Lithuanian language

Lithuanian (lietuvių kalba) belongs to the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family. In Lithuania it is spoken by 2.8 million people. In addition to Lithuania, it is spoken in Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Canada and the United States. The world population of Lithuanian speakers is estimated at about 3 million people.

The closest relative of Lithuanian is Latvian, but the two languages are not mutually intelligible. Both are believed to have evolved from a common hypothetical ancestor called the Proto-Balto-Slavic. It is hypothesized that they began to divide from 800 A.D., and that there was a long period when Lithuanian and Latvian were two dialects of the same language, until possibly the sixteenth to seventeenth centuries, when they finally emerged as two distinct languages.

Both Latvian and Lithuanian have kept many of the characteristics of Proto-Indo-European languages, especially in their noun systems. Of the two languages, Lithuanian is the more conservative, as it retains more archaic forms than Latvian. These characteristics have only been studied in extinct Indo-European languages. For this reason, scholars of Indo-European linguistics have taken a great interest in Lithuanian.

Speakers of Lithuanian

Lithuanian has been the official language of Lithuania since 1918. Today, it is one of the official languages of the European Union.  According to the 2017 CIA World Factbook, Lithuanian is spoken in Lithuania by 84% of the country's 2.8 million inhabitants. Other languages spoken are Polish, Russian and Belarusian.

Lithuanian has spread largely through migrant communities in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay. The total number of Lithuanian speakers worldwide is estimated at 3.2 million.

When Lithuania became independent from the former Soviet Union in 1991, a large number of publications in Lithuanian emerged. Today, there is a thriving publishing industry, as well as radio and television broadcastings in Lithuanian.

Dialects of Lithuanian

Lithuanian is divided into several dialectal areas with a not very high level of mutual intelligibility. Standard Lithuanian is based on the Aukštaitian (highland Lithuanian), which is taught in schools.

Translation agency for Spanish-English-Lithuanian

Now that you know a little more about the Lithuanian language, you might be interested to know that we offer professional translation services from both English to Lithuanian and from Lithuanian into English. We specialise in translation from and into Spanish.

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