94017 - Seminar: Introduction to the Study of Estonian Language and Culture

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The seminar aims at providing students with basic knowledge about the Estonian language and culture in the geopolitical context covering the Nordic-Baltic area.

Course contents

The Estonian language and culture seminar with native Estonian speaking teacher Katrin Veiksaar for absolute beginners. The seminar aims to expand the cultural formation of the student interested in the Finno-Ugric world.


Estonian and Finnish-Ugric languages. Linguistic, historical and political data. Estonia 2021, the digital society. Twentieth century, Jaan Kross. Composer Arvo Pärt and “Tabula Rasa”. Essayist Viivi Luik and “The three characteristics of Estonians”. "Recipe" for being an Estonian by Valdur Mikita.

Estonian poetesses translated into Italian (Kersti Merilaas, Viivi Luik, Doris Kareva, Maarja Kangro). Global Estonian.


Pronunciation (palatalization, three lengths)

Declination, 14 cases (in particular nominative, genitive and partitive, singular and plural)

Pronouns Interrogative pronouns

Compound words

Adjectives and derivation

Verb conjugation (infinitive in -ma and in -da, present)



Estonian spelling dictionary "Eesti õigekeelsussõnaraamat ÕS 2018“, Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, Tallinn, 2018 (https://www.eki.ee/dict/qs/) [https://www.eki.ee/dict/qs/]

Etymological dictionary online (http://www.eki.ee/dict/ety/index.cgi?Q=ema&F=M&C06=et) [http://www.eki.ee/dict/ety/index.cgi?Q=ema&F=M&C06=et]

English-Estonian Dictionary (http://www.eki.ee/dict/ies/index.cgi?C06=en )

Online courses


0-A2 keeletee.ee


Compulsory readings

Jaan Kross “Il pazzo dello zar”, Iperborea, 2016

Jaan Kross “La congiura”, Iperborea, 2015

Jan Brokken “Tabula Rasa, alla ricerca di Arvo Pärt” (dal libro “Anime Baltiche”), Iperborea, 2017

Piera Mattei “Quattro voci contemporanee”, LEA, 2012.

Viivi Luik “The three characteristics of Estonians”, Estonia Magazine, 2021.

Useful readings

Emil Tode "Terra di confine" (Iperborea, 1996)

Teaching methods

Lectures and classroom activities with native speaker.

Assessment methods

Written assessment on the grammatical and lexical topics learned during the seminar.

Teaching tools

Audiovisual support and online materials.

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Zironi