Arabic speakers in short supply in Estonia ({{commentsTotal}})

With the nation preparing to take in a few hundred Syrian refugees, Estonia is faced with a lack of people speaking Arabic, the predominant language in Syria.

Migration expert Juhan Saharov said only a minority of people from Arabic nations who have arrived in Estonia so far, speak any English at all, Postimees reported.

Arab-speakers are faced with having to learn Estonian, not the easiest language in the world, to communicate with doctors, go through bureaucratic processes and find jobs, unable to get much help from Estonian state translation services.

Helen Geršman, a lecturer of Middle-East culture at Tallinn University's School of Humanities, said 10 students signed up for Arabic courses this year and there are only a few dozen Estonians who have a good command of the language.

Editor: J.M. Laats



Siim Kallas.

Interview: Siim Kallas on ambitions, Estonian politics, and EU presidency

Following the local elections in October this year, Reform Party founder, former prime minister, EU commissioner, and presidential candidate Siim Kallas took on the job of municipal mayor of Viimsi, a community on the outskirts of Tallinn. In his interview with ERR's Toomas Sildam, Kallas talks about local government, his party, the EU presidency, and perspectives in Estonian politics.

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