The Lithuanian is a language family Baltic , the official language Lithuania . It is considered one of the most archaic Indo-European languages. It has an approximate number of four million speakers and in Lithuanian it is called lietuvių kalba .
- 1Social and cultural history
- 1Geographical distribution
- 2Official status
- 3External links
Social and cultural history [ edit | edit source code ]
The first text written in Lithuanian dates from 1545 . Since 1547 , books began to be printed in Lithuanian, but the number of books remained small until the 19th century .
Geographical distribution [ edit | edit source code ]
Lithuanian is spoken mainly in Lithuania . Nevertheless, there are minorities of Lithuanian speakers in Germany , Argentina , Australia , Belarus , Brazil , Canada , Kazakhstan , Chile , Colombia , United States , Spain , Estonia , Latvia , Poland , Kyrgyzstan , United Kingdom , Russia , Sweden , Tajikistan , Turkmenistan, Uruguay , Uzbekistan and Venezuela .
About 80% of Lithuania’s inhabitants (some 2.8 million people) speak Lithuanian. In total, about four million people worldwide speak the language.
Official status [ edit | edit source code ]
Lithuanian is the official language of Lithuania and one of the official languages of the European Union .
Dialects [ edit | edit source code ]
Lithuanian dialects. [ 1 ] The Samogitian varieties are in yellow, red and the Aukštaitian varieties in green, blue and purple.
The Lithuanian language has two main dialects: High Lithuanian (Aukštaičių), on which the western variant is based on common Lithuanian and Samogitian (low Lithuanian, Žemaičių / Žemaitių). Between the two there is little mutual intelligibility.
Here you can see a map of the geographic distribution of both dialects.
History [ edit | edit source code ]
Lithuanian language extension in the 16th century .
Lithuanian in many ways is a “conservative” language. For example, it has a phonological system relatively similar to that which is reconstructed from the common Proto-European language . In addition, it maintains a large number of morphological features of the common proto-European. For this reason, it is a language of great help for linguistic study, although the oldest Lithuanian documents date back to the 16th century .
On the other hand, it is estimated that the Baltic subfamily has existed separately from the rest of the Indo-European languages, since at least the 10th century BC, the former Prussian being the earliest documented language. While the maintenance of some ancestral characteristics is remarkable, the concrete way in which the Baltic languages developed from Indo-European is not at all known. The Eastern Baltic languages separated from the Western ones (or, perhaps, the proto-Baltic language) between the 400’s and 600’s . The difference between the Latvian language and the Lithuanian language started in the year 800, after a long period in which there were different dialects of the same language. At the very least, transition dialects between both languages existed until the 14th and 15th centuries, and perhaps as until the 17th century . However, the occupation of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the western basin of the River Daugava (almost coincident with present Latvia ) by the Brothers of Christ Militia German had a decisive influence on the individual development of these languages.
The oldest known text written in Lithuanian is a translation of a 1545 hymn . Lithuanian printed books have existed since 1547 , but the literacy level of Lithuanians was very low until the 18th century and there were no books available to the public. In 1864 , after the January Uprising , Mikhail Muraviov , governor-general of the Russian Empire in Lithuania, imposed a general ban on the use of the Latin alphabet and education and printing in Lithuanian. Latin alphabet books continued to be printed across the border, in East Prussia and also in the United States. They were smuggled into Lithuania despite harsh prison terms, contributing to the nationalist sentiment that led to the lifting of the ban in 1904 .
Lithuanian has been the official language of Lithuania since 1918 . During the Soviet period (see History of Lithuania ) it was used in conjunction with the Russian language , which prevailed in Lithuania’s RSS as the official language of the entire USSR.
Grammar [ edit | edit source code ]
There are two grammatical genders in Lithuanian – female and male. There is no gender neutral, but there are some grammatical forms that derive from the historical gender neutral. There are 5 declines for nouns and 3 for adjectives.
Nouns and other parts of nominal morphology are declined in 7 cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, locative and vocative.
Examples [ edit | edit source code ]
Some example words and phrases:
- Labas! – hello
- Laba diena! or Labas rytas– Good morning
- taip– yes
- ne– no
- Up until! or viso gero– goodbye
- I have an appetite! (Gen.) – good appetite
- Į sveikatą! (Ac.) – health
- Atsiprašau! – forgiveness(literally: I am sorry.)
- Arbatpinigiai– bribe (br) / tip (en) (literally: money for tea)
- Prašom! – please
- Ačiū! – thanks(sounds like atchiu )
- (labai) gerai– (very) well