Estonian (eesti keel) is a Finno-Ugric language spoken by roughly 1.1 million people in Estonia. Though it's closely related to Finnish and distantly to Hungarian, Estonian bears almost no resemblance to any other European language in either vocabulary or grammar.
The lack of Indo-European language structures makes Estonian a rather difficult language to learn. The fact that it has more words of Indo-European origin than Finnish, for instance, makes it slightly easier to learn. Even though many people in Estonia (especially young people) speak English and many of the older generation understand Russian, an attempt at some basic phrases will definitely impress the locals and you will receive an enthusiastic welcome.
Written Estonian is based on the Latin alphabet and uses 24 letters:
Additionally, the letters c, q, w, x, y, z, š and ž are used in loanwords, foreign proper names and quotes.
Pronunciation is fairly straightforward. Most words are pronounced as they are written, with a major exception being vowel length (see below).
The duration of vowel sounds can be short, long, or overlong, depending on the word. Short vowels are written with one letter, long and overlong vowels with two. Overlong vowels often change the pitch or stress of the syllable as well as the duration. There is no written distinction between long and overlong vowels. Example:
Consonants can appear doubled, such as kk, pp, tt, etc., and are pronounced by inserting a glottal stop or prolonging the duration of the consonant.
The first syllable of a word is always stressed, except in some foreign words such as Ameerika (ah-MEHH-ree-kah).
Estonia uses a 24 hour clock for most things
Writing time and date
Estonia like most of Europe follow the 24 hour clock.
For instance: Half past six. - Pool seitse. (Half (un)til seven.)
Bus and train
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