“You” or “You”?
If you end up traveling to Latvia, last thing you want to do as a foreigner – is to offend someone. If you try to speak the local language, it will be greatly appreciated. Better then that, if you know how to be polite – you will win Latvian hearts.
Latvians might seem reserved and “cold” at first, but will warm up after they get to know you.
“tu” or “jūs” (“you” or “you”)?
* Please note that I am referring to singular form of “you” only.
In Latvian there are two ways of using singular form of “you”. Both “tu” and “jūs” translate as “you“, but here is the difference in using them:
TU – (singular and informal “you”) – use it if you know someone well (friend, relative, younger person, classmate, co-worker etc.). For example: Ko tu dari? – what are you doing?
JŪS - (singular and formal “you”) – use it if you are talking to older person or someone you are not familiar with. Addressing someone with “jūs” shows respect (someone you are not familiar with, teacher, older person, someone you meet for a first time. This does not apply to children. However, children must always address unfamiliar grownups with “jūs”). For example: Ko jūs darat? – what are you doing?
Sometimes, you might be talking to an unfamiliar or elderly person and addressing then with “jūs”, but they might tell you already from the start that it is ok to say “tu”. This is a sign of acceptance and should be noted