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Language & Culture in Estonia

Programs in Estonia

Estonian Language & Culture

A tumultuous and colorful past as well as its position as a crossing point between Eastern and Western Europe has transformed Estonia into a country that celebrates life through dozens of exciting possibilities. It is a country perfect for those who are open to exploring interesting kinds of phenomena and combinations.

The Culture

Estonian culture is one that combines its indigenous heritage with traces of foreign influences, thanks to its proximity with neighbors Finland and Latvia, as well as decades of foreign rule under Sweden, Denmark and Russia.

Music plays a huge part in the country, with the Estonian Song Festival being considered as one of the biggest amateur choral events in the world. Held once every five years, the event sees more than 30,000 singers performing for an estimated audience of 80,000.

Estonians are known for being quite eager and proud to show off their own heritage, but are genuinely curious and extremely accepting of other people as well.

The Language

The Estonian language traces its origins to the Finno-Ungric family of languages, where it shares a close relation with Finnish and a distant one with Hungarian. Other minor influences include German, Russian, Swedish and Latvian.

Estonians are a very proud group of people when it comes to their language. They are aware that Estonian isn’t in everyone’s vocabulary due to its high level of difficulty (which is a source of pride for some)

As such, one way to loosen up a timid Estonian is to simply greet them “Tere” (Hello) or “Aitäh” (Thank you), which almost always result in the local’s genuine surprise and delight.

Programs in Estonia

Learn more about education in Estonia:


Last update: 28 Mar 2018

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