As with Finnish
is a Finno-Ugric language
, part of the
Ural-Altaic language family
. This sets the language apart from her
, which are all members of
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.