Current issues

SUMMER SCHOOL OF LATVIAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE 2017 with no or little (A1+) to good (B1) prior knowledge of the Latvian language


July 24 – August 06, 2017

For the third year, the University of Latvia in collaboration with the Latvian Language Agency organizes “Summer School of Latvian Language and Culture” for students and other interested parties who want not only to learn and improve their Latvian language skills, but also to expand their knowledge of Latvian history, art and folklore. The students who study the Latvian Language or other Baltic languages at their home universities are particularly encouraged to apply.

We offer:

  • intensive, modern and interactive Latvian language course (grammar, reading, writing, speaking, 64 academic hours), which includes such topics as the human personality, experience, knowledge and skills, friendly contacts and time spent in Latvia, versatile and unique Riga, city tour and orientation, daily life and holidays in Latvia, Latvian traditional and modern culture, current events in Latvian media, Latvia’s and Latvians’ success stories in the world;
  • afternoon discussion on Latvian history and politics, getting acquainted with modern Latvian history and political situation in Latvia;
  • afternoon discussion on Latvian culture and art, getting acquainted with its historical development and key figures, especially, in the visual arts and architecture;
  • afternoon discussion on 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 (e.g., Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation or Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, Laima Chocolate Museum or Sun Museum, Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga Art Nouveau Museum, Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum);
  • a two-day trip to port city Ventspils, sightseeing (e.g., the Seaside Open-air Museum with an opportunity to ride a narrow-gauge train Mazbānītis, Ventspils Crafts House, a boat tour aboard “Duke Jacob” (Hercogs Jēkabs) along the Venta River).

The attendees, having successfully completed the course, are awarded 4 credits (6 ECTS).

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Dictionary about the origin of Latvian geographical names in Latvian and English published


Vietvardu vaksThe Latvian Language Agency has published a short dictionary about the origin of Latvian geographical names “No Abavas līdz Zilupei. Vietvārdu cilmes īsā vārdnīca = From Abava to Zilupe. The origin of Latvian geographical names. A short dictionary” (Riga : LVA, 2015. 304 pp.).

In this book information has been compiled about the origins of more than a hundred of the best-known Latvian place names by the authors ((Dr. Laimute Balode and Dr. Ojārs Bušs). The dictionary contains information about the origin of the names of all Latvian cities as well as some bigger or better-known villages. From the names given for hills, rivers, lakes and other geographical points only some widely known examples are discussed. Authors have also not forgotten about the name of the country ‘Latvija’ (Latvia), the name of the Baltic Sea ‘Baltijas jūra’ and the names of the five cultural and historical Latvian regions.

The bilingual book contains information in Latvian as well as in English. It can be bought in the Latvian Language Agency.

Call for Papers: LIVONICA V. Significance of Livonian Heritage


Līvõ Kultūr Sidām (Livonian Culture Centre), University of Tartu, and Latvian Language Agency invite you to participate in the international scientific conference „LIVONICA V: Significance of Livonian Heritage” that will be held on 10 September 2015.

Conference topics: language, history, cultural history, literature, ethnology, music etc.

Working languages: Livonian, Estonian, Latvian, English.

Please submit the abstract of your paper electronically by 30 May 2015.

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New Latvian Language Textbook for Estonian students launched in Latvian Language Agency


ig1The Latvian Language Agency has published a new Latvian language textbook, aimed at Estonian students. The author of the textbook is Ilze Zagorska, the lecturer of the Latvian language and culture at the University of Tartu. Ilze has been teaching Latvian to Estonian students for six years and the newly-published textbook is based on her teaching experience. The textbook is meant for beginners, it contains 13 chapters of reading, writing and speaking exercises, a Latvian-Estonian dictionary and a supplement that explains the grammatical topics included in the textbook. The book is artfully designed and colourfully illustrated by Ģirts Semēvics and Inese Siliniece.

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A new sociolinguistic study “Language ideology and mass media (television)” is available electronically


tvThe aim of study is to analyse the demonstration of official language ideology of state in television, taking into account that it is the most popular medium. The aim of the official language policy in Latvia is to ensure the protection and development of the Latvian language, the sole official language of Latvia, paying attention that it should serve as the common language of mutual communication of all inhabitants of Latvia. The results of interviews with experts and representatives of television stations were analysed having regard of data of quantitative researches.

In order to facilitate the development of Latvian and its use in every domain of life, the Latvian language should be at the top of the language hierarchy in all domains, including the mass media. The latter, especially television that is the most popular medium, have a significant role in forming and influencing public opinion in Latvia.

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The summary of the study “Language situation in Latvia: 2004-2010” is available electronically


monit englThis summary outlines the major conclusions of the study “Language situation in Latvia: 2004-2010” (2011) and the results of the Latvian language policy implementation.

According to the structure of the study “Language situation in Latvia: 2004-2010” here are data and facts reflected about the language situation in the Latvia from 2004 to 2010, taking into account the historical development of the language situation.

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New Textbook to Study Latvian for Japanese!


daikiThe Latvian Language Agency has received a completely new Latvian language textbook for Japanese students which was composed and generously sent by Daiki Horiguchi, PhD student and Latvian language lecturer at the Foreign Languages University of Tokio. We are very happy and grateful for Daiki’s devotion and efforts, and his great contribution to Latvian language in the far away and beautiful Japan. Let this book be of a great help for the students in Japan and let it help to become proficient Latvian language users and friends of Latvia!

Translation in English of „In Defence of the Latvian Language Against Russification. Documents from 1944-1989” is published


In 2012 the Latvian Language Agency published a book compiled by historian Par_latviesu_valodu_Pret_rusifikaciju_ENG_VAKS_QJ. Riekstiņš in Latvian.

This edition has been translated into English (translators – Uldis Brūns un Jānis Kramēns). Documents utilized are from the Latvian Archive collection of the Latvian Communist Party Central Committee records, the Latvian Communist Party Central Control and Auditing Committee, the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic Council of Ministers, the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic Supreme Council, the Riga City Executive Committee, as well as documents from collections of other institutions, that verify the Soviet policies in Latvian SSR. Many of these documents are published for the first time (even in Latvian).

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