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Standard Latvian Vocabulary - Family

Hi Standard Latvian learners! 😊
In this lesson, we will learn the vocabulary related to family in Standard Latvian. Family is considered the cornerstone of society in Latvia, and it is an important aspect of the Latvian culture.

Don't hesitate to look into these other pages after completing this lesson: Standard Latvian Vocabulary: Going Shopping and Using Public ..., Standard Latvian Vocabulary → Health and wellness → Body parts ..., Food & Family and relationships.

Basic Family Vocabulary[edit | edit source]

To start our family vocabulary lesson, we will begin by learning basic family terms.

Standard Latvian Pronunciation English
ģimene ʤe-mê-ne family
tēvs tei-vs father
māte maː-te mother
dēls dei-s son
meita mei-ta daughter
brālis braː-lis brother
māsa maː-sa sister
vecāki ve-tsaː-ki parents
bērns beːrns child


  • Person 1: "Sveiks, cik tev ir bērni?" (Hello, how many children do you have?)
  • Person 2: "Man ir divas meitas un viens dēls." (I have two daughters and one son.)

Extended Family Vocabulary[edit | edit source]

Next, let's learn vocabulary related to extended family members.

Standard Latvian Pronunciation English
vectēvs vec-tei-vs grandfather
vecmāmiņa vec-maː-miː-ɲa grandmother
tante tan-te aunt
onkulis on-ku-lis uncle
brālēns braː-leːns brother-in-law
māsas vīrs maː-sas virs sister's husband / brother-in-law
dēla sieva dei-la sie-va son's wife / daughter-in-law
meitas vīrs mei-tas virs daughter's husband / son-in-law
māsa maː-sa sister-in-law
vīramāte viː-ra-maː-te mother-in-law
vīratēvs viː-ra-tei-vs father-in-law


  • Person 1: "Vai tev ir vectēvs?" (Do you have a grandfather?)
  • Person 2: "Jā, man ir vectēvs un vecmāmiņa." (Yes, I have a grandfather and grandmother.)

Family Relationship Vocabulary[edit | edit source]

Now, let's learn vocabulary related to family relationships.

Standard Latvian Pronunciation English
laulātais lau-laː-tai-s fiancé / fiancée
vīrs virs husband
sieva sie-va wife
bijusī sieva bi-ju-si sie-va ex-wife
bijušais vīrs bi-ju-ʃais virs ex-husband
atraitne a-trai-tne widow
bāznieks baːz-ni-eks priest
līgavainis liː-ɡa-vaɪ-nis groom
līgava liː-ɡa-va bride
mežģīņi meʒ-ɟi-ɲi cousins


  • Person 1: "Kādas plānos tev ir ar taviem mežģīņiem?" (What are your plans with your cousins?)
  • Person 2: "Mēs plānojam kopā doties uz bēru dienestu." (We plan to go together to the funeral service.)

Cultural Information[edit | edit source]

In Latvia, family values are highly regarded, and the family unit is considered the backbone of society. It is common for relatives to gather together during special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, and name day celebrations. Latvians also highly respect their elders and have a culture of taking care of them when they become old.

Interesting Facts[edit | edit source]

- Did you know that Latvian family names are based on gender? As an example, if a father's name is Jānis, his son's last name would be Jānis' followed by the suffix "-sons." Similarly, if a mother's name is Anna, her daughter's last name would be Anna followed by the suffix "-dze." - In Latvia, it is customary to give a baby a name that has a specific meaning. For instance, the name "Laima" means "good fortune," while the name "Dainis" means "song."

To improve your Standard Latvian Vocabulary, you can also use the Polyglot Club website. Find native speakers and ask them any questions!

Sources[edit | edit source]

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➡ Feel free to edit this wiki page if you think it can be improved. 😎

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