Alternative name(s): lietuviškai (lt), Litouws (nl), litauiska (sv)
Language family: Indo-European
Language Group: Baltic
Geographical use: Lithuania
Information: The oldest writings date back
to around 1500. Lithuanian has two dialect groups: Low Lithuanian at the
Baltic coasts, and High Lithuanian in the inland. Lithuanian is one of
the most pure indo-European languages because it still has so many archaic
indo-European forms. Current Lithuanian is derived from the West High
Lithuanian dialect, but has strongly been influenced by Russian
since the second World War.
Standard Lithuanian has seven cases (some dialects have eight or more), two genders (male and female), but no articles. Lithuanian frequently uses diphthongs and rising and falling intonations. Lithuanian is written with a Roman alphabet of 32 letters with diacritic signs. The alphabet is based on the one of the West High Lithuanian dialect that was designed by Jonas Jablonskis in the 19th century.