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Estonian is a Finno-Ugric language spoken by about 1.1 million people in Estonia, and around 10,000 people in émigré communities. It is closely related to Finnish, and one of the few languages in Europe that is not Indo-European. Therefore, despite some overlap in vocabulary, it is not related to its closest neighbors, Swedish, Latvian, and Russian. Estonian also has a distant relation to Hungarian.
There are two main dialect groups: northern and southern. The northern dialect is usually associated
with the city of Tallinn, and the souther dialect with the city of Tartu. Approximately one-third of Estonian vocabulary is Germanic in origin, despite being of completely different origins. This came mainly from Low Saxon (Middle Low German) during the period of German rule and High German.
Estonian is written with the Latin alphabet, like Finnish, but also contains the distinctively Estonian letters š, ž, ä, ö, ü, and õ.
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