I am soon to start learning Latvian with my dear boyfriend Bryon (bryonj2255 here on Unilang), but even before I have begun learning it I have a couple questions.
First, I have seen that the letters <e> and <o> have two different pronunciations, yet I know of no way to tell which way the letter is meant to be pronounced. Does anyone know of a dictionary, whether English <> Latvian or just monolingual Latvian, that shows the pronunciations of words? An online dictionary or a printed book both work. Also, is there a rule or general way of being able to tell how they are pronounced?
Second, while speaking about books, does anyone know of a site that sells books in Latvian and ships to the USA?
And lastly, is there a rule for when to use a certain tone in Latvian? From what I have gathered, it only appears on long vowels and diphthongs, but I haven't seen anywhere that explains how you know which to use, since they aren't marked in the orthography. I mean are they like in Norwegian, where a word with one syllable has one tone, and polysyllabic words have another? I'm not saying that they work the same way, but that there's a general rule to knowing which to use, with a couple exceptions.
For future reference, how would you say "the person after/below me" or "the following/next person" (whichever works the best in Latvian)?