Nowadays it normally refers to a language spoken in Latgale, the eastern part of Latvia. Sometimes it is referred to as a distinct separate language, while others consider it to be a dialect of Latvian. This modern Latgalian developed as a result of two main factors: Latgalians having preserved more features of the archaic (tribal) Latgalian language than the other Latvians and Latgale being separated for several centuries from other parts of Latvia.
The Latgalian language developed from the 18th century as a literary tradition based on vernaculars spoken by Latvians in the eastern part of Latvia. The first surviving book published in Latgalian is "Evangelia toto anno" (Gospels for the whole year) in 1753. The first systems of orthography were borrowed from Polish and used Antiqua letters. It was very different from the German-influenced orthography, usually written in Blackletter or Gothic script, used for the Latvian language in the rest of Latvia. Many Latgalian... Read More