Latvian (latviešu valoda [ˈlatviɛʃu ˈvaluɔda]) is a Baltic language spoken in the Baltic region. It is the language of Latvians and the official language of Latvia as well as one of the official languages of the European Union. It was previously known in English as Lettish, and cognates of the word remain the most commonly used name for the Latvian language, in Germanic Languages other than English. There are about 1.3 million native Latvian speakers in Latvia and 100,000 abroad. Altogether, 2 million, or 80% of the population of Latvia, speak Latvian. Of those, 1.16 million or 56% use it as their primary language at home. The use of the Latvian language in various areas of social life in Latvia is increasing. As a Baltic language, Latvian is most closely related to neighboring Lithuanian. In addition, there is some disagreement whether Latgalian and New Curonian, which are mutually intelligible with Latvian, should be considered varieties or separate languages. Latvian first appeared in Western print in the mid-16th century with the reproduction of the Lord's Prayer in Latvian in Sebastian Münster's Cosmographia Universalis (1544), in Latin script.
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