälle / EnE / KnK / KS: A0-B2 by barrybounce02


Now that I know the forums exist, this can be a place to talk about the course

While this is a monster course and could seem a bit unwieldy (especially when downloading it on the app!), having everything in one place means that if you move between books Memrise should only try to teach you words that you haven’t already learnt elsewhere.

I’m always particularly grateful to receive details of any errors that need fixing, or inconsistencies / duplications that can be clarified :slight_smile:

Course norms are that (unless otherwise indicated):

  • Verbs are given in the ma, da and “I” forms, always in full
  • Three noun forms are given, always in full
  • Where a word has a couple of similar and equally valid spellings I generally use the more complicated / longer one
  • Diminutives are increasingly being given with the -kene -kese -kest endings and indicated as diminutives, and I am changing over to this.
  • In order to maintain consistency across books and differential words with similar meanings the English translation may be more specific than is in your book.

If you don’t know why you should be learning three forms of each word yet bear with it, you’ll soon know you definitely should have been! Your book is no more than a few chapters away from springing this unwelcome surprise on you, and starting it from the beginning means you won’t need to go back and relearn stuff.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been adding individual chapters in Keel Selgeks and fixing bugs in the vocabulary from that book. Today I’ve added and corrected chapters 15-17.

Prior to this my last big update was the EKI A1 and A2 wordlists (in frequency order).

Other things in the pipeline are:

  • More consistent presentation of numbers (I just haven’t decided how to do this yet…)
  • Adding the vocabulary from KeeleKlikk (I have the list, and am separating it into units)
  • Adding the EKI B1 word list by frequency (about 3300 words are already in the course, and I have a list of around another 1000 needing expanded into three forms and translated
  • More Saame Tuttavaks and Tulduva chapters will come (as I work them).

The books included in the course are:

TERE! 978-9949-9231-0-6
TERE JÄLLE! 978-9949-9524-8-9
My favourite books, with good grammar explanations, really practical topics, and well chosen vocabulary. Great for self study. If you did these books and Keeleklikk you would definitely not need to be scared of the A2 exam (early editions said they took you to about A2 level, and later editions have the same content and suggest somewhere into B1 level)! Also available in Russian base, and there is also a third book Tere Taas available for Russian speakers. I really hope it becomes available for English speakers!!!

E Nagu Eesti 978-9949-33-230-4
Undoubtedly much much better than the really quite hopeless first edition that it replaced, though I still feel that it is perhaps a pity that this seems to be the most commonly used text in classrooms! Entirely in Estonian, with some diagrammatical explanations of grammar. Many people find it helpful, so the fact that I always have to reach for explanations from elsewhere could be me not being much of a linguist. The first print run described it as an A2 book, but later this was upgraded to B1 (with no change to content). I haven’t sat the B1 exam so can’t speak for this, but I can’t say I feel it offered a lot more than what saw me through the A2 exam (though it was a very comfortable A2 exam). It contains about 1500 words, which is a lot less than other B1 texts and certainly a lot less than the EKI B1 wordlist, though I guess you would never sit the B1 exam having only practiced from one source. It has a lot of exercises, and teachers that don’t like the rest of the book often use it just for these.

K nagu Kihnu 9789949962280 follows on from E nagu Eesti, and says that it is B2 level. The glossary contains around 1000 words, about half of which the EKI dictionary identifies as being at B1 level, the remainder split between B2 and C1. I’ve just started to learn the vocabulary (which I do before starting to work through the book), so can’t say much about the book at the moment!

Estonian Textbook: Juhan Tulduva 9780933070547
While written by spy for the wrong side and more than slightly out of date in terms of content, the book with the best grammar explanations by far.

Keel Selgeks Estonian only text 9789985217825, Glossary, translation of first five chapters, and exercises for translation into Estonian 9789985217832 (also available in other languages). Grammar explanation 9789985217863 (also available in other languages).

An excellent B1 book that purports to be suitable for beginners and would be if it wasn’t fatally flawed in a sort of “what were they thinking?” kind of way. Once in possession of three books with more than 500 pages you still lack glossaries for the first 5 chapters (the appendices book has them translated fully into English, which is cumbersome and not really the same for learning), and answers to all the questions in the book. With these fixed it could be the best of all the books available, but other than that it might be the book that you’d only want to use if you were doing the University of Tartu online courses that use it. Says it’s a B1 book, and with almost 4000 words it seems to me much more like that level than the others.

Grammar book could be excellent companion if you are struggling with E nagu Eesti.

Saame Tuttavaks! 978-9985-71-890-2
A really pretty book that I really got into because it seemed much easier than every other Estonian book. Unfortunately this is because it is; it hides grammar from you in a way that just left me confused, not understanding what was going on and with no real way to progress other than to start at the beginning with a better book! While the publisher is no more, copies in Russian, Finnish and German can also be found hanging around from time to time, especially in . I’d avoid them though.

Other things that might help you on your Estonian journey:
Free online course for complete beginners working towards A2, level by the Estonian government, with tutor support. I think it’s amazing and the best thing ever, and the single biggest contributor to passing the A2 state exam, but some people (who are probably better at languages than me…) find it repetitive. A lot of people criticising it will be thinking of the days it was flash only, which is no longer the case.
Free online course to give more practice at A2 level. It’s designed for people with hearing impairments, which makes it particularly good for mastering pronunciation without a teacher. The exercises are of a type quite similar to what was in the A2 exam. Glossary is in Russian.
Free online B1 level course. I’m also a huge fan.
3 weeks of in person (in normal times) classes in Tallinn in January and July, well priced, cheap university accommodation available, relaxed atmosphere and etc. Has been my summer and winter holidays for a few years, and I’ve met a lot of the heaviest users of this course there more than once, which I think is a good sign!

Tartu University also has a summer school, which I gather is a lot more intensive and less of a holiday!

Facebook Group: Foreigners Learning Estonian

Lots of native speakers and more advanced speakers will quickly answer your questions about Estonian!

This week I’ve corrected some inconsistencies and errors that a user found in the latest chapters of Tere Jalle. Always really grateful to receive any corrections!