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Speaking the Language

Estonia - Speaking the Language

The Estonian language (eesti keel) belongs to the Finnic branch of the Finno-Ugric languages. It resembles Finnish and to a lesser extent, Hungarian. Approximately 1.1 million people speak the language; the majority of whom live in the Republic of Estonia. Estonian is infrequently heard outside of its native country.

In form and content Estonian differs from its closest related language, Finnish, at least as much as English differs from Frisian. The difference between Estonia and Hungarian, the second closest language, is as significant as the difference between German and Persian. It is one of the smallest languages to function independently.

Like most Europeans, young Estonians can usually speak English very well. It is the first foreign language that they are taught at school and there is often a lot of exposure to English in Estonia via television.

Estonian can be learnt at a number of foreign language schools around the country, most of which are located in the major cities. Courses offered vary from conventional year-round courses to intensive summer programs. Contact individual schools for more information.

University of Tartu (Offers summer intensive programs for beginners to advanced)
ÃÅ"likooli 18, 50090 Tartu, Estonia
Fax: +(372 7) 375 440
E-mail: proffice@ut.ee
WWW: http://www.ut.ee
Information Secretary: +(372 7) 375 100
International Relations Office: +(372 7) 375 615
International Student Office: +(372 7) 375 150
PR Office: (+372 7) 375 683

Bellnor Language School Tonismagi 2-4037
Tel: +3726609606
E-mail: bellnor@online.ee

Language Immersion Centre, Estonia
Tel: +372 605 7250
E-mail: keskus@kke.ee

Read more about this country

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