Estonian, the national language of Estonia, is spoken by around one million people. Its origins are related to Finnish, but also to Sami, Hungarian and other so-called Finno-Ugric languages.

Discovering the language

The influence of German, Baltic languages, Russian and the Finnish example has left perceptible traces in syntax and vocabulary. The alphabet is the Latin alphabet.

The written language was formed from the XVIth century onwards under the impetus of the Reformation. It underwent a highly original "renovation" at the beginning of the XXth century under the leadership of linguist Johannes Aavik.

Profane literature developed above all from the mid-19th century, notably with the publication of the national epic Kalevipoeg (1857-1861), written by F. R. Kreutzwald.

Estonian is now one of the official languages of the European Union. Its knowledge, added to other skills, can offer interesting career opportunities, particularly in translation and interpreting.

Inalco is the only French establishment where Estonian is taught. This teaching dates back to 1935. It is linked to that of all the languages and cultures of the Eastern Baltic, as well as to that of the main Finno-Ugric languages and cultures.

Diplômes de langue et civilisation estoniennes (DLC) 2023-2024 (7.51 MB, .pdf)

Cours d'estonien à distance 2023-2024 (419.49 KB, .pdf)

Licence d'estonien 2023-2024 (429.77 KB, .pdf)

Master d'estonien 2020-2021 (reconduit en 2023-2024) (2.36 MB, .pdf)

Find out more

The Estonian language
Estonian at Langues O': a historical overview