Latvian discussion group

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Mantaz
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Latvian discussion group

Postby Mantaz » 2005-01-10, 19:03

Labdien visiem :) Laipni lūdzam!

Welcome to the latvian discussion group! If you are interested in learning this language or already able to write or speak, please join, this place is for you!

As probably most of you know, latvian belongs to the baltic language group along with lithuanian and extincted prussian. This language is baltic in vocabulary, but finougric in pronounciating since a stress is fixed in beginning of words. But this makes the sounding superb :D

I hope you enjoy this discussion and don't hesitate to join if you know nothing about this language ;)

First lesson

alphabeth
Aa - like in engl. but
Āā - long Aa
Bb
Cc - Ts
Čč - ch
Dd
Ee - like in engl. anger
Ēē - long Ee
Ff
Gg - Google
Ģģ - similar to engl. G, soft dž
Hh - like in Humble
Ii - short engl. ee
Īī - long Ii
Jj - like in yellow
Kk
Ķķ - soft Čč
Ll
Ļļ - soft Ll
Mm
Nn
Ņņ - soft Nn
Oo - english. oo-awesome
Pp
Rr - strong R (like a dog :D)
Ss
Šš - sh
Tt
Uu - short engl. oo
Ūū - long U
Vv
Zz
Žž - engl. zh (harsh Šš)

Frequent phrases

Hi! Sveiks!
Good morning! Labrīt!
Good afternoon! Labdien!
Good evening! Labvakars!
Thanks! Paldies!
Bye! Atā!
Goodbye! Visu labu!

Es ceru jums šeit patiks! I hope you like here! :D[/i]
Last edited by Mantaz on 2005-01-11, 19:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Leviwosc » 2005-01-10, 23:56

Sveiks!

Like some other people already said, there's something special about Baltic languages. Well I'm interested in Latvian since I have a dictionary for it and during the time I looked up more words I noticed how beautiful this language must be.

I don't know much about Latvian, or actually nothing so I have a few questions.

1. How are verbs conjugated?
2. How many tenses does Latvian has?
3. Has Latvian any cases and how many?
4. What is the general word order? And is this word order similar to an other language?

I have here a link to a page with interesting sound samples of the greetings.
http://www.codefusion.com/latvian/greet ... tings.html

Let's learn Latvian!

Uz redzēšanos!

Ron
Image Image | Image Image Image Image | Image Image Image

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Postby Liisi » 2005-01-11, 9:40

Sveiks un paldies! :)

I have one question: does sveiks have different forms according to the gender and number (like sveikas/sveika/sveiki/sveikos in Lithuanian), or is it always sveiks?

didzisk

Postby didzisk » 2005-01-11, 9:55

I do not remember everything from school grammar and I have a problem with English terminology for many things, but I'll try my best.

1&2. Conjugation of verbs. Latvian has 3 conjugation groups, called konjugācijas (conjugations?). Verbs are conjugated slightly different in each of them, but I don't believe I will be able to reconstruct everything here.

To run - skriet
Present - Tagadne (I / you / he,she, it / we / you / they)
Es skrienu
Tu skrien
Viņš/viņa/tas/tā skrien
Mēs skrienam
Jūs skrienat (variation - skrieniet)
Viņi/tie skrien

Past - Pagātne:
Es skrēju
Tu skrēji
Viņš/viņa/tas skrēja
Mēs skrējām
Jūs skrējāt
Viņi skrēja

Future - Nākotne
Es skriešu
Tu skriesi
Viņš skries
Mēs skriesim
Jūs skriesiet
Viņi skries
Future is very strong and independent tense, unlike English or Norwegian where it is always made by combining shall/will with a verb, in Latvian the verb itself has future form. Even Russian does not have future for all the verbs. (Я побегу is not the same as Я буду бежать)

Then there are perfect tenses:
Past perfect (saliktā pagātne)
Es biju skrējis
Present perfect (saliktā tagadne)
Es esmu skrējis
Future perfect
Es būšu skrējis

There are no modal verbs or at least they are so seldom used that I have never heard about those from my grammar teacher. Therefore we have something called "vajadzības izteiksme" (necessity mode???)
Man jāskrien - I must run / I need to run
Man bija jāskrien - I had to run

Then there is a form, which I have forgotten a name for.
Man būtu jāskrien (It would be correct if I ran now) - notice Man - the Dative form of es (I). Probably I just combined two tenses (?) in this sentence.
This is equal to:
Man vajadzētu skriet.

The same form is used in "if I had a million dollars" type sentences.
Ja man būtu miljons dolāru, es ceļotu apkārt pasaulei. (..., I would travel around the world).

Next is "return" form of the verb. With -ties at the end and conjugated differently.
To wash - mazgāt
To wash oneself - mazgāties
I am washing myself:
es mazgājos
He is washing himself:
Viņš mazgājas
(plain form - he is washing the floor: viņš mazgā grīdu)

Each of those can be used in many of the tenses, but not all.

Yes, one more!
Ciešamā kārta. (passive)
Grāmata tika izlasīta. (the book was read) Bedre bija izrakta jau vakar (the hole was dug already yesterday)

I used to think that there were at least 18 tenses for verbs in Latvian, if I use the word correctly, but not all are used equally often and some are difficult to understand even for me.

I will continue on nouns and cases (there are 7 in Latvian) later.

didzisk

Postby didzisk » 2005-01-11, 9:59

Liisi wrote:Sveiks un paldies! :)

I have one question: does sveiks have different forms according to the gender and number (like sveikas/sveika/sveiki/sveikos in Lithuanian), or is it always sveiks?


Yes.
Sveiks - M,
sveika - F,
sveiki - plural or formal
sveikas - plural, F only

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Postby Mantaz » 2005-01-11, 16:12

Ron de Leeuw, Cave Canem wrote:3. Has Latvian any cases and how many?


In latvian language, as well as in lithuanian are 7 cases and 6 declinations for each of them. 3 declinations are for masculine gender and 3 for feminine. There are also 2 quantities: singular and plural. Cases in latvian language:

Nominative
Genitive
Dative
Accusative
Instrumentive
Locative
Vocative

***

Latviešu valodā, tāpat kā lietuviešu valuodā ir 7 locījumi un 6 deklinācijas. 3 dekilnācijas ir vīriešu dzimtenes un 3 ir sieviešu. Tāpat ir 2 skaitļi - vienskaitļis un daudzskaitļis. Locījumi latviešu valodā:

Nominatīvs
Ģenitīvs
Datīvs
Akuzatīvs
Instrumentālis
Lokatīvs
Vokatīvs

***
(since it's baltic, I'll try to translate to lithuanian)

Latvių kalboje, taip pat kaip ir lietuvių, yra 7 linksniai bei 6 linksniuotės. 3 linksniuotės yra vyriškosios giminės, 3 - moteriškosios. Taip pat yra du skaičiai - vienaskaita ir daugiskaita. Linksniai latvių kalboje:

Vardininkas
Kilmininkas
Naudininkas
Galininkas
Įnagininkas
Vietininkas
Šauksmininkas

Ron de Leeuw, Cave Canem wrote:4. What is the general word order? And is this word order similar to an other language?


Hm, I'm not informed enaugh, so can't answer, but I can assure that it's almost identical to lithuanian ;)
Last edited by Mantaz on 2005-01-11, 19:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Car » 2005-01-11, 17:29

Is it just your last text or does Latvian use more foreign loans than Lithuanian?
Please correct my mistakes!

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Postby Mantaz » 2005-01-11, 18:21

Car wrote:Is it just your last text or does Latvian use more foreign loans than Lithuanian?

I didn't count, but on general they use more loans and international words :)

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Postby hekate » 2005-03-15, 7:59

Ron de Leeuw, Cave Canem wrote:1. How are verbs conjugated?
Ron


Conjugation in present tense.
There are 3 conjugations (ir 3 konjugācijas):

1) verbs without suffixes, usually you can recognize them by being short.
skriet, sist, dot, ņemt, etc. (carefully, they can have many prefixes! like ieskriet - to run in, izskriet - to run out, paskriet - to run a bit, neskriet - not to run.)

Es skrienu, dodu, ņemu(wide e), situ
tu skrien, dod, ņem (narrow e), sit
viņš, viņa skrien, dod, ņem (wide e), sit
mēs skrienam, dodam, ņemam(wide e), sitam
jūs skrienat, dodat, ņemat (wide e), sitat
viņi, viņas skrien, dod, ņem(wide e), sit

2) verbs with suffixes which have the same form for present and past in the first person (es).
domāt - to think, lidot - to fly
es domāju (i think, i am thinking), es domāju (i thinked, i were thinking)

es domāju, lidoju
tu domā, lido
viņš, viņa domā, lido
mēs domājam, lidojam
jūs domājat, lidojat
viņi, viņas domā, lido

3) other verbs with suffixes.

a. ending with -īt, -īties, -ināt, -ināties
skaitīt - to count
es skaitu
tu skaiti
viņš, viņa skaita
mēs skaitām (long ā)
jūs skaitāt (long ā)
viņi, viņas skaita

b. others
gulēt - to sleep, dziedāt - to sing
es guļu, dziedu
tu guli, dziedi
viņš, viņa guļ, dzied
mēs guļam, dziedam (short a; not guļām, dziedām)
jūs guļat, dziedat (short a)
viņi guļ, dzied

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Postby hekate » 2005-03-15, 8:29

didzisk wrote:Jūs skrienat (variation - skrieniet)

Oficially, formal language: jūs skrienat.
"skrieniet" is imperative. In other persons imperative is the same as present. but in fact many latvians are using both forms in present and in imperative, as they dont know grammatics ;)

didzisk wrote:Then there is a form, which I have forgotten a name for.
Man būtu jāskrien (It would be correct if I ran now) - notice Man - the Dative form of es (I). Probably I just combined two tenses (?) in this sentence.
This is equal to:
Man vajadzētu skriet.

The same form is used in "if I had a million dollars" type sentences.
Ja man būtu miljons dolāru, es ceļotu apkārt pasaulei. (..., I would travel around the world).


Man būtu jāskrien - I should run.
(i also dont remember how this is called in grammatics).

Ja man būtu miljons dolāru, es ceļotu apkārt pasaulei. - this is called vēlējuma izteiksme ("wishing" mode). it could be called subjunctive.

There is one more specific verb form in latvian, called atstāstījuma izteiksme. It is used to show that the speaker is not sure if he is telling the truth, because he has heard the information from another person. Or that the speaker doesn't quite agree to this information/ opinion.

būt - to be
atstāstījuma izteiksme: esot
Anna esot studente - Anna is (?) a student.
I don't know Anna (or i don't know her ocupation), but somebody said that she is a student.

Kafija esot kaitīga - cofee is (?) unhealthy. the speaker doesnt agree to this or isnt sure, but he has heard it somewhere.

All verbs have this form, and not only in present. it has also its own past and future. they are not conjugated in persons.
esot (present), bijis (past), būšot (future)
skriet - to run:
skrienot (present), skrējis (past), skriešot (future).

Ok, im am really sorry for my graphomania, i sholdnt have written about such things when the basics has not thaugh. I hope it has given a deeper insight in latvian.

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Postby hekate » 2005-03-15, 8:55

Ron de Leeuw, Cave Canem wrote:4. What is the general word order? And is this word order similar to an other language?
Ron


It doesnt have strict rules, because changing the word order almost never changes the meaning of the sentence - words' endings show how the words are related. but there are some things to which latvians are used to.

adjective before the noun.
labs zēns - good boy
noun before the verb.
zēns ir labs - boy is good
zēns mācās - boy learns
In poetic texts these rules may change ;)

usually sentence starts with subject (noun) and verb, then object, then follow place, time etc, but this is not strict. Also depends on what you want to emphasize.

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Postby Mantaz » 2005-03-15, 18:30

Paldies aiz izskaidrojumu :) Es ceru, ka tu šeit biežāk apciemošies.

Starp citu, piedod par manu latviešu valodu (lietuviešu ietekme :)) un ceru, ka tu izlaboši manas kļūdas ;)

***

Thanks for explanation :) I hope you'll visit here more often.

By the way, sorry for my Latvian (influence of Lithuanian :)) and I hope you'll correct my mistakes ;)[/i]

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Postby hekate » 2005-03-15, 22:06

Mantaz wrote:Paldies aiz izskaidrojumu :) Es ceru, ka tu šeit biežāk apciemošies.

Paldies par izskaidrojumu. Es ceru, ka tu šeit biežāk paciemosies.

Mantaz wrote:ceru, ka tu izlaboši manas kļūdas ;)

ceru, ka tu izlabosi manas kļūdas

:)
Es tiešām kādreiz gribētu mācīties lietuviešu valodu.
i really would like to learn lithuanian some day.
But i would like to do it when i had time to do it with concentration.

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Postby Mantaz » 2005-03-15, 22:46

Paldies par izlabosumu (??). Dēl lietuviešu valodas palīdzēšu, ko varēšu :D

Thanks for corrections. I'll try to help with Lithuanian :D

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Postby hekate » 2005-03-16, 18:54

Mantaz wrote:Paldies par izlabosumu (??). Dēl lietuviešu valodas palīdzēšu, ko varēšu :D

Thanks for corrections. I'll try to help with Lithuanian :D

Paldies par izlabošanu. Ar lietuviešu valodu palīdzēšu, kā varēšu.

paldies :) but i dont think that i will learn it this year :/
es nedomāju, ka es to mācīšos šogad :/

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Postby Mantaz » 2005-05-23, 14:20

Hm, kinda a problem :roll:

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Postby Strigo » 2005-05-23, 17:08

Daniel wrote:How sad! My mother's just invited her friend from Latvia to her house for dinner but the Latvian friend doesn't speak very good English and my father has just sent me an SMS on my phone asking, since I'm a language freak, if I knew Latvian... I don't, unfortunately. :(


There was a really famous Chilean poet (Pablo Neruda, Nobel Prize in 1971) who fell in love with a woman from Myanmar... and they loved each other without knowing the same language. I think you might understand your mom's friend just with a bit of will. :) Good luck my friend!.
Aquí es donde traduzco diariamente música israelí del hebreo al español

[flag]cl[/flag] native; [flag]en[/flag] fluent; [flag]il[/flag] lower advanced ; [flag]pt-BR[/flag] read fluently, understand well, speak not so badly (specially after some Itaipava); recently focusing on [flag]sv[/flag][flag]ar[/flag] and I promised myself to finish my [flag]ru[/flag] New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners in less than a month (12/oct/2013). Wants to wake up one day speaking [flag]ka[/flag][flag]lt[/flag] and any Turkic language.

Curious

Tonal accents in Latvian

Postby Curious » 2005-05-25, 18:12

Hi! Is there anyone here who could describe how the tonal accents in Latvian work? :?:

As I understand it (from just reading about the language on the Internet) all long vowels (both an initial stressed and subsequent unstressed ones) can have three different tones - level, falling or broken. These can change the meaning of otherwise similar words. An example I've encountered is "loks", that should mean "green onion", "arch" or "window" depending on the accent. I'd be very happy to know more about this. Specifically, I'd like to know:

1. Have I understood the above correctly?
2. Are the different tones in any way marked in writing?
3. Is the initial, stressed vowel always long and does it always carry one of the three accents?
4. Is it possible to have several long vowels in the same word, and if so, are there any rules regarding which combinations are possible?

Sorry to ask so much at once, but I'm really happy :D to have found a forum where I hopefully can find someone who knows this! Thanks!

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Postby Mantaz » 2005-05-25, 19:52

Yep, we have something similar in Lithuanian, but it's really hard to explain when you are used to it.

Btw, window in Latvian is "logs" [Lithuanian "langas"], not sure about the other ones.

sado

Postby sado » 2005-05-26, 11:15

Yup, green onion, arch, or bow. Window is "logs".

Logs (window) loks (arch) and loks (bow) all sound 100% the same. With short o (which is not a vowel, but a dipthong really... if i remember the term correctly. It could be written "ua" in latvian, and still pronounced the same way.. Its like "o" in english "go". Short, falling. Yes, it is *not* long.

Loks (green onion) on the other hand has long, level o.

And no, they are not marked in writing in any way.

Zāle is a better example. (and a classic one used to illustrate the difference)
Zāle (grass, no plural form) -falling
Zāle, zāles(a hall singular and plural) - level
Zāles (drugs; no singular) - broken.


However, the meaning of the word is very well distinguishable in context, so it's not that much of a problem. Also, there are not that many such homonyms.

So yes, the meaning can be changed; however the chance that you will actually be misunderstood is miniscule. Many native speakers don't differentiate between them anyway...

for the rest..

3) No it is not always long. When it IS long (a, e, i or u), it is marked (ā, ē, ī, ū) - o is an exception here, since the letter actually stands for 3 different sounds - the diphtong (as in go), short vowel (as in "vowel") and long version of the same vowel.( as in "word")
Actually it is a specific of this language -asides from long "o" vowel (which can only be found in foreign origin words), all the other vowels are *always* marked, if they are long. So if they are not, they are definetly short.

4) Yes it is possible. And no there are no rules regarding combinations,
I can't think of an example right now, but virtually any combination of "ā" "ē" "ī" "ū" and long "o" is possible. You can only guess on "o" (it is always long, if it is the last letter of the word though) - but "ā" "ē" "ī" and "ū" are long only when accordinly marked.


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