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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