Annual Vikerraadio dictation marks Estonian language day, prizes to be won

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e-dictation test in progress. Source: Airis Varik

This year's Estonian mother tongue day (Emakeelepäev) is being marked by ERR as always with a dictation next Monday (March 15), with prizes to be given out in several categories, including best entry from a non-native speaker of Estonian.

This year's text is inspired by poet and author Jaan Kaplinski, who recently turned 80, ERR's Menu portal reports.

The dictation text will be read out from 10.25 a.m. Estonian time on the Vikerraadio channel here (all links in Estonian), on Monday, March 15. Entries muct be submitted via the Vikerraadio site, though the window opens at 10.00 a.m. and remains open until 11.00 a.m.

The aurally-impaired can also view a lip-reading version of the text on a video to appear on ERR's main Estonian site, concurrently.

All comers are welcome; the six categories of awards will be non-native speakers of Estonian, Estonians living, sutdying and working abroad, students in Estonia, philologists, the hard-of-hearing and a general adults category.

The prize draw will be taken from among all correct entries.

A separate but related competition for the best Estonian language meme is also on-going. This can be entered via Vikerraadio's Facebook page here, by submitting a meme of your own making (in Estonian). The entry with the highest number of "likes" wins; so far well over 100 submissions have been made.

To warm up, ETV current affairs show "Ringvaade" presenter Marko Reikop tried out a preparatory exercise which, like the main event, tests knowledge of both Estonian syntax and grammar as well as as spelling. Readers with Estonian can see how Marko fared here, and take the test themselves, which is in the form of multiple choice/guess, here.

Vikerraadio has been running its annual Mother Tongue Day (which works better in Estonian as "Emakeelepäev") dictations for 13 years, during which time 52,000 entries have been sent in and likely far more have taken part (since it is not mandatory to submit an entry of course).

The winners will be announced same day, on the same radio channel, at just after 2 p.m., while the text will also be expounded on and a correct version published.

The Estonian Language Institute (EKI) is also open to enquiries on the day about the details of the test, by calling +372 631 3731 (1 p.m. to 4 p.m. local time).

The main prize, a tablet computer, is backed up by bookstore gift cards and museum tickets for the other winners; Vikkeraadio is also posing questions and drawing prizes between now and then on its social media channels, in conjunction with tech and inventions museum PROTO Invention Factory, the Estonian Art Museum, the Estonian Maritime Museum (Meremuuseum), the AHHAA Science Center, the Kiek in de Kök fortifications Museum, the Estonian National Museum (ERM), the Estonian History Museum and the Energy Discovery Center (Energia Avastuskeskus).

This year's text has been prepared Joosep Susi, Junior Researcher in Estonian Literature at the University of Tartu and Junior Lecturer in Literary Studies and Estonian Literature at Tallinn University, Merilin Aruvee, lecturer in native language teaching at Tallinn University, Triin Toome-Hosman, teacher of the Estonian language and literature at the Vodja Individual Study Center, a private school which is part of the Roca al Mare school in Tallinn, and Sirli Zupping, Estonian language adviser at the Ministry of Education and Research. 

The dictation coordinator is Vikerraadio's Laura Raudnagel.

ERR News will run a link to the event on the day.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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