Minu Nimi On…

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

“Kanderhuertke Ecline”
“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.

-Cameron O’Connell


2 thoughts on “Minu Nimi On…

  1. Thanks for this funny reading! It’s really great to see that you managed to pick up some Estonian phrases too, besides studying Russian. It’s not very typical to hear Estonian language spoken in Narva.
    Btw, as a language enthusiast I’d like to point out a couple of things:
    “Kanderhuertke Ecline” – I have no idea what language this is! 🙂
    “Thank you!” is “Aitäh” /ɑi.ˈtæh/ in Estonian.
    And Swedes wouldn’t definitely understand Estonian, as the languages aren’t similar at all.
    Удачи в изучении русского языка!

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