Tag Archives: Lithuanian

Survival vocabulary in Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian


riga 692px-Old_Riga_Buildings

Today’s blog post is taking us to North-Eastern Europe again, namely to the 3 Baltic countries (Estonian: Balti riigid, Baltimaad, Latvian: Baltijas valstis, Lithuanian: Baltijos valstybės) Estonia Eesti, Latvia Latvija and Lithuania Lietuva and to their respective languages. Estonian belongs to the Balto-Finnic branch of the Uralic languages, whereas Latvian and Lithuanian belong to the Baltic language group of the Indo-European languages.

Survival vocabulary in Latvian

Sveiks (said to a male)/Sveika (said to a female) = Hello

Labdien = Good day/afternoon, hello

Uz redzēšanos! = goodbye!

/ = yes / no

Paldies = Thank you

Lūdzu = please; you are welcome

Vai jūs runājat latviski/angliski? = Do you speak Latvian/English?

Atvainojiet = excuse me

Piedodiet = sorry, I apologize

Kā jums klājas? = How are you?

Labi, paldies = fine, thank you

Kā jūs sauc? = What is your name?

Mani sauc… = My name is…

Prieks iepazīties! = Nice to meet you!

No kurienes jūs esat? = Where are you from?

Es esmu no… = I am from…


Survival vocabulary in Lithuanian

Labas/ sveiki = hello

Laba diena = good day (‘good afternoon’)

Sudie = goodbye

Taip/ ne = yes, no

Ačiū!/Dėkoju! = Thank you

Prašom! = please; you are welcome; here you are; don’t mention it

Ar jūs kalbate angliškai? = Do you speak English?

Aš nesuprantu = I don’t understand

Kaip gyvuojate? = How are you?

Man viskas gerai = I am fine

Kaip jūsų vardas? = What is your name?

Mano vardas yra… = My name is…

Malonu = nice to meet you

Atsiprašau = excuse me

Atleiskite = sorry

Iš kur jūs esate? = Where are you from?

Aš esu iš… = I am from…

Author: Hajotthu, via Wikipedia Commons City wall of Tallinn/linnamüüri Tallinna

Author: Hajotthu, via Wikipedia Commons
City wall of Tallinn/linnamüüri Tallinna

Survival vocabulary in Estonian

Tere = hello

Head aega = goodbye

Jah/ei = yes/no

Vabandage = excuse me; sorry

Aitäh/tänän = thank you

Palun = you are welcome; please

Kas te räägite eesti/inglise keelt? = do you speak Estonian/English?

Kust te pärit olete? = where are you from?

Mis te nimi on? = What is your name?

Minu nimi on…/Ma olen… = My name is…/I am…

Väga meeldiv = nice to meet you

Kuidas läheb? = how are you?

Hästi = fine

Lithuanian months and their etymology

Author: luc viatour, wikipedia commons

Author: luc viatour, wikipedia commons

Today’s blog post will be about Lithuanian, more precisely about the etymology and the meaning of the words for months. Like many of the neighboring Slavonic languages, Lithuanian, a Baltic language, does not use the Latin names for the months, but its own, more ancient names for the months, which are based on the seasons and agricultural activities (just like the Slavonic months).

Sausis (January) – from sausas meaning ‘dry’; this derives from the fact that precipitation at this time of year is usually in the form of dry snowflakes

Vasaris (February) – from vasara ‘summer’; this is because the days begin to lengthen at this time and thoughts turn toward summer

Kovas (March) – derives either from kovas, meaning rook (a bird), or kova ‘struggle’; rooks are building their nests at this time, or alternatively the struggle between winter and spring

Balandis (April) – from balandis ‘dove’; the time when doves build their nests

Gegužė (May) – from gegužė, the cuckoo; its call is believed to herald the arrival of spring

Birželis (June) – from beržas, the birch, which blooms in this month

Liepa (July) – from liepa, the linden tree, which flowers in this month

Rugpjūtis (August) – from rugiai, ‘rye’, and pjauti, ‘to cut’, therefore literally the month in which rye is cut

Rugsėjis (September) – from rugiai, ‘rye’, and sėti, ‘to sow’, so the month in which rye is sown, which then overwinters in the fields before it starts to grow in spring

Spalis (October) – from spaliai, flax hards, which are harvested at this time of the year

Lapkritis (November) – from lapas, ‘leaf’, and kristi, ‘to fall’, the month in which the leaves fall

Gruodis (December) – from gruodas, which means something like a ‘frozen clod’, which forms in the fields at this time of the year

What becomes apparent when one compares these meanings with those of the months of the Slavonic languages (see also my last blog post), is that many months derive their names from the same event in the agricultural year, for example, the falling of the leaves (‘listopad’ in Slavonic), the flowering of the birch and linden trees, clods of frozen soil, etc., even though the languages are not related linguistically (Lithuanian is a Baltic language, whereas most languages in the neighboring countries are Slavonic languages).

Lithuanian is a very interesting language from the linguistic point of view, because it still retains many features of Proto-Indo-European, which are now lost in other lndo-European languages. It is closely related to Latvian.