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eesti keel
Native to Estonia
Ethnicity Estonians
Native speakers (1.05 million cited 1989)
Language family
  • Finnic
    • Estonian
Writing system Latin
Official status
Official language in Estonia
Language codes
ISO 639-1 et
ISO 639-2 est
ISO 639-3 est

Estonian is the official language of Estonia, spoken natively by about 1.1 million people in Estonia and tens of thousands in various migrant communities. It belongs to the Finnic branch of the Uralic language family.

One distinctive feature that has caused a great amount of interest among linguists is what is traditionally seen as three degrees of phonemic length: short, long, and "overlong", such that /toto/, /toˑto/ and /toːto/ are distinct. In actuality, the distinction is not purely in the phonemic length, and the underlying phonological mechanism is still disputed.[