Page Content

  1. About Estonian
  2. Recommended Fonts
  3. Typing Estonian
  4. Web Development and Language Codes
  5. Unicode Character Codes for HTML
  6. Links

About Estonian

The Estonian language itself is not related to the neighboring, Baltic languages, Lithuanian and Latvian, but to Finnish and Hungarian. Thanks to Robert Bushman for his assistance.

Võro Language

A closely related language in south Estonia is Võro. It uses a similar spelling system to Estonian

Recommended Fonts

Baltic Fonts

In terms of computer encoding Estonian is sometimes called a Baltic language. Although the language is written in the same alphabet as Spanish and French, it includes special characters (e.g. š, ž) may not be found in all American fonts.

Common Fonts

Many common fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, Comic Sans, Calibri, Cambria, Palatinto and many more do include these characters.

Third Party Fonts

Below are some additional third party Unicode fonts which include Central European characters.

  • SIL Fonts – The SIL has created multiple fonts with IPA characters including:
    • Andika – Designed for new readers. It could be suitable for some students with reading disorders.
    • Doulos SIL – Includes Greek, Cyrillic
    • Charis SIL – Font family and includes Greek, Cyrillic
    • Gentium – From SIL. Very readable
  • Quivira – Modelled on Garamond and includes ancient language, basic Cyrillic/Armenian/Georgian and math/astronomical symbols.

Note: Many fonts designed to include phonetic characters or Greek and Western letters include Central European characters. Additional Central European or Extended Latin fonts may be available online, but users should be sure they are properly encoded fonts before installing them.

Typing Estonian


Activate Estonian Keyboard

Microsoft provides keyboard utilities for Central European languages which allow you to type Central European Characters.
Note: Neither the Windows International
Keyboard or ALT code repertoire includes Central European characters.

  1. See detailed keyboard activation instructions for different versions of the Windows operating system.
  2. To see where the different characters are, go to the Microsoft Keyboard Layouts Page.

Other Options

You can also input characters from the Character Map. This can be useful if you only need to insert characters into only a few words.


Extended Keyboard Codes

You can activate the Extended Keyboard to input Central European characters. This extends the range of available accented letters.

Extended Codes for Mac , X = any letter
Hachek/Caron č,Č Option+V, X
Umlaut ö,Ö Option+U, X
Tilde õ,Õ Option+N, X

Example: To input the lower case č (c-hachek) hold down the Option key, then the V key. Release both keys then type lowercase C.

Estonian Mac Keyboard Utilities

Apple also has keyboard utilities for most Central European languages. See instructions for activating a Macintosh keyboard for more details.

Web Development and Language Codes

This section presents information specific to Polish and related languages. For general information about developing non-English Web sites, see the Encoding Tutorial or the Web Layout sections.

Test Site

If you have your browser configured correctly, the Web sites below should display
the correct characters.
Note: If a site displays gibberish, see the Browser Setup page for debugging information.

Historical Encodings

Unicode (utf-8) is the preferred encoding for Web sites. However, the following historic encodings may still be encountered.

  • win-1257 (aka "Windows Baltic")

Language Tags

Language Tags allow browsers and other software to process Estonian text more efficiently. The following lists codes for Estonian and closely related minority languages.

  • et (and not ee for Estonia)
  • vro (Võro)

Inserting Unicode Character Codes for HTML

The Entity Codes

Use these codes to input accented letters in HTML for short words and phrases. For instance, if you want to type Äri you would type Äri. The numbers in parentheses are the numeric codes assigned in Unicode encoding. For instance, because Ä is number 196, Äri can also be used to input Äri.

Be sure the appropriate Encodings and Language Tags are used.

NOTE: Because these are Unicode characters, the formatting may not exactly match that of the surrounding text depending on the browser.

Vowel Codes
Vwl Entity Codes
Ä Ä (196)
ä ä (228)
Õ Õ (213)
õ õ (245)
Ö Ö (214)
ö ö (246)
Ü Ü (220)
ü ü (252)
Consonant Codes
Cns Entity Codes
Š Š capital S hacheck
š š lower S hacheck
Ž Ž capital Z hacheck
ž ž capital Z hachek

European Quote Marks

Many modern texts use American style quotes, but if you wish to include European style quote marks, here are the codes. Note that these codes may not work in older browsers.

Entity Codes for Quotation Marks
Sym HTMl Entity Code
« « (left angle)
» » (right angle)
‹ (left single angle)
› (right single angle)
„(bottom quote)
‚(single bottom quote)
“(left curly quote)
‘(left single curly quote)
”(right curly quote)
’(right single curly quote)
– (en dash)
— (em dash)

Estonian and Võro Language

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