I've been interested in learning Latvian for a while, mainly because my local library has a ton of Latvian-language fiction... and to me that seems as good a reason as any to be drawn to a language. I finally found a copy of Teach Yourself Latvian from the library, and I'll be working my way through it over the next couple of weeks/months. I'll post some sort of update here once or twice a week, just going over some things I've learned, what I'm struggling with, etc.
And so... the journey begins!
Week one: Sunday February 28
I signed up for the website Livemocha - I saw another user on the Latvian subforum, Elaine, mention it, so thank you very much - and completed the lesson on countries and nationalities, Valstis un tautības. Es esmu brits, es esmu no Lielbritānijas! The website seems like a fun way to do some bitesized lessons... but I know I'll be avoiding the speaking parts forever for a little while.
I also went through the first chapter of Teach Yourself Latvian by Terēza Budiņa Lazdiņa. It was only a few pages long but I think it was a great introduction to the language. I learned about how to spot masculine and feminine nouns in the nominative, using the locative case, and some (singular) nominative and locative adjective declensions. At the end of the chapter I had to translate some sentences into Latvian, and they were very simple but I'm still proud I got them correct.
My main problem at the moment is the pronounciation - my TYS book doesn't have audio so I'm going to have to rely on other sources to learn the difference between g/ģ, k/ķ, l/ļ, and n/ņ, and the open/closed e/ē. That's definitely gonna take some practice!
Overall I think I've had a lovely, productive morning. My goals for the next few days are:
- * Review pirmā lekcija a few times and put the vocabulary into a Memrise course
* Find some written and audio sources highlighting the differences between all those tricky sounds
* Complete another Livemocha lesson (again making use of flashcards afterwards)
* Try and write a few sentences!
Welp, day one of Latvian - complete. I think I'm enjoying the language already.