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Estonia: Beauty Contest With A DifferenceWould you believe that the Ministry of Education in the former Soviet republic of Estonia is launching a beauty contest? However, this contest will not be to find the most beautiful woman in the country, but it will mark an upcoming anniversary of the Republic by identifying the world’s most beautiful language.

The Baltic News Service (BNS) agency reports that the Education Minister Tonis Lukas wants his counterparts from around the world to get school pupils to enter recordings of sentences of up to seven words for the contest.

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“As part of the events for the anniversary of the republic, we’re pleased to turn to other nations with a friendly call to check how our language sounds to others now,” he added.

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Preserving their language was a crucial part of Estonian opposition to foreign rule from the 19th century onwards, and remains an important plank of government policy. Estonia is due to celebrate the 90th anniversary of its first period of independence from Russia on February 24 next year. The country was taken over again by the Soviet Union during World War II, and became independent once more in 1991.

Eurolang also reports that there was once a world championship of languages which Estonia lost, taking second place to Italian which won with the phrase, “soida tasa ule silla,” (“go slowly over the bridge).”

Various comments on blogs show that everybody seems to favor their own native language, which I suppose is to be expected. However, if everyone realizes that this also includes its uniqueness and personality it carries, we can at least hope that the Estonian competition is carried out in the same spirit.

Photo: © maple03

Estonia: Beauty Contest With A Difference