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Thread: Latvian - Swedish words

  1. #1
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    Latvian - Swedish words

    Hi I read something in Latvian the other day and discovered several words the were roughly the same in Latvian as in Swedish f.ex Bikses - Byxor - meaning "pants".

    I was wondering if perhaps someone could come up with more, and possible theories for this "exchange".

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    I'm unaware of any 'direct' link between Sweden and Latvia, but there are two routes to consider;
    1. Swedish>Russian>Latvian.(By-passing Finland, instead connecting through mainland Europe and the Baltic Sea.)I don't know enough about Russian nor Latvian, but I do know that Russia has extensive history and vocabulary exchange with Europe in general.
    2. Swedish>Finnish>Estonian>Latvian. Finnish has a large array of words derived from Swedish, despite their languages being totally dissimilar.One statistic (?)has 25% of Finns speaking Swedish.So, they obviously have close ties, which would be a linguistic gateway to Estonian.Estonian is related very closely to Finnish.They share alot of native vocabulary, so it is reasonable to guess that each other's import words also occasionally pass through one another.And who is right next door to Estonia? Latvia.
    I wonder about a couple of Finnish words with Swedish relations.Perhaps you could tell me- Did these words make it into Latvian vocabulary?
    -SWEDISH/FINNISH
    korp/korppi (raven), giraff/kirahvi (giraffe)(though not 'original' Swedish, but still passed through), matta/matto (mat/rug), kyrka/kirkko (church), lampa/lamppu (lamp).
    So, Russian and Finnish are my guesses as to who is responsible for pulling Swedish words into Latvian.

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    I wonder about a couple of Finnish words with Swedish relations.Perhaps you could tell me- Did these words make it into Latvian vocabulary?
    -SWEDISH/FINNISH
    korp/korppi (raven), giraff/kirahvi (giraffe)(though not 'original' Swedish, but still passed through), matta/matto (mat/rug), kyrka/kirkko (church), lampa/lamppu (lamp).
    Yes there are several Swedeish words in Finland, and the coutries has close ties. ex. Swedish "Hylla" = Finnish "Hylly", (shelf), B
    Листьев не обожгло, Веток не обломало
    День промыт как стекло, только этого мало

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    Sorry I'm out of ideas on that one.

    Zhenya, are you capable in Latvian enough to give me a basic idea of how Latvian grammar works? Does it have the case suffixes like Estonian/Finnish, or is it closer to Russian grammar?

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    I don't know much about Latvian other than it's Indo-European, rather than Finno-Ugric, so I would assume it's closer to Russian.

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    Latvian and Finnish isn't simillar at all

  7. #7
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    Now I can’t really tell you the similarities between Swedish and Latvian because I don’t really speak them. Although I have an opinion on why you might have some Swedish words in Latvian.
    ...Maybe when Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden took-over Riga in 1621, Latvian as a language borrowed some Swedish words...

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    Quote Originally Posted by brett
    Sorry I'm out of ideas on that one.

    Zhenya, are you capable in Latvian enough to give me a basic idea of how Latvian grammar works? Does it have the case suffixes like Estonian/Finnish, or is it closer to Russian grammar?
    Latvian grammar is quite similar to Russian, it has genders and cases but no articles. The case suffixes differ though, but not all. First of all, masculine nominative has always an -s at the end, feminine usually ends with a vowel.
    Well, I'll better give a link: http://courses.washington.edu/latvia..._n_g_d_a_l.htm

    Talking about Latvian vocabulary, from the languages mentioned here, it's closest to Russian. But you can find many similar words also in Estonian and Swedish. The Swedish influence in the Baltics has been remarkable, so a lot of words have been borrowed directly. There is the same thing in Estonian: byxor => bikses - p

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