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!
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.