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Estonia

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Language

In addition to Estonian, visitors may notice a quite different, choppier-sounding language spoken in the southeastern corner of this region. Võro-Seto, previously considered an Estonian dialect, was declared a separate language in 1998. For centuries, the northern and southern languages flourished quite independently of each other until the end of the 19th century. Then, in the interests of nationalism, a one-country, one-language policy was adopted, and the dominant Northern Estonian became the country's main language. Today the language is once again enjoying a resurgence, and Võro-Seto has over 70,000 native speakers, most of whom live in Võrumaa and Setumaa. To learn more about this unique language, contact the Võro Institute(782 1960; www.wi.ee; Tartu 48, Võru).

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