What are the top 3 languages spoken in Estonia?

What are the top 3 languages spoken in Estonia?

Estonia, a small Baltic nation located in Northern Europe, is known for its rich cultural heritage and linguistic diversity. With a population of approximately 1.3 million people, Estonia boasts a unique linguistic landscape. While Estonian is the official language, there are two other languages spoken widely in the country. In this article, we will explore the top three languages spoken in Estonia, shedding light on their significance and the communities that embrace them. Whether you’re planning a trip to Estonia or simply curious about its linguistic tapestry, this article will provide you with valuable insights into the vibrant language scene of this fascinating country.

Overview of language diversity in Estonia

Historical background

Estonia, located in Northern Europe, has a rich and diverse linguistic history. Over the centuries, the region has been influenced by various cultures and rulers, resulting in a unique linguistic landscape.

Official languages

Currently, Estonia has two official languages: Estonian and Russian. Estonian, the national language, is spoken by the majority of the population and holds significant cultural importance. It is a Finno-Ugric language, closely related to Finnish and distantly related to Hungarian. Russian, on the other hand, is widely spoken due to the historical presence of Russian-speaking communities in Estonia.

Minority languages

Apart from Estonian and Russian, Estonia is home to several minority languages. Some of the prominent minority languages spoken in Estonia include:

  1. Finnish: Due to Estonia’s geographical proximity to Finland, there is a sizeable Finnish-speaking population in certain areas, especially along the northern border. Finnish is also considered a closely related language to Estonian.

  2. Ukrainian: Estonia has a small but notable Ukrainian-speaking community. Many Ukrainian speakers arrived in Estonia during the Soviet era and have maintained their language and cultural traditions.

  3. Belarusian: Similarly, the Belarusian language is spoken by a minority in Estonia, primarily by the Belarusian community that settled in the country during the Soviet period.

These are just a few examples of the diverse linguistic tapestry in Estonia. Other minority languages spoken in Estonia include English, German, Swedish, and Latvian, among others.

The linguistic diversity in Estonia not only reflects its historical and cultural heritage but also adds to the vibrant multicultural fabric of the country.

Top 3 languages spoken in Estonia


Estonian is the official language of Estonia and the most widely spoken language in the country. It is a Finno-Ugric language, closely related to Finnish and distantly related to Hungarian. Approximately 1.1 million people in Estonia speak Estonian as their first language, which accounts for around 70% of the population. Estonian is known for its unique grammar and phonetics, making it an interesting language to learn.


Russian is the second most commonly spoken language in Estonia, primarily due to the historical influence of the Soviet Union. During the Soviet era, many Russians migrated to Estonia, and Russian became widely spoken. Today, approximately 320,000 people in Estonia speak Russian, making it an important language for communication, especially in larger cities and areas with a significant Russian-speaking population.


English is widely spoken and understood in Estonia, particularly among the younger generation and those involved in the tourism, business, and technology sectors. English education is mandatory in schools, and many Estonians have a good command of the language. English proficiency among Estonians is relatively high compared to many other non-English speaking countries, making it easier for foreigners to communicate and navigate in Estonia.

Overall, Estonian, Russian, and English are the top three languages spoken in Estonia, each playing a significant role in the country’s linguistic landscape.

The top three languages spoken in Estonia are Estonian, Russian, and English. Estonian is the official language of the country and is spoken by the majority of the population. Russian is also widely spoken, especially among the Russian-speaking minority. English is becoming increasingly popular, particularly among younger generations and in urban areas. These three languages play a significant role in the multicultural and multilingual fabric of Estonia, reflecting its historical and geopolitical influences. Understanding and being proficient in these languages can greatly enhance communication and integration within the diverse Estonian society.

Share This Post: