The Estonian alphabet (Estonian: eesti tähestik) is used for writing the Estonian language and is based on the Latin alphabet, with German influence. As such, the Estonian alphabet has the letters Ä, Ö, and Ü (A, O, and U with umlaut), which represent the vowel sounds [æ], [ø] and [y], respectively. Unlike the German umlauts, they are considered and alphabetised as separate letters and are part of the alphabet. The most distinguishing letter in the Estonian alphabet, however, is the Õ (O with tilde), which was added to the alphabet in the 19th century by Otto Wilhelm Masing and stands for the vowel [ɤ]. In addition, the alphabet also differs from the Latin alphabet by the addition of the letters Š and Ž (S and Z with caron/háček), and by the position of Z in the alphabet: it has been moved from the end to between S and T (or Š and Ž).
In Blackletter W was used instead of V.
Johannes Aavik insisted that the letter Ü be replaced by Y, as it has been in the Finnish alphabet.
The official Estonian alphabet has 27 letters:
The oblique letters are so-called "foreign letters" (võõrtähed). F, Š, Z and Ž occur only in loanwords and foreign proper names. C, Q, W, X and Y do not occur in Estonian words, but are used in writing foreign proper names.
Including also the "foreign letters", alphabet consists of the following 32 letters:
The alphabet is occasionally written and recited without even the letters appearing only in loanwords. In that case, it has 23 letters:
|G||[ɡ̊eː]||H||[hɑː] or [hɑʃ]||I||[iː]||J||[jotʲː]||K||[kɑː]||L||[ell]|
|M||[emm]||N||[enn]||O||[oː]||P||[peː]||Q||[kuː]||R||[err] or [ærr]|
|S||[ess]||Š||[ʃɑː]||Z||[zeː], [seː] or [tsett]||Ž||[ʒeː] or [ʃeː]||T||[teː]||U||[uː]|
|X||[iks]||Y||[iɡrek] or [ypsilon]|