In memoriam Katre Õim (25.08.1970–20.07.2016)

editors LV


On a sunny day in July, a heart suddenly ceased to beat. In a shockingly unexpected way, in her best and most productive age, Katre Õim, editor of the Estonian-language articles in Lähivõrdlusi. Lähivertailuja, associated professor of the Estonian language at the University of Tallinn, suddenly left us. We lost an excellent linguist, an expert editor, a popular teacher and a highly valued colleague, a soul sister and friend to many of us.

In all her work, in scholarly activities and organisation of academic events as well as in teaching and editorial work, Katre firmly believed in the importance of commitment, professionalism and clarity of thought. The greatest praise one could hear from her was ”S/he knows how to form sentences” – for her, clear words always presupposed clear thinking. Katre never voiced unfounded opinions; her thoughts and deeds were always foresighted. Therefore, her opinions often did not coincide with the majority’s routine way of thinking. Guided by her sharp, analytical thinking, she often made other, well-founded conclusions.

Katre was deeply attached to her field of studies, loved it and worked for it with full-hearted commitment. She sincerely wished to see the curricula of Estonian philology and the teaching of Estonian conform with contemporary standards, to see teachers with an open mind for innovations and an active interest in research also devoted to supporting their students. She was convinced – and rightfully so – that teaching the basic skills in the Estonian language is a necessary prerequisite for the training of Estonian language teachers as well as translators or journalists. For her colleagues, Katre was a paragon of expertise and enthusiasm, commitment and friendliness, supportive attitude towards students, sense of humour and sharpness of intellect. She was a living example of how students can be helped in finding their own research topics and discussing them, in seminars as well as at the public examination of their theses. Students respected Katre’s high standards and her considerate support. She never forgot to emphasize that correct and tactful behaviour is a sign of consideration for other human beings and creates the basis for all interaction.

Katre’s more specific field of research was figurative language and phraseology. On those topics, she published a monograph and dozens of articles. Her research interests also included information technology and its opportunities in the accessibility of research material, computer-linguistic analysis, language teaching and learning. This led to the publication of the electronic dictionary of Estonian phraseology, Eesti fraseologismide elektrooniline alussõnastik, with its rich variety of search options the first one in its kind.

Katre was unfailingly kind and considerate for her friends and colleagues and sincerely interested in their work. Many colleagues still remember how in a difficult moment she would just come, quietly help, support, and then quietly leave. When the editorial staff of Lähivõrdlusi. Lähivertailuja was gradually overwhelmed by the increasing article submissions, Katre offered her expert help, and editing the Estonian-language articles became her job. Her brief but precise comments and recommendations were very useful for the authors. Both the editors and the authors loved communicating with Katre and enjoyed her sharp wit, logical thought, sense of humour and friendliness – bearing in mind that editing an international journal requires quite remarkable teamwork skills, flexibility and efficiency. Katre participated in the editing of three volumes of Lähivõrdlusi. Lähivertailuja but could not finish the fourth one any more. In the morning of her last day, she had just completed the editing of one contribution.

Sadly enough, Katre’s fruitful work was not always rewarded with the acknowledgment it would have deserved. Katre did not really fit in with this time, a time in which all too often power will prevail over thought, appearance over essence, pretence over reality, mediocrity over professionalism, bureaucracy over consideration. She had a different understanding, she had different values. 

Farewell, dear Katre. For us, the consolation remains that we once had the honour and privilege to know you in this life. In our thoughts, you will always be with us. We dedicate the 26th volume of Lähivõrdlusi. Lähivertailuja to your memory.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 LV editors

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

ISSN 1736-9290 (print)
ISSN 2228-3854 (online)