Cal Interpreting & Translations (CIT) offers Estonian interpreters and translators with legal, medical and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration and more.

Although based in Los Angeles, CIT offers comprehensive Estonian language services including interpretation, translation and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators are native speakers who have been screened, certified, have provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and the Estonian language through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. CIT’s Estonian language interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the Estonian language, as well as of the culture and history of the Estonian people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.

The Estonian Language

The Estonian language, known as Eesti, is a Finno-Ugric language from the Uralic family of languages. It is spoken in Estonia. There are two major dialects of Estonian. They are the northern (Tallinn) dialect and the southern dialect. The first recorded materials written in the Estonian language were the Kullamaa prayers from the 1520s. Estoniain is from the Baltic-Finnic branch of Finno-Urgic languages and is quite close to Finnish, Votic, Livonian, Ingrian, Karelian and Veps. Linguistically, the structure of Estonian has contrast of three degrees of consonant and vowel lengths.

Historically speaking, Estonia had been under Danish, Swedish Teutonic and even Russian rule. In 1721, as it was part of the Russian Empire, Russian was the official language of the country. In 1990, Estonian became the national language of the country.

Currently, Estonian is spoken by approximately 1 million people in Estonia, as it is the official language of the country. About another 100,000 people speak Estonian in Australia, Canada, Finland, Latvia, Russia, Sweden, the UK and the US. When the USSR was terminated, Estonia became it’s own country. Estonian is used in schools and for government business. However, Russian is the second language of the country. There are two major dialects of Estonian: northern Estonian (Tallinn) and southern Estonian (Tartu), named after cities in Estonia.

The Estonian language has many vowels (9) and few consonants. The 9 vowel phonemes can be in simple, long or overly long lengths. Additionally, there are 19 diphthongs. The consonants can be bilabial, labio-dental, alveolar, post-alveolar, palatal, velar and glottal. They are further categorized by stops, fricatives, nasals, lateral, trill and semivowels. The stress on words in Estonian is usually on the first syllable of the word.

Grammar in Estonian is similar to that of other Uralic languages. It has characteristics of agglutinative and fusional languages, where grammar suffixes are added to stem and multiple grammar functions can be represented by one suffix only. Nouns in Estonian can be marked for gender and numbers (singular and plural). There are no particles, 14 cases (nominative and genitive with general locative cases as well). Verbs have two tenses (present and past) and have three moods (indicative, conditional and subjunctive). Estonian follows the word order of Subject-Verb-Object and topics come first in Estonian sentences. The vocabulary of the language is similar to other languages of Uralic origin. There are many loan words from Finnish, French and English.

Fun Facts about Estonia

  • Estonia is about 50% forest
  • Estonia is larger than Denmark and Holland, but only has a population of about 1.3 million people
  • There are about 2000 islands as part of Estonia
  • Estonia is known as “The Singing Nation”
  • Almost all government documents can be done online, including voting