ghostie - latviešu valoda

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ghostie
Posts: 13
Joined: 2017-06-10, 13:05
Country: GB United Kingdom (United Kingdom)

ghostie - latviešu valoda

Postby ghostie » 2018-10-30, 18:49

Sveiki, this will be my thread for learning the wonderful Latvian language.

About four years ago I learned a bit of Latvian to about an A2 level, but unfortunately I listened to people telling me to stop because it's a 'useless' language. Regardless of whether or not I'll get to use it, it's a language I've always been interested in, so I'm going to listen to my heart and stick with it this time. :mrgreen:

I plan on using the books A Grammar of Modern Latvian (volumes I-III) and an old version of Teach Yourself Latvian, and I've also ordered a copy of Colloquial Latvian. I'm going to try to complete one lesson from the grammar each day, and one chapter from either TY or Colloquial each week. I'm hoping that by the end of next year I'll be able to start making use of books written in Latvian.

As well as updates on my progress, I'll be posting questions I have about the language here as well, so if anyone's kind enough to read through and answer them, I'll be very grateful. :D

30.10.2018
My first day learning Latvian again! Today I've gone through two lessons of the grammar and two lessons of TY Latvian, as the first few are always shorter/easier than usual, and I'm fuelled by my excitement.

At the moment I'm wondering: is there a difference between māja and nams, both meaning 'house'?

Also, if a word has an 'open e' (written ę/ę̄ in the grammar) in its citation form, is that open e retained in all of its inflected forms? Or, are there certain patterns that have to be learned as to when the open e is pronounced?
(cy) books read: 27/30
(pl) Duolingo skills completed: 31/67
(lv) Grammar lessons completed: 12/244

h34
Posts: 964
Joined: 2014-12-16, 20:15
Gender: male

Re: ghostie - latviešu valoda

Postby h34 » 2018-10-30, 23:00

ghostie wrote: At the moment I'm wondering: is there a difference between māja and nams, both meaning 'house'?

Non-native-speaker's reply: I think māja (especially in the plural) can express the idea of 'home' as well, as in iet uz mājām (dative plural) = to go home. Mājas (plural) can also be translated as "farm" or "farmstead". Describing a building, "nams" seems to be more common: daudzstāvu nams = multi-storey house; Baltais nams = "the White House". But I'm not sure to what degree nams and māja can be used interchangeably, so it's better to wait for a native speaker.
Also, if a word has an 'open e' (written ę/ę̄ in the grammar) in its citation form, is that open e retained in all of its inflected forms? Or, are there certain patterns that have to be learned as to when the open e is pronounced?

In many cases, "platais ("the broad"=open) e" (ę) alternates with "šaurais ("the narrow"=closed) e", depending on the grammatical form. Often the "broad" version appears in the present tense forms but not in the infinitive or preterite:

"Broad e":
ēdu* = I am eating, I eat
ēd = (s)he is / they are eating, (s)he eats, they eat

"Narrow e":
ēdu* = I was eating, I ate
ēda = (s)he was / they were eating, (s)he / they ate

* identical spelling, different pronunciation

Sol Invictus
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2988
Joined: 2007-01-04, 13:59
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Location: Rīga
Country: LV Latvia (Latvija)

Re: ghostie - latviešu valoda

Postby Sol Invictus » 2018-10-30, 23:58

Nams is much more formal than māja, an avarage person wouldn't use nams in everyday conversation. It usually only means home when used in plural.

There are patterns for e (Not sure where to get description of them in English)

ghostie
Posts: 13
Joined: 2017-06-10, 13:05
Country: GB United Kingdom (United Kingdom)

Re: ghostie - latviešu valoda

Postby ghostie » 2018-11-01, 11:58

Liels paldies to the both of you! I think my challenge for today will be to research about open/broad e usage. :P

01.11.2018
Day three and I already feel as though I'm learning a lot. The grammar has been great at introducing the declension of -s masculine nouns, the endings have been hammered in already. Last time I attempted Latvian it took a good two or three weeks to start getting the hang of declensions. I haven't done any more in the TY book, but I've been doing several grammar lessons a day. I've had a quick flick through the rest of volume I and I'll probably keep up the faster-than-planned pace for the rest of the first volume, as most of the content looks pretty straightforward. I'm looking forward to learning the rest of the noun declension patterns but, as usual, I'm dreading the verbs. No matter the language, they always trip me up.

I've got two quick questions today, if that's alright.

Which case usage is correct:
Kalps atbild saimnieka jautājumus.
Kalps atbild saimnieka jautājumiem.
(The farm-labourer answers the farmer's questions.)

Also, do you need 'būt' here:
Kāpēc viņš grib būt dārzā?
[i](Why does he want to be in the garden?)[i/]
(cy) books read: 27/30
(pl) Duolingo skills completed: 31/67
(lv) Grammar lessons completed: 12/244

Sol Invictus
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2988
Joined: 2007-01-04, 13:59
Gender: female
Location: Rīga
Country: LV Latvia (Latvija)

Re: ghostie - latviešu valoda

Postby Sol Invictus » 2018-11-01, 13:59

Neither, it's uz jautājumiem

Garden one is okay

ghostie
Posts: 13
Joined: 2017-06-10, 13:05
Country: GB United Kingdom (United Kingdom)

Re: ghostie - latviešu valoda

Postby ghostie » 2018-11-06, 20:51

Sol Invictus wrote:Neither, it's uz jautājumiem

Garden one is okay


Paldies! :)
(cy) books read: 27/30
(pl) Duolingo skills completed: 31/67
(lv) Grammar lessons completed: 12/244


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