Estonian

This site contains a wide range of materials to help you learn Estonian. Pick up some basic phrases, expand your vocabulary, or find a language partner to practise with.

About these resources

Our aim is to provide a high quality resource for those who wish to learn Estonian online.

Access to the site is completely free.

If you have any comments or suggestions, or spot any mistakes however small, please contact us — we appreciate your feedback.


Tallinn Old Town in winter

About the Estonian language

Estonian is spoken by about 1.1 million people worldwide, around 950,000 of whom live in Estonia itself.

It is a member of the Finno-Ugric language family, being closely related to Finnish and more distantly so to Hungarian. It's not an Indo-European language such as French or Spanish, and as a result the vast majority of words in Estonian will look thoroughly unfamiliar to someone whose mother tongue is English.

Estonian is certainly not considered to be an easy language to learn for English-speakers. However, don't be put off! With a little practice, you should soon find yourself able to get by in most everyday situations.

So why learn Estonian?

You enjoy a challenge
With fourteen different cases and an utterly unrecognisable vocabulary, Estonian should test even the most capable linguist! If you've studied other European languages in the past, you may find it refreshing to learn one where you effectively have to start entirely from scratch.

It sounds beautiful
Estonian, with its exotic vowel-rich words and almost song-like intonation, is arguably one of the world's most beautiful-sounding languages.

It's rewarding
Estonians are enormously appreciative of any attempts by foreigners to speak their language, which makes practising what you've learnt a particular pleasure. Any trip or stay in Estonia will undoubtedly be enriched if you take the time to learn a little of the language before you go.

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