About the language in Tartu | Tartu - LikeALocal Guide

About the language in Tartu

By Traveller January 30, 2021

About the language in Tartu

(2 answers)
By Ángel Traveller January 30, 2021

Hello, I'm a uni student and I'm most likely going to spend a semester in Tartu next year, so here's my question: What language do you locals speak?
I assumed it would be Estonian but then I learnt about Võro and I'm a bit confused. I guess I could pass with knowing English but I like the country quite a bit so I would love to learn the language that locals actually use.
Thank you.

Answer the question

2 answers

Yes, we speak Estonian. Võru language is actually a dialect of Estonian, spoken south of Tartu in Võru and the rural areas around it. So while in Tartu, Estonian is the main language. However, the people in Võru and the south rural areas understand Estonian just as well (and even English in some cases, especially among young people). Welcome to Tartu!
Local January 30, 2021

Nice to have a letter from a perfect stranger:)

We speak Estonian. Võru murre is just one dialect spoken in the southern part of the country. There are other dialects as well as in nearly all the countries in the world.

In Tartu nearly all the youngsters speak English, so don´t worry as our language takes quite some time to learn.

Traveller January 31, 2021