93233 - Seminar: Introduction to the Study of Estonian Language and Culture (LM)

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the seminar (activity strictly related to the objectives of the degree course) the student acquires specific skills and notions to deal with linguistic and / or philological and / or literary and / or historical and / or artistic issues and problems. The seminar aims to provide basic knowledge about Estonia's Finno-Ugric culture in the geopolitical context of the Northern Baltic Sea area.

Course contents

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

1. Culture:

Estonian and Finnish-Ugric languages.

Linguistic, historical and political data. Estonia 2022, digital nation.

"Recipe" for being an Estonian by Valdur Mikita.

Twentieth century, Jaan Kross and The czar's madman.

From popular poetry to choral music. Composer Veljo Tormis. The Seto region.

Priit Pärn, the legend of Estonian animation.


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

Maria Chiara Calvani “La voce e la terra delle lauluima e la lingua madre dei Seto”, Wordpress, 2021

Compulsory videos:

Collegium Musicale Documentary Film: Unustatud rahvaste jälgedes/In the Steps of Forgotten Peoples, YouTube, 2021

Priit Pärn’s Eine murul/“Breakfast on the Grass”, YouTube, 1987

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