Latvian is the official language as well as the dominant language of Latvia. Russian, Ukrainian, Latgalian, and Belarusian are also Spoken Languages In Latvia.
Latvia is a country in northern Europe, which is one of the Baltic states. The other two countries are Lithuania and Estonia. In addition, Russia has a territory in the east, and Sweden is located across the Baltic Sea from Latvia to the west.
The indigenous groups of Latvia are made up of Livs and Latvians. Although many citizens are from other countries, such as Poland, Ukraine, Russia, etc., these countries’ informal and official languages are also spoken languages in Latvia. Also, the domestic languages of the country are very enjoyable.
Official Language and Other Spoken Languages In Latvia
Official Language Of Latvia – Native Language
Latvian, also called Lettish, Latvian Latviesu Valoda, an Eastern Baltic language, is spoken mainly in Latvia, where it has been the official language of Latvia since 1918. It belongs to the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family. At the end of the 20th century, about 1.5 million Latvian speakers spoke standard Latvian.
The Latvian language was initially called Lettish. Latvia is an Eastern Baltic language and is a member of the Indo-European language family, which is closely related to Lithuanian. Its alphabet consists of 33 letters, some of them with carons and macrons.
Currently, native speakers of the Latvian language make up 60% of the country’s total population. The Latvian government encourages the Latvian language in the country by including it in the country’s curriculum.
The government has also established the State Latvian Language Center, which regulates the Latvian language in the country. In addition, linguists have established three main dialects: the Latvian language: the middle dialect, the Livonian dialect, and the Upper Latvian dialect.
Most Spoken Languages In Latvia
Russian is one of the most spoken languages in Latvia, by about 37% of the population of Latvia. Most of them live in Latgale and cities. These are ethnic Russians (26.9%) and many other minorities (Jews, Belarusians, Ukrainians). The value of Russia dates back to the period of the Soviet occupation when many settlers settled here.
After independence (1990), English replaced Russian as the most common foreign language to learn and one of the most Spoken Languages in Latvia. The younger generation of ethnic Latvians usually speaks much better English than Russian (and switches to English when dealing with foreigners).
English is also very common in travel materials. Therefore, fluency in English is a must for anyone looking to work in the travel industry.
Latgalian Language / Dialect
Some consider Latgalian one of the most spoken languages of Latvia by about 15% of the population (mainly in Latgale). Also, it is the third most popular language in Latvia. However, others see it as a distant dialect of the Latvian language (which has acquired more Lithuanian and Polish (and less German) borrowings due to the separate history of Latgale).
For a long time, it was expected that the Latgalian language would die out in favor of the standard Russian or Latvian language. However, after the restoration of independence (1990), it became more protected. As a result, almost every Latgalian speaker is fluent in Latvian, and “fans” who create music or write literature in Latgalian do so mainly to preserve their culture and not because they cannot express themselves otherwise.
Formerly Significant Spoken Languages In Latvia
These Two other Spoken Languages In Latvia were imperative but were almost destroyed by foreign invaders:
German has been the lingua franca in Latvian cities since the 19th century. After all, most of them were founded by Germans and had a German majority for a long time. Old German inscriptions can still be seen in some buildings, but the German minority was destroyed during World War II after a long natural decline. However, German is still very popular as a second foreign language (after English) to learn due to many Germans in Europe.
Livonian (similar to Estonian) were once indigenous to most of the coast of the Gulf of Riga. By the 19th century, the wars gradually reduced its area to several fishing villages, and in the twentieth century, it was almost extinct. Independent Latvia (1990) sought to protect the language, but it was too late, and in 2013 the last native speaker died. Today some people study Livonian simply as a hobby.
Other Spoken Minority Languages In Latvia
There are four other minority languages spoken in Latvia by about 0.6%-1% of people in Latvia: Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Lithuanian. However, its use is mainly limited to a few churches and some families. Young people of the respective races often speak Latvian or Russian, even among themselves. Only in some villages of Semigallia and Latgale is the influence of Polish, Lithuanian, and Belarusian still greater.
Latvian Language Facts: History Of Spoken Languages In Latvia
|1525||First text printed.|
|1585||The oldest book preserved to this day – Catholic Catechism – was published.|
|1644||The first book of grammar.|
|1685||Johann Ernst Glück translates the Bible into the Latvian language.|
|1768||Latvian has become highly standardized, with a number of native authors and rich in press publications.|
|19th century||Krišjānis Barons collects at least two hundred thousand folk songs, Dainas.|
|1918||The Republic of Latvia grants official status to the Latvian language.|
|1940||Latvian regained its status as the official language in Latvia|
|1988||Latvian regained its status as the official language in Latvia|
Learn The Modern Latvian Language With Ling App And Speak Like A Native
Now you know the Spoken Languages in Latvia and have an idea of what went through to make this language official. Still, Latvian is spoken mostly in Latvia and other countries such as Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, Australia, the USA, Germany, Canada, Estonia, Sweden, Brazil, Belarus, and the United Kingdom. Read more about the Latvian language on the website and learn some essential words and phrases in the Latvian language.
You can even practice conversations in the Latvian language with the Ling app. It is filled with fun and engaging activities that will help you improve your speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. What’s the best way to learn a language, you say? Daily practice! By downloading the Ling app on the Play Store or App Store, you can learn Latvian or any language you desire anytime, anywhere!