Pleasantries

Latvian has an array of greetings, ways of bidding adieu, thanking, and other ways of politely getting ones point across.

Greetings
Many greetings are formed by taking the Latvian labs, “good” and combining it with an expression of the time of day.

  • labrīt, “good morning”, based on combination with rīts, “morning”
  • labdien, “good day”, based on combination with diena, “day”
  • labvakar, “good evening”, based on combination with vakars, “evening”
  • labunakti, “good night”, based on combination with nakts, “night”
  • sveiki, “hello”, less formal than lab- expressions
  • sveicināti, “hello”, less formal than lab- expressions
  • hallo, “hello”, informal
  • čau, “hi”, informal

Goodbyes
As well, farewells are often formed by taking the Latvian labs, “good” and combining it with an expression of the time of day. “Farewell” is differentiated from “Hello” only in that it is prefixed with ar-.

  • arlabrīt, “good morning”, based on combination with rīts, “morning”
  • arlabdien, “good day”, based on combination with diena, “day”
  • arlabvakar, “good evening”, based on combination with vakars, “evening”
  • arlabunakti, “good night”, based on combination with nakts, “night”
  • uz redzēšanos, “goodbye”, literally, “to when we see each other”
  • visu labu, “all the best”, literally “everything good”
  • atā, “goodbye”, less formal
  • čau, “bye”, informal

Other Expressions

  • lūdzu, “please”
  • paldies, “thank you”
  • nav par ko, “don’t mention it”
  • ļoti patīkami, “pleased to meet you”, literally “very pleasant”
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