Current issues

Handbook of the Latvian Language – Ready to meet users

04.03.2020.

The Latvian Language Agency, in cooperation with the Daugavpils University is pleased to invite to an informative seminar on November 8th about the new ways for learning and teaching that are available to students, schools, teachers and universities thanks to the newly created Handbook of Latvian Language in its electronic version valodasrokasgramata.lv/

This new language tool and the ways to use it will be presented by Inita Vītola, project coordinator and Head of the Language Development Division. Ilga Jansone, Director of the Latvian Language Institute of the University of Latvia, will tell abotu the content creation for this handbook. Ilga Jansone was also one of the scientific editors and author/co-author of several chapters of this material. Read more

Photo Exhibition „If It’s a Mistake, Make It Funny!” Travelling Round Latvian Libraries

04.01.2020.

In advance of the language days the Latvian Language Agency has announced a photography and story competition on the theme „If It’s a Mistake, Make it Funny” , which ran from 26th September to 18th November 2017.  Participants were invited to search for language signs in their environment, such that would attract attention, open up for a pun, play on words, associations and humorous connotations, whilst affirming the richness and beauty of language, its imaginative aspects and the huge possibilities for creative expression through means of language, be it intentional or unintentional. Read more

Dedication from Schoolchildren to Latvia on its 100 year anniversary – „What Makes My Nation Strong”

11.11.2019.

„My nation is the King Namejs silver ring, carrying in its silver filigree motifs hidden strength, courage and tenacity. My nation is a pair of feet in simple peasant shoes covering space on the earth in rhythms of music. My nation is the happy shout out of victory when its small size is nothing in the face of talent, capacity and dedication. My nation is the age-old folk legends and grandma’s fairytales wrapped up in a soft fragrance of linden flowers.”

(Justīne Dižpētere, Eleja Secondary School, Form 12A)

 

In advance of the 100 year anniversary of the Republic of Latvia, the Latvian Language Agency has published a collection of student essays „What makes My Nation Strong”, presenting the best creative work, essays and drawings by Latvian schoolchildren, who won a competition.

Close to 900 school students from schools in Latvia and abroad participated in the competition, and this volume is a collection of submissions by 242 children and young people, in some cases only excerpts are being published. Chief Editor of this book is Valdis Rūmnieks. The content of this book is inspiring and very timely, as it shows how the young generation perceives the roots of strength and vitality of Latvia. Read more

„Language in Practice: Observations and Recommendations”: Nineth volume of Popular Science Articles Published

29.10.2019.

Latvian Language Agency has recently published 9th collection in its series of popular science articles, and this latest issue is devoted to the birth anniversaries and legacy of two outstanding linguists – Kārlis Mīlenbahs and Jānis Endzelīns. In 2013 we celebrated 160th birth anniversary of Kārlis Mīlenbahs and 140th birth anniversary of Jānis Endzelīns. This collection of articles deals with linguistic practice as viewed from diverse perspectives – general questions, language and environment, lexics, grammar, phonetics and phonology, style. Collections features contemporary thought in 13 popular science articles.

Chapter on general questions looks at the herritage of outstanding linguists Kārlis Mīlenbahs and Jānis Endzelīns, as well as an article featuring poetic aspects of spiritual songs by Kristofors Fīrekers. Interesting ideas on the interplay of language and environment are expounded in articles about variants of South-Estonian language in Latvia and on aspects of linguistic identity in Western Latgale and Eastern Vidzeme region. Chapter on lexicology includes a study of contemporary trends in language expression, numerals in Latvian and German paremies, as well as a write-up of an upcoming dictionary of history of Latvian language. Chapter on grammar features articles on prefixes in international verbs and normative aspects of colloquial language. Several exciting aspects of phonetics and phonology are dealt with in a written dialogue between two linguists specializing in Phonetics and Phonology respectively, as well as a write-up on norms of pronunciation in contemporary Latvian language. Chapter on stylistics includes a study on the usage of Dative in Latvian language, and its implications from the point of view of sentence structure and language culture.

Additionally you will find brief articles on language consultations, actual news from the Terminology Commission of the Latvian Academy of Sciences and Expert Commission of the Latvian Language Agency, a brief bibliography of recent publications in the area of linguistics, as well as a page of humour featuring witty expressions form our language classics Mīlenbahs and Endzelīns.

This new volume is available for purchase from the Latvian Language Agency by folllowing the link below:

Rakstu krājumu iespējams iegādāties Latviešu valodas aģentūrā.

The European day of Languages 2019

14.10.2019.

The Latvian Language Agency held the European Day of Languages events – an annual celebration of language that has taken place every year on September 26 since 2001. The European Day of Languages is celebrated in all the member states of the European Union and it focuses on European languages, linguistic diversity and language learning. Involving several partners, these events have been organized and coordinated by the Latvian Language Agency for the fifteenth year.

The first event of the European Day of Languages ​​event program was held on September 1 in the Sauriešu library in Stopiņi district, where the photo exhibition “Kļūdies tā, lai citiem prieks” (“Make mistakes so that everyone can enjoy them”) was open until September 30.

From September 2 to September 26, the Daugavpils City Board of Education organized a series of events titled “Kopā valodu daudzveidībā” (“Together in the diversity of languages”). The main topic of the events was “A multilingual person – a rich person”.

Early on the morning of September 26, everyone traveling to Daugavpils on the 7.40am train had the opportunity to enrich their journey and learn something new about language, literature and the people working in the culture sector on the Language Train from Riga to Daugavpils. The Latvian Language Agency accompanied the passengers aboard the train and the event was hosted by Roberto Meloni with musicians Julgī Stalte and Ēriks Zeps who performed during the trip. Read more

„School Bridges” – Cooperation Project of Educational Establishments of Latvia and Sweden

04.10.2019.

„School Bridges” – Cooperation project between schools and other educational establishments in Latvia and Sweden was successfully carried out in Valmiera, Latvia, from 26th to 29th September, 2018. The objective of this project was to promote and facilitate cooperation between schools in Latvia and Sweden.

First of all 14 guests from Sweden arrived in Riga. Among them were Katrina Freidenwall and 4 other teachers from the Hamnäs School, Nina Lindfors, director of Gripsholm Primary School, one teacher from Mariefred Primary School and Headmaster of the Stockholm Latvian School, Ieva Reine with 3 other teachers.

This four day long visit started with a festive reception for the guests at the Embassy of Sweden in Riga, where the Swedish ambassador, Annika Jagander discussed the project and the  visit with participants and wished everyone fuitfull work and successful exchange of experiences.

The introductory evening event at the Vamiera City Museum was inspiring: folklore group „Griezes” gave an interactive performance and engaged the participants giving a chance to join in with their song and dance.

On the 27th of September guests visited Pre-School Educational Establishment „Burtiņš”, where they had a meeting with the rector and a guided tour of the premises and classrooms, observation of some classes and discussion about working methods, as well as participation in interest education classes of choice. Read more

“Estonian – Latvian Dictionary” and “Latvian – Estonian Dictionary” Published

29.08.2019.

Latvian Language Agency is grateful for the genorus support from Estonian – Latvian Crossborder Cooperation Council for production and publication of a new Estonian – Latvian Dictionary, and for publication by Estonian Language Agency of a parallell Latvian – Estonian Dictionary, each comprising over 40 000 items.

In addition to these publications Estonian Language Agency has also created electronic version sof both these dictionaries, whilst Latvian Langage Agency has already published and made available the full electronic version of our dictionary, which will very soon be also made available in Apps for users of Apple iOS and Android platforms.

The Latvian – Estonian Dictionary created by the Estonian Language Agency is a bilingual corpus of parallell texts, worked out via third language, using an innovative method for producing general translation dictionaries in Estonia. The structure, methodic principles and automatic formatting of this dictionary was performed by the project manager Arvi Tavast, but a significant contribution to the creation of this dictionary was also provided by Translation and Language Technology company „Tilde”.

The creators of the Estonian – Latvian Dictionary, published by Latvian Language Agency, were Valts Ernštreits, Marika Muzikante and Maima Grīnberga, the Chief Editor– Valts Ernštreits, and reviewers – Guntars Godiņš un Lembits Vaba. This dictionary was created totally anew and today serves as an up-to-date and richly illustrated assistant to translators from the Estonian language and to learners of both the languages. Dictionary was created by using samples from contemporary language, as well as the corpus of Estonian language currently under construction by the Tartu University (Estonia), latest publications on Estonian language norms and other contemporary research material. Dictionary includes a rich collection of contemporary words and lexical units, that often come up in translation context. Also many new words from contemporary Latvian language have for the first time been included in this dictionary.

Whilst the dictionary of Estonian – Latvian language was being created, all interested parties were welcome to follow the process, because the electronic version of the draft dictionary was constantly made available online thanks to modern user technologies. In the same website www.ee-lv.lv  Latvian Language Agency has now published the new approved version of the expanded Estonian – Latvian Electronic Dictionary. The plan is to keep constantly updating and expanding the dictionary, as a result of the on-going cooperation of Latvian and Estonian translators. This will further promote higher quality of translations into both of these languages.

The electronic platform created during the production of the Estonian – Latvian Language Dictionary has been instrumental in the creation of special Applications for Apple iOs and Android smartphones and tablets. Apps will be available as soon as the service providers publish them on their respective sites.

Dictionaries in electronic format are available at: Estonian Language Institute   www.eki.ee/dict/lv-et/index.cgi and  www.eki.ee/dict/et-lv/ , whilst Latvian Language Agency has published the expanded Estonian – Latvian Dictionary at the site:  www.ee-lv.lv/lv/vardnica

Both of these new dictionaries are available for purchase from the Latvian Language agency directly or at all major bookstores.

Latvian Language Agency offers books affirming the love for native country

29.08.2019.

Latvian Language Agency offers a collection of books in a series of creative writing on patriotic themes, books are available for purchase at excellent prices.

The most recent publication is entitled „Mēs – balti” („We the Balts”) – exciting and intriguing information about the origins of the Baltic languages, areas formerly inhabited by he ancient Baltic tribes, their history, interconnectedness of Baltic language, first written sources, research on Baltic languages and study opportunities. (Price 5,39 euro).

 „Par latviešu valodu. Pret rusifikāciju. 1944–1989. Dokumenti” – the title translates as „For the Latvian Language. Against Russification. 1944 – 1989. Documents”. This book was tranlated from Russian and edited by J. Riekstiņš. This document collection includes selected documents on language politics in the occupied Latvia from the time period 1944 – 1989. Majority of documents have been published for the very first time.

Excerpts of the best and most beautiful creative writing by Latvian school students, winners of our creative writing competitions, have been collected and published in a series of books, including the following titles so far:

 „Mana valoda ir mans gods” (3,13 EUR); this tile has been published in transaltion to French and English language as well under the follwing title: „Mana valoda ir mans gods. My Language: A Matter of Honour for Me. Ma langue est mon honneur” (4,80 EUR); „Iededzies par savu tautu, valsti un valodu!” (4,24 EUR); „Ko, Latvija, Tev varu dot?”(4,13 EUR); „Starp tevi un mani ir valoda” (3,84 EUR); „Latvija, es esmu Tavs bērns” (4,00 EUR).

Books are available for purchase through the Latvian Language Agency: Rīga, Lāčplēša iela 35-5.

For more information please call : +371  67201680 or email at: agentura@valoda.lv

Honour your country – speak Latvian  and think from a perspective of the country!

Diaspora Teachers Meet and Celebrate

29.07.2019.

Fifty seven teachers from Latvian diaspora schools abroad participated in this year’ s teacher training course in Salacgrīva, Latvia, organized by the Latvian Language Agency.

The course ran for three days from 10th to 12th July at the recreation complex „Kapteiņu osta”, Latvia. Teachers enjoyed an intensive professional up-training and a cultural programme as well.  During the classes teachers, many of whom are not professionally trained in paedagogy, studied te latest on methods for work wit students in informal education setting. Some of the themes presented: „Constructing knowledge: path to knowledge that does not disappear”, „Teaching teenagers: what, how and why we teach?”, „Planning educational processes focussing on attainable goals”, „Masterclass on Public Speach: How to engage pupils and make them listen”, „New study material for diaspora schools”, „ Tools for creating Facebook content”. Teachers were particularly positive about the chance to exchange experiences. Līga Gemute, long time teacher at Latvian diaspora schools in Australia and the U.S.A., author of several study materials, told about her current work on writing a new series of study materials „Adventures” , in cooperation with the Latvian Language Agency. This material will offer a tool for teaching grammar rules in the form of excitings adventures, and will be available to interested teachers already later this autumn. Teachers from Sweden Inese Vallenberga („Radošā rakstīšana diasporas skolās”) and  Gunta Neimane („Spēles un uzdevumi latviešu valodas apguvē”) held presentations about their already published teaching and study materials, which are available free of charge at the website: www.maciunmacies.lv . Ilze Stīpniece, teacher from Ireland Latvian school „ Jumitis” hared exciting experiences in managing and carrying out different kind of school related activities.

Evening programme featured a solo performance of Laima Jansone with the „Story of Kokle”, an engaging mystery of sounds with Latvian traditional string instrument „Kokle”. On the second day teachers met two folklore activists Vidvuds and Iveta Medeņi, who really rocked Salacgrīva with their folksongs, dances and traditional games. Teachers gained valuable practice and practical knowledge that can be used in working with their students back at their respective schools. One of the major goals of Latvian diaspora schools is to promote and preserve traditional culture, celebrations and traditions among the Latvian population living abroad. .

For diaspora teachers these summer courses are a celebration of getting together and gaining inspiration and creative impetus for the next academic year. Some of the feed-back responses left after the training: „ Very inspiring and useful content, also I got the feeling that we are not alone,” „The value of networking and finding new contacts during events like this are of incredible value,” „I have gathered so much infrmation, can’t wait to start using it in my work in the little school.”

Teachers from twenty three countries participated in this year’ s summer course for diaspora teachers: Australia, Austria, Belorussia, Belgium, Brasil, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Georgia, Estonia, Iceland, Ireland,  Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, the U.K., the USA  and Sweden.

Latvian Language Agency is an administrative government agency under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Science. Its primary objective is to promote sustainable and stable development of the Latvian language and support its status as the official state language of the Republic of Latvia and the official language of the European Union. One of the primary functions of Latvian Language Agency is to provide assistance and support to learning and teaching the Latvian language, as well as to incentives to strengthen the preservation of this language.

Children and Youth of the Livs Summer Camp “Mierlinkizt 2018” in Mazirbe

29.07.2019.

Once again, for the 24th time, Mazirbe became the venue for „Mierlinkizt” Summer Camp for Children and Youth of the Livs, from July 26th to August 4th, 2018. This creative camp was full of song, dance, games, study of history and culture, arts classes, sunset viewing, hot days and nights, fantastic people and brilliant weather in the unforgettable shore of the Baltic sea. It all ended with performance by summer camp kids at the annual Festival of Livs.

Livs language classes this time focussed on improving the pronunciation of words and sentences  and participants could demonstrate their new skills at their final performance. During the course of the camp Reinis Zumbergs successfully managed an innovative activity, involving the participants, children’s own drawings and recorded words and sentences in a new App for studying the Livs language, available already now, but planned to be updated and expanded during the whole following year, under the name „Mierlinkizt” Language course. More on this: www.memrise.com/course/2013932/

There was an internal competition among the participants, and the winner would be chosen among the youths who were most active, diligent and who produced best results. The two lucky winners were traditionally awarded the title Liv of the year: “Paŗīmi līvli”  and  „Pišķi Paŗīmi līvli”. This year’ s lucky winners were  Alise Vīķele and Katrīna Segliņa and they got to carry the festive wreath at the Festival of the Livs and do a ceremonial dedication to the Mother of Sea. Both girls also got a free ticket to next year’ s camp for their good work and dedication.

Looking forward to an equally exciting summer school next year!!