Unavoidably every new meeting and conversation starts with a greeting. Here are a few common greetings in Latvian:
sveiki – hello/hi
čau – hello/bye
labrīt – good morning
labdien – hello/good day
labvakar – good evening
uz redzēšanos – goodbye
atā – bye
arlabunakti – goodnight
Click video below to hear pronunciation
HOMEWORK! Practice these few words all day today. Teach someone else how to say hello in Latvian. Simple as that!
MUST KNOW! When addressing an adult/elderly you are meeting for the first time or do not have a close relationship with, avoid using “sveiki” and “čau”. It is respectful to use “labrīt, “labdien” un “labvakar” as well as “uzredzēšanos” instead of “atā”. I know, I know… “atā” is sooooooo much easier, but trust me you will gain respect by using the other one 🙂
FOR FUN! You can surprise a Latvian friend with these silly sayings that rhyme and everyone knows since childhood. Use these with friends only. A stranger or an elderly person might think you are nuts or feel insulted.
Labrīt, tev bikses krīt! – Good morning, your pants are falling!
Labdien, tev bikses skrien! – Good day, your pants are running!
Labvakar, tev bikses pakar! – Good evening, your pants are hung up!