droši vien vs. laikam vs. varbūt

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vqmalic
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droši vien vs. laikam vs. varbūt

Postby vqmalic » 2014-01-25, 10:24

Hello Latvian speakers and fellow Latvian language learners, I was wondering if someone could explain to me some of the differences that can be teased out between droši vien, laikam, and varbūt, which are given relatively similar English translations in the glossary of the instructional Latvian book I'm using (namely, probably, probably, and perhaps, respectively). I can sort of vaguely sense that there may be some stylistic differences between the words, for example, in varbūt I can see the words varēt and būt so I guess it could be somewhat similar to the English "maybe." And I admit that if an English-learning friend of mine pressed me to explain the difference between the English words "maybe," "probably," "perhaps," "possibly," etc., even though English is my native language I'd be hard pressed to articulate the differences I usually just intuit. But, any guidance, examples, and help would be greatly appreciated! Paldies.

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Re: droši vien vs. laikam vs. varbūt

Postby mak » 2014-01-25, 10:59

In order of uncertainty

varbūt - it's possible, may be, but it might as well not be true
laikam - I think it's true but I'm not completely certain
droši vien - I'm sure it's true but it may not be (drošs = sure)

I think I probably use them all interchangeably but mayhaps I'm wrong, I can't possibly know :D

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Re: droši vien vs. laikam vs. varbūt

Postby vqmalic » 2014-01-25, 17:39

:) thanks mak, that's really helpful.

But could you do me a favor and say this:

"I think I probably use them all interchangeably but mayhaps I'm wrong, I can't possibly know"

in Latvian? I'm genuinely curious. :D

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Re: droši vien vs. laikam vs. varbūt

Postby mak » 2014-01-25, 21:35

I don't know how to say interchangeably in Latvian :shock:

Man jau liekas, ka es viņus visus lietoju vienādi, bet varbūtiņās es kļūdos, es īsti nezinu :wink:

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Re: droši vien vs. laikam vs. varbūt

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-01-27, 0:06

Vienu otra vietā... varbūtiņās? :ohwell:
vqmalic wrote:"I think I probably use them all interchangeably but mayhaps I'm wrong, I can't possibly know"
That won't work

I'd say that there might be some small difference depending on what you are talking about e.g:

Varbūt es varētu mēģināt - I could try (if you'd allow me)
Laikam es varētu mēģināt - although I am slightly unsure, I could try (if I feel like needing anybody's permission I'm assuming it has already been granted)
Droši vien es varētu mēģināt - I am rather unsure, but I probably could try (I don't really want to)

Varbūt es tā saku - I might be saying it so, but maybe not
Laikam es tā saku - I might be saying it so, but I don't know
Droši vien es tā saku - I probably am saying it so

Varbūt viņam ir suns - He might have a dog, but he might as well not; it's just a theory
Laikam viņam ir suns - Pretty sure he has a dog
Droši vien viņam ir suns - It is likely that he has a dog

IMHO they all imply certain degree of certainty or uncertainty (which exactly depends), not just certain level of uncertainty - varbūt implies probability of about 50/50, laikam implies somewhat more of either certainty or uncertainty, and droši vien (it is literary translated as sure, only BTW) even more, though I think the later two are close to being synonymous
I speak:  (lv) (en) I understand some:  (de) (ru) Toying with:  (es)

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Re: droši vien vs. laikam vs. varbūt

Postby vqmalic » 2014-01-30, 17:31

Liels paldies, Sol Invictus. The examples definitely go a long way in helping me hash out the subtle distinctions. :)


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