Estonian translation services


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Interesting Fact

Estonian verbs do not have a future tense, but use the present tense instead.


Estonian is a Uralic language spoken in Estonia. Estonia and Finnish are mutually intelligible languages, which can lead to interesting false friends: the Estonian word “pulmad” would be understood as “problem” in Finnish but actually means “wedding” in Estonian; “appi” would be “mother-in-law” in Finnish but “help” in Estonian. Estonian is, however, considered more linguistically advanced as it has shortened syllables, for example where Finnish would say “huomenna”, Estonian would shorten it to “homme”.

Whereas Finnish was influenced by Swedish, Estonian was influenced by German to the extent that Estonian has borrowed nearly a third of its vocabulary from Germanic languages.

Estonian employs the Latin script but adds the letters ä, ö, ü, õ, š and ž. The role of vowels in Estonian is significant. A string of vowels can form meaningful words when used with very few consonants: for example “Jäääär” (edge of the ice), “Töö-öö” (working night) or “Puuõõnsus” (hollow of the tree).


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