When people choose a foreign language to learn, they often go for popular languages with a large number of speakers. With only around 1.5 million native speakers, Estonian may not be one of these languages. Nevertheless, it is ‘small, but mighty’, and there are many great reasons to learn it.
It is quite a hard language to master
And this can indeed be a great advantage in many ways. Mastering Estonian with all its difficulties will give you an immense sense of achievement – and some bragging rights to go with it if you’d like. Learning Estonian will also be a fun challenge and exercise for your brain as well as contribute to your personal development.
It is an unusual language
Although Estonia is a European country, Estonian is not an Indo-European language. It is a Finno-Ugric language, which makes it very different from the languages of most neighboring countries. By learning it you may be able to stand out among other learners and maybe even occupy a profitable professional niche.
Estonian can even be something like a secret language for you and your Estonian-speaking friends: hardly anyone apart from other Estonians and maybe some Finns will be able to understand a word you say. You can discuss anything freely and not worry about being overheard.
It provides an amazing cultural experience
Despite being relatively small and young as an independent country, Estonia has a vast, amazing culture. By learning the Estonian language you will be able to experience it first-hand, truly immerse yourself, and have some authentic experiences. Estonian literature is fascinating. You will also be able to experience a very interesting take on history from a different viewpoint: read first-hand from people who experienced Nazi occupation and the Soviet Union.
It is a beautiful language
Estonian is quite a beautiful language, its articulation and pronunciation are very melodic. The way Estonians speak sounds really charming – and you can learn to speak like that as well.
You can make some good friends
There are not very many Estonian-speaking people in the world, but they often really appreciate it when someone is learning their native language. You’ll be able to make some great foreign friends, among Estonian native-speakers, as well as among learners of Estonian as a foreign language, who will also appreciate you joining their community.
It is good for your brain
Learning a foreign language, especially a challenging one, like Estonian, helps you improve your memory and other cognitive skills. It keeps your brain young and even lowers the risk of some diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
This is true about any foreign language, but why not learn such a challenging, unique and beautiful one as Estonian?