The Estonian government approved a draft law that will see 60% of school programs translated into Estonian. Even though this decision was unpopular among Russian speakers who live in Estonia as they felt forced to study in a language different from their mother tongue, the law was put in place and effected. Estonian has been successfully applied at different dimensions of the society. It is used in education, journalism, sciences, government business and technology. Although Estonians can speak other languages, learning Estonian will come in handy when visiting the country as you will be able to understand the culture better. The language is taught at Universities not just in Estonia but in other countries. The government pays the salaries of lecturers who teach the language in Universities in other countries such as in Petersburg.
Estonian is the official language of the republic of Estonia and is spoken by about 1.1 million people not just in Estonia but around the world. The largest Estonian diaspora is in Canada. The language is also spoken in Finland, Sweden, Germany and Australia. Estonian belongs to the Finnic branch of the Uralic language family. It is closely related to Finnish and distantly related to Hungarian and Sami. The major difference between Estonian and Finnish is that Finnish has a lot of Swedish loan words while Estonian has a lot of loan words from German. Estonian has also incorporated words from Latin, English, Greek and Russian. The language has two dialects, Northern and Southern dialects. Estonian uses Latin alphabet and has 14 cases. After most English speakers have learned the alphabet and rules of pronunciation, they normally find it much easier to grasp the language.
Culture and family is very strong in Estonia. Generally, most Estonians are quite reserved and tend to speak calmly and rationally. This may make them come across as being aloof but once they warm up to you it is possible to develop a good relationship. Singing is quite common in addition to oral culture and traditions. When meeting someone for the first time, make sure to look them direct in the eye as you shake their hands and greet them. Do not forget to use titles as these are considered to be important.