Estonian is the official language of Estonia and spoken by just over one million people. It belongs to the Uralic language family along with Hungarian and Sami, as opposed to the Indo-European family like most other European languages. Unlike the Indo-European languages which have a ‘fusional’ grammar, Uralic languages have an ‘agglutinative’ grammar. This means that when modifying words to reflect tense or other grammatical aspects, instead of dropping letters or switching out vowels when adding a suffix, ‘independent’ suffixes are simply added to the end of the root word without any other changes in spelling. This often results in long, vowel-rich words.
Unlike most Uralic languages however, Estonian has lost the system of rules that determine where vowels can be placed—called vowel harmony—and tends to drop sounds at the end of words through a phenomenon known as ‘apocope.’ Because of these anomalies, Estonian is considered to be in a state of transition between agglutinative and fusional languages.
Estonian was once divided into two separate dialects, known as North and South Estonian. In the modern world, most people have adapted to using the Northern version of the language in their everyday speech and writing.
Integration is a large part of Estonian culture as a democratic country and although the population of native Estonian speakers may be small by comparison with its Hungarian, German and Swedish counterparts, the migration of people to Estonia is causing the country and its language to grow. Estonia continuously invites immigrants from neighboring countries into its borders, creating ethnic diversity within the country that influences local culture, education, business and more. It is important for these new Estonian people to learn the language and continue to watch it grow as the country continues to flourish with its democratic ways of thinking and its open borders.
Let the linguistic professionals at LingPerfect go to work for you on any Estonian language translations you may need. We have over 10,000 linguists ready to take on any project—big or small! We have worked with global corporations as well as small businesses and individuals, and provide unique services to each client. Human translation, website globalization and software localization are some of our common services that span a multitude of industries.
LingPerfect works with IT, legal, healthcare, marketing and more. No matter your Estonian translation needs, know you are working with the best provider of these services when you work with LingPerfect.