Lithuanian language

Baltic language spoken in Lithuania

The Lithuanian language is a Baltic language. It is from Lithuania, spoken in a few countries in Europe, as well as in the Americas and Australia.

lietuvių kalba
Native toLithuania
Native speakers
2.96 million (Lithuania)
170,000 (Abroad)
3.13 million (Worldwide)[1]
Roman script
Official status
Official language in
 European Union
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byCommission of the Lithuanian Language
Language codes
ISO 639-1lt
ISO 639-2lit
ISO 639-3lit
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Lithuanian and Latvian are the only remaining Baltic languages. Both languages have much in common. Lithuanian, however, adopted fewer words and phrases from German and other languages. However, many words were adopted into Lithuanian by Slavic languages long ago, but in 1920, Lithuanian philologist Jonas Jablonskis and others replaced them with native Lithuanian words.

The front cover of the Katekizmas, published in East Prussia in 1547.

There are two main dialects of Lithuanian. Samogitian is used mostly in West Lithuania, and the other that is widely used in the whole country is Aukštaitian (Highlanders' dialect). The standard Lithuanian comes from West Aukštaitian.

The first book written in Lithuanian is Katekizmas by Martynas Mažvydas. It was published in East Prussia in 1547.

Even though Lithuanian was written down relatively recently, it is known for being close to old Indo-European languages, keeping old traits found only in early languages like Vedic Sanskrit and lost in later languages.


  1. Ethnologue report for language code:lit