Introduction to Lithuanian Basics:
Lesson 42

By Linas

Lithuanian for thing is daiktas.

You already know this case of it which was marked in to in Lithuanian. In English, you say say it and its (that would be tai and to) in Lithuanian.

You could also say thing and thing’s and that correspond to daiktas and daikto. Thing’s equals thing’s (that thing’s texture) or of thing (the texture of that thing) in English and so it does in Lithuanian However, in English you can say of thing sometimes so you can say I have a need of that thing while in Lithuanian you don’t have the word for of so you have to stick with thing’s to mean of thing as well.

Reality is, just like daiktas being one and daikto being the second, we have seven cases like this in Lithuanian!

We will learn to say all of the simple cases of them for both genders in the next few lessons. First, however, look at what kind of words we can have in Lithuanian.

First, we can have feminine words and masculine words. Except for people (mister and missis) and animals where you can tell the gender, there is usually nothing inherently female or male in these words but it is easy to tell which are which because:

Feminine words end in either a or ė.

You already know one word that ends with a which is a head. Try it:

A head.

Answer: Galva.
Not correct. Please try again.

We will learn another word which is feminine because it ends with ė:

Lithuanian word for a flower is gėlė.

How would you say:

It was a flower.

Answer: Tai buvo gėlė.
Not correct. Please try again.

It is feminine because it ends with ė.

She was a flower.

Answer: Ji buvo gėlė.
Not correct. Please try again.

What about masculine words? Well, the masculine words are all the rest. They usually end in s and especially in as. So we will have in mind:

Masculine Lithuanian words end in as.

A traditional Lithuanian one is a wheel.

Lithuanian word for a wheel is ratas.

You know others though such as autobusas for a bus. Otherwise, centras is center and there are many more. When you want to make a word Lithuanian, you usually add as and it is also masculine because of that as well.

How would you say:

That wheel is good.

Answer: Tas ratas yra geras.
Not correct. Please try again.

You also know daiktas, of course.

Now what we are about to learn probably has no linguistic basis but it works so bear with me.

Let’s learn the concept of letter STRONGNESS. If you want to determine if something is strong, there are are just two rules:

A dot above makes you stronger (thus ė is stronger than e) - you have more.
The order of strongness decreases in the word otaku so o is stronger than a and a is still stronger than u).

(Hope you like Anime so it is easy for you to remember that otaku rule).

That is how you know if something is strong. What that implies is that if you have the letter e and you want to make it stronger then you add the dot and make it ė. Imagine it as two versions of that letter: e is when it is not strong and ė is when it is.

Same for otaku. U is the weakest and if you want to make it stronger you make it into a. At the same time, if you have a and you want to make it even stronger you go o.

If you have o or ė then you can’t make them stronger because there is nowhere to go in the STRONGNESS ladder so they just stay the same. You could make them weaker though by turning o into u or turning ė into e.

Let’s reinforce this:

e stronger

Answer: ė
Not correct. Please try again.

a stronger

Answer: o
Not correct. Please try again.

ė weaker

Answer: e
Not correct. Please try again.

u stronger

Answer: a
Not correct. Please try again.

a weaker

Answer: u
Not correct. Please try again.

As a matter of fact, if you look at the pronunciation it is true that ė is pronounced somewhat stronger than e and o is stronger than a while it is stronger than u so you can also look at the pronunciation to remember it.

If this looks like it makes no sense to you don’t worry because you will see how useful it is in the next lesson. DOT or OTAKU make you strong. Remember that.