Facts about the Estonian Language

Estonian (eesti keel) – a language belongs to the Uralic Family of Languages, a subgroup of Baltic languages.

The number of speakers is about 1.1-1.3 million. Most of them live in Estonia. However, speakers of this language can be found in Sweden, Finland, Canada, Germany, Russia, Argentina, USA and other countries.

The period of the formation of the Estonian language can be considered the XII-XIII centuries, when several dialects had mixed after separating from other Baltic dialects. Other Germanic, Baltic and Slavic languages also had an impact on language formation.

The first written sources that have survived to the present day in Estonian (these were religious prayer texts) were written in the 16th century. The first printed book is mostly considered a translation of German-Estonian Lutheran catechism (S. Wanradt and J. Koell, 1535)

Two Estonian dialects are distinguished: North Estonian (based on Tallinn dialect) and South Estonian (based on Tartu dialect). These dialects are sometimes called dialect groups.

The Estonian language is an agglutinative language with elements of flexion. This means that words in this language are usually formed by adding a number of particles to the root of the word. There are as many as 14 noun cases in Estonian. In words, the first syllable is stressed. This language does not have grammatical gender. Verbs in Estonian can express five grammatical categories: person, tense, mood, voice and polarity (affirmative/negative). There are also 4 grammatical moods in Estonian. The Estonian alphabet consists of 32 letters.

Interesting Facts

The usage of the letters

Some letters in the Estonian language are only used in certain cases. For example, the letters C, Q, W, X, Y are only used to write foreign language names, surnames, or titles.

The longest words

Sünnipäevanädalalõpu­peopärastlõunaväsimatus (The tiredness felt on the afternoon of the weekend birthday party).

Word formation

There are many words in Estonian that are composed of several parts.

For example, suur/linn (meaning big city).

Estonian pronunciation is the high frequency of vowels – jäääär (Eng. ice edge).

The closest language

The most similar to the Estonian language is Finnish.

Translation areas where Estonian is most frequently used:

Vehicle engineering, law, energy, finance, banking, insurance, information technology, medicine, pharmacy, clinical research, construction, real estate, agricultural machinery, forestry, logistics, telecommunication, industry, manufacturing, tourism, advertising and marketing, cosmetics and beauty industry and so on.

Linguistic services where translations from/to Estonian language are used:

Specialised and general translations, urgent translations, translations of the documents and their certification, translations of websites and audio-visual material, translation and localisation of a computer software, translation with editing and proofreading, review of the version for publishing, adaptation of text and preparation of creative writing, design and layout services, interpreting, language courses, etc.

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Language combinations:

Lithuanian-Estonian, Estonian-Lithuanian, Russian-Estonian, Estonian-Russian, Latvian-Estonian, Estonian-Latvian, English-Estonian, Estonian-English, German-Estonian, Estonian-German, French-Estonian, Estonian-French, Polish- Estonian, Estonian-Polish, Ukrainian-Estonian, Estonian-Ukrainian, Czech-Estonian, Estonian-Czech, Belarusian-Estonian, Estonian-Belarusian, Spanish-Estonian, Estonian-Spanish, Italian-Estonian, Estonian-Italian, Norwegian-Estonian, Estonian-Norwegian, Swedish-Estonian, Estonian-Swedish, Finnish-Estonian, Estonian-Finnish, Danish-Estonian, Estonian-Danish, Greek-Estonian, Estonian-Greek, Portuguese-Estonian, Estonian-Portuguese, Dutch-Estonian, Estonian- Dutch, Bulgarian-Estonian, Estonian-Bulgarian and others.

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