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tmoonSaturday 09th of July 2005 05:50:33 AM
Estonian learning books available in Estonia? - Tere jalle. I'm in Parnu right now and I'll be here for another four weeks or so.

I've known bits of Estonian for some time now, but haven't properly been learning the language since February so I'm a bit out of practice!

Now that I'm in Estonia until August, I may as well try to learn the language again. I've been looking through bookstores in Parnu for beginners' courses in Estonian that are taught using either English, German, Dutch or (if I'm feeling desperate :D) Swedish.

I've not found much yet, to be honest. I've seen one book titled something like --E nagu Eesti-- (I can't remember the title exactly, but I knew it translated into --E is for Estonia--). This was an Estonian beginners' course taught solely in Estonian, although there were also introductions and wordlists in Russian, English, German and Finnish. OK, it may learn me Estonian, but I wonder if there are other books similar to it. Also, the book came with a casette which wasn't stocked in the shop, and the book did not include any phone numbers or websites where I could order a casette (I couldn't see any, anyway...)

Can anyone living in Estonia (especially in Parnu) please help me out, by reccommending Estonian-learning books that I can buy in Estonian bookshops? I know it's much to ask for, but next time you're around a bookshop in Estonia could you go in and take a quick look around - if you see any books which could help me then tell me where in the country the bookshop is. Then I can travel to that place and get the book...
Helen FlemingMonday 11th of July 2005 04:29:01 AM
- I agree that Estonia is not the best place to look for any books in any of the languages mentioned above. In Estonia, you can expect to find most detailed explanation of Estonian grammar in Estonian. The biggest minority in Estonia is Russians, and as knowledge of Estonian is required since independence, most Estonian textbooks in foreign language are based on Russian and focus on the differences between Estonian and Russian. The majority of Estonian textbooks based on English have been published outside Estonia.

[url=,26&cat_id=59&book_id=298&book_nr=7&book_max=11&cat_path=Learning%20Estonian]E nagu Eesti[/url] by Mall Pesti and Helve Ahi has been published by [url=,12&PHPSESSID=75b433002b0ea2a8efd438804592c994]TEA Kirjastus[/url]. The series consists of a textbook for beginners, a 65-minute audio tape, a set of 464 flashcards, and a Teacher's Guide, all of which can be bought separately.

TEA Kirjastus has also published a series of [url=,26&cat_id=59&book_id=302&book_nr=3&book_max=11&cat_path=Learning%20Estonian]Avatud uksed[/url] by Mare Kitsnik and Leelo Kingisepp, which consists of a textbook for advanced learners, a workbook, audio tapes, and a Teacher's Guide.

Other textbooks based on English I have seen in Estonia at Tartu Ülikooli Raamatupood in Tartu (first floor on the left), are

[url=]Colloquial Estonian The Complete Course for Beginners[/url] by Christopher Moseley (paperback, 2 audio cassettes and 2 audio CDs are available)

[url=]Estonian Textbook: Grammar, Exercises, Conversation[/url] by Juhan Tuldava, Ain Haas

Both of them have been published in the United States. Routledge also offers [url=]Basic Course in Estonian[/url] by Felix Oinas and [url=]Estonian Grammar[/url] by Robert T. Harms; these can be ordered online. Although it is hard to get, the book by Tuldava is considered the best for self-study, and out of all the books, this is the one I'd suggest. Unfortunately, it is not on sale in Tartu at the moment.

Apollo in Pärnu at Rüütli 41 offers the widest selection of books. I am sure that you have already been there and asked a salesgirl for help. Since you're staying in Estonia for longer, you could also try your luck at local libraries. I know that at least in Põltsamaa, they have a heavy Estonian textbook in German. If you are ready to travel, Tallinn will be the best city to look around; I hope that Kea can tell you more.

keaMonday 11th of July 2005 06:21:57 PM
- I have looked around in the shops in Tallinn too for Estonian language books and also here you could only get "E nagu Eesti". My dutch friend who studies Estonian does not like that book. So we have used the "Colloquial Estonian" which we got from the national library where I work. He sais that this is the best one for self study but still help from natives is very good.
But since you are in Estonia then you are surrounded by lots of Estonian study books - the Estonians ;) , just use that as much as possible because the book won't make you talk anyway just explaines the grammar but the grammar explanations you can also get from internet :p
Õnn kaasa!
tmoonTuesday 12th of July 2005 06:49:52 PM
- Thanks very much Helen and Kea. I've travelled to Tartu for the day and I'm here now in an Internet café. I can't find the Tuldava book anywhere, but the Moseley 'Colloquial Estonian' book is on sale at the Ülikooli Raamatupood... for 820kr :O! This is too expensive. I'll have a rethink and find some other way to learn Estonian. I still have options available to me :). ~Tom