Current issues

Thirteenth Volume of Popular Science Articles „Language in Practice: Observations and Recommendations”

29.07.2019.

As this is the 13th volume in our series of popscience articles „Language in Practice: Observations and Recommendations”, we chose to let the content mirror the associations of the number 13. Seriously but with a hint of humour about the „unlucky number”, the dark and hellish, the horrendous and the mystifying, about historical paradoxes, stereotypes and reality.

Authors of these articles offer a fresh view on issues related to language reception and usage, whilst also opening up some historic pages concerning the development of languages, as well as in some articles presenting some contemporary research data. Chapter „Magic of Words and Numbers” includes articles exploring linguistic stereotypes and myths existing in various different cultures, stereotypical reception of the Latvian language and how it affects some language related attitudes and the implementation of the national language policy. Symbology and mythology related to number 13 in Latvian culture and in traditional cultures of other nations. Chapter „Special Words and Special Usages” includes five articles regarding in particular placenames related to the idea of death or other disturbing phenomena, company and corporation logos and names exhibited in public urban areas that include elements of word play, or another article regarding the usage of word „ devil” and its synonyms in the Latvian language, linguistic means of evoking horror and fear in horror stories, and obviously the exciting theme of swearwords and their functions. Chapter „ Word in a Dictonary” deals with the „life” of word „thirteen” in various kinds of dictionaries and language corpi, as well as the differences observed  in three consecutive editions of one and the same dictionary. Chapter „Historical Paradoxes” includes interesting articles about how the word „black”played a certain role when Lovonian peasants were given names, and another article on peculiarities in the implementation of print ban in Latgale and Lithuania at the turn of the XIX/ XX century. In the final chapter of this volume you will find an overview of the work and activities of the Terminology Commission of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, recent decisions and recommendations by the Centre for State Language and the Expert Committee on Latvian Language, as well as bibliography of recent linguistics related books and publications, the usual humour page and brief notes about the authors.

This volume is a little unusual, due to the number 13, but it turned out bright and multifaceted and will surely be a useful source of material for anyone with interest in Latvian language and a wish to explore its rich culture, variations in usage and recent research results.

This volume is available for purchase by following the link below:

Rakstu krājumu iespējams iegādāties Latviešu valodas aģentūrā.

New Book on Psycholinguistics Published

29.07.2019.

Latvian Language Agency continues to develop the series of translated books on exciting issue of contemporary linguistics.  

Just recently our agency has published a Latvian translation of the very popular book by J. Aitchison „The Articulate Mammal. An introduction to psycholinguistics”, whose original verison has already seen several repeat publications. The book has been translated to Latvian by Dr. habil. philol. Ina Druviete.

This is an easy to read pathfinder in psycholinguistics. In a pop science format the author explores the similarities and differences in the ways of communication among human beings and animals. Further there is an inquiry into the hypothesis of the origins of verbal language, and into the current debate regarding the nature vs. nurture, or the role of genetic make-up  and upbringing in the individual development of a child’s language. There is much exciting new data about how linguistic knowledge relates to practical use of a language, how languages are comprehended and produced, as well as an overview of theoretical and empiric metods in research of the linguistic activity in the human brain. The author further tells about the ability of certain animals to learn some elements of human communication, and about how congenital or acquired disfunction of brain work affects the person’ s ability to understand and reproduce language.

This book is addressed to a broader audience of readers. The author uses a skillful way of introducing and presenting basic issues in psycholinguistics in a gradual way, so any prior knowledge is not required.

Festive opening of this publication in Latvian language will include a meeting with the translation project team and will will be held in the frames of European Language Days 2015 in Latvia. These events will be held at several universities: Daugavpils University (September 24th, 2015), Latvia University (September 23, 2015) and Liepaja University (September 24, 2015). Very welcome!

New Book „Language in Translation”

29.07.2019.

In the year 2014 Latvian Language Agency ran a series of public talks and discussions under umbrella name “Language in Translation”, following a good tradition going back to 2009. Public talks on the fascinating aspects of translation work, the mission of a translator and features of the Latvian language were conducted by literary critic Anita Rožkalne, and featured such well-known professionals in literary translation as Valdis Bisenieks, Dace Meiere, Pēteris Jankavs, Guntars Godiņš, Silvija Brice anbd Knuts Skujenieks. The series of events culminated with a conference on Translation Practice and Theory during the European Language Days that same year.

“Language in Translation” features transcripts of some of these public talks, speeches presented at the conference as well as reflexions and conclusions that came up during the final debate of this conference. This book comes together with an audio file.

Book is availbale for purchase from the Latvian Language Agency, price: 18,00 euro.

New Teaching Aid for Teaching Latvian as a Foreign Languge Just Published

29.07.2019.

In 2012 Latvian Language Agency published a methodological study aid for learning Latvian as a foreign language, this book was written by I. Klēvere-Velhi and N.Naua and the title was „„Latviešu valoda studentiem” („Latvian language for Students”, study book with audio material). Now we are glad to launch N.Naua’ s methodology and teaching aid for teahers „Latviešu valoda studentiem. Skolotāja grāmata” („Latvian Language for Students. Teacher’ s Book.)

Methodology aid „Latvian Language for Students. Teacher’ s Book” offers teachers additional information regarding the content of the first book and tips for efficient use of the study material. Teacher’ s Book includes explanations of certain grammar rules, additional grammar tables and examples from texts and dialogues in the study book for students.

There is no new lexical additions in the explanations part. In order to help students expand their knowledge of grammar and the phonetic system of the Latvian language, the Teacher’ s Book also includes additional exercises and creative and inspiring ideas for brushing up language skills. There is a separate chapter „Additional Information Regarding Grammar and Phonetics of the Latvian Language”. This chapter provided concise definitions of certain grammar rules and questions that have been elaborated upon in several chapters of the book, but should nevertheless be regularly revised to better memorize in order to master them. Other questions, especially those that are part of the first ten chapters, have been already  explained in the content summary of each respective chapter.

This Methodology aid can be obtained by contacting our agency by following the link below:

Metodisko līdzekli iespējams iegādāties Latviešu valodas aģentūrā.

Launching student screative writing collection “Family Stories. Rooted in Latvia.”

29.07.2019.

Latvian Language Agency had newly launched a publication of student creative writing under the original title  “Dzimtas stāsti. Ar saknēm Latvijā” („Family Stories. Rooted in Latvia”.) This story collection includes the written work in form of essays, stories and drawings by winners of student creative work competition. Student work presents a manifold picture of family histories over several generations, the fates of different branches of families over time, traditions, beliefs, ethical and esthetical value systems, connections to Latvian cultural heritage and the bigger narrative of our national history.

There is a rich gallery of stories and characters, with a touch of exciting and even comic situations and scenes of life, as well as portraits of family members written with warmth and care. Some of the work includes deep and serious look into the characters of family members, their gifts and talents, hard work and capacity to withstand very harsh and dramatic challenges during major historic shifts.

This is the seventh volume in our series of collections of school student writing on patriotic themes.

Book is available for purchase from Latvian Language Agency.

 

 

International Language Consultant Symposium „Challenges in the Daily Life of Language Consultants”

18.10.2018.

The Latvian language Agency is paying tribute to the European Language Day and hosting a symposium „Challenges in the Daily Life of Language Consultants” on the 18th of October.

Among the speakers at the symposium will be active language consultants  from the Estonian Language Institute, Lithuanian State Language Commission, the Academy of Sciences of the Russian Federation, Language Institute of Finland, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the Latvian Language Agency.

From te Latvian side there will be guest speakers also from the State Language Centre and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the Institute of Mathematics and Information Technologies of the Latvia University. Read more

Join Us to Celebrate Languages in September – European Language Day 2018 Events

29.09.2018.

European Language Day is an initiative launched by the Council of Europe. Latvian Language Agency has been responsible for carrying out events in Latvia under this initiative for already fourteen years. Events are planned and completed in close collaboration with local partner organisations. European Language Day is usually marked in September 26th, however there are a wide variety of events happening also before and after this exact date. This year European Language Day events in Latvia will be held between September 18th and October 18th. Events are aimed at enriching the experience of learning and using a wide variety of European languages, whilst also honouring the Latvian language as the official state language of this country.

European Language Day programme in Latvia will be launched on September 18th at the Ventspils University of Applied Sciences – with an event „Globalisation and Language” produced by the Baltic – German University Liaison Office. Most of the other events will be held between September 25th and October 18th.

Daily events from September 25th to September 28th at the European Union House in Riga,  28, Aspazijas Boulevard will offer language classes and provide an experience of the wide variety of languages in Europe. Please see more information about language workshops at: : www.esmaja.lv/eiropas-valodu-diena/no-25-lidz-28-septembrim-iepazisti-eiropas-valodas-es-maja

 

European Language Day 2018

26.09.2018.

Latvian Language Agency is honoured to present the annual celebration of languages – a whole programme of events under the European Language Day. This day is celebrated in Europe on September 26th since the year 2001. This year, for the fourtheenth year in a row events in Latvia were organised and coordinated by the Latvian Language Agency, in close partnership with a number of cooperation partners.

Our programme of European Language day started On Seotember 1st at the Saldus City Library where we inaugurated photo exhibition „If It’s a Mistake, Make it Funny”. On September 18th Ventspils University of Applied Sciences and Baltic – German University Liaison Office hosted a theme event „Globalisation and Language”.

On September 25th we held a though exchange workshop under the title „Translating the World into Latvian Language”, showcasing such participants as Andrejs Vasiļjevs, Baiba Moļņika, Arno Jundze, Sigita Kušnere, Juta Pīrāga and Janušs Kaminskis. This event gathered distinguished experts from the literature and literary translation field to a panel discussion on teaching and preparing a new generation of translators and interpreters, but also on the diverse opportunities that a translator can encounter by becoming an ambassador of their language through the medium of literature. This event started at 11:00 a.m. and same day at 14:15 Latvia Univeristy Faculty of Humanities hosted a ceremonial inauguration of portraits of outstanding linguists J.Endzelīns and P. Šmits, which was followed by a lecture „English Language: Is It Really Illogical?” by lecturer Lauma Terēze Lapa. Later that day, at 17:00 Europe House was the venue for Masterclass in Greek Language, that offered an introduction to the basics of the Greek language and a glimpse into Greek culture. This class was lead by Prof. Ilze Rūmniece from the University of Latvia, founder of the Latvia University Centre of Hellenic studies. The other teacher was Gatis Ezerkalns, who had just graduated from his studies of Contemporary Greek language in Greece.

On September 26th, EU House offered a musical event „Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – 100 years! Listen and Sing the Languages of Baltic States!”, where participants were invited to learn the basics and try singing in all three languages: Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian. At the beginning of the event, from 18:00 participants were offered to learn short phrases in Lithuanian and Estonian languages as well as hear some exciting facts about these languages. This was followed by singing together, interactively lead by folklore group „Budēļi”.

Other European languages were also presented during this week. Special classes were held offering participants to listen to the sound and melody of a language, learn to say a few important words and phrases, as well as get inspired to eventually learn some of these languages more in-depth.

German language workshop on September 26th, at 15:00 showcased well known German ex-pat musician Jorans Steinhauers, who speaks several languages freely but regards German as his native language.

French Language workshop at 17:00 on September 27th offered a presentation of the French language with lecturers from the French Institute in Latvia. Participants engaged in interactive discussions about French words and phrases. Class offered a chance to hear many common words spoken in daily life, as well as a special selection of words that are similar in French and Latvian.

At 17:30 on September 27th started yet another class at „Birojnica”- „Latvian Language in the Family of European Languages”. This event was hosted by Elvis Jansons and included presentations by linguists Ilze Rūmniece and Jānis Silis.

On September 28th, at 17:00 in the afternoon Director of the Spanish Culture centre „Seneca” Javier Fernandez Cruz delivered at lecture „Spain: Myths and Truths”. Javier Fernandez Cruz has been teaching Spanish in Latvia for over ten years. His lecture provided a chance to learn some new exciting facts about the Spanish language and Spanish traditions, while also opened our eyes to certain misleading stereotypes about life in Spain.

Valmiera city hosted a larger cooperation project „School Bridges” between Latvian and Swedish educational establishments, with several events running from September 26th to September 29th.

The project aimed at promoting further cooperation between schools in Latvia and Sweden, including with Latvian diaspora schools abroad. This exchange event offered a chance for representatives from schools in Sweden and teachers from Latvian diaspora schools to get a deeper insight into the Latvian education system and school programmes, as well as to see with their own eyes how the schools actually work on normal day-today basis. Teachers from Latvian schools got an opportunity to know more about possibilities for learning Latvian language abroad and to exchange valuable experieces.

Baltic International Academy held a quiz show for students of humaniora „100 years of Latvia (1918 – 2018) in European Translations” on October 1st.

On October 5th to 6th Tartu University hosted the 6th International Baltic Students Conference „Bridged in the Baltics” .

On October 18th at 10:30 the EU House in Riga hosted international language consultant symposium „Challenges in the Life of Language Consultants”.

Our Agency announced yet another school student creative writing competition „My Childhood Story” on September 26th. This competition was open to schoolchildren and teenagers from Latvia and abroad, while adults and young adults were inivited to participate in story and photography competition „Word in the Right (Wrong) Place”. Competitions ran until November 18th, and rules of the competitions can be found on the homepage of Latvian Language Agency : www.valoda.lv

We invited enthusiasts in Latvia and abroad to participate and enrich the learning and usage experience of languages spoken in Europe, while also honouring and recognizing the Latvian language as our official state language.

European Language Day is an initiative of the Council of Europe. Latvian Language Agency implements the initiative in Latvia in cooperation with a whole number of partner organizations. European Language Day is held annually on September 26th, while many exciting events are held both before and after this date as well.

SUMMER SCHOOL OF LATVIAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE 2018

16.02.2018.

with no, little or good knowledge of Latvian (0 – B1 levels)

July 25 – August 8, 2018

For the fourth year, the University of Latvia in collaboration with the Latvian Language Agency organizes “Summer School of Latvian Language and Culture” for students and everyone who wants not only to learn or improve their Latvian language skills, but also to expand their knowledge of Latvian history, art and folklore.

 The University offers:

  • intensive, modern and interactive Latvian language course (grammar, reading, writing, speaking, 64 academic hours);
  • afternoon discussion of Latvian history and politics, getting acquainted with modern Latvian history and political situation in Latvia;
  • afternoon discussion of Latvian culture and art, getting acquainted with its historical development and key figures, especially, in the visual arts and architecture;
  • afternoon discussion of Latvian folklore: customs and traditions, getting acquainted with one of the most interesting forms of folklore – Latvian folk songs or dainas, by singing and dancing;
  • guided tour of Riga, visiting several museums;
  • a two-day trip to port city Ventspils, sightseeing.The attendees, having successfully completed the course, are awarded 4 credits (6 ECTS). 

Read more