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‘Labas’ is what Lithuanians say when they greet someone. You could probably manage to get by in this country by knowing only this word as many Lithuanians can speak other languages. However, it would be even friendlier both to greet a person and ask ‘Kaip laikaisi?’ (‘How are you?’). Approximately three million people speak Lithuanian as their mother tongue, including communities living in Belarus, Poland, and those who have emigrated to the USA, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Australia, Germany, Latvia and other countries. Interestingly, old Lithuanian, Sanskrit and Hindi languages have many related and closely linked words. Lithuanian is regarded as one of the most conservative living Indo-European languages that have retained most of the features of the Proto-Indo-European language. 

Lithuanian language courses for foreigners and speakers of other languages

It is always useful to take a course when you need help in learning a new language or if you are looking for opportunities to practice spoken Lithuanian. Various courses are organised annually by universities, the details of which are shown below. They are intended for foreigners who want to learn the Lithuanian language and for speakers of other languages who live in the country and want to improve their speaking skills. 

Institution Type of courses Duration of courses More information
Vilnius University, department of Lithuanian philology studies
  • Summer/winter Lithuanian language courses

  • A one-year Lithuanian language course

  • Evening Lithuanian language courses

From two weeks to one year (depends on the type of course)
Vilnius Educational University, faculty of Lithuanian philology 
  • Summer courses of Lithuanian language 

Up to one month  www.lituanistai.vpu.lt 
Vytautas Magnus University, faculty of Humanities 
  • ‘Oneness’ Remote language practice courses

  • Summer courses of Lithuanian language and culture 

Up to one month  ukc.vdu.lt 
Klaipėda University, faculty of Humanities 
  • Summer courses of Lithuanian language and culture 

Up to one month  www.ku.lt/hmf 
Kaunas University of Technology, Department of Linguistics 
  • Summer/winter courses of Lithuanian language 

Up to one month  www.kalba.ktu.lt 

Lithuanian language courses are also organised by private centres of language learning throughout the country.

Short vocabulary

Greetings:

Good morning – labas rytas

Good afternoon – laba diena

Good evening – labas vakaras

Hello – sveiki (a formal greeting or a greeting to more than one person)

Farewells:

Goodbye – viso gero, sudie

Bye bye – iki pasimatymo

Thanks:

Thank you – ačiū

What’s up?/ how are you? – Kaip sekasi? / Kaip laikaisi?
 
I am lost. Please help me – Pasiklydau, prašom man padėti.
 
Where can we find the nearest disco? – Kur yra artimiausias šokių klubas?
 
I don’t speak Lithuanian – Nekalbu lietuviškai.
 
I love basketball – Aš myliu krepšinį.

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