MULTILINGUAL STREET NAMES IN ESTONIA.

I’m about halfway through Aksyonov’s 1965 novel Пора, мой друг, пора [It's Time, My Friend, It's Time], which is so far set in Tallinn (his earlier fiction moves almost entirely between Estonia, the Far East, and the Crimea, with occasional stopovers in Moscow), and with my usual need for geographical precision I was trying to find out where улица Победы [Victory Street] was. I never did locate it, but I did run across one of those scholarly papers I devour with the greatest of enthusiasm, “Historical Multilingualism of Street Names in Estonia” (pdf, abstract) by Peeter Päll. I wanted to quote chunks from it about the linguistic history of Estonia and its capital, but for some reason the “select text” function isn’t working for me, and there doesn’t appear to be a Google cache (does Google not do this for pdfs any more? and why are they hiding Google Books, and even more so Advanced Search? but don’t get me started), so you’ll have to read it for yourself.
And looking for a quotable version of that led me to Simon Hamilton’s wonderful site, A Rambling Dictionary of Tallinn Street Names, which lists Päll’s article in its extensive bibliography and thanks him for “responding to my interminable questions”—Hamilton clearly put a lot of work into his Rambling Dictionary, and I for one appreciate it.

Comments

  1. I had no trouble copying and pasting after downloading the document and opening it in Foxit Reader, free as in beer PDF-reading and annotating software. It also has the advantage that it opens much faster than Adobe. Unfortunately it is for Windows only. (I tried to provide a link, but your filters don’t like software dot com, which is part of the name of Foxit’s web site. Google is your friend.)
    On Linux there are various tools that routinely ignore the you-can’t-do-that bits in PDF format.

  2. Does this google cache not work for you?

  3. I was able to open it in Firefox as a PDF. When I copied a portion I got a message saying there was an internal error, yet when I pasted it into a word processor, it was all there.

  4. Google is your friend
    Tsk. I hope you mean that “ironically”. Older people who have ridden out the totalitarian regimes of IBM, and then Microsoft, should know better than to pour into the streets to hail the latest up-and-coming Führer. It will all end in frustration and litigation. I think it is best to spread one’s custom and preferences deliberately, so as not to fall into another co-dependency trap.

  5. But then I work in commercial projects at companies who now think twice before following the leader, after having had their fingers burnt repeatedly.

  6. “Is your friend” applied to something inanimate is a fairly recent idiom (maybe ten years old) for “can be helpful in this case”.

  7. Peeter Päll is a not uninteresting person: he speaks fluent Udmurt and is the person to turn to in Estonia for everything to do with toponyms and such, but also transliteration systems. He’s always the one who does the lists of Estonian equivalents for the names of cities, countries, etc. in Estonian dictionaries. Often the names of places relatively close to Estonia are not immediately obvious, such as e.g. Ojamaa for Gotland, or Liivi laht for the Gulf of Riga. Leedu, Riia, Turu and Pihkva you should be able to guess…

  8. “Is your friend” in the required sense is at least forty-odd years old, though I think it used to be more ironoc.

  9. Does this google cache not work for you?
    Yeah, that’s fine, and I thank you. I probably wasn’t awake enough when I was doing the post.
    Peeter Päll is a not uninteresting person: he speaks fluent Udmurt and is the person to turn to in Estonia for everything to do with toponyms and such, but also transliteration systems. He’s always the one who does the lists of Estonian equivalents for the names of cities, countries, etc. in Estonian dictionaries.
    My kind of guy!

  10. The Recency Illusion strikes!

  11. Trond Engen says:

    Nah, it stroke years ago.

  12. hm, I just noticed my comment about Victory street didn’t come through.
    rpt. without the bad word that LH filters banned.
    I thought Aksenov’s memory was playing a trick on him, because there is/was a well-known Victory Square/Võidu väljak in the historic centre of Tallinn. But when I had a look, I did find Võidu tänav – Victory street. Except it runs parallel to the gulf and it’s hard to see how it could have been windswept, as in the story. [deleted link to map] And here is a selection of pre-war and 19th C. maps and plans of the city.

  13. And here is a selection of pre-war and 19th C. maps and plans of the city.
    Excellent—I love historic maps!

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