ESTONIAN: THE ICE LANGUAGE
Estonia, much like Latvia and Lithuania, is a Baltic country.
Estonian, the country's official language, is spoken by approximately 1.1 million people in Estonia and more or less 10 thousand others in several communities around the world.
By Juliana Tavares
Considered a Finno-Ugric language, like Finnish and Hungarian, Estonian presents language features that are both agglutinative and syntactical—which justifies the fact that translations of documents from Estonian into any language requires profound knowledge of Estonian language and culture.
Originated from a country that has more than 800 islands and 3800 kilometers of coastlines, in a coast with plentiful fjords—rocky formations brought up by the action of ice plaques that moved towards the sea more than 12 thousand years ago—the language is
marked by short and long vowels, hard, indistinct verbs, lack of grammatical gender, nouns and adjectives that are declined in 14 cases and two types of pronouns for each person.
Estonian has nine phonemes related to simple vowels— a e i o u õ [ɤ] ä [æ] ö [ø] ü [y] — with three distinct durations.
There are still 19 diphthongs and polysyllabic groupings of vowels.
As per the verb conjugation system, it doesn't have distinctions as to present and future tenses, and, in order to express an action initiated by null subjects, special forms are employed.