Repatriates can brush up their Latvian for free

The MC Alfa company, in cooperation with the Social Integration Fund, is offering returning Latvians and their families to learn Latvian for free. In 2015 a total of 60 people were taught Latvian, and about a 100 are expected to take up learning Latvian next year. Adults, children and pensioners alike are welcome to the courses, reported Latvian Radio 4 Thursday.

"Children returning to Latvia need extra instruction. These are families returning in Latvia, and many of them have been educated abroad, but [their] children don't know any Latvian. That's why we are starting from the very basics," head of the MC Alfa company Inga Šamanova told LR4. 

According to her, there were much less repatriates than they expected in 2015. Mostly people from Russia and Ukraine are returning to Latvia, but some have returned from countries such as Uruguay and Turkey. 

Latvian Radio talked with some of the participants.

Larissa lived in Belarus for 9 months as her husband was offered a good job there. Now they've come back but their son, a primary school pupil, had to brush up his Latvian by attending courses.

While Rigan Viktoria lived in Italy for four years where she studied and worked. She decided to return to Latvia, and as you forget the language without practice, she went to the courses.

Third-country nationals are also taught at the center. These are people who for reasons such as business, studies, and marriage have moved to Latvia.

Repatriates who want to study Latvian have the chance to do so in 2016. Turn to the language center on Aspazijas blvd. 32, cabinet 315 this week to apply. Non-citizens as well as citizens can apply. 

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