Estonian is the official language of Estonia, spoken by about 1.1 million people in Estonia and abroad. It is a member of the Finnic branch of the Uralic language family, along with Finnish, Karelian, and several minority languages spoken around the Baltic Sea. Estonian is distantly related to Hungarian and to the Sami languages, but is not related to the nearby Russian or Baltic languages. It is written in a Latin alphabet. Estonian has been influenced by Swedish, German, and Russian, though it is not related to them genetically. It has borrowed a considerable number of words from these languages. The Estonian alphabet has 29 letters, including 8 vowels and 21 consonants. The longest words in Estonian are compound words, such as "laupäevakadunud" (Saturday night). Estonian grammar is similar to that of Finnish. Both languages have 14 cases, though Estonian has lost the vocative case. Estonian has 3 genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter), while Finnish has only 2 (common and neuter). Estonian is a synthetic language, meaning that words are built up from smaller parts. This makes Estonian words longer than their English counterparts, but it also makes it possible to create new words relatively easily. Estonian has 2 main dialects, Northern and Southern. The Northern dialect is closer to Finnish, while the Southern dialect is closer to Russian. There are also a number of regional dialects. Estonian is an Indo-European language, but it has been influenced by a number of other language families, including Uralic, Turkic, Germanic, and Slavic. This makes it a rather unique language, and quite different from its Indo-European cousins.

Language group

Finno-Ugrian languages

Language locales, regions and scripts

Estonian, Estonia, Latin
Estonian, Estonia
Estonian, Latin