Language requirements for e-residents’ webpages

Many entrepreneurs who own a company in Estonia, but do business elsewhere have to translate their websites or at least a summary of their webpage into Estonian. This also includes e-residents who have founded Estonian OÜs. Silva Hunt will explain in detail why and how this can be done and added to your webpage easily. The basis of these requirements is the Estonian Language Act that can be found in English here –

Under Chapter 4, § 16. Language of information is stated that:

(1) Signs, signposts, business type names and outdoor advertisements, including outdoor advertising, installed to a public place with the purpose of political campaigning, and the notices of a legal person shall be in Estonian.

(2) The translation of the text into a foreign language may be added to public signs, signposts, business type name and outdoor advertisements; thereby the text in Estonian shall be in the forefront and shall not be less observable than the text in a foreign language.

(3) Upon using a brand as a sign of the place of business of a person or in outdoor advertising the part of a brand in a foreign language that includes essential information about the place of business and goods or service offered shall be presented also in Estonian, without damaging the distinctiveness of the brand and without applying subsection (2) of this section. The specified information may also be presented at the entrance to the place of business.

(4) If the agencies, companies, non-profit associations and foundations and sole proprietors which are registered in Estonia have a web page in a foreign language which is directed to the public, it shall include at least a summary in Estonian about its field of activity or the goods and services offered.

(5) At public events the organiser shall ensure the translation into Estonian of the essential information in a foreign language.

E-residents of Estonia should especially be aware of number 4. To avoid any issues or fines from the Language Inspection, simply add summary information in Estonian about its field of activity or goods or services offered. This is also the case if the company does not offer the service in Estonia and operates only in foreign markets.

Besides using Google Translate, there is one other, Estonian-developed option that we can definitely recommend – using Aligner is a language translation platform created by Estonians that was created to speed up the process of managing and translating multilingual web content and also helps e-residents meet the requirements of the language laws. The uniqueness of Aligner technology is content management, which can be changed and updated in more than 100 languages in just seconds, using the best machine translation engines and delivering instantly. And the good news is that it is and will remain free of charge.

What is the easiest way to create an Estonian summary for your website?

The easiest way is simply to add a new page to your website, for example under the name “Summary of offered services foods” or “Summary in Estonian”. This can be done similar to any website where there is also a policy on the use of cookies or privacy.

You can use the English-language summary of your company´s activities and services and open the page Paste the summary text into Aligner or import it directly from Google Docs, then choose an Estonian machine translation that will appear immediately and for free. Another option would be to pay for a human translation that will be completed in a few hours. Afterwards simply copy and paste the completed translation onto your website in Estonian.
NB! If you do not plan to offer services in Estonian at all, we recommend that you do not translate the entire page, but add only a short description and mention that the products and services s in English. Otherwise, it might create false expectations among users that the service will continue in Estonian.

If you have any questions about the language requirements, our team is more than happy to help!

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes