|Native speakers||1,272,650 (date missing)|
|Official language in||
Latvian (latviešu valoda) is the official state language of Latvia. It is also sometimes referred to as Lettish. There are about 1.2 million native Latvian speakers in Latvia and 100 thousand abroad. Altogether, 1.9 million, or 79% of the population of Latvia, speak Latvian. Of those, 1.2 million use it as their primary language at home. The use of the Latvian language in various areas of social life in Latvia is increasing.
Latvian is a Baltic language and is most closely related to Lithuanian, although the two are not mutually intelligible.
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, in Latin script.