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Russian language in Estonia and Latvia?



I'm aware that there are many Russian speakers in Tallinn and Riga. I would like to visit these cities but I don't know any Estonian or Latvian. Would it be acceptable if I spoke Russian to people in shops and restaurants, or would they have a negative reaction?

Dec 10, 2014 12:43 AM
Comments · 8

haha, I'm wondering guys - have you ever been there to speak about it? I have been there and anybody can speak russian there without any problems, moreover russian is most common language for example in Tallin, at least you could hear russian language in the central part of city there much more often than any other world languages:)

December 11, 2014

Hi. I am Russian and I am from Riga. You can speak Russian in Riga in any place with no problems at all. What concerns Tallinn you should better use English there. I have been in Tallinn twice, they prefer to speak English.

January 3, 2015

As I told you, better speak English in both Tallin and Rīga. I think Estonia and Latvia are not the best places to test or improve your Russian, althought there is a huge Russian community. Russian community is the biggest reason why Russian is spoken in Latvia at all. As parts of EU, second language in Latvia and Estonia primarly is English, you can speak in your native language. And in many cases, if you speak Russian, people will answer you in Latvian, but if you speak English, they will be sure you are from abroad and try to make you to understand everything.

April 3, 2015

I think you will cause a negative reaction by people from over there with your Russian, as they are more likely to speak English, except Russians who moved there long time ago.

December 10, 2014

actually they are a bit russophob. and expept generation which was born in soviet times they dont know russian. even native russian speakers know russian less than 5 years. so russian language will help u but anyway i strongly recommend u using english.

December 10, 2014
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Language Skills
English, Gaelic (Irish), Russian
Learning Language