Russian language

Russian language in Latvia

While the official language in Latvia is Latvian, you can find many Russian language speakers in larger towns and cities and also in the eastern parts of Latvia.

History sources tells us that there has always been a some Russian minority in the Baltic region – people who settled in these lands as traders, merchants, ex soldiers and mercenaries as well as gentry from Russian Empire. Some of the Russian speaking people have Jewish roots – they fled from Russian Empire to avoid persecutions. After WW2 quite a lot of workers of Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian nationalities moved or were moved to Baltic to work in factories and military facilities.

Russian Cyrillic alphabet

What may put some people off from understanding text in Russian is the Cyrillic alphabet, but it just takes some practice to learn the letters and You can read in Russian quite well.

There we have list of Cyrillic letters and they “translations” in English – this does not claim to be an accurate lesson in grammatic, but should be enough to show You around the basics.

А – ah,
Б – b,
В – v,
Г – g,
Д – d,
Е – e,
Ё – e, yo, jo
Ж – zh,
З – z,
И – i,
Й – i, y, j
К – k,
Л – l,
М – m,
Н – n,
О – o,
П – p,
Р – r,
С – s, c
Т – t, m
У – u, y
Ф – f,
Х – h, kh
Ц – c, ts
Ч – ch,
Ш – sh,
Щ – sh,sch, shh, shch, shsh
Ъ – ‘
Ы – y, i
Ь – ‘
Э – e
Ю – yu, u, iu, ju,
Я – ya,ia,

Useful phrases in Russian

Some phrases to get yourself around in Russian speaking society.

Welcome Добро пожаловать (Dobro pozhalovat’);
Hello Здравствуйте (Zdravstvujte) – formal, Привет (Privet) – informal;