The Latvian language is a beautiful language that has attracted many souls for centuries. But most people eager to learn the language end up contemplating the question, “is Latvian hard to learn?” It is only natural for new language learners to go through the learning dilemma and get confused at their initial stage of the learning journey. However, to help draw your attention to precisely the required answer and crisp information, this blog is here to save your day.
If you are one of those confused human beings wondering about the difficulty level of the Latvian language, keep reading till the end and discover facts that you should know before anything else.
The Latvian Language
Before going about the complexity of the Latvian language, let us get acquainted with its nature. It is always necessary to at least have a brief idea about the origin of the literature to learn the Latvian language in precision.
The Latvian Language, also popularly known as Lettsih, is an East Baltic language belonging to the Indo-European language family. It is the official language spoken in Latvia, shared by almost 1.5 million Latvian native speakers. Apart from Latvia, It is also spoken in Belarus, Brazil, Australia, Lithuania, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, and many more.
Although Latvian is closely related to the Lithuanian language, the two unique languages are not mutually intelligible. Despite having Proto-Balto-Slavic as their common root ancestor, Latvian is considered more innovative than the Lithuanian language, having a different vowel length in the final syllable. Both have retained Proto-Indo-European features in their language structure. However, Latvian has been highly influenced by Finnish regarding the word accent fixed on the first syllable.
Status Of Latvian
Latvian is the native language of the Republic of Latvia. It got its official language status in 1989, two years before Latvia got independence in 1991 from the Soviet Union. In this new era, almost all citizens speak Latvian, while some still predominantly speak Russian, also some speak Estonian. Thus, besides Latvian being the native speakers’ first language, Russian, Swedish, Polish, English speakers are also found in Latvia, depending on the particular region of the country they come from.
Origin Of The Slavic Language
The Latvian language is relatively new compared to other national languages. The earliest texts in Latvian got their birth in the 16th century, namely Roman Catholic catechism and Lutheran catechism, both written in Gothic script. Therefore, it was only in the 18th century that Latvian found its first grammar and literary construction in the 19th century. In later years, the language became well developed, and the Latin alphabet was also adopted into the academic functionality of the language in 1922.
Is Latvian Hard To Learn?
Latvian is considered one of the most challenging languages. Thus, it is safe to pronounce that learning Latvian is undoubtedly a complex process. It is a part of the Baltic language family, with only two and a half members still surviving. Especially if you are a native English speaker, it will be a little troublesome to learn Latvian in the first go. Speaking Latvian will take time, and unlike other languages, it will need some precise knowledge.
However, if you are familiar with the German, Lithuanian, or Russian language, Latvian will seem less demanding and more attainable. Even for non-speakers, Latvian is possible with a good two to three years of training. Let us discover some more facts about Latvian to make learning Latvian a smoother process.
The first reason Latvian is considered one of the problematic languages is its vocabulary. A large part of the Latvian vocabulary is borrowed from the German language and is pretty complex and unique for people who speak English. Polish, Swedish, and Russian words. Nonetheless, Latvian will come in as a sweet dessert for someone known to the German language.
However, even non-speakers can get a hold of it in a few years as fluently as the children of Latvia do. Although German is quite distinct, regular training can overcome the mess.
Unique Grammatical Structure
Latvian is a highly inflected language known to have a complex grammatical structure. However, the nouns and adjectives are almost similar with two gender nouns, seven cases, and indefinite and definite endings. Adjectives agree with the nouns they modify, and Latvian verbs agree with their subjects in person and number.
Considering the word order, the neutral word order in Latvian is Subject-Verb-Object. Adjectives typically precede the nouns they modify, and other orders are also possible in the Latvian structure. Thus, with some basic training, one can easily have a good understanding of the Latvian language.
While Latvian and Lithuanian are similar at some point, there is a different vowel system in the Latvian language. There is a reduction of vowels that has progressed further than the Lithuanian language. Latvian has twelve vowels that are either short or long, and the vowel length of the Latvian structure makes a huge difference in the word meaning.
Apart from the vowel complications, the Latvian alphabet has 27 consonants, different from the English alphabet. Some consonants can be unpalatalized or palatalized, and voiceless stops are not encouraged, unlike English. Someone who is native English will see the uniqueness in the parentheses of the consonants.
Dialects Of Latvian
Although Latvia is one of the minority languages belonging to a small country, it has numerous mutually intelligible regional dialects. But there are no distinct classifications amongst the dialects, making it harder for people who are not native speakers.
Livonian, middle Latvian, and high Latvian are some of the Latvian language’s known dialect divisions under different regional stances. The central Latvian dialect is more conservative, and it became the basis for modern literature. Being a non-speaker will take time to realize all the elements, but it is never impossible.
Learn The Latvian Language With Ling!
Now that you know the characteristics and nature of the Latvian language, it is time to make the right decision. The hardness level or the complexity should be the last thing to determine whether you can learn it or not. And even though Latvian seems challenging for someone new to the language, we have the Ling App by Simya Solutions to save you from the nightmare.
Get to know all the funny Latvian phrases, the Latvian culture, and many more about the Latvian grammar with ling free and discover the beauty of learning languages.
Apart from Latvian, you can also access 50+ national languages and blogs related to entertaining topics and language tips. You no longer need to look for websites and courses. With ling, you can quickly learn any language from any part of the world under the guidance of the best language experts. So, what are you waiting for? Start learning Latvian and a language of your choice today!