English-language book tells story of Latvian

A book for foreign audiences that tells the story of Latvian language policy has been released by the State Language Commission in Rīga.

The 400-page English-language book, Break–out of Latvian, is described as the first broad and important study of the status of Latvian in Latvia, a spokesperson for President Valdis Zatlers said in a Dec. 22 press release. The language commission, formed in 2002, reports to the president.

“Every book that shows how close and dear the Latvian language is for us is a success,” Zatlers said during presentation of the new title, according to the press release. “We have to tell that to the world.”

The book is based on a sociolinguistic study and describes the development of the Latvian language during the nation’s years of independence.

Break–out of Latvian is published by the academic publisher Zinātne.

President Valdis Zatlers

President Valdis Zatlers speaks Dec. 22 during presentation of the book Break–out of Latvian. (Photo courtesy Chancery of the President of Latvia)

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

2 thoughts on “English-language book tells story of Latvian

  1. I’m always looking for any new books about Latvia and all things Latvian so I can share them with my children and friends. I so regret that two years after we arrived in the US, our newly widowed mother had us speak only English so she could learn it faster and we lost our native tongue. We must NEVER forget who we are or where we came from.

  2. After the war my parents emigrated to Canada. Like everyone we wished to assimilate with Canadians but my mother remained a fierce defender Latvian culture in this foreign land. I can still hear her yelling at myself and my brother when we were caught whispering in English, “rūnat latvisk!”. How grateful I am for her admonishments. Latvian is an amazing language; economical, to the point and poetic. It must be defended.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *