Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eesti keel ja meel

I said when I started this blog that I would not just concern myself with grammar and vocabulary but also discuss resources available to learn this beautiful language of Estonian.

One of the best resources that I have come across for learning Estonian is Eesti keel ja meel (Estonian language and mind). The idea of the course is to introduce the foreigner to the language, culture, people and places of Estonia. The course is available to buy on DVD, or to use free online. All you need to do is register and you get an email with a log-in and password in less than a minute.

The website includes: an hour long introductory video in Estonian; a gallery of photographs; a basic grammar, grammar exercises; a lexicon, and audio training using the scenes and dialogues taken from the film. You can use the site to practise all linguistic skills.

Eesti keel ja meel is available in 9 languages. These are English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Hugarian, Greek, Romanian and Russian (though, strangely not in Spanish, Finnish nor Swedish).

What I like about the website is that it is free and fun. The video is interesting and entertaining and the grammar information gives an excellent overview of the language for those who want to pursue Estonian past the basic conversational phrases.

I would say that this website should be used in conjunction with another course. While the video is interesting it can be a little overwhleming for the beginner who is normally more interesting in building up from basic phrases such as greetings and then moving on to talking about oneself and ones home and family. Eesti keel ja meel will give you an excellent introduction to quick-paced conversational and colloquial Estonian and thus compliments nicely, rather than replaces, a more traditional beginner's course.

So, if you haven't used the website before, you should definetly check it out.


  1. It's lovely to see a blog on learning Estonian, and I've only found it by accident because I suspect you're using the same book as me and I typed something into google instead of google translate by mistake!

    Another new resource that's appeared recently that I don't know if you've come across is "Saame Tuttavaks" I think it's more aimed at children as it has a lot of cultural information that an adult who would decide to go and learn Estonian has probably already worked out, but it does have the advantage that it contains English (or if you buy other editions, various other languages) explanations, so it's more suitable for use without a teacher.


    Or, indeed, more suitable for use without an explanatory blog - many thanks!

  2. I bought the Russian version of that DVD for reasons that seemed to make sense at the time. Sadly, most of the "extra features" (video and audio snippets, eg) don't work. And the error message is in Russian, so I'm not sure why.

    I haven't tried them on the website yet as it's too expensive to use at home and I'm short of time to stay back at work.

  3. Oh, have you seen this: Õpetaja tabeliraamat?

    I think you'll like it.

  4. @ Sharon: I haven't seen the Õpetaja tabeliraamat but I'll be sure to check it out.

    @ Barry: I have come across Saame Tuttavaks. From what I have heard from people that have it it is a good book and well worth checking out, especially for the beginner. I didn't bother to buy a copy myself as everything that it covers is already covered in one or more of the books I already have: E nagu Eesti, Naljaga pooleks, Colloquial Estonian, Estonian Textbook and LINGUISTICA URALICA. SUPPLEMENTARY SERIES. Volume 1. Estonian Language. That said, if I was just starting off in my Estonian studies, I would defo get it.

  5. why not try keeleklikk.ee the best i ever had...