Livonian is part of the south-western branch of Finnic languages. The last fluent native speaker, Grizelda Kristina, died in June 2013 at the age of 103, but there are a small number of people who have learnt Livonian as a second language and who are trying to revive the language. Inter-generational transmission of the language broke down during the early 20th century.
Livonian is closely related to Estonian and Finnish and its orthography combines elements from both Estonian and Latvian spelling. The first book in Livonian was published in 1863.
Min izāmō, min sindimō,
ūod ārmaz rānda sa,
kus rāndanaigās kazābõd
vel vanād, vizād piedāgõd.
Min ārmaz īlmas ūod set sa,
min tõurõz izāmō!
part of Min izāmō (My Fatherland), the national anthem of Livonians http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Min_izāmō
Amād rovzt attõ sindõnd brīd ja īdlizt eņtš vǟrtitõks ja õigiztõks. Näntõn um andtõd mūoštõks ja sidāmtundimi, ja näntõn um īdtuoisõ tuoimõmõst veļkub vaimsõ.
Text and recording provided by Jurģis Šuba
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about the Livonian language and people
Virtual Livonia - information about the Livonian people, language and culture