Sunday, June 17, 2012

English words in Estonian

This post will be continuously updated as I come across more examples.


The example comes from a poster for a venue:

Tule lõunale ja dringile!
Come for lunch and a drink.

As you know, the normal translation of the English drink is jook. The word drink (gen. dringi) refers to an alcoholic beverage served at some pub, club or other venue.


This example comes from an advert in a local newsletter:

Loomaartsi koduvisiidid.
Home visits by the vet.

Loomaarst (lit. animal-doctor) is the Estonian for vet.

The Estonian visiit (gen. visiidi) refers to a visit one makes to a medical professional or a home visit a professional makes to a patient.

To express to pay someone a visit in Estonian is: külas käia

Meie käisime külas Mummi juures.
We paid Granny a visit.


  1. It's a theory of course...but the first time I heard Estonians use the word 'drink' in everyday language, it came from Finland together with their 'Hartwall's Original Gin Long Drink' that became quite popular, especially among girls. (vs. boys drinking beer)
    You could see those light blue cans everywhere back then. And people, girls mostly ordered it "palun üks long drink". So looks like this "drink" for alcoholic beverages has transformed some and found wider uses. I can't imagine however any men in Estonia calling each other 'dringile' since the word associates with Gin and tonic, the long drnk. The Estonian men go "õllele". Or maybe its just me... :-)

  2. Yah. I don't think I have heard it in the spoken language but have seen it plenty in the written. Thanks for the comment.

  3. There is a huge difference between different "english" (or maybe german or latin? :) ) words in estonian, in a sense that some of them are foreign and used in unofficial slang only (like drink, dringi) but some are 100% in Eesti Õigekeelsus Sõnaraamat ja see teeb neist eestikeelsed sõnad, laensõnad küll..mõnest ehk isegi võõrsõna, aga eestikeelse ametliku sõna. Nagu näiteks visiit. One may say that the word "pall" or "lamp" is also english...yet, it's not. It's estonian.

  4. I suppose you're right there. It all comes down to a number of factors, whether a word is accepted as "Estonian" or not, including but not limited to dissemination in various domains, quantity of use, age, success of incorporation into the rich morphological system, phonological structure, etc.