Estonian is very similar to Finnish. Surprisingly, even though the country is rather small, there are several dialects. You can often translate a Finnish word to Estonian just by deleting the last vowel. The German influence is rather big; this is due to the Teutonic Order. It uses the Latin alphabet and consists of 32 letters. Some letters can be found only in foreign words and names. The “ancient Estonian” language that were spoken by the hunters of the tundra about 13000 years ago, is lost. However, the ancient mentality still remains in the language. For example, there are still expressions from the ice age; „in the hands of the sun” - päikese käes (in the sun), „in the hands of the wind” - tuule käes (in the wind), „in the hands of the cold” - külma käes (in the cold) etc. It’s one of the smallest official languages, a little more than one million people speak it. Few know this, but Skype is actually from Estonia, also, they happen to be the country with the biggest folk song collection (133000 songs)!
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