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A borrowing from Middle High German ja, first mentioned in 16th-century religious works, especially catechisms, in answers to questions about faith. At that time, was not in colloquial use; the prerred way to answer a question affirmatively was to repeat its verb, as was done in Latin. The word took some time to become usual: 17th-century authors mention that it was used by Latvian speakers who lived near cities, and more frequently when talking to non-Latvians; among themselves, they would revert to agreeing by repeating the question verb. 18th-century authors continued to mention the frequency of the latter method and the relatively low frequency of . In northern Vidzeme, the word was still not used in the 18th and early 19th century. Only in the mid-19th century did really become usual everywhere.[1]




  1. used to express, reinforce agreement or confirmation, especially in response to a question; yes
    “Vai tu brauksi slēpot?” “”. — “Are you going skiing?” “Yes.”
    “Vai jūs esat no Rīgas?” “, no Rīgas.” — “are you from Riga?” “Yes, from Riga.”
    “Vai tev ir drusku laika?” viņš jautāja. “”, Mirdza atbildēja. — “Do you have a little time?” he asked. “Yes,” Mirdza answered
    “Ieva ļoti jauka...” “,” Jorens piekrīt — “Ieva (is) very nice...” “Yes,” Jorens agreed
    “Cik stipri smaržo šīs puķes...” “, smaržo...” — “how Htrongly these flowers smell...” “Yes, they do...”
    Ira apmierināta klausās. , tā ir īsta pasaka. — Ira listened, satisfied. Yes, this is a true fairy tale.
    , te kalnos bija sava dzīve, savas paražas, sava morāleYes, here in the mountains (they have) their own life, their own habits, their own morality
  2. used in a question to invite confirmation, like an English tag question; yes? right?
    “Nu viss pagalam, Birkenbaum? ?” “Laikam”, puisis atbildēja — “Well, it's all bygones, Birkenbaum? Right?” “Maybe,” the young man answered
    “Te jūs dzīvojat, bet otrā pusē Kaspartēvs, ?” Ieva jautā. “Un Kasparmāte,”, zēns precizē — “Here you all live, and on the other side father Kaspar, right?” “And also mother Kaspar,” the young man stated
  3. used to react to a call; yes?
    “Marina!” “.” “Nāc!” — “Marina!” “Yes.” “Come (here)!”
    “Jāni!” “, es tepat esmu!” — “Jānis!” “Yes, I'm right here
    “Joren”, Ieva pasauc. “?” “Nekas; es tikai gribēju paskatīties uz tevi” — “Joren,” Ieva called. “Yes?” “Nothing; I just wanted to look at you”
  4. used as a noun, generally with teikt or sacīt, to indicate a positive answer to a proposal
    “Skaties, kas par jaukumu visapkārt, un šitādā laikā tu par precēšanos vari domāt!” “Mīļo Lienīte, sāki nu “”, saki nu “”!” — “Look, all this beauty around us, and at such a moment you can still think about marriage!” “Dear Lienīte, say yes, say yes!”
    “Zini, ja tā lieta, par kuru tu vienmēr sapņo un stāsti, iznāktu tāda, tad es teiktu - .” — “You know, if that thing that you're always talking and dreaming about were to happen like that, then I would say - yes.”



  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns (1992), “”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN 9984-700-12-7