Lithuanian language


November 29, 2021

Lithuanian (Lithuanian: lietuvių kalba) is the official language of the Republic of Lithuania and has 4 million speakers. Lithuanian, along with Latvian, are two living languages ​​of the Baltic language family. Lithuanian is the official language of Lithuania and one of the official languages ​​of the European Union.


Since the Lithuanian language still retains many of the features of the Indo-European language, it is of interest to linguists for research on the language. As the famous French linguist Antoine Mieh put it, "Anyone who wishes to hear Indo-Europeans speak should come and listen to a Lithuanian villager." The Baltic languages ​​are thought to have formed a family alongside the Slavic languages ​​after their separation from the Indo-European languages. The division into Eastern and Western groups between the Baltic languages ​​took place between 400 and 600 AD. The separation between Lithuanian and Latvian also occurred after 800 AD. The two languages ​​have long coexisted as two dialects of the same language. The period of this transition from two dialects to two languages ​​is estimated between the 14th and 17th centuries AD. The German conquest of what is now Latvia in the 13th and 14th centuries also contributed to the spread of this linguistic independence. The oldest written translations of ritual poems in Lithuanian date from 1503-1525. Printed books date back to after 1547, but by the 18th century the language had not reached the literary stage. After the January Uprising in 1864, Mikhail Morafiov, the Russian Governor-General of Lithuania, banned teaching and publishing in the Lithuanian language and banned the use of the Latin alphabet. However, the book was published in Lithuanian abroad in East Prussia and the United States. Book smugglers, despite the threat of imprisonment, brought the books across the border and provided the necessary means for the nationalists until the previous ban was finally lifted in 1904. Jonas Jablonskis (1860–1930) made significant contributions to the organization and standardization of the Lithuanian language. From 1918 Lithuanian became the official language of Lithuania. During the Soviet domination of Lithuania, the Lithuanian language remained the official language of Lithuania alongside Russian, the official language of the Soviet Union, but Russian always prevailed over Lithuanian.


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