Lithuania

Learn Lithuanian!

09 Feb 2017

Attempting discourse in Lithuanian may seem terrifying, but fortunately for you a vast number of locals, especially in the restaurants, bars, clubs and cafés in the city centre, have a healthy command of the English language. Not only that, they often want to practice their already brilliant English on you. Though you can probably get by without it, learning a few key Lithuanian phrases will charm the Lithuanians you’re trying to speak to and may even win you friends and admirers.
Because of its overly complex grammar, Lithuanian is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn. Scholars say it is the most conservative living Indo-European language and has archaic features found only in ancient languages like Sanskrit or Ancient Greek. But, thank the gods, you really don’t have to worry about all that nasty grammar unless you’re living here long-term.
And, unlike English, words in Lithuanian actually tend to be pronounced the way they are spelled. Once you know how to pronounce each letter or letter combination, that’s a great help. Many of the letters sound the same as they do in English, and those that don’t we list here, together with some basic words and phrases. Go on, have a go! Sėkmės! (Good luck!)

Basic pronunciation
‘a’ sounds like ‘u’ in umbrella
‘ą’ sounds like ‘a’ in arm
‘c’ sounds like ‘ts’ in what’s
‘č’ sounds like ‘ch’ in cherry
‘e’ and ‘ę’ sound like ‘a’ in apple
‘ė’ sounds a bit like a short ‘yeah’
‘g’ sounds like ‘g’ in glue
‘i’ sounds like ‘i’ in igloo
‘į’ and ‘y’ sound like ‘ee’ in cheese
‘j’ sounds like ‘y’ in yes
‘š’ sounds like ‘sh’ as in sheet
‘r’ is always rolled (if you can manage it)
‘u’ sounds like ‘oo’ in book
‘ų’ and ‘ū’ sound like ‘oo’ in spoon
‘ž’ sounds like the ‘s’ in treasure
‘o’ sounds like the ‘a’ in call
‘ch’ sounds like ‘h’ at the back of the throat
‘dž’ sounds like “J” in John

English Lithuanian Pronunciation
Yes Taip (as in ‘tape’)
No Ne (ne!)
Hi/Bye (informal) Labas/Iki (LAbas!/I-ki!)
Hello/Good day Sveiki/Laba diena (svay-KI/laba DYEN-a)
Good morning Labas rytas (labas REE-tas)
Good evening Labas vakaras (labas VA-ka-ras)
Good-bye Viso gero (VEE-so garo)
Good night Labanakt (la-BA-nakt)
Please Prašau (pru-show)
Thank you Ačiū (A-choo)
Excuse me/Sorry Atsiprašau (AT-si-pru-show)
My name is… Mano vardas yra… (MA-no VAR-das ee-ra…)
I’m from England. Aš esu iš Anglijos. (ush e-soo ish AN-glee-yos)
Do you speak English? Ar kalbate angliškai? (ur kul-BA-ta UN-glish-kay?)
I don’t speak Lithuanian. Aš nekalbu lietuviškai. (ush ne-KUL-bu lie-TU-vish-kay)
I don’t understand. Aš nesuprantu. (ush ne-su-PRAN-tu)
Two beers, please. Du alaus, prašau. (doo a-LAUS, pru-show)
Cheers! Į sveikatą! (ee svay-KAA-ta!)
Where are the toilets? Kur tualetai? (koor tooa-LIET-ay?)
You are beautiful. Formal: Jūs esate graži (to a woman) /gražus (to a man). Informal: Tu esi graži (to a woman)/gražus (to a man). (yoos es-a-te gra-ZHI / gra-ZHOOS), (too es-i gra-ZHI / gra-ZHOOS)
I love you. Aš tave myliu. (ush ta-ve MEE-lioo)
Please take me home. Parvešk mane namo (pru-show par-VESHK mu-ne na-mo)
Call me! Paskambink man (pa-SKUM-bink mun)
Airport Oro uostas (oro u-WOS-tas)
Train station Geležinkelio stotis (ge-le-ZHIN-kel-yo sto-tiss)
Bus station Autobusų stotis (ow-to-BOO-soo sto-tis)
One ticket to… Vieną bilietą į… (Vienna BEE-le-ta ee…)

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