Customers Have Highly Evaluated the Language Services of Baltic Media®

Vizma Boļše, Baltic Media® Quality and Vendor Manager

Baltic Media® Ltd Year in Review: Our Top Highlights of 2020

The year 2020 was like no other and it brought more change than most of us could have imagined. It was not easy to feel optimistic in face of all the challenges we had to overcome. But in a year of unprecedented change, we also felt hopeful, having seen the power of people to be there for each other during this crisis, sometimes, even against all odds. Now it is time for a recap of our most important milestones from 2020.

Translation Services

Although the world began to quickly change around us, we continued to provide high-quality language services, including translationediting and proofreadingsubtitlinglocalization, and many others, to companies and institutions from all over the world to ensure successful communication in today’s multilingual environment. The global events influenced our main focus areas, and we had to adapt to the growing demand for medical and web translation services. As companies across the globe transitioned to remote working, multilingual online shopping and communication platforms became a necessity. We are thankful and proud that during 2020 we had the opportunity to cooperate with more than 1,400 clients and to work on more than 5,000 projects.

The greatest value of Baltic Media® Ltd is respecting our clients’ interests by providing them professional, high-quality and timely services. High customer satisfaction level is our top priority, and each year we collect feedback from our clients to evaluate the quality of the provided services, and the expertise and responsiveness of our project managers. We are pleased to report that in 2020 our customers have highly evaluated the language services of Baltic Media® Ltd (total assessment – 4.9 out of 5 points), praising the quality of the delivered files, responsiveness and helpfulness of our project managers, and timeliness of the project deliveries.

highly evaluated the language services of Baltic Media® Ltd

In 2020 the customers of Baltic Media® Ltd submitted many positive reviews and comments applauding the prompt and effective communication of our project managers, quick project delivery time and the quality of our translations and other language services. We are also happy to have received many reference letters from our corporate clients and fellow language service providers such as Excel Translations, LanguageWire, Semantix, and Attorney Translation Services. The quality management system of Baltic Media® Ltd has been certified by SGS Latvija Ltd as conforming with the ISO 9001:2015 standards.

The greatest value of Baltic Media® Ltd is respecting our clients’ interests by providing them professional, high-quality and timely services.

Language Courses

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, businesses providing education activities were forced to adjust and quickly shift from blended or face-to-face learning mode to solely online learning mode. However, with lockdowns limiting the ways we spend our leisure time, demand for online language courses skyrocketed. Baltic Media® Ltd Language Training Centre continued to offer individual and group online language courses through Zoom, Skype, Discord, and similar platforms where tutors from all around the globe communicated with students, shared study materials and used various audio or visual means. Cooperation with professional and flexible language teachers helped us to improve our online teaching services and to avoid Covid-19 affecting language studies.

The main value pillar of Baltic Media® Ltd Language Training Centre is offering competitive prices for quality language teaching services and friendly, reliable customer service. Therefore, it is highly important for us to know what customers say about our language courses. We are glad to report that in 2020 the vast majority of our customers highly appraised LatvianEnglishRussianGermanJapanese and many other language courses provided by our Language Training Centre (total assessment – 4.8 out of 5 points).

Language Courses

Based on comments and remarks included in the Language Training Centre’s annual customer survey, clients who have chosen to study languages with Baltic Media® Ltd primarily appreciate that studies are organized in small groups to promote faster learning, shared resources, synergy, and exposure to diversity. Moreover, our language students praise the flexibility of our project managers and tutors who ensure that courses are organized at a time that is the most suitable for each client. Although language courses have been taking place solely online since the beginning of 2020, there are many reasons why learning online can prove to be more efficient than on site, for instance, online learning requires less time and money, it keeps learners more engaged and is environmentally friendly.

Amid the difficulties and challenges of 2020 there were opportunities and bright moments that we can learn from and take into 2021. Baltic Media® is ever evolving and we have already started working on many new goals to improve the skills of our employees and freelancer team, as well as to adapt to the emerging technologies, and to exceed our clients’ expectations.

How Long Does It Take to Master Latvian?

dav

Latvian (latviešu valoda) is one of the two surviving Baltic languages (the other one is Lithuanian) which form a special subgroup within the Indo-European languages. Latvian is considered one of the most unchanged Indo-European languages spoken today and is roughly as old as Sanskrit. The Baltic languages are of particular interest to linguists because they retain many archaic features believed to have been present in the Proto-Indo-European language.

How Long Does It Take to Master Latvian? 

In order to learn the communication phrases used by tourists in daily situations a couple days in the language course will suffice. However, if you want to master written and spoken Latvian more properly, you should allow one to three years. In order to achieve an academic level, you will need at least five to seven years.

Is It Possible to Master It Faster?

With time and motivation you can master Latvian faster. The more time you dedicate to learning the language, the faster you will achieve the result. Daily communication in Latvian will be a great advantage. And do not forget the media (radio and television), press, cultural events, music, and films in Latvian.

Does Your Mother-Tongue Affect Your Mastery of Latvian?

If you speak Lithuanian or it is your mother-tongue, you will learn Latvian easier and faster. People proficient in Slavic and Germanic languages will see similarities with the Latvian grammar system and words loaned from these languages. The Baltic languages are more closely related to Slavic, Germanic, and Indo-Iranian (in that order) than to the other branches of the family.

Some important tips in order to master Latvian faster:

  • Learn each new word in the context it is used in.
  • Repeat what you have learned often because repetition is the mother of learning;
  • Use both real and virtual Latvian language domain;
  • Use the media (TV, radio, music, literature, social media platforms) in Latvian;
  • Read fiction in Latvian, start with easy Latvian;
  • Let yourself make mistakes, use the language, jump in the Latvian language river for a swim! You can do it!

⭐️Kāpēc izvēlēties Baltic Media® valodu kursus?

⭐️Ko par  Baltic Media® valodu kursiem saka klienti?

⭐️Kāpēc izvēlēties tiešsaistes – online valodu kursus?

⭐️Valodu kursi jauniešiem, pusaudžiem un bērniem

⭐️Valodu kursi klātienē un online uzņēmumiem un valsts iestādēm

⭐️Valodu kursi online un klātienē privātpersonām – privātie kursi

⭐️Uzzini vairāk par Baltic Media® valodu kursiem – Kontakti

How Many Classes Does It Take to Master Latvian?

Each language learner is different, however, you can see roughly how much effort and time you will have to dedicate to learning the language below:

C2 – 60 classes (C2/1) + 60 classes (C2/2)

C1 – 60 classes (C1/1) + 60 classes (C1/2)

B2 – 60 classes (B2/1) + 60 classes (B2/2)

B1 – 60 classes (B1/1) + 60 classes (B1/2)

A2 – 48 classes (A2/1) + 48 classes (A2/2)

A1 – 48 classes (A1/1) + 48 classes (A1/2)

Source: Baltic Media Valodu mācību centrs.

Answers to the 5 Most Common Questions about the Latvian Language

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Photo by  Bruce Mars on Unsplash

Every year on the 21st of February UNESCO celebrates the International Mother Language Day to mark the richness and diversity of the thousands of languages spoken across the globe.

As someone whose mother tongue is shared by roughly 2 million people in the whole wide world, I often encounter questions about the Latvian language. I asked my Latvian friends about their experiences and, while there may be no such thing as a silly question, we all get asked the same things over and over again.

Wonder no more – here is the ultimate guide to all you ever wanted to know about the Latvian language!

1. Do you have your own language?

Well yes, we do. Non-native speakers included, roughly 2 million people on the planet speak Latvian. That is approximately the population of Paris, France or around one fourth of the population of London, UK.

2. Is it similar to Russian?

No, not really. I am sure that both Latvians and Russians who have encountered the other language after the age of six will vouch for that. Latvian and Russian may belong to the same branch of the Indo-European language family tree but that does not mean that the two are similar. If proximity in the language tree is any indicator, a native English speaker should have an easier time understanding a German or a Dutch speaker than a Latvian would have understanding a Russian.

3. What is it similar to then?

The short answer: Lithuanian, yet the two are not mutually intelligible. As most people who ask this question don’t know more about the Lithuanians either, let me expand on this.

The descent of the language outlined in linguistic family trees is one thing, but when we talk about, e.g., similarities of words, history can be just as important. Through conquests and trade links over the past centuries the Latvian language has been strongly impacted not only by the Russian neighbors but also by the Germans, and it shares some similarities with Estonian and Finnish. Curiously, 9 times out of 10 speaking Latvian here in Northern Germany has resulted in questions whether my conversation partner and I come from Sweden or Denmark.

4. Do you use the Cyrillic alphabet?

No, we don’t. And the reason for this is purely a matter of history. Latvian was only a spoken language until mid-16th century when the efforts of Protestant pastors produced first texts in Latvian, starting  with the Lord’s prayer. As not only the clergy but also the upper class at the time were German speakers, the Latvian alphabet was based on the Latin alphabet and used the old German shrift.

The modern day Latvian alphabet was born in the early 20th century and has its peculiarities. It does not have the letters  Q, X, W, and Y but makes up for this shortage by having 11 other letters – long forms of vowels like Ā or Ē, soft forms of consonants like Ļ or Ķ, and consonants like Š that replace “Sh”. Which brings us to the next question:

5. What is up with the “Latvianising” of foreign names?

The meme on the right is not a joke, a foreigner can have a difficult time recognizing their own name by the time the Latvians are done with it. In addition to having a slightly different alphabet (see previous question), all male names typically have to end with an “S” and all female names with an “A” or an “E”. There are some exceptions but these are few and far between.

In addition, adapting foreign names to Latvian is necessary to make them usable in normal sentences. You see, the Latvian language has seven grammatical cases and while, e.g., in German these are constructed with the help of articles, in Latvian it is the end part of the word that has to change – something that is not possible unless the word ends “correctly”.

Source: Let the journey begin. Read full article here.

Latvian Language and more 2019

img_1168Photo by Baltic Media

Travel and study together with your family or friends, invest in your self-development, and spend a fabulous time with your beloved ones.

August 16 – August 25, 2019

The leading Nordic-Baltic language service company Baltic Media, in cooperation with the University of Liepaja, offers an intensive Latvian language and culture program in the mesmerizing city of Liepaja, located on Latvia’s beautiful Baltic Sea coast.

Liepaja is a fantastic place to learn Latvian as it has everything from a beautiful seaside to market stalls offering fresh local produce to the Great Amber Concert Hall, a new architectural landmark of the city: www.latvia.travel/en/city/liepaja-8

This intensive Latvian language and culture program provides:

  • solid instruction in learning the Latvian language (28 academic hours) at two levels – beginners (A1) and pre-intermediate (B1);
  • specially designed course materials;
  • cultural activities, including tours of the city and movie séances at an outdoor cinema featuring Latvian movies;
  • 3 day/2 night weekend trip to a B&B with amber hunting along the sea coast and yoga on the beach.

mike-erskine-144525-unsplash

Photo by Mike Erskine on Unsplash

Cost:

  • 595 EUR includes tuition, course materials, coffee and snacks, cultural activities, tours, and a 3 day/2 night stay at a B&B (meals and yoga instruction included).
  • 200 EUR for person for those who want to participate only in the cultural activities (without tuition costs).
  • 575 EUR early bird special price if you enroll by April 30.

For more information, please e-mail us at: kursi@balticmedia.com.

We encourage you to pack your travel bag, bring along your friends, and spend 10 amazing days discovering the beauty of the Latvian language as well as the unique culture and nature of Latvia’s beautiful sea coast. It will be your best summer ever.

Source: Baltic Media Valodu mācību centrs

Evaluate your language skills

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Photo by William Iven on Unsplash.com

What is your level of Latvian, Norwegian or Swedish? Evaluate Yourself! 

The scale of reference, developed within the Council of Europe’s document Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, is recognized as a European standard for grading an individual’s language proficiency according to six levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2). The Self-evaluation language skills chart helps you to evaluate your proficiency level.

A – Basic level

 

A1 – Breakthrough or Beginners

Listening I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.

 

Reading I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.

 

Spoken Interaction

 

 

Spoken Production

I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.

 

I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.

Writing I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
 

A2 – Waystage or Elementary

Listening I can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.
Reading I can read very short, simple texts. I can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and I can understand short simple personal letters.
Spoken Interaction

 

Spoken Production

I can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. I can handle very short social exchanges, even though I can’t usually understand enough to keep the conversation going myself.

I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms my family and other people, living conditions, my educational background and my present or most recent job.

Writing I can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. I can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.

 

B – Intermediate

 

B1 – Threshold or Pre-Intermediate

Listening I can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. I can understand the main point of many radio or TV programs on current affairs or topics of personal or professional interest when the delivery is relatively slow and clear.

 

Reading I can understand texts that consist mainly of high frequency everyday or job-related language. I can understand the description of events, feelings and wishes in personal letters.
Spoken Interaction

 

 

Spoken Production

I can deal with most situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken. I can enter unprepared into conversation on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life (e.g. family, hobbies, work, travel and current events).

 

I can connect phrases in a simple way in order to describe experiences and events, my dreams, hopes and ambitions. I can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. I can narrate a story or relate the plot of a book or film and describe my reactions.

Writing I can write simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. I can write personal letters describing experiences and impressions

 

 

B2 – Vantage or Upper-Intermediate

Listening I can understand extended speech and lectures and follow even complex lines of argument provided the topic is reasonably familiar. I can understand most TV news and current affairs programs. I can understand the majority of films in standard dialect.
Reading I can read articles and reports concerned with contemporary problems in which the writers adopt particular attitudes or viewpoints. I can understand contemporary literary prose.
Spoken Interaction

 

Spoken Production

I can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible. I can take an active part in discussion in familiar contexts, accounting for and sustaining my views.

 

I can present clear, detailed descriptions on a wide range of subjects related to my field of interest. I can explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

Writing I can write clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects related to my interests. I can write an essay or report, passing on information or giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view. I can write letters highlighting the personal significance of events and experiences.

 

C – Advanced

 

C1 – Effective Operational Proficiency or Advanced

Listening I can understand extended speech even when it is not clearly structured and when relationships are only implied and not signaled explicitly. I can understand television programs and films without too much effort.
Reading I can understand long and complex factual and literary texts, appreciating distinctions of style. I can understand specialized articles and longer technical instructions, even when they do not relate to my field.
Spoken Interaction

 

 

Spoken Production

I can express myself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. I can use language flexibly and effectively for social and professional purposes. I can formulate ideas and opinions with precision and relate my contribution skillfully to those of other speakers.

 

I can present clear, detailed descriptions of complex subjects integrating sub-themes, developing particular points and rounding off with an appropriate conclusion.

Writing I can express myself in clear, well-structured text, expressing points of view at some length. I can write about complex subjects in a letter, an essay or a report, underlining what I consider to be the salient issues. I can select style appropriate to the reader in mind.
 

C2 –  Mastery or Proficiency

Listening I have no difficulty in understanding any kind of spoken language, whether live or broadcast, even when delivered at fast native speed, provided I have some time to get familiar with the accent.
Reading I can read with ease virtually all forms of the written language, including abstract, structurally or linguistically complex texts such as manuals, specialized articles and literary works.
Spoken Interaction

 

 

 

Spoken Production

I can take part effortlessly in any conversation or discussion and have a good familiarity with idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms. I can express myself fluently and convey finer shades of meaning precisely. If I do have a problem I can backtrack and restructure around the difficulty so smoothly that other people are hardly aware of it.

 

I can present a clear, smoothly-flowing description or argument in a style appropriate to the context and with an effective logical structure which helps the recipient to notice and remember significant points.

Writing I can write clear, smoothly-flowing text in an appropriate style. I can write complex letters, reports or articles which present a case with an effective logical structure which helps the recipient to notice and remember significant points. I can write summaries and reviews of professional or literary works.

© Council of Europe

Avots: Baltic Media Language training centre

Neticiet, ja jums kāds saka – latviešu valoda ir maza valoda.

Brivibas piminkelis 18. novembris 2018

Brīvības pimineklis Rīgā, 2018. gada 18. novembris. Kadrs no Youtube reportāžas.

Pasaulē ir aptuveni 7000 (septiņi tūkstoši) dzīvu valodu, apmēram 2000 (diviem tūkstošiem) valodu runātāju skaits ir ne vairāk kā 1000 (viens tūkstotis). Latviešu valodas runātāju skaits ir aptuveni 2 000 000 (divi miljoni), tādēļ latviešu valoda pieskaitāma pie lielajām valodām.

Latviešu valoda ir moderna, attīstīta, lietota visās dzīves jomās, viena no 24 Eiropas Savienības oficiālajām valodām. Svarīgs nosacījums valodas attīstībai informācijas tehnoloģiju laikmetā ir tās klātbūtne/lietojums interneta vidē un datorprogrammās. Nesen izsrādāta oriģināla mašīntulkošanas sistēma latviešu valodai un lietotājiem ir pieejams latviešu valodas runas atpazinējs, kas ierunātu tekstu pārveido rakstiskā formā.

Valoda attīstās, šodien jauni latviešu valodas vārdi top ne tikai Rīgā, bet arī Briselē un Luksemburgā. Pēdējo 20 gadu laikā vien latviešu valodā nākuši klāt apmēram 100 tūkstoši vārdu, ikdienā gan no tiem tiek lietoti kādi 5 tūkstoši. Pirms pārdesmit gadiem vēl nezinājām, kas tas zīmols, lielveikals, e-pasts, i-banka vai blogs un čats. Jāatzīst, ka viens otrs no valodnieku vai tulkotāju izdomājumiem gan nav sevišķi veiksmīgs, bet vairums atbilst latviešu valodas likumībām un izklausās labi – ja mūsu valodā jau ir dzīvot vai ceļot, kālab tad mēs nevarētu teikt – laivot, talkot vai nūjot. Dažkārt jau zināmiem vārdiem rodas jaunas nozīmes. Piemēram, vārds mākonis ne vienmēr nozīmē to, kas lietainā dienā virs galvas, mākonī mēs arī varam uzglabāt informāciju, un kas noticis ar peli?  Tagad tā var “dzīvot” uz mūsu rakstāmgaldiem? Pagājušajā gadā vien Briselē strādājošie latviešu tulki radījuši 500 jaunus vārdus latviešu valodā, tas nozīmē pusotru jaunu vārdu dienā. Pastāvēs, kas pārvērtīsies!

Autore: Iveta Grīnberga.

If someone tells you that the Latvian language is a small language, don’t believe it.

Brivibas piminkelis 18. novembris 2018

Freedom Monument, Riga, Latvia. November 18, 2018.  The Freedom Monument is a memorial located in Riga, Latvia, honouring soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence. It is considered an important symbol of the freedom, independence, and sovereignty of Latvia. Source: Youtube.

There are approximately 7,000 living languages in the world. Two thousand of these languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers. Latvian is spoken by about 2 million people, thus placing it in the category of large languages.

Latvian is a modern, developed language used in all spheres of life. It is also one of the European Union’s 24 official languages. An important condition in the development of a language in the era of information technology is its usage in computer programming and the internet. A recent advancement has the development of machine translation for Latvian language; there are programs that transform spoken Latvian to written text etc.

Latvian language continually develops. Today new Latvian words are created not only in Riga, but also in Brussels and Luxembourg. In the past 20 years, about 100,000 new words have entered the Latvian language of which 5,000 are used on a daily basis. Not that long ago we didn’t know what is a “zīmols” (brand name), “lielveikals” (supermarket), “e-pasts” (e-mail), “i-banka” (internet bank), or a “blogs” (blog) or “čats” (chat). It should be admitted that a few of the creations of linguists or translators have not worked out, but most adhere to Latvian grammar rules and sound alright. As we already have words such as “dzīvot” (to live) or “ceļot” (to travel), why wouldn’t we be able to say “laivot” (boating), “talkot” (doing community service), or “nūjot” (Nordic poling). Sometimes familiar words develop new meanings. For example, the word “mākonis” (cloud) doesn’t necessarily mean what is above our heads on a rainy day. We can now store information “mākonī” (in the cloud). And what has happened to “pele” (mouse)? Now it lives on our desk?! Last year alone translators working in Brussels created 500 new words in Latvian, about a word and a half a day. Those who adapt will survive…

Author: Iveta Grīnberga, Head of Latvian Language Programs at Baltic Media Language Training Centre