How To Say Friend In Estonian: 5+ Solid Estonian Words About Friendship

Estonian Words For Friend - A photo of a friends and sunrise

Tere (Hello)! If you want to learn how to say friend in Estonian and learn some meaningful phrases about friendship, keep reading!

If you have been learning about Estonian for quite some time, you might have already heard that befriending an Estonian is not as easy as you think. An article by Tiina Pärtel from the website Found in Estonia mentions that Estonians might seem cold at first, but once you get to know them, they will be true friends.

Although building friendships in Estonia is not easy, just think of how strong your friendship would be if you were patient. Imagine the life lessons you’ll get in this long process of making new friends in Estonia. You will surely understand why building this kind of friendship is worth it.

With that being said, let us unlock the first stage of making friends in an Estonian way. Let’s learn some essential Estonian words for friend. Many Estonians can speak English to foreigners, but nothing feels more sincere than hearing you speak Estonian. So, let’s unlock the different words used to say friend in Estonian and some Estonian friendship culture.

How To Say Friend In Estonian

In Estonia, social scenes like having drinks in cozy cafes, shopping in markets, and attending social events can help you find potential new friends. All you need to bring with you is your smiles and a bit of bravery to start an Estonian conversation. In this part of the article, we will explore some basic Estonian words related to friends.

1. Friend – Sõber

The word for friend in the Estonian language is sõber. This is the most basic and common translation of friend in Estonian. Just don’t forget to practice the pronunciation; you are already ready. As mentioned above, it takes a while to gain an Estonian friend. Having an Estonian friend while you are in Estonia is really helpful. If you have a local friend, you can easily learn their ways in Estonian culture, learn some words, get pieces of advice and recommendations, and expand your networks.

2. Friends – Sõbrad

For more than one friend, Estonians call it sõbrad, which means friends. Some people might find it hard to make one friend, but some can be too lucky or determined to have more of them. In an article entitled “Things I’ve Learned From Hanging Out With Estonians,” the author shared her experiences making friends in Estonia.

Some tips she shared to gain new friends are asking questions about greetings to use at the supermarkets, finding common topics, activities, and interests with each of them, inviting them for hangouts, and actually showing up to theirs. But of course, not everything will work the same way in different situations, so you should really understand Estonian social cues and ways to communicate with others.

Estonian words for friend - A photo of friends sitting on the steps while talking

Other Words About Friendship In Estonian

1. Friendship – Sõprus

Sõprus is the Estonian word for friendship. If you want to have a glimpse of Estonian friendship, there’s this one film called Kevade (The Spring, 1969), directed by Arvo Kruusment. This film follows the journeys of a group of schoolboys as they deal with the good and bad parts of growing up.

2. Best Friend – Parim Sõber

While having many friends is a delight, of course, we have that one best friend (parim sõber) who will always be our go-to person.

3. Heart Friend – Südamesõber

Estonians also have this friend whom they call südamesõber or heart friend, a friend who is close to one’s heart.

Other Words Related To Friend In Estonian

Estonians don’t just use the word sõber (friend). Words like armsam, which means “beloved,” and kallis, which means “dear” or “sweetheart,” paint colorful pictures. These words add depth to friendship, turning shared times into art. Here are more words related to the word friend in the Estonian language:

EnglishEstonianSound
Beloved Armsam
BoyfriendPoiss-sõber
Buddy Semu
Companion Kaaslane
ComradeSeltsiline
Dear (used to express deep affection) Kallis
Pal Sõbrake
Soul mateKaaslasehing
Thought companionMõttekaaslane

Basic Estonian Phrases To Use In Meeting New Friends

In making new friends, one should know how to start conversations. Here are some basic phrases that you might need to know:

EnglishEstonianSound
How are you?Kuidas läheb?
What is your name? (Informal)Mis su nimi on?
What is your name? (Formal)Mis teie nimi on?
Nice to meet you!Meeldiv tutvuda!

Friendship Culture In Estonia

After learning some words related to friends in the Estonian language, let’s talk about the culture behind Estonian friendship. There are two basic things that you need to know:

The Significance Of Friendship

In Estonia, friends aren’t just companions; they are viewed as a strong support system. In their culture, friendships are built to be your safety net when experiencing life struggles and hardships. That’s why it takes time to build a strong friendship, especially when you’re not a local. After all, who doesn’t want genuine friends who will always have your back no matter what happens?

Celebrating Friendships

Estonians love a good celebration, and what better reason to celebrate than friendship? In Estonia, Valentine’s Day is Friendship Day. They call it Sobrapaev, which means “Friendship Day.” But what’s more interesting to know is that instead of a day for sweethearts, it’s a day to celebrate friendships of all sorts.

Estonian words for friend - A photo of happy friends laughing outdoors

Talk To Your Native Estonian Friend

Making genuine connections requires a deeper connection. So, if you want to indulge in a deep conversation with your new friend, why not learn Estonian with the Ling app now? When it comes to language learning, nothing beats this app’s well-developed features that will surely improve your language skills. So, download the Ling app from Google Play and the App Store and impress your friends with Estonian words for friend now!

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