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The most frequently asked questions in the Internet about Latvia and Latvians

Interesting facts about Latvia and Latvians with photos

Latvia: Latvians | Latvian language | Latvian culture | Latvian nature | Latvian art and culture | Latvian names | Latvian Translation Services

There are many languages used for communication in the North East of Europe and around the Baltic Sea, but only Latvian and Lithuanian belong to the group of Baltic languages. As a result, Baltic languages are primarily spoken in Latvia and Lithuania. Both Baltic languages are similar, but still Latvian and Lithuanian are not mutually intelligible, and Latvians and Lithuanians are only able to understand some separate words or phrases, but not the general context when communicating with their neighbours.

Not everybody is aware though which are the Baltic languages. Sometimes people think Estonian, for instance, also belongs to the Baltic languages, but that is quite wrong. Estonian belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family and is completely different.

Which leaves Latvian and Lithuanian. There used to be more, but they are extinct by now. Some argue Latgalian is also a Baltic language. It might be so, yet it does not have the status of an official language in Latvia, which makes its use limited to a certain extent.

Latvian Language

Latvian is the mother tongue of about 1,7 million people, mostly live in Latvia, where it is the only official language. There are large Latvian-speaking communities in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, Germany, Sweden and Russia.

If you want to understand Latvian, you may need professional translation services into Latvian.

Today it will not be difficult to translate into Latvian. To do this, simply go to the website of Littera Translation Agency, and fill out a special order form online.


Latvian Alphabet

It is the Latin alphabet, using 33 letters and several diacritic marks.

Latvian Names

Latvian girl names usually end with -a, -e, and boy names with -s/ -is (which is common for the last names, as well). Latvians do not use middle names.

Some of the typical names are –

Boys: Roberts, Jānis, Kristaps, Andris, Matīss, Aleksandrs

Girls: Madara, Anna, Elīna, Kristīne, Alise, Līga.

Latvian Flag

Latvian big flag

Capital of Latvia

Riga, the capital city of Latvia, is a vibrant metropolis that seamlessly blends medieval charm with a modern urban landscape. The heart of Riga is its UNESCO-listed Old Town, where narrow cobblestone streets wind past centuries-old buildings, including the iconic House of the Blackheads and the impressive Riga Cathedral.

As you venture beyond the historic core, Riga reveals a dynamic cityscape with a thriving cultural scene. The city is renowned for its exquisite Art Nouveau architecture, particularly evident in the Jugendstil district, where ornate facades adorned with sculptures and intricate details grace the streets.

The Daugava River flows through the city, providing a picturesque backdrop to Riga’s diverse neighbourhoods. Notable landmarks include the National Library of Latvia, a modern architectural gem, and the Central Market, one of Europe’s largest and most vibrant markets housed in colossal Zeppelin hangars.

700,000 people live there. It is a thriving city with abundant energy, spectacular buildings, and a lot of parks. It is also the political and business centre of the country and many important decisions are taken there.

latvian arhitecture

Latvian Architecture

Latvian architecture is a captivating blend of tradition and innovation, reflecting the nation’s rich history and forward-thinking spirit. From the charming medieval streets of Riga’s Old Town, adorned with colourful Art Nouveau facades, to the sleek lines of contemporary structures, Latvian architects seamlessly weave the past and present into a tapestry of unique designs. Each building tells a story, inviting visitors to explore the diverse layers of Latvia’s architectural identity. 
What to see in Riga:

  1. House of the Blackheads (Melngalvju nams): A striking medieval structure in Riga’s Old Town, known for its ornate facade and historical significance.

  2. Riga Art Nouveau District: Wander through the Alberta iela and Elizabetes iela streets to admire the intricate and decorative facades of Art Nouveau buildings, showcasing the city’s penchant for this unique architectural style.

  3. National Library of Latvia (Latvijas Nacionālā bibliotēka): A modern architectural masterpiece on the banks of the Daugava River, symbolizing Latvia’s commitment to knowledge and culture with its sleek, glass design.

It is a thriving Riga city with abundant energy, spectacular buildings, and a lot of parks. It is also the political and business centre of the country and many important decisions are taken there.

The urban architecture of the major Latvian cities offers many breath-taking views. It is a mix of the Medieval and the Modern, the decadent lines of Art Nouveau and National Romanticism, Stalinist Era Neoclassicism and early 21st-century Neo-Futurism.

House of the Blackheads (Melngalvju nams)

Latvian Art and Culture

Latvia is recognized by its culture and altogether there are many talented people originating from this country, be it music, arts or literature.

Latvian to English

Although English is quite wide-spread in Latvia, professional translation services are highly demanded, as there are many occasions when an accurate and precise translation or interpretation is a prerequisite for successful business operations. Translation into English is not the main activity of Littera24 linguists. They do translation services in over 80 world languages.

Latvia and Russia

Latvia was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940 and was part of it until regaining independence in 1991. Many Latvians born and raised within that period can communicate in Russian, as well. For people belonging to other generations, knowledge of Russian is less common.

Latvian Nature

Latvians like to take road-trips, hike in the woods, walk along the sea. In general, many of them (or us), although being urban dwellers feel quite close to nature.

baltic beach and woman

Baltic Sea in Latvia

The Baltic Sea is the youngest sea on the planet. Along its entire length, the Latvian coast impresses with a variety of views – dunes, steep banks, sandstone outcrops, caves and impressive rocks. Baltic Beach has a wide range of golden sands. The swimming season in Jurmala lasts only two months, from July to August. If you know some more interesting facts about Latvians, please comment below.

baltic beach

Baltic Sea in Autumn

baltic sea

Vecaki Promenade


Latvian Forests

latvian forest

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