As with Finnish, Estonian is a Finno-Ugric language, part of the Ural-Altaic language family. This sets the language apart from her neighbours, Russian, Latvian and Lithuanian, which are all members of the Indo-European family.

In Estonia itself English, unfortunately, is become the predominent lingua franca, with German still being used among the older generations. Russian is also of some use in the area, but should be used with caution, as it is considered by some, a language "of the occupation".

Estonian orthography is rigidly phonetic, and also makes use of the following special characters: ä, õ, ö, and ü.

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