And What I Think About It...
As we did some sightseeing over the weekend, we found ourselves standing in line near a couple with two cute blonde children. They were speaking another language and a man nearby apparently thought it was German.
He asked the little girl, "Sprechen sie Deutsch?" Her father answered in English, rather cooly, "She speaks Estonian."
The lesson to this little story is that if you must know what language people are speaking, it would be better to ask forthrightly than to guess wrongly.
German lords (the Teutonic Order, their descendents, and other German settlers) were the land-owning class in Estonia for centuries. Estonia finally achieved real independence from the Germans, Swedes, Russians, etc. in 1920, but the nation was taken over by the Russians, then the Germans, and then the Russians again in World War II. Thus, Estonians could definitely have some animosity against Germans.
On the other hand, Germany is allied with Estonia nowadays for defense and as a trading partner, so maybe the bad old days have been forgotten.
Here's the important thing though -- irregardless of past history or current events, no one wants to hear their native tongue called something wrong. Please take my advice and try not to do that to people, OK?
Map of Estonia courtesy of the CIA.