Latvian: Es Jesus ...


Senior Member
Hi everyone,
Could you help me determine in what language the following snippet is written:
Es Jesus...
... Buhs mu
Pawehli fawee
...Tu eewed
ar Deewa...
Lai flawe
Mirs to...

Originally it was in Gothic, so some mistakes are possible, though I did my best
  • ger4

    Senior Member
    It seems to be Latvian. The old orthography is very different from the modern one so it is a bit difficult to read. I think what you read as -f- (which doesn't exist in native Latvian words) is actually -s-, after all both letters look very similar in the old script. Assuming this, most words are actually recognizable. A few words still have the same spelling in modern Latvian.

    Old orthography > modern orthography:
    • es = I
    • Jesus > Jēzus = Jesus
    • buhs > būs = will be (3rd person sg=pl, future tense)
    • mu = (?)
    • pawehli > pavēli = order, command (verb, 2nd person sg = imperative sg)
    • sawee > savie = possessive reflexive pronoun nominative plural masculine
    • Tu > Tu = you (2nd person sg; God is addressed in the 2nd person sg in Latvian as in many other languages)
    • eewed > ieved = lead(s) into (3rd person sg=pl present tense = 2nd person sg imperative)
    • ar = with
    • Deewa > Dieva = God's (genitive singular)
    • lai = in order to ('lai' can be translated in many different ways, depending on context)
    • slawe > slavē = praise(s) (verb, 2nd person sg = imperative sg = 3rd person sg)
    • mirs > miris (?) = deceased, dead (past active participle)
    Some verb forms are ambiguous only if you don't know the context.

    These differences between old and modern orthography are typical and quite regular:
    • w > v
    • s (voiced) > z
    • ee > ie
    • ê, e > ē
    • -h as a lengthening sign following a vowel > disappears, instead a makron is used, for instance uh > ū
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