Lithuanian translation services

Lithuanian translation services that Diskusija offers

Our company and Lithuanian translation go way back – to 1993 in fact, when we were first finding our feet as a translation company in Lithuania. At the time, we were focused solely on providing Lithuanian translation services. Now, more than 25 years later, we’ve come a long way since those early days – we’ve gained a vast amount of experience and built up a fine team of Lithuanian translators who are able to work on complex projects across a broad range of industries.

Like any other language, Lithuanian has its peculiarities, but you can trust us to navigate them with expert precision when handling your Lithuanian translation projects.

We primarily translate into Lithuanian in the following combinations:

  • English to Lithuanian
  • German to Lithuanian
  • French to Lithuanian
  • Russian to Lithuanian
  • Polish to Lithuanian

Don’t see the language you need listed? Not to worry! Feel free to get in touch regarding any language combination involving translation to or from Lithuanian.

We translate more than half a million words into Lithuanian every month. If you’ve got a project for us, we’ve got the capacity and skill to get it done.

Lithuanian translation services

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About the Lithuanian language

The Lithuanian language (lietuvių kalba) is one of two living Baltic languages (the other is Latvian) in the Indo-European language family.

It is the official language of Lithuania and one of the official languages of the European Union.

Lithuanian is spoken by approximately 4 million native speakers worldwide, of which around 3 million live in Lithuania; others historically reside in Poland, the US, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, UK and Uruguay. Many new generation emigrants have also left Lithuania during the last 2 decades, especially after Lithuania became a member of the EU. They mostly reside in Ireland, UK, Spain and other EU countries.

Lithuanian is considered to be the most conservative Indo-European language and still retains features of Proto-Indo-European language. Some words even resemble Sanskrit and Latin. Lithuanian is more conservative than Latvian and although the two languages are closely related, they are not mutually intelligible.

Modern language: alphabet, vocabulary, spelling, grammar

Lithuanian uses a modified Latin alphabet. The Lithuanian alphabet consists of 32 letters (12 vowels and 20 consonants) and is based on the Latin alphabet with added diacritics. One letter usually corresponds to one sound, but there are some digraphs, such as “ch”, “dz”, “dž” that are spelled as one sound.

Lithuanian has a free, mobile accent which means that its position and type is not phonologically predictable and has to be learned by heart. The accent can also change by position and type depending on the inflection of a word.

Spoken Lithuanian has two dialects: Aukštaičių (Highland Lithuanian), Žemaičių (Samogitian or Lowland Lithuanian). There are significant differences between standard Lithuanian and Samogitian.

It is a highly inflected language. There are two genders: feminine and masculine. There are five noun and three adjective declensions. Nouns and other parts of nominal morphology are declined in seven cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, locative and vocative.

There are three verb conjugations and three moods: indicative, subjunctive and imperative. Verbs of indicative mood have present, past, past iterative and future tenses and an infinitive form. All these forms, except the infinitive, have two singular, two plural persons and the third person form which is the same for singular and plural.

Lithuanian also has a very rich word derivation system and an array of diminutive suffixes.

Because of the rich inflection and synthetic nature of the language, word order in Lithuanian sentences is completely free. There are the usual forms of order in a particular situation or sentence and inversion (changing position) of words can make a sentence look unusual, but grammatically this is not a mistake. Inversion is used when there is a need to emphasise particular moods, thoughts, or to alter the notion of the sentence.

History of the Lithuanian language

The Lithuanian and Latvian languages share a common early history. Lithuanian (as well as Latvian) origins and its early development are still disputed.

The main question is whether Baltic languages were a part of the Balto-Slavic language group that split into Baltic and Slavic in the 10th century, or a separate group of the Indo-European language family. The first theory is supported by certain similarities between Slavic and Baltic languages.

Those who dispute that view believe the similarities that exist today are the result of close contact during several periods of history between Baltic and Slavic language speakers. Linguists supporting this view argue that there are a number of Baltic words which are similar to Sanskrit or Latin and do not have analogies in Slavic.

It is believed that Latvian and Lithuanian existed as two dialects of a single language before 800 AD. At that time, Lithuanian and Latvian began to emerge as separate languages though transitional dialects did exist until the 14th or 15th century.

The oldest known example of a written Lithuanian text is a translation of prayers handwritten onto the last page of a book printed in 1503. The first book in Lithuanian was printed in 1547 but the level of literacy among Lithuanians was low until the 18th century. This was also due to the fact that the upper class chose Polish as their literary language and Lithuanian was considered the language of peasants.

Lithuanian faced oppression in the Russian empire. The language as well as the Latin alphabet was banned from use in education and publishing from 1864 until 1904. But books were printed in East Prussia and smuggled across the border into Lithuania. This helped to support growing national sentiment.

Lithuanian was only standardised in 1919, when Jonas Jablonskis published a Lithuanian grammar text. His standardisation was based on his native Western Aukštaičių (Western Highland Lithuanian) dialect. Today Jonas Jablonskis is considered the father of the Lithuanian language.

Lithuanian has been the official language of Lithuania since 1918, when the country declared its independence.

During the Soviet occupation (1939-1990), it was used as an official language along with Russian which, as the official language of the USSR, took precedence over Lithuanian.

After regaining independence in 1990, Lithuanian was established as the sole official language of Lithuania.

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