Estonian language

Estonian (Eesti keel) is included in the Finnish branch of the Uralic language family. It's related to Võro, Vod and Finnish, and the latter is spoken in the Gulf of Finland. It is quite unrelated to Hungarian, which is spoken in Central Europe. Finnish and Estonian share much of the same vocabulary. Throughout its history, Estonia has been under Danish, Swedish, Teutonic and Russian rule.

In 1721, Estonia became part of the Russian Empire, and Russian became its official language. During World War II, Estonia was annexed to the Soviet Union in 1940 and was subsequently occupied by the Germans until 1944. Under Soviet rule, Estonia went through another period of Russification until its independence in 1990, and Estonian became then the national language.

Who speaks Estonian?

Today, about one million people speak Estonian in the Republic of Estonia. It is also spoken by 110,000 other people in Australia, Canada, Finland, Latvia, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is the official language of the Republic of Estonia and one of the official languages of the European Union.

Standard Estonian is used and accepted at all levels of society. After the dissolution of the USSR, Estonia became an independent republic, and although Russian is still widely used as a second language, Estonian is taught in schools and its command is mandatory to become a citizen in this country.

Dialects of Estonian

Estonian has two important dialects that are mutually understandable:

  • Northern Estonian, based on the dialect of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia,
  • and Southern Estonian, based on the dialect of Tartul, Estonia's second largest city.

Translation agency for Spanish-English-Estonian

Now that you know a little more about the Estonian language, you might be interested to know that we offer professional translation services from both English to Estonian and from Estonian into English. We specialise in translation from and into Spanish.

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