Essential Lithuanian For Beginners: Greetings
- Mille Larsen •3 mins read
In anticipation of a coming trip to Lithuania this fall, I wanted to learn a little about the language. I decided this would be a good opportunity for me to put my list of the 10 most important things to know, to get by in any language to the test.
Today, we'll look at the first of those 10 things: greetings.
When I say greetings, I am referring to all the various ways people say hello and goodbye to each other. These things are the bare minimum of what a person can say to another person without any kind of conversation. It's what you'll hear when you enter or leave a store, what you'll say when you approach the check-in desk at a hotel, etc.
Here are some Lithuanian greetings:
Sveiki atvykę. : Welcome.
Sveikas. : Hello (to a male).
Sveika. : Hello (to a female).
Labas. : Hi.
Labas rytas. : Good morning.
Laba diena. : Good day.
Labas vakaras. : Good evening.
Labanakt. : Goodnight.
Sudieu. : Goodbye.
Iki pasimatymo. : Until next time.
Iki! : Bye!
Lik sveikas! : All the best! (to a male)
Lik sveika! : All the best! (to a female)
Viso gero! : Best wishes!
Geros dienos! : Have a good day!
Gero vakaro! : Have a good night!
Saldžių sapnų! : Sweet dreams!
Laimingos kelionės! : Have a nice trip!
Diena, vakaras, and viso all bear striking resemblance to the corresponding Russian words день, вечер, and все. Nakt sounds exactly like the German word nacht to me.
And sudieu is a compound of su dieu, meaning "with god". The word dieu, of course, exposing its Latin roots for the world to see.
For anyone with a bit of experience with any Slavic language, and the slightest familiarity with any Latin languages, it's easy to make Lithuanian much less intimidating.
Here are my favorite Lithuanian resources if you want to learn more: