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Language

Estonian is a Finno-Ugric language and is closely related to Finnish. It has not any affinity with Russian or Latvian and Lithuanian, the other two Baltic languages. Those people who are not Finnish or Hungarian and try to approach Estonian - even for simple curiosity - will find this language quite difficult.

Today Estonian is the official language of Estonia, and it is spoken by about one million people.The long foreign domination did not leave any influence from a linguistic point of view. Estonian does not belong to the Indo-European languages and for this very reason it is really difficult to learn it.

It has not grammatical gender, but nouns and adjectives decline in fourteen cases. Words are pronounced exactly the same, with the stress usually on the first syllable.

The Estonian phonemic system  is really rich in diphthongs. Estonian vocabulary has also been influenced by German, Slavonic and Finnish lexicon. There are several dialects.

High Middle-class and Clergy - of German origin - had a deep influence on Estonian literature. The first text in Estonian language was pubblished only in 1535. It was a translation of the Lutheran Catechism.

Nowadays in Estonia English is commonly used in everyday life. Russian - whose learning was compulsory until 1991 - constitutes the second language after Estonian. Besides English, young people also speak German very well.

COURTESY EXPRESSIONS

Hallo: Tere
Good Morning: Tere hommikust
Good evening: Tere ohtust
Goodbye: Head aega
Yes: Jah
No: Ei
Thank you: Tanan
Please: Palun
Sorry: Vabandage
I don't understand: Ma ei saa aru
Do you speak English?: Kas te raagite inglese keelt?

Tallinn

Tallinn, the capital of the Republic of Estonia, is a city with distinctly medieval features.

Tartu

Tartu is a university town crossed by the Emajogi River located in the south-eastern part of the country.

Pärnu

The city owes its name to the homonymous river running through it before flooding in the Baltic Sea.

Helsinki

Capital of Finland, Helsinki is a city of small, strategically placed between East and West.