A nice question, especially when having considered the implications of non-static
-- that is, as, since it is often related to verbs -- vs static -- like --dichotomy in English.
Unlike in English semantics, the Estonian pairs of Translative VS Essive include not just static/non-static, but also evident / non-evident dichotomy.
The semantics of the Estonian cases are indeed similar to those of Finnish, with the exception of the modal meaning. Cf. the examples as found in the link given by Nick Nicholas:
Est. Translative: Ta peab mind targaks = He considers me (to be) smart.
Õpetaja oli meile eeskujuks = The teacher was a model figure for us.
Finn. Essive: Hän pitää mua fiksuna.
Opettaja oli meille esikuvana.
The general difference between Translative and Essive is that of 'Non-Static and Evident' Translative vs 'Static and Non-Evident Essive', cf Finnish:
Liikemiehenä olen samaa mieltä. = As a businessman, I agree. (The state of being a businessman is not evidential to an addressee)
Hänkin tulee liikemieheksi. = He is to become a businessman, too. (The state or possibility of becoming a businessman is evident to a speaker).
The Estonian seems to follow the same rules, except that 'Modal Essive' in Finnish -- [to be regarded or to be considered as] -- has become the Estonian 'Modal Translative'.
Also, the Estonian case semantics seem to be more verb-driven as compared to those in Finnish, cf. Estonian
Ta tuli esimeseks ((S)he arrived first).
with the Finnish phrase
Hän tuli ensimmäisenä.
Therefore, my intuition is that the author has been referring mainly to that particularly Estonian, 'modal' semantics of the Translative.