Problems with "PCV latvian"

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włóczykij
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Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby włóczykij » 2011-12-16, 17:21

I'm learning latvian for a month. I have begun from "Latvian for PCV" (Peace Corps Volunters). I think it is not good choice, but I haven't any other basic course of latvian. (I have, besides this, a little russian-latvian phrasebook, and and a good latvian grammar in lithuanian language)
It seems me I can find some errors in this textbook and I have also some doubts.
So please, could anybody check this ?.

1.) page 27
Conjugation of “prast”

es protu __ mēs protam
tu proti __ jūs protat
vins, vina ,vini prot .


“prast” is one syllable verb belonging to first conjugation, so should be “tu prot”. It is right ?

2.) page 53

- Cik maksā vēstules sūtīšana uz Amerikas savienotām valstīm ?

“Savienotam valstim” is in dative, so the nom. sing. will be “valsts” (VI Dec.) and it is feminine , right ?

3.) page 62

PCV(Paying): - Paldies. Viss bija ļoti garšīgi.

Grammar and vocalbulary note.
Adverbs are formed by adding the ending –i to the root of any adjective:
garšīgs = garšīgi, skaists “beautiful” = skaisti “beautyfully”,
jauks “nice” = jauki “fine”


Generally ok., But in this sentence “garšīgi” is an adjective in plural relating to the dishes in restaurant, not adverb. I’m right ?

4.) page 95

- Liels paldies par palīdzēšanu !
- Ne par ko.


I suppouse should be “- Nav par ko” ! ( ~ ~ it is nothing .)
“Ne par ko” means “for nothing “ ( imposibilty to do smth.)
I’m right ?

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby Sol Invictus » 2011-12-16, 17:38

Your book is wrong in the last instance, also should be savienotajām valstīm, only Latvian Americans wouldn't use definite

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby mak » 2011-12-16, 19:48

włóczykij wrote:1.) page 27
Conjugation of “prast”

es protu __ mēs protam
tu proti __ jūs protat
viņš, viņa, viņi, viņas prot.

“prast” is one syllable verb belonging to first conjugation, so should be “tu prot”. It is right ?

You should attach -i to
* verbs that belong to the third conjugation
* verbs that belong to the 3rd or 5th group of the first conjugation and whose present stem ends in -t, -d or -p

The following I conjugation verbs belong to the 3rd group:
* infinitive & past a, present o e.g. rakt - roku - raku
* infinitive & past i, present ī e.g. krist - krītu - kritu
* infinitive & past u, present ū e.g. just - jūtu - jutu
* infinitive & past have no n but present does: e.g. skriet - skrienu - skrēju
* tikt i.e. tikt - tieku - tiku

The following I conjugation verbs belong to the 5th group:
* present stem ends in -st e.g. silt – silstu – silu

prast - protu - pratu

prast is a one syllable word, has an a in the infinitive & past form but an o in the present and its present stem is prot which ends in -t. So it should have an -i ending in the 2nd person singular.

włóczykij wrote:2.) page 53

- Cik maksā vēstules sūtīšana uz Amerikas savienotām valstīm ?

“Savienotam valstim” is in dative, so the nom. sing. will be “valsts” (VI Dec.) and it is feminine , right ?

savienota valsts = a united state
savienotā valsts = the united state
savienotas valstis = united states
savienotās valstis = the united states

If the noun after a preposition is in the plural, it always takes the dative. It can be another case (genitive or accusative) in the singular, but it's always the dative in the plural.

uz savienoto valsti = to the united state
uz savienotajām valstīm = to the united states
uz Savienotajām Valstīm = to the United States
uz Amerikas Savienotajām Valstīm = to the United States of America
uz ASV = to the USA

włóczykij wrote:3.) page 62

PCV(Paying): - Paldies. Viss bija ļoti garšīgi.

Grammar and vocalbulary note.
Adverbs are formed by adding the ending –i to the root of any adjective:
garšīgs = garšīgi, skaists “beautiful” = skaisti “beautyfully”,
jauks “nice” = jauki “fine”


Generally ok., But in this sentence “garšīgi” is an adjective in plural relating to the dishes in restaurant, not adverb. I’m right ?

Adjectives agree with the nouns they describe. If it was an adjective the sentence would be:
Viss bija ļoti garšīgs.

włóczykij wrote:4.) page 95

- Liels paldies par palīdzēšanu !
- Ne par ko.


I suppouse should be “- Nav par ko” ! ( ~ ~ it is nothing .)
“Ne par ko” means “for nothing “ ( imposibilty to do smth.)
I’m right ?

You're right.

Nav par ko = you are welcome
Ne par ko = no way. Es ne par ko to nedarīšu. No way am I doing that.

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby Sol Invictus » 2011-12-16, 21:00

mak wrote:
Generally ok., But in this sentence “garšīgi” is an adjective in plural relating to the dishes in restaurant, not adverb. I’m right ?

Adjectives agree with the nouns they describe. If it was an adjective the sentence would be:
Viss bija ļoti garšīgs.

Technically, though, we should also add that adjective plural is garšīgi, however the book does use adverb.

And you should check other discussions in this forum for other courses and materials.The issue is that great part of English-Latvian courses are authored by Latvian exiles with whose ways an average native bred Latvian may not agree (and vice versa) and this Peace corp thing seems to have been made on the other side of the pond.

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby włóczykij » 2011-12-17, 1:20

Paldies visiems !

1.) Thanks ! I don't know so far anything about variants of first conjugation.

2.) Two pages later there is "savienotajām valstīm". Maybe it was a press error ?
But, any way, "valsts" is VI Dec. and feminine ?
I have known already, that all praepositions goes in plural with noun in dative.

3.) Ok. I have had an "ontological" problem with "Viss". It is grammaticaly singular but logicaly rather plural.
Is there plural of the "Viss" = "ALL" in latvian ? :)

4.) I have understood this from polish:
Nie ma za co = nav par ko


I don't remember where I have found link to this manual, maybe in this forum. It is old,
from the biginning of 90', with some rather funny remarks on the latvian reality of this time.
I have found today in polish P2P copy of "Basic Latvian" of Joseph Lelis. Maybe it will be better ?

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby Sol Invictus » 2011-12-17, 1:34

włóczykij wrote:Paldies visiems !

1.) Thanks ! I don't know so far anything about variants of first conjugation.

2.) Two pages later there is "savienotajām valstīm". Maybe it was a press error ?
But, any way, "valsts" is VI Dec. and feminine ?
I have known already, that all praepositions goes in plural with noun in dative.

3.) Ok. I have had an "ontological" problem with "Viss". It is grammaticaly singular but logicaly rather plural.
Is there plural of the "Viss" = "ALL" in latvian ? :)

4.) I have understood this from polish:
Nie ma za co = nav par ko


I don't remember where I have found link to this manual, maybe in this forum. It is old,
from the biginning of 90', with some rather funny remarks on the latvian reality of this time.
I have found today in polish P2P copy of "Basic Latvian" of Joseph Lelis. Maybe it will be better ?

1. http://valoda.ailab.lv/latval/vispareji/lgram-ww/iconj.htm (switch to baltic encoding, if there are issues with how it looks)
2. Yes
3. Visi

I don't remember reading about such text book here, but look around there are more resources than you'd expect :)

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby włóczykij » 2011-12-17, 20:49

Here link to this PCV latvian in pdf :

http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED402764&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED402764

If someone is looking for easy dialogs in latvian maybe it will be useful ?

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby mak » 2011-12-17, 22:03

Oh, man, these cultural notes are depressing!

Here are some things that I noticed that are wrong or I didn't like:

Vai jūs varētu man parādīt, kur ir mazmājiņa? (page 42) :D => Kur ir tualete?
Vai Mārīte būtu runājama? (page 51) :) I don't think we say that anymore.
Man vajag piena kafijai. (page 64) => pienu
Ar to pietiksies. (page 65) :D => pietiks
Ir iespējams, ka jums būs jāizoperē aklo zārnu. (page 117) => zarnu

When I answer the phone, I mostly say "jā?" or "nu?" or "čau!" or "hallo".

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby Sol Invictus » 2011-12-18, 2:18

mak wrote:Oh, man, these cultural notes are depressing!

Here are some things that I noticed that are wrong or I didn't like:

Vai jūs varētu man parādīt, kur ir mazmājiņa? (page 42) :D => Kur ir tualete?
Vai Mārīte būtu runājama? (page 51) :) I don't think we say that anymore.
Man vajag piena kafijai. (page 64) => pienu
Ar to pietiksies. (page 65) :D => pietiks
Ir iespējams, ka jums būs jāizoperē aklo zārnu. (page 117) => zarnu

When I answer the phone, I mostly say "jā?" or "nu?" or "čau!" or "hallo".

Ak, dievs :rotfl: BTW IMO most polite answer is "lūdzu", otherwise we might as well tell people that mazmājiņa and style mistakes here are fine (my objection is to nu un čau when answering to unfamiliar people).
włóczykij wrote:If someone is looking for easy dialogs in latvian maybe it will be useful ?


Out of top of my mind - there's a textbook called Colloquial Latvian, available for preview on Google books and there must be some download versions of it, it still has some weird parts, but was better than this. My guess is that in general you should look at the year resource you find was published - more recent stuff is better, while right post independence (1991) the quality was lower, like here you have 1930s Latvian taught by (probably) second generation exile: besides few obvious mistakes, that's not what real life language sounds like - it's too formal to be informal and too stylishly wrong to be formal

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby linguoboy » 2011-12-18, 4:12

Colloquial Latvian is pretty good, but I though they went overboard trying to avoid "chart-itis", so I asked my ex to send me his copy of Teach Yourself Latvian, published 1966. It's just as you say, Saulīt: written by some exile trying to be "more pious than the parson" so that it was probably at least twenty years out of date even back then. (The instrumentālis I was surprised to hear anyone postulated for Latvian? It's in there! Un vai ikviens, kas vēl saka "Skataities!"?) He used to joke about some of the sentences, such as the classic, "Manam brālim ir ass cirvis, bet viņš nestrādā." One day before I die I hope to have the opportunity to use that!
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby Sol Invictus » 2011-12-18, 14:06

linguoboy wrote:The instrumentālis I was surprised to hear anyone postulated for Latvian?

Um, every Latvian school postulates it :wink:
Un vai ikviens, kas vēl saka "Skataities!"?

You should use (ir) kāds, not ikviens here. I doubt skataities was ever widely accepted form (although it apparently exists in folk songs, which PCV seems to love, so maybe there's more to it then I know)
"more pious than the parson"

It's not just that - besides venerating cultural heritage, they are now unwilling to accept any post WWII changes, because they see them as foreign influence. However a 1960s book still might be authored by somebody who fled the country during the war and before that used it on everyday basis, so, besides being a bit outdated, it probably is better than early 1990s books

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby linguoboy » 2011-12-18, 18:31

Sol Invictus wrote:
linguoboy wrote:The instrumentālis I was surprised to hear anyone postulated for Latvian?

Um, every Latvian school postulates it

But there aren't any distinctive instrumental forms still in use, are there? It's always accusative in singular, dative in plural, vai ne?
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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby Sol Invictus » 2011-12-18, 19:06

linguoboy wrote:
Sol Invictus wrote:
linguoboy wrote:The instrumentālis I was surprised to hear anyone postulated for Latvian?

Um, every Latvian school postulates it

But there aren't any distinctive instrumental forms still in use, are there? It's always accusative in singular, dative in plural, vai ne?

There are idiomatic and maybe dialectic forms, but as far as our schools are concerned, it is accusative/dative that works only with ar :D I honestly don't understand why on earth there is a need to teach it like that, it would make much more sense to make a note that there was such case historically, thus explaining why nouns following prepositions take different cases in singular and plural etc. same goes for idiotic idea to claim that vocative takes same form as nominative, while it actually has several different forms and it is more acceptable to drop the ending in first three declensions (man caur kauliem iet, kad dzirdu, ka vīriešus uzrunā nominatīvā)

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby włóczykij » 2011-12-19, 16:00

You should be glad that there are no warnings about man-eaters or white bears on the streets of Riga. :)
Hannibal Lecter was lithuanian origin...

J have found this "colloquial latvian". No problem to find it. Will be very good for "otrajā".
It remain me to do only 25 pages of "PCV", so I want to end it. It seems me, the best way to learn something is doing errors and being corrected. I promis, I will never ask for "mazmajņa"-
a lttle house outside the hotel... :)
This "Basic Latvian" of Joseph Lelis is the academic manual, I think much better then "PCV" but it is hard to learn from it by oneself.

Next question:

I know: "v" on the end, and before consonants is pronounced as [u].
And how is before "v", like before other consonants or simply "disapear" ?

Kas tev vajnas ? - will be pronounced [teu vajnas] or [te-vajnas] ?

ps.
Next year I will be in Latvia. I will look for books in the bookstores of Riga.
Now I don't want to spent money for internet shopping . For instance I can buy in Poland a little latvian -polish dictionary (8000 words) from "Avots" for over 50 zl ~~ 10 Lat. Its normal price in Latvia is 2,95 Lat.

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby Sol Invictus » 2011-12-19, 18:46

włóczykij wrote:I promis, I will never ask for "mazmajņa"-
a lttle house outside the hotel... :)

Um, perhaps we have created a wrong impression - it is not wrong to call toilet like that, although it is slang and refers to outhouse
Next question:

I know: "v" on the end, and before consonants is pronounced as [u].
And how is before "v", like before other consonants or simply "disapear" ?

Kas tev vajnas ? - will be pronounced [teu vajnas] or [te-vajnas] ?

Technically nothing ever disappears in Latvian, so it's probably better to pronounce too much than to miss sounds.
Next year I will be in Latvia. I will look for books in the bookstores of Riga.
Now I don't want to spent money for internet shopping . For instance I can buy in Poland a little latvian -polish dictionary (8000 words) from "Avots" for over 50 zl ~~ 10 Lat. Its normal price in Latvia is 2,95 Lat.

In that case you might want to check out text books published in Latvia, since they are aimed at teaching language for everyday use, rather than survival vocabulary for tourists.

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby mak » 2011-12-19, 22:44

włóczykij wrote:I know: "v" on the end, and before consonants is pronounced as [u].
And how is before "v", like before other consonants or simply "disapear" ?

Kas tev vainas ? - will be pronounced [teu vainas] or [te-vainas] ?

If [j] and [v] are after a vowel or dipthong in the same syllable and there's a consonant or the word ends after it, then they're pronounced [ i ] and [v].

tev [teu]
nav [nau]
zivs [zius]
stāv [stāu]
dzejnieks [dzeiniāks]
auj [aui]
govs [guaus]

Here's some more to keep you busy :)

ie in Latvian words is pronounced as /ia/, piem., iet, riet, iela, diezin [iat, riat, iala, diazin]. Exceptions are importet words where it's two sounds: klients, koeficients, pacients [kli-ents, ko-efici-ents, paci.ents].

Before s and t
b -> p
d -> t
ds -> ts -> c
g -> k
ģ -> ķ
žs -> šs -> š
z -> s
ž -> š
dzs -> cs -> c
dz -> c
dž -> č
džs -> čs -> č
Examples: labsirdīgs [lapsirdīks], darbs [darps], kāds [kāc], draugs [drauks], gāzt [gāst], mežs [meš:], dārzs [dārs:], sešpadsmit [sešpacmit]

Before b, d, g, ģ, z, ž, dz, dž
p -> b
t -> d
td -> dd -> d
k -> g
ķ -> ģ
s -> z
š -> ž
c -> dz
č -> dž
Examples: atdot [ad:uat], saukdams [saugdams], pusdienas [puzdienas], atbalss [adbals:], atbilde [adbilde].

Before ž
z -> ž
Examples: izžūt [iž:ūt].

zš -> šs -> š:
zč -> sč -> šč
zž -> ž:
zdž -> ždž

šs -> šš -> š:
žs -> šs -> š:

ts -> c
ds -> ts -> c

cs -> c:
čs -> č:
js -> is
jš -> iš
ļs -> ļš
ņs -> ņš
bs -> ps
gs -> ks

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby Sol Invictus » 2011-12-20, 0:11

I still am for it being easier to pronounce stuff as written - we Latvians take great pride in believing that everything in our language is pronounced as written and as far as I know it is considered good style for formal language :)

On the other hand, I started to think about your example - you are asking if the words merge, if first ends and other one starts with the same sound, right? The thing is that, like mak says, when v follows vowel it is pronounced as u, because it forms a diphthong (same goes for j, which turns to i). Thus in these cases you cannot pronounce it as written and the sounds don't merge much because it is not exactly the same sound (although I think sometimes a bit of consonant is retained after the diphthong), the reason why it may sound like it is that the consonant at the beginning of the next word is more stressed, than the sound at the end of the word. Doubling of the same sound will rather (as you see from mak's examples) pronounce one long sound, although between two words, I guess it depends on speed of speaking, if they merge or not

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby ciuppo2000 » 2011-12-20, 4:05

Sol Invictus wrote:I still am for it being easier to pronounce stuff as written...


INCREDIBLE!!! SHE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE HER OWN LANGUAGE ...:rotfl:

Pietro :)

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby mak » 2011-12-20, 7:09

I think the point of sound assimilation (I hope it's the right term) is to make it easier to pronounce words even if it takes a bit of memorization. After all I believe that's the reason why these assimilations developed in the first place, not because some linguist was bored out of his mind and decided to make the language harder for learners.

Try saying dārzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs instead of [dārs:] or mežžžžžžs instead of [meš:] :D

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Re: Problems with "PCV latvian"

Postby Sol Invictus » 2011-12-20, 10:45

mak wrote:After all I believe that's the reason why these assimilations developed in the first place, not because some linguist was bored out of his mind and decided to make the language harder for learners.

Try saying dārzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs instead of [dārs:] or mežžžžžžs instead of [meš:] :D

All I was saying was that it is not necessary to make overkill learning this stuff - if it is as unpronounceable as mežš, the things will take their own course. Meanwhile full assimilation doesn't always occur in everyday language (I actually do say dārzs) and I know a person who works in radio and therefore took classes in speaking - now pronounces everything as written :nope:


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