: Lesson 1
Sveiki! Welcome to this Lithuanian course. We’ll introduce some Lithuanian to you, and then ask you to write certain things in Lithuanian. You’ll need to type in the answers before moving on.
The Lithuanian word for it is tai.|1
Lithuanian for Lithuania is Lietuva.|2
There is a Lithuanian word for is but you can and sometimes do skip it. That’s what we’ll do in the next phrases. How would you thus skip the word for is and say (type your answer below):
Well done with your first phrase. Let's try a another one:
Lithuanian for England is Anglija.|4
How would you say:
Good going so far. Let's learn more words so that we can say more things.
Lithuanian for from is iš.|6
This š is just like the sh from shoe but Lithuanians have it written more conveniently in one letter instead of two.
If you add iš in front of a word that ends in a, you have to adjust that word a little bit and a changes to os. For example, Lietuva would change to Lietuvos.
Try to apply it and say:
Great so far! Here's another word:
The word for I is very similar to the word iš because it is aš.|9
Think I am a phoenix and I rise from ashes to remember that I is aš.
Since Lithuanians often skip the word for is, they also often skip the word for am (in I am). Say:
Let's learn to talk directly to someone else.
Lithuanian for informal you is tu.|11
Tu is the same informal you in Catalan, French, Italian, Spanish, Latin, Portuguese and some other languages. You use it when you talk to friends or people you know well.
How would you say (skip the word for are):
Alright, so we need more words still:
Lithuanian for where is kur.|13
If you want to ask where from you switch the order and say from where. Try it out:
You could also go further and ask where are you from. That would be from where you are? (except you still keep skipping that are, so it comes out as from where you. Try this, and also try answering that question:
In case you are American, you could say I am from America and that would be understood. Well, probably. Also it’s easy to remember because:
America is Amerika in Lithuanian.|17
If you want to ask are you from somewhere you just simply say it as a statement as you are from somewhere and raise your intonation so that it sounds like a question. So you could ask:
You had the word for it which is tai.
If you add one more letter, p (p for possitive), then it means yes.
So what’s the Lithuanian word for yes?
First guess it, and then construct a sentence using it.
We have words for I and informal you so let’s learn the word for he now:
Lithuanian for he is jis.|21
If you remove just one letter you get to say she:
Lithuanian for she is ji.|22
In fact it works exactly the opposite as it does in English: in English you add one letter in the beginning of the word to make he into she, and in Lithuanian you remove one letter from the end of the word jis to do the same thing.
Let’s learn the Lithuanian word for speaks:
Lithuanian for speaks is kalba.|23
By a strange coincidence, the Lithuanian word for a language is also written kalba. However, it is pronounced differently: the stress is at the end of the word.
Lithuanian for language is kalba.|24
When you have the word for kalba, you could do a lot of stuff with it. For example, you could say he speaks it because you already know the Lithuanian word for it. But note: in short sentences like these, the word for it sneaks in in the middle, thus the word order becomes he it speaks.
How would you say:
We learned words for England and Lithuania. Let’s learn one more:
Lithuanian for Spain is Ispanija.|26
Here is how to make a country’s name into a language name:
Step one: if there is ija on the end, you remove it. Otherwise you only remove the a.
Step two: You add iškai.
If you try this with Ispanija, at step one you get Ispan and at step two you get ispaniškai. This literally means something like Spanishly and it is the Lithuanian way to say in Spanish.
You should be able to do that yourself. Let's try applying it in a couple of sentences:
Let’s go to our ULTIMATE challenge. Oh, yup, ULTIMATE. This is the word which will help us a lot.
Look at the three first vowels in it:
Well, believe it or not but these three vowels in the word ultimate correspond to the tense endings for I, informal you and he/she (in Lithuanian respectively: aš, tu, jis/ji). So aš takes on the u ending, tu takes on i, and jis/ji takes on a.
We already had the ending a for jis form in the word kalba. You can see from the word UltImAte.
Knowing that aš ends in u (UltImAte) and tu ends in i (UltImAte), how would you say:
Enough to do with speaking. Let’s talk about understanding:
Lithuanian for she understands is ji supranta.|31
Think jis supranta Esperanto.
As you can see, it has that a for he/she. What would I and you forms be:
Time for new words:
Lithuanian for and is ir.|34
Perhaps the name of the country Iran could help you remember that ir means and.
You could thus say (by the way, in the first phrase, there is no need to repeat aš twice):
You now know the ultimate rule and you can talk about speaking or understanding. However, it is important that the words we had been talking about have been words ending in a (kalba, supranta in the he/she form).
This is not the only possible ending, though:
Lithuanian for he can is jis gali.|37
That word could mean he can, he may or he is able to.
As you see, this word gali ends in i and not in a! Let’s learn another i word so that we have some company:
Lithuanian for she has is ji turi.|38
Think she has a turtle to remember this highly useful word. Not only does it mean has (as in she has a turtle) but it could also mean has to (as in she has to walk her dog).
These i-ending words have a lot of advantages.
For example, all i-ending words are good in a way that in order to have their infinitive form (that is, the to form of the verb) you only have to change i to ėti.
So, you change the last letter (which happens to be i) to ėti to make them to infinitives. Try this out now:
So, one reason why i-ending verbs are useful is because their infinitive forms are simple: you change i to ėti. By a share coincidence, this is also true about some words that do not end in i. For example, kalba is speaks, and to speak also follows a similar rule, changing its last letter to ėti.
Lithuanian infinitive form to speak is kalbėti.|42
A second reason why these i-ending words are so good is that they are the spelled the same in the tu and jis/ji. So you have tu gali and jis gali. And tu turi and jis turi. Very easy.
Except there's a catch: since they're spelled the same, the stress moves a little bit in pronunciation. Listen:
He can is jis gali.|43
You can is tu gali.|44
Did you hear how the stress moves to the end of the word? Same for
She has is ji turi.|45
You have is tu turi.|46
As I have told you already, tu has the same ending as jis/ji. Also remember, I told you that have and have to are both the same word turi in Lithuanian. Say:
So how do we form the aš form of i-ending verbs? Well, we go back to the Ultimate rule and add U.
But there is one change: unlike a-ending verbs, i ending verbs do not lose their i. Therefore gali becomes galiu, and turi becomes turiu:
I can is aš galiu.|49
I have is aš turiu.|50
Try this out:
Let's expand our Lithuanian vocabulary.
Lithuanian for no and not is ne.|54
You don’t have the word doesn’t in Lithuanian like you do in English. You always use the word ne in phrases where somebody doesn’t do something. Moreover, in Lithuanian, you say the word ne in front of the verb instead of after the verb, and you also join it with the verb. So you actually say he notspeaks in order to say he doesn’t speak.
Try to apply this:
You already can produce sentences like ji turi (she has), jis kalba (he speaks). However, ideally, you want to say what you are talking about. You can do that because you already know the word for it, which is tai.
Just a small caveat: the word for it tends to sneak in the middle so you have she it has instead of she has it. Try that:
Whenever you have two verbs in the same sentence (as in I can have it), the word tai sneaks in the middle between these two verbs. Thus you can say:
There is a problem with the word tai: it is ne-incompatible. Ne dislikes the word tai and it refuses to go in the same sentence with it. Thus there is another version for the word tai which you use when you have ne before the verb in the sentence!
The ne-compatible word for it in Lithuanian is to.|62
The position of the word it does not change, but whenever you have ne to deny something, the word tai itself changes to to.
So how would you say:
Let’s learn another important i-verb for our collection:
Lithuanian for he wants is jis nori.|66
Think, he wants to meet Chuck Norris to remember that wants is nori.
Try using this word:
There is a strange occurrence with the word nori (and all its forms): it acts with tai just like ne does. It forces tai to change into its ne-compatible version to even if there is no ne in the sentence.
Nobody knows exactly why nori acts like ne - it might be because both ne and nori start in the letter n so nori symphatizes with ne. But that’s just speculation.
Be it at is may, you can say:
This is where it gets a bit tricky. Whenever you have a verb coming together with an infinitive (for example, want to have, have to have] and so on), you always look at the infinitive in order to determine whether tai changes into to or not.
For example, the sentence aš noriu tai turėti (I want to have it) still uses tai despite the presence of noriu. That is because the behaviour of tai is governed by the infinitive (i.e. by turėti.
Thus how would you say:
We now have two categories of verbs: i-ending-verbs and a-ending-verbs (remember, you always look at the jis/ji form for the ending).
We know that how to derive aš, tu and jis/ji forms for i-ending-verbs. We simply add another u in the case of aš, or we leave the word as it is for tu and jis.
Then we know that for a-verbs we use the UltImAte rule.
Let’s learn a couple more a-verbs so that we can talk about more things. The easy one first.
Lithuanian for she studies is ji studijuoja.|73
You can apply the UltImAte rule to say:
Lithuanian for there is ten.|76
You’ve built ten tents there, haven’t you?
The words tai and ten generally have the same position in the sentence. Try to apply this and ask a question:
Now let’s learn the Lithuanian word for what:
Lithuanian for what is ką.|78
You could add ką to the begining to ask questions:
Let’s go back to the a-ending-verbs. Here is another one:
Lithuanian for he works is jis dirba.|82
If you spell dirba backwards you get a bird. Imagine a bird working to remember that works is dirba.
Trying using this new word:
Let’s learn hi and thanks, because these words stand out.
The informal Lithuanian word hi is labas.|87
This word used to mean good in older Lithuanian, but it just means hi now.
The way Lithuanians thank each other is very similar to sneezing:
Then Lithuanian for thank you is ačiū.|88
That's great. Let's say:
Here's one useful tip:
Whenever you have some English words you don’t know how to say in Lithuanian, try adding as or if that doesn’t work - a. |90
Your chances of getting understood increase.
That’s how a bank becomes bankas, a theatre becomes teatras, a doctor becomes daktaras.
Since Lithuanian has no articles, and it doesn't have to use is, you should be able to say:
One final word you may use:
Station is stotis in Lithuanian. |93
Let's try a very short conversation:
Let’s have a longer to see what you heave learned.
Imagine you ask somebody something, you get a reply, and then the person whom you asked wants to develop the conversation a bit further. He or she uses the informal word tu.
Some tips for the conversation: Omit the word in parentheses when you translate to Lithuanian, because it sounds better. Don’t say aš and tu more than once in the same sentence to sound natural. And have in mind that there are no the and a words in Lithuanian, so you skip them as well.