Tallinn University of Technology

Estonian language

It is not necessary to learn the Estonian language in order to enjoy working and living in Estonia. Throughout Estonia, you will find people willing and able to speak with you in a variety of languages. English, Finnish and Russian are the most commonly spoken, but many people also get by in French, German or Swedish. But if you want to get Estonians smiling, definitely learning this beautiful language is the way to go!

Estonian language is intriguingly different from most common European languages. It belongs to the small Finno-Ugric language group and is, indeed, quite challenging to learn. It is also related to Finnish and Hungarian.

Many people actually study Estonian for the challenge it holds. You make quick progress once you grasp the basics. We can promise you that every step down the road will be terrifically satisfying.

You can probably start your Estonian learning adventure with the A1 free course that is offered as part of the Welcomming Programme or by checking the different opportunities that are offered by the Integration Foundation, which even has a Eesti Keele Maja (Estonian Language House) exactly for the purpose of teaching Estonian.

Online learning

There are many options to learn Estonian online or from language books and CDs. You’ll probably find the pronunciation most challenging at first, so using a guide with audio content is essential – these are available through YouTube, private web-based language schools and online courses. 

  • Try Lingvist’s Essential Estonian, to get the basics of Estonian. This local startup, which uses artificial intelligence to make learning faster and more efficient, released a compact course of 100 essential phrases in Estonian that’s available through their app for free.
  • Keeleklikk offers a more comprehensive course. You can learn Estonian from 0 to A2 level and use both English and Russian as a base language.
  • Speakly.me is another interesting app to learn some Estonian. Be sure to use the WorkinEstonia code to get free access.
  • Multikey.app is for you, if you are looking for a language buddy. Get to practice with real persons!