Miss, The two languages are quite similar due to their common origin. The split too place about 1200 years ago, about the time the two countries were settled. For the Estonians, a large number of them do learn Finnish, this caused by the heavy amount of media (television, newspapers) that come in from Finland and the strong commerce Finland has with Estonia. But the average Finn will not learn much if any Estonian. The sounds and appearance retains its common root, but the Estonian language has words have a completely different meaning. To answer your question, many Estonians with a little study can and do read and speak the Finnish language, while for the Finn it is almost like a completely foreign language. Please contact me if you have any further inquiries, Matti Korhonen
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