Answers to exercises

Correct answers for the Estonian words in Finnish and English:

1. b) sairas (ill)
2. a) aloittaa (start)
3. c) huono (bad)
4. a) teloittaa (execute)
5. c) kiinnostava (interesting)
6. a) kaunis (beautiful)
7. b) karhu (bear)
8. b) kissa (cat)
9. c) sammakko (frog)
10. b) mansikka (strawberry)
11. a) maito (milk)
12. a) kirja (book)
13. c) suo (mire)
14. b) hoito (care)
15. a) sisällys (content)
16. a) kuolla (die)
17. b) mylly (mill)
18. c) nakki (Vienna sausage)

Test your knowledge of Uralic languages! (correct answers)

1. How many languages are there estimated to be in the world?

  •  around 700
  •  around 250,000
  •  around 7,000
  •  around 1,000,000

2. How many Uralic languages are there?

  •  5–10
  •  150–170
  •  400
  •  30–50

3. Which of these is not a Uralic language?

  •  Livonian
  •  Mari
  •  Poke (a Bantu language spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  •  Selkup

4. Which is the northernmost people in Eurasia?

  • Finns
  •  Norwegians
  •  Saami
  •  Nganasans

5. Which is the largest Uralic language in terms of the number of speakers?

  •  Hungarian
  •  Estonian
  •  Udmurt
  •  Finnish

6. Which of these is not a name of a month in Votic?

  •  Maija (May)
  •  Juuli (July is juli)
  •  Augusti (August)
  •  Martti (March)


The history of the embroidery tradition of the Uralic peoples dates back hundreds of years – the oldest preserved textile items are from the 1100s. Originally, the embroidery patterns had specific functions including protecting their wearer against ill health. Embroidered clothes and other textiles also played an important role in weddings and funerals.
Photo: Mari clothing and accessories and an Udmurt doll. M. A. Castrén Society 2017.
Clothes made from reindeer hide are still valued in the Arctic regions. The hairs in reindeer fur are hollow, which is why shoes made from reindeer hide are regarded as superior – compared with their modern competitors – due to being very light and warm. Reindeer hide is also used very skilfully in a variety of decorative items.
Photo: Detail of a Komi wall adornment. M. A. Castrén Society 2017.
Multicoloured folk knitting became more common in the 1600s. Traditional patterns are passed on from generation to generation but can also be varied by the knitter. Similar themes as in embroidery can be seen in the patterns, believed to be able to protect you or bring you good luck, for example.
Photo: Contemporary Komi and Khanty knitwork. M. A. Castrén Society 2017.
The oldest known text written in a Finnic language, Birch-Bark Letter 292, was written on birch bark in the mid-1200s. A durable material, birch-bark has been used to make items such as bast shoes, backpacks and food containers. Today, skilled birch-back designs can still be seen in decorative items.
Photo: Detail of a Khanty container. M. A. Castrén Society 2017.
Traditional wood carving and other handicrafts are taught at a special school in the Mordvin village of Podlesnaya Tavla, and the utility items and toys made there are showcased to visitors. The Ethno-Kudo ethnographic museum was opened in the village in conjunction with the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Photo: Souvenir from Podlesnaya Tavla. M. A. Castrén Society 2017.