Useful Livonian Phrases

Below is a col­lec­tion of phras­es use­ful for start­ing or car­ry­ing on con­ver­sa­tions in Livo­ni­an.  The­se exam­ples (with the excep­tion of “hap­py birth­day”) are tak­en from the Lat­vian-Livo­ni­an-Eng­lish Phrase Book by Val­da Šuvcāne. The spelling used in the­se exam­ples, which devi­ates in small ways, was changed by me to match that used by Viit­so and Ernštre­its in the 2012 Livo­ni­an-Esto­ni­an-Lat­vian dic­tio­nary. Though record­ed sam­ples are not pro­vid­ed at this time, the Livo­ni­an writ­ing sys­tem makes it easy for non-speak­ers to make a rea­son­able attempt at pro­nounc­ing the­se phras­es. To learn more about the sound of each let­ter, please refer to the Livo­ni­an Sounds sec­tion on this site. Also remem­ber that in Livo­ni­an, as in oth­er Finnic lan­guages, pri­ma­ry stress is almost always on the first syl­la­ble of the word.

An excel­lent source for learn­ing more about every­day Livo­ni­an is the Līvõ kēļ page on face­book. That project is not asso­ci­at­ed with this site, but I high­ly rec­om­mend lik­ing Līvõ kēļ so that you can learn a new Livo­ni­an word each day along with phras­es and sug­ges­tions for expand­ing use of Livo­ni­an in every­day life.

Jõvā ūomõg!Good morn­ing!
Jõvā pǟva!Good after­noon!
Jõvā ȭdõg!Good evening!
Kui sin­nõn lǟb?How are you?
Tienū, min­nõn lǟb jõvīzt.Thanks, I’m fine.
Vȯlks lǟdõ jo jõvīzt.Could be bet­ter.
Kui tēḑi nutāb?What’s your name? (lit. How are you called?)
Min nim um…My name is…
Mingi tele­fon num­mõr täd­dõn um kuon­nõ?What’s your phone num­ber at home?
Mingi tele­fon num­mõr täd­dõn um tīesõ?What’s your phone num­ber at work?
Kuon­nõ mäd­dõn um seļļi tele­fon…Our home phone num­ber is…
Kus tēg jelāt?Where do you live?
Minā jelāb Kūolkas.I live in Kūolka (Kolka).
Tienū.Thank you.
Nēmiz pǟl!Bye! (can also be used for clos­ing out a let­ter)
Ammõ jõvvõ!All the best! (can also be used for clos­ing out a let­ter)
Vȯndz­iztõ riekkõ!Have a nice trip!
Pǟgiņ vȯn­nõ Ūdāi­gastõks!Hap­py New Year!
Rīem­liži Taļšpivḑi!Mer­ry Christ­mas!
Pǟgiņ vȯn­nõ sin­dizpǟ­vaks!Hap­py birth­day!
Ārmaz sõbrā!Dear friend! (when writ­ing a let­ter)
Tīer­atõks pǟlõ!

Täd tīer­atõks pǟlõ!
To your health! (a toast)

To your health! (plu­ral or for­mal toast)
ikš, kakš, kuolm, nēļa, vīž, kūž, seis, kōdõks, īdõks, kimone, two, three, four, five, six, sev­en, eight, nine ten