Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Language & Phrasebook in Estonia

EuropeEstoniaLanguage & Phrasebook in Estonia

Estonian is the official language, which is linguistically extremely similar to Finnish and therefore unconnected to other neighboring languages including English. Many individuals in cities (particularly young ones) are fluent in English. According to a Eurobarometer survey conducted in 2005, 66% of Estonians can speak some Russian; nevertheless, fewer and fewer young Estonians can or want to speak Russian. This excludes native-language speakers. Russian is often referred to be Estonia’s unofficial second language, and 50 percent of Tallinn residents speak Russian as their first language. Due to significant tourist and TV transmissions from the opposite side of the gulf, many people in Tallinn speak Finnish very well. German is taught in schools in Estonia, and many individuals are fluent in it (22 percent according to Eurobarometer).

It may be tempting to brush up on your Russian, given that about 25% of Estonia’s population speaks Russian. A stranger beginning a conversation in Russian, on the other hand, is considered very impolite by local Estonian speakers. Always attempt to start a discussion in a language other than Russian before asking whether the other person speaks Russian. Following initial pleasantries, Estonians may be ready to speak in Russian with a tourist, but many are hesitant to converse in Russian with a native Russian. In Tallinn and north-east Estonia, there is a good possibility that you may encounter a native Russian speaker, such as a bartender or a bank teller.

There is a significant Slavic minority, mostly Russians and Ukrainians (some 25 percent ).