Estonian is spoken by about 1.1 million people, of whom the great majority live in the Northern European country of Estonia. Estonian belongs to the Finnic branch of the Finno-Ugric languages. Estonian is thus related to Finnish, spoken on the other side of the Gulf of Finland, and is one of the few languages of Europe that is not Indo-European. Despite some minor overlaps in the vocabulary due to loaning, in terms of its origin, Estonian is not related to its nearest neighbours, Swedish, Latvian and Russian, which are all Indo-European languages.

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