Estonian language or Estonian as a second language upper secondary school final examinations are taken today across the country, ERR News reports.
State examinations are held once a year in spring all across the country. The Estonian language exam consists of two parts – reading and writing.
Emphasizing the importance of Estonian language, the education minister Jürgen Ligi released a statement in which he said that clear self-expression is necessary for being part of Estonian society, regardless of one's home language. “Many good ideas fail to thrive because of bad communication, many misunderstandings happen because we don’t understand each other properly since we are not proficient enough in a language to express and receive the thoughts. Good language is a tool for realizing better ideas.”
Ligi also appealed to the non-Estonians who are taking the exam of Estonian as a second language. “Today, you have the opportunity to show skills you already have. However, focus on showing that your thoughts are clear and your sentences have weight, that your language is expressive and your answers easy to understand. Don’t worry if you're not ready or didn't have time to learn everything. Nobody is ever fully ready, you can’t ever learn everything and everyone has to gain new knowledge every day. This exam is only one of many that you will face in life,” he said.
Estonian is the native language of about 1.1 million people in Estonia and tens of thousands in various expat communities around the world. It is estimated that there are around 1.2 million native speakers. Estonian belongs to the Finnic branch of the Uralic languages, along with Finnish, Karelian, Ingrian, Votic, Ludic and Veps languages. The Uralic languages do not belong to the Indo-European languages.