The official language of the state of Lithuania is Lithuanian. It is listed as one of the official languages of the EU. Lithuanian is classified as a Baltic language. Lithuanian and Latvian are the only living Baltic languages. The Lithuanian language has five long vowels and six short ones. There are a total of 45 consonants in the Lithuanian language. There are 22 pairs of the consonants, categorized using absence or presence of palatalization. All the consonants, with an exception of /j/, have two variations, the palatalized and the non-palatalized.
There are over 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in the country and approximately 200,000 native Lithuanian speakers abroad. Russian is the second language spoken in Lithuania. Almost 80% of the population of Lithuania can converse in Russian. The older population is more conversant with Russian than the younger population. 30% of the population can speak English, with 80 % of English speakers being youths and younger adults.
Lithuanian is a conservative Indo-European Languages. It retains most vocabulary from Latin, which most languages have seemingly abandoned. It also retains phrases and words from the Sanskrit language. For example, Antares in Lithuanian is close to antares in Sanskrit, which means wolf in English. Lithuanian has also loanwords which it acquired from Germany and Polish. Lithuanian has also borrowed its recent vocabulary from English. With the rapid technological development, Lithuanian had to borrow English technological terms. However, the Lithuanian government has been making efforts to support the development of words which will supposedly replace the English words.
Besides Lithuanian, other commonly spoken languages in Lithuania include Polish, Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian. These languages are spoken mostly in the big cities of Lithuania. They are not recognized by the Lithuanian Government. Polish is the largest minority language in the country. Russian is the second largest minority language. Yiddish is also spoken by the minority group of a Jewish community that remains in Lithuania.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018
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