After spending nearly three weeks studying Russian in Estonia, it might shock you to find that the majority of the country does not indeed speak Russian. In addition to English, the majority of citizens speak “Estonian” a rather flute sounding language which may be easily comprehended by those who speak Finnish, Swedish, or any assortment of languages you might associate with IKEA.
Estonian is known to be one of the 10 hardest languages in the world, it was listed as #4 in a 2012 study, and many of us have tried speaking it in an effort to be more polite to the local population. I can safely report that we have failed at this matter entirely, and are often begged to speak English before uttering a single word. Nonetheless, here is an assortment of Estonian phrases which you too can completely butcher, should you ever find yourself face to face with an Estonian:
“Minu Nimi On”
“My Name Is” A typical response may be “What?” said by the Estonian in English
“Hello” Don’t appear too confident, the Estonian knows this is likely the only word you can say
“Double Cheeseburger Meal” Sometimes pointing is better option
“Thank You!” Perhaps you could try using this, after they’ve kindly switched to English
Needless to say we’re quite relieved they additionally speak English.