THE LATVIAN ALPHABET

To illustrate the pronunciation of the Latvian sounds an
approximate English equivalent sound is given in the right
hand column. The scope of this book makes it impossible to
give charts with precise description of the position of the
organs of speech in every instance.



PrintedWritten  Example  Approximate Pronunciation 
     
A a  galds (table)  u in but (open like French 'la') 
  mja (house)  a in ca
B b  balts (white)  b in cab, bad 
C c  citi (others)  ts in cats 
  etri ( four)  ch in chain, much 
Ch ch  achs (chess)  ch in Scottish 'loch' 
D d  diena (day)  d in date, bad 
Dz dz  dzert (to drink)  ds in buds 
D d  dadi (thistles)  j in job or g in ginger 
E e  te (here)  ( 1 ) e in pet, bet(closed -e-) 
  e smu (I am)  ( 2 ) a in patch, ba
  st (to eat)  ( 1 ) a in baby (long closed) 
  tvs (father)  ( 2 ) a in bare or ea in bear (long open -e-) 
F f  fizika (physics)  f in fun, off 
G g  galds (table)  g in give, beg 
  imene ( family)  d in due, dew 
H h  Holande (Holland)  h in half 
I i  silts (warm)  i in mitten 
  sts (true)  ee in meet or ea in meat 
J j  js (you)  y in yes, year 
K k  kja (leg)  k in kitten or c in cat 
  kais (cat)  qu in queue or t in 
    tune 
L l  labs (good)  l in look, small 
  audis (people)  l in lewd 
M m  mte (mother)  m in milk, ham 
N n  nazis (knife)  n in nut, can 
  emt (to take)   n in new 
O o  ola (egg)  ( I ) wa in wallet 
  politika (politics)  (2) o in politics 
  opera (opera)   (3) o (long) in opera 
P p  putns (bird)   p in pen, stop 
R r  roka (arm)  r in rat (rolled and 
    always pronounced) 
  ka (war)  rh in rheumatic 
S s  seja (face)  s in sit, dress 
  eit (here)  sh in ship, cash 
T t  tur (there)  t in tap, cat 
U u  uguns (fire)  oo in boo
  dens (water)  oo (long) in boo
V v  visi (all)  v in van, invite 
Z z  zeme (earth)  z in zebra 
  dai (several)  s in pleasure 


Diphthongs:

ai  bailes (fear)  y in my 
au   jauks (fine)  ow in how 
ei  meita (daughter)  ey in prey 
ie  iet (to go)  ea in ea
ui  puika (boy)   like French 'oui' 
oi  boikots (boycott)  oy in boy 



Latvian, Terza Budia Lazdia, 1966