Estonian Sign Language
[eso] Scattered, mostly in Tallinn and Pärnu. 1,500 (Paales 2011). 4,500 users out of 1,600 deaf and 20,000 hearing impaired. 2,000 persons need regular help from interpreters (1998 U. Sutrop). 1,500 signers (2014 Estonian Deaf Association). 6,300 (2014 IMB). Status: 5 (Developing). Recognized language (2011, No. RT1, Language Act, Article 3(2)). Alternate Names: EVK, Eesti viipekeel, Viipekeel. Dialects: Some local dialects. The dialect in Pärnu is most archaic. Influences from Finnish [fse] and Russian Sign Languages [rsl]. Classification: Sign language. Comments: Fingerspelling system unlike other European countries. Sign language interpretation service started 1996. Estonian Sign Language was first recognized in 2007. Systematic teaching and research since 1990 at Tartu University. (2014 Estonian Association of the Deaf). Sign language instruction for parents of deaf children in Tallinn.
[ekk] 1,040,000 (European Commission 2012). Including 1,290 speakers of Northeastern Coastal Estonian dialects, 26,800 speakers of North Estonian dialects (24,500 island dialects, 770 eastern dialects, 210 central dialects, and 1,280 western dialects), and 13,800 speakers of South Estonian dialects (9,700 Mulgi and 4,110 Tartu) (2011 census). Total users in all countries: 1,130,540. Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1992, Constitution, Article 52(1)). Alternate Names: Eesti. Autonym: Eesti Kirjakeel. Dialects: Tallinn (Reval), Tartu (Dorpat), Mulgi. Dialects are grouped into three: Northeastern Coastal Estonian (between Tallinn and Narva), North Estonian (island, western, central, and eastern dialects), and South Estonian (Mulgi, Tartu). All the other dialects are assimilated into Standard Estonian. Related to Võru [vro], Vod [vot] and Finnish [fin]. A member of macrolanguage Estonian [est]. Classification: Uralic, Finnic. Comments: Some linguistic influences from Russian [rus], German [deu], Swedish [swe], Latvian [lav], Lithuanian [lit], and Finnish [fin]. Christian.
[rml] Järva, Pärnu, and Rapla counties. 360 (2013 census). Ethnic population: 460 (2011 census). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Balt Romani, Balt Slavic Romani, Baltic Slavic Romani. Dialects: Estonian Romani (Čuxny Romani), Lotfitko Romani. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Intermediate Divisions, Western, Romani, Northern. Comments: Non-indigenous. Ethnic groups: Lajenge Romá (eastern Estonia), Lotfítka Romá.
[rus] 1,108,000 in Estonia, all users. 383,000 (2013 UNSD). 725,000 (European Commission 2012). Ethnic population: 321,000 (2011 census). Status: 3 (Wider communication). De facto national working language. Classification: Indo-European, Balto-Slavic, Slavic, East. Comments: Non-indigenous.
Russian Sign Language
[vro] Southeast, Põlva, Tartu, Valga, and Võru counties. 87,000 (2013 UNSD). Seto speakers: 12,500 (2011 census). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Voro, Voru, Võro-Seto, Võru. Autonym: Võro kiil. Dialects: Eastern Võro, Seto, Western Võro. Seto is very similar to Eastern Võro but many Setos consider Seto an independent language. A member of macrolanguage Estonian [est]. Classification: Uralic, Finnic. Comments: Christian.