Useful words and phrases in Latvian


Around a million and a half people consider Latvian to be their native language, of whom most, or ca. 1.4 million, live in Latvia. Latvian is a rare language; it is part of the Indo-European language family and together with Lithuanian forms the Baltic branch. The Latvian language began to emerge in the VII Century as the languages of the ancient Latvian tribes – the Latgalians, Semigallians and Selonians – fused, incorporating many borrowed words from the language of the Livonians, a Finno-Ugric tribe of Latvia.

Also, shades of the German, Scandinavian, Old Russian and Latin languages have influenced the Latvian language over the course of the centuries.

It is worth remembering that Latvian is related to Lithuanian, yet the languages are not mutually freely intelligible to their speakers. Whereas in the third Baltic country, Estonia, the completely different Estonian language is spoken, which belongs to the Finno-Ugric family. It also has to be noted that in Latvia, especially in Riga and the second largest city, Daugavpils, a large segment of the local population are ethnic Russian and thus, speak Russian.

While travelling in Latvia, some frequently used Latvian phrases may come in handy:

Expressions of politeness

Thank you – Paldies

Please/you’re welcome – Lūdzu

Good morning – Labrīt

Good day/afternoon – Labdien

Good evening – Labvakar

Hello/greetings – Sveicināti

Good-bye/see you again – Uz redzēšanos

Good night – Ar labu nakti

Cheers! – Priekā!

Useful words

Yes – Jā

No – Nē

Taxi – Taksometrs

Bus/coach – Autobuss

Shop – Veikals

Police – Policija

Currency exchange – Valūtas maiņa

Hotel – Viesnīca


Source: Latvia Travel

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Baltic Media Language Training Centre offers intensive online language courses as both private lessons and group classes.

All participants can attend a video conference via Skype or other online communication tools.

The Language Training Centre has developed effective and high-quality study programmes that enable our clients to learn the basics of a new language in only 1 month. Each class is 2 academic hours (2×45 min) long and takes place 3 times a week. An intensive course is composed of 28 academic hours. A group course costs from EUR 135.00 + VAT (21%).

Read more about online training here and see a list of the planned online group classes here.

Let’s use our spare time productively and good luck learning new things!

Baltic Media Language Training Centre

Elizabetes iela 11, Riga, LV-1010, Latvia

+371 67 224 395
+371 29 44 68 45