Need a crash course

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'''
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Need a crash course

Postby ''' » 2010-12-18, 10:51

I might be working at a hostel in riga in mid january for a fortnight. Although hostels in europe all function in English, I assume that shops and the public do not, so I'm trying to give myself a crash course in latvian which is not going to be easy since I will not have access to any of my e-books after about another 2 weeks. So, anyone have any ideas or good resources?
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Re: Need a crash course

Postby mak » 2010-12-18, 12:43

Here's a practical idea: give yourself a crash course in Russian instead. There are more resources on Russian and all customer service workers in Rīga speak Russian. So does 80% (a guess, probably more) of the city's population.

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Re: Need a crash course

Postby Levo » 2010-12-18, 14:52

In the city-centre in Rīgā there is a big book-shop, close to a shopping mall. The book store has two stories, that's the one I know :) There you can find the blue-covered Latvian grammar book for beginners in English. The book itself doesn't contain more information probably than the Hungarian book "Latviešu Valoda - Lett nyelvkönyv by Lacházi Aranka and Daina Nītiņa". But I have no access to the library I used to borrow it from anymore.

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Re: Need a crash course

Postby ''' » 2010-12-19, 14:59

Russian's not as fun, besides I'll do it next yr, but how often do you get a chance to learn latvian.

What percentage of the population do you think I can get to with an english french german combination?
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Re: Need a crash course

Postby mak » 2010-12-19, 17:26

There are about 146k (20%) people aged 15-30 in Riga (source). Last year about 55% of students got A, B or C on their English exams (source). It means you'll be able to have a conversation in broken English with about 77k (11%) people.

In the first half of this year RIX serviced about 2m people (source). Let's assume half of them were Latvians (a wild guess). I don't know if I can do that but I will divide that number by total days in half a year (355/2). So it means there are at least 5000 tourists in Latvia on any given day. Most of them will spend their time in Riga so let's make that 4500.

Answer: you can speak English to about 151k (11.47%) people in Riga.

Stick to Old Town. It's full of tourists and people there are equipped to deal with them. You will only need to learn signs and labels in Latvian.

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Re: Need a crash course

Postby Sol Invictus » 2010-12-24, 3:36

mak wrote:There are about 146k (20%) people aged 15-30 in Riga (source). Last year about 55% of students got A, B or C on their English exams (source). It means you'll be able to have a conversation in broken English with about 77k (11%) people.

In the first half of this year RIX serviced about 2m people (source). Let's assume half of them were Latvians (a wild guess). I don't know if I can do that but I will divide that number by total days in half a year (355/2). So it means there are at least 5000 tourists in Latvia on any given day. Most of them will spend their time in Riga so let's make that 4500.

Answer: you can speak English to about 151k (11.47%) people in Riga.

Stick to Old Town. It's full of tourists and people there are equipped to deal with them. You will only need to learn signs and labels in Latvian.

:lol: EU statistics had it at around 34% at country level, but I doubt if Latvians are as fluent in English as they think they are. In secondary school you are required to take up to intermediate level courses and I find it hard to believe that next three years are enough for an avarage (i.e. not very interested in language learning) person for them to require much more in exams.

There are several 2 story bookstores. I think I`ve seen several Latvian language learning books in Valters&Rapa (In the old town, over street from National opera, next to hotel, and once you found it what you need is in the right corner of the basement probably) and you could check out Globuss as well (from door of Valters&Rapa head into Old town and turn left i.e. towards Centrs shoping mall, on left side of street, once there go upstairs)


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