There are several Finnic branches of the Finno Ugric languages and Voro is one of them. It is officially categorized under the Estonian dialect but its literary standard is unique. The native speakers feel that it should be declared Estonia’s regional language. Sometime in the late 19th century there was a decline in the number of people who speak Voro but the numbers picked up in the 80’s. The language can be traced back to the ancient South Estonian language used to translate the New Testament in 1686. Towards the late 1980s people initiated efforts to standardize Voro. Despite their efforts Voro is yet to be categorized as a minority language.
Some of the Estonian schools teach the language as an elective while others offer it under extra curricular activities. The linguistic landscape in Estonia is rich with public signage written in Voro. The local print media and public broadcasting also use the dialect. The Voro institute is funded by the government and its task it to preserve the language. The number of people that speak Voro has grown over the last few years. Compared to other dialects Voro is not heavily influenced by conventional Estonian language. It has been able to retain its characteristic features over time. This is because it originated from regions that belong to Russia and Latvia.
The vowels are really important; this is because several vowels can be matched with a frame of consonants to form a word. Most foreigners are unable to grasp the language because they struggle to learn the vowels: õ, ä, ö, ü. Locals are able to identify foreigners because they mispronounce the letter õ. ‘Õ’ is the same as ‘o’ on road or cold, ä sounds the same as ‘a’ when you say ‘sad cat had had a mad marriage’. When pronouncing ‘ö’, think of it as the sound ‘ea’ in search. Finally, ü is pronounced like ‘u’ in ‘Super’. Before you converse in Voro it is advisable for you to undergo a lot of practice and listen to the native speakers keenly. The Internet has very little information when it comes to Voro pronunciation.