Learn Estonian!

Estonian is a member of the Finnic branch in the Uralic language family and the official language of Estonia. Estonian has 14 grammatical cases, no future tense or grammatical gender, and is closely related to Finnish.

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What is Estonian?

Estonian, or eesti keel, is a Finnic language written in the Latin script which is the official language of Estonia and one of the European Union's official languages. Estonian is spoken natively by roughly 1.1 million people, with an estimated 160,000 living outside of Estonia.

Getting Started

Listed below are the three most common paths taken by Estonian learners. What will work best for you will depend on your own learning style, but any of these options will provide a good foundation for learning some of the basics of Estonian grammar and vocabulary.


Keeleklikk Estonian Course Logo


Launched in 2011 and funded in part by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, Keeleklikk offers a fun and engaging web course intended to get learners up to an A2 level of proficiency.
The course offers:

  • Video grammar explanations
  • Listening exercises with animations
  • Vocabulary quizzes
  • Writing practice that's reviewed by a native
  • A certificate upon course completion

  • Totally free to use
  • Practices reading, writing, and listening
  • Excellent grammar explanations
  • Writing practice with corrections provided by natives
  • Continues with Keeletee for B1 learners
  • Intended to be used on a computer, no app available
  • The course is a somewhat visually dated
  • Vocab definitions can be a little vague and indirect
Estonian Textbooks


Everyone learns differently and if you're someone who prefers textbooks, either physical or digital, to apps or online courses, Estonian has an abdundance of options.

  • Colloquial Estonian by Christopher Moseley
  • E nagu Eesti by Mall Pesti (A1-B1)
  • K nagu kihnu by Mall Pesti (B2)
  • Estonian Textbook by Juhan Tuldava
  • Complete Estonian by Leelo Kingisepp
  • Tere jälle! by Inga Mangus

  • Wide selection of textbooks available
  • More flexibility in regards to learning pace
  • The ability to study offline, if that's important to you
  • Some people prefer a physical learning experience
  • Stronger focus on fundamental grammar
  • Generally quite expensive to get physical textbooks
  • Can be challenging to obtain outside of Europe
  • Textbooks offer less listening/output practice
Speakly Estonian Course Logo


An Estonian company, Speakly offers a variety of languages and a unique methodology that focuses on prioritizing the most relevant words and learning through immersion using short audio and text content.

The app used to have special codes that could be used to be able to study Estonian on Speakly for free, but it unfortunately appears that they are no longer valid.

  • FNS7 - 40% off of paid subscription
  • Frequency-based approach to vocabulary
  • Speakly offers both web and mobile app versions
  • Fun and challenging immersion focused approach
  • Diverse set of activities and ways to study
  • Fantastic listening exercises created by natives
  • The app can be quite buggy and unstable at times
  • Mobile app lacks support for offline studying
  • Paid app/service after the initial codes expire


Here is a list of the biggest Estonian courses available online. Speakly, Keeleklikk, and Keeletee are by far the most in-depth and popular, but coLanguage offers very solid grammar explations and many learners have also used Drops for vocabulary acquisition.

Speakly Estonian Course Thumbnail [100%x225]


The app requires a subscription to use, but you can use the following codes to gain free access to the Estonian portion of the app.

  • EV100 - 3 months
  • WORKINESTONIA - 3 months
  • FNS7 - 40% off of the paid subscription
Keeleklikk Estonian Course Thumbnail [100%x225]


Launched in 2011 and funded in part by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, Keeleklikk offers a fun and engaging web course intended to get learners up to an A2 level of proficiency.

  • In-depth video grammar explanations
  • Certificate upon completion
Keeletee Estonian Course Thumbnail [100%x225]


Keeletee was designed as the follow-up course to Keeleklikk to allow those studying Estonian to continue their learning. Keeletee is designed to help students reach a B1 level.

  • Totally free to use
  • Similar format to Keeleklikk
coLanguage Estonian Course Thumbnail [100%x225]


In-depth written grammar explanations.

Drops Estonian Course Thumbnail [100%x225]


Engaging app for learning vocabulary.

Let's Learn Estonian Course Thumbnail [100%x225]

Let's Learn Estonian

A short and fairly grammar light video series.

Estonian 101 Course Thumbnail [100%x225]

Estonian 101 Course

Not the best course, but free to use.

Linglot Estonian Course Thumbnail [100%x225]

Estonian with Tahela

Lots of videos on grammar and vocabulary.

book2n Estonian Course Thumbnail [100%x225]

Estonian Unlocked

High-quality videos for Estonian learners.



  • Estonian Websites:
    • Easy Uudised - Eesti.life
      • Short news articles in simple Estonian.
    • Estonian Public Broadcasting - Err.ee
      • Tons of free articles on current events, politics, and sports.
    • Postimees - Postimees.ee
      • Estonian newspaper with lots of articles available online.
    • Delfi.ee - Delfi.ee
        Major internet portal providing daily news and articles in Estonian.
    • Õhtuleht - Õhtuleht.ee
      • Õhtuleht is the biggest daily newspapper in Estonia.
    • Lugejakiri.ee - Lugejakiri.ee
      • Satirical news stories in Estonian.
    • Tahela - Tahela.com
      • Free learning videos, vocabulary games, and themed flashcard sets.
    • Estonian Subreddit - r/Eesti
    • Estonian Meme Subreddit - r/Memeesti
    • Recipes in Estonian - Nami-nami.ee
    • Estonian recipes in English - Estoniancuisine.com
    • Estonian Poetry - Luuleleid
    • Old Estonian Estonian Newspapers and Magazines - Digar
    • Estonian Radio - Raadiod
    • Online Radio Streaming - Radio.garden
    • Estonian Radio Shows/Posts - Vikerraadio.err.ee
    • Estonian Audiobooks of Childrens' Stories - Lasteraamat
    • Estonian Music Playlist - Link (YouTube)
    • Estonian Music on RYM - RYM
    • Jupiter - Jupiter.err.ee
      • Free online streaming platform for Estonian films and TV series. A VPN may be required to access some content if you're outside of Estonia.
      • Content with complete or partial Estonian subtitles:
        • Õnne 13 - Link
        • Siin me oleme! - Link
        • Võta või jäte - Link
        • Elu on töö on elu - Link
        • Noor pensionär - Link
    • Estonian Television - Etv
    • Ted Talks in Estonian - Ted.com
    • List of Estonian Movies - List (IMDB)
    • Moomins Estonian Dub - Link (Vimeo)
    • Estonian Cartoons - Lasteekraan
    • The Smurfs Cartoon in Estonian - YouTube
  • Estonian Books:
    • Textbooks:
    • I Found You at Last (Free Basal Reader) - ERR
      • 92-page e-book from the Integration Foundation featuring 25 scenes centered around two fictional characters.
      • Direct Link to PDF
    • Margus, kass ja õunamoos - Issuu
      • Free short Estonian book written in simple language. Intended for A2 level learners.
    • Free Estonian E-Books - Kriso.ee
      • Free e-book section on an Estonian bookstore's website. The selection is of mixed quality, but there are a lot of childrens' and older books available.
    • Vikitekstid - Wikisource.org/wiki/Esileht
      • Free source for older books in Estonian from both Estonian and foreign writers.
    • George Orwell, "1984" (Estonian) - Link (PDF)
    • George Orwell, "loomade farm" (Estonian Audiobook) - Link (Google Drive)
    • George Orwell, "1984" (Estonian Audiobook) - Link (Google Drive)
    • Estonian Audiobooks (Paid) - Digiread.ee
    • Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince" (Estonian) - Link to read online
    • Tartu Public Library - Luts.ee
      • Free downloads for over 35 Estonian e-books in .epub, .mobi, and .pdf formats.
    • GoodReads list of Estonian Literature - Goodreads
    • Rahva Raamat Estonian Bookstore (Paid) - Rahvaraamat.ee
    • Apollo Estonian Bookstore (Paid) - Apollo.ee
    • Ebay Estonian Book Reseller (Paid) - Ebay
    • Read Estonian Fair Tales Online - Folklore.ee
  • Estonian YouTube Channels:
    • Videoõps - Link
      • An educational YouTube channel intended for Estonian school students. Videos also often include Estonian subtitles.
    • Ajalugu Oskariga - Link
    • 1 minuti loeng - Link
    • Eesti Keel Instituut - Link
    • Õhtuleht Estonian Interviews: Link
    • Tallinna Televisioon - Link
    • Kätriin Huttunen - Link
    • CatapultFilms - Link
    • SINA OTSUSTAD - Link
    • Comedy Estonia - Link
    • Puhata ja mängida - Link
    • Eesti Teaduste Akadeemia - Link
    • Kirjanike Muuseumid - Link
    • Põrsas Peppa - Link
    • KeerdTrepp - Link
    • Kodukootud Kodu - Link
    • Mänguväli - Link
    • Liisa Pärnpuu - Link
    • Skyportaal - Link
    • Mängunurk - Link
    • Deanabanana - Link
    • Sportland Eesti - Link
    • Tartu Linnaraamatukogu - Link
    • TheTomsikene - Link
    • Helen Eriksoo - Link
    • Priidu Saart - Link
    • Karupoeg Puhh - Link
    • Birgit Kool - Link
    • Sõdurileht - Link
    • Estonian Children's Books - Link
  • Estonian Twitch.tv Channels:
  • Estonian Podcasts:
    • Podcast.ee Estonian Podcast List - Link
    • Eesti Ekspress - Link
    • Tumedad Tunnid - Link
    • Öökulli Akadeemia - Link
    • Mis värk sellega on? - Link
    • Kirsitšilli Link
    • Rannaväljaanne - Link
    • Inveteerimisjutud - Link
    • Alkeemia - Link
    • 20midagi - Link
    • Be 1st Podcast - Link
    • Mis siin toimub? - Link
    • Lastejutud - Link
  • Tools




    Mina pean varsti helistama, aga sina võid helistada hiljem. - I have to call soon, but you can ring later.

    Mina tahan varsti helistada, aga sina pead helistama nüüd. - I want to call soon, but you need to call now.

    Me pidime koos kinno minema. - We had to go to the cinema together.

    Me tahtsime koos kinno minna. - We wanted to go the cinema together.

    Ta läheb magama. - He's going to sleep.

    Ta tahab magada. - He wants to sleep.

    The Estonian Language Blog

    Alternatively, you can just memorize these eight scenarios that require the -ma infinitive and use the -da infinitive with everything else:

    • Ma LÄHEN jalutama.
    • SÕIDAN mägadesse suusatama.
    • TULGE kiiresti sööma!
    • Lapsed ÕPIVAD uisutama.
    • Ma HAKKASIN uut raamatut lugema
    • Ma PIDIN artikli valmis kirjutama.
    • Kas OLETE VALMIS kohe alustama.
    • Kes ON NÕUS seda tegema.

    In a situation where the subject has already been mentioned, you will use "oma" instead of repeating the pronoun (minu/sinu/tema/etc.).

    Unofficial Estonian special character (umlaut) substitution:

    • ü = y
    • ä = 2
    • ö = 6/8
    • õ = 6

    2rkasin 88sel/66sel 6igel ajal yles = ärkasin öösel õigsel ajal üles
    I woke up in the night on time

    Substitutions previously used:

    • š = sh (shokolaadijäätis = šokolaadijäätis = chocolate ice cream)
    • ž = zh (rezhissöör = režissöör = film/tv/radio director)

    Aitäh vs Tänan

    Tänan is more formal
    Aitäh is more informal

    If you want to be more polite, you can add an extra word to them. However, this doesn't change the inherent formality/informality.

    Tänan väga
    Suur aitäh

    In Estonian, you can add -vat to a verb if you are not sure if the information you're conveying is true or not. This is called the oblique tense and it's formed by adding the suffix -vat to the stem of the -ma infinitive. The oblique tense is the same for all persons, both singular and plural.

    "nad tulid Soomest" - "they came from Finland"

    "nad tulivat Soomest" - "apparently they came from Finland"

    For more information about the oblique tense: Moods in Estonian (coLanguage)

    These are not often used in everyday speach, but you will encounter them in certain older, poetic, or literary works.


    JAANUAR (January) – näärikuu, helmekuu

    VEEBRUAR (February) – küünlakuu, tuisukuu, hundikuu, vastlakuu

    MÄRTS (March) – hangekuu, näljakuu, linnukuu, kehvakuu, paastukuu

    APRILL (April) – jürikuu, mahlakuu

    MAI (May) – lehekuu, õiekuu, meiukuu, nelipühi-kuu

    JUUNI (June) – jaanikuu, piimakuu, pärnakuu, suvekuu, õilmekuu, kesakuu

    JUULI (July) – heinakuu, koerakuu, mädakuu, karusekuu, jaagupikuu

    AUGUST (August) – lõikusekuu, põimukuu, rukkikuu, leivakuu, pärtlikuu

    SEPTEMBER (September) – sügisekuu, kanarbikukuu, mihklikuu

    OKTOOBER (October) – viinakuu, porikuu, kulukuu, rehekuu, vihmakuu

    NOVEMBER (November) – talvekuu, külmakuu, kosjakuu, hingekuu, tahmakuu, mardi- ja kadrikuu

    DETSEMBER (December) – jõulukuu, talvistepüha kuu