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Early Indo-European Texts

Latvian

Lilita Zalkalns and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Latvian with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Baltic Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Latvian language and its speakers' culture.

"In the Shadow of Death," by Ru'dolfs Blaumanis

Labu laiku garenais du'mu stabin's' palika vienli'dzi'gi liels. Nekuste'damies zvejnieki vin'a' skati'ja's, nejauda'dami gandri'z pat ne acu pamirks'k'ina't. Bet tad vin'u skati meta's arvien sti'va'ki, arvien s'ausmi'ga'ki. Ma'koni'tis sa'ka dilt!

Tvaikonis netuvoja's vin'iem, tas vin'us neredze'ja, vai negribe'ja redze't! Tas vin'iem aizbrauca gara'm! Ka' nakts e'na nolaida's uz visu g'i'mjiem. Plagas ture'ta'ji ka'rti palaida val'a', ta' noga'za's un Zal'ga sarkano kreklu mi'di'ja ar ka'ja'm un kodi'ja sava kaz'oka piedurkni. Nabaga Skrastin's' bija ats'l'u'cis uz ragava'm un mulde'ja tur nesaprotamus va'rdus un sme'ja's. Ka'rle'ns Birkenbaumu cieti bija apkampis, un Gri'nta'ls sta've'ja un skati'ja's aizvien ve'l uz to vietu, kur ma'koni'tis bija nozudis.

Translation

For a long time the elongated pillar of smoke remained the same size. Motionless, the fishermen stared at it, not being able to even blink their eyes. But then their eyes stiffened in horror. The little cloud of steam was fading away!
The steamboat wasn't coming any closer - it didn't see them, or didn't want to see them! It passed them by! A dark shadow fell on all their faces. The holders of the flag let go of the flagpole, it fell, and Zalga trampled the red shirt with his feet and chewed on the sleeve of his fur coat. Poor Skrastins had fallen back on the sleigh and was babbling incomprehensibly and laughing. Charlie held Birkenbaums tightly, and Grintals stood and kept on staring at the spot where the little cloud of steam had disappeared.