- Angelica, UIC B.A. in Psychology, 2011
I was born in Estonia, so my mother tongue is Estonian. It is part of the Finno-Ugric language group, and very similar to Finnish. I was born at the time of the Soviet Union, so we had to learn Russian together with Estonian from the first grade on. English or German came later in the 4th grade, as an elective. I chose English. By now I have forgotten most of my Russian because I have not had a chance to practice it much. Estonia became an Independent country in 1991 and Russian language was not mandatory at schools anymore.
I have always loved languages. I feel that they open up the world to you in a broader level. During my high school years, I got interested in Swedish and I was able to take classes and also live in Sweden during the summers.
It helps a lot to immerse yourself into the culture where the particular language is spoken. Language explains the culture and vice versa.
I have two daughters now (7 and 9 years old) to whom I speak Estonian every day. They are growing up bilingual, with Estonian and English being the languages spoken at home every day. I am hoping that when they visit Estonia, they will be able to understand the language and also get by with what I taught them.
I am also hoping that my children will appreciate the beauty of different languages and never stop learning more!