Worthwhile information about the Lithuanian language

The question
Ar kalbate lietuviškai?
Do you speak Lithuanian?“
is answered by more than three million people with:

Interesting facts about Lithuania and the languages spoken in Lithuania

Lithuania (Lietuva) has around 3 million inhabitants.
Of these 2.7 million speak Lithuanian (lietuvių kalba = Lithuanian language) natively.
A larger portion of Lithuanians speak Russian as a first language. This is because Lithuania was a part of the Soviet Union until 1991.
An additional 300,000 people in Lithuania speak Polish natively. Along side Russian and Polish these people also speak Lithuanian as a second language.
Other languages spoken in Lithuania, although not as widespread, are Belarusian, Ukrainian and Latvian.
Since May 1rst in 2014 (start of Lithuanian EU membership), Lithuanian has been an official language of the European Union.

The Lithuanian alphabet

In Lithuanian, the Latin alphabet is used.
However, there a few additional special characters in the Lithuanian alphabet.

Please, take a closer look at these letters from the Lithuanian alphabet:

Ą / ą, Č / č, Ę / ę, Ė / ė, Į / į
Š / š, Ų / ų, Ū / ū, Ž / ž

A number of diacritical marks are used; they are accents above or underneath letters (for example, the ų in lietuvių kalba (Lithuanian language) or the ė in Joninės 'Festival of St. John').
If you are writing Lithuanian, please do not leave these accents out because it could change the meaning of a word!

Lithuanian grammar: You have to learn 7 cases in Lithuanian

Lithuanian has seven cases:
Nominative, genitive, dative and accusative are perhaps familiar to you.
Additionally, in Lithuanian you will come across the vocative, locative, and instrumental cases.

The Lithuanian language is related to Latvian.
However, it must be said that Latvians and Lithuanians do not actually understand each other, as over time their two languages have, despite there similarities, developed to the point where they are quite far apart from one another.

Lithuanian – a Baltic language

Lithuanian belongs to the Eastern Baltic languages, whose roots come from the Baltic Languages and in turn belongs to the Indo-European languages.
Other Indo-European language branches also include Germanic (for example, German and English), Slavic (for example, Russian and Polish) and Nordic (for example, Danish and Swedish).

The Lithuanian language still contains many age-old forms and therefore, is considered antiquated and very interesting to linguists.
Lithuanian is the next closest living relative of Sanscrit within the Indo-European language family. Another Baltic language yet living along side Lithuanian is Latvian.

You want to learn more about the Lithuanian language?

  1. Learn more about the Lithuanian language in Wikipedia
  2. The official gateway of Lithuania also provides information on the Lithuanian language
  3. You are planning to travel to Lithuania?
    Find a lot of useful information on one of the official tourism sites
  4. Learn Lithuanian with 17 Minute Languages
    We offer a wide range of learning material for Lithuanian:
    A1 / A2: Lithuanian Beginner's Course
    B1 / B2: Lithuanian Intermediate Course
    C1 / C2: Lithuanian Proficiency Course
    B1 - C2: Business Lithuanian