Lithuanian is a Baltic language from the Indo-European language family. It is the official language of Lithuania.
Lithuanian is an endangered language; according to the Ethnologue, it is only about 2.9 million speakers worldwide. It is listed as "vulnerable" on the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger.
Lithuanian is one of the oldest languages in Europe, believed to have originated around 6000 years ago. It uses the Latin alphabet and has five long vowels and 13 diphthongs.
Lithuanian is an agglutinative language, meaning that a single word can be made up of many elements and can get very long. It does not conjugate verbs for tenses, for example.
Lithuanian language has four noun declensions, denoting noun gender, case, number, and other characteristics. Determining a declension is mainly related to the ending part of a word.
There are two official variants of the Lithuanian language; the standard written language and the vernacular spoken one. It is the only Baltic language, along with Latvian, which uses the same noun cases.
Lithuanian language has a fairly regular phoneme structure, but it is full of irregularities that complicate learning—for example, grouping consonants into hard and soft categories.
The dialect of the Lithuanian language is divided into six area-based subgroups - Curonian, Aukstaiciai, Sudovia, Samogitian, Highlands, and Lowlands. Each of them has preserved the characteristics of the language.
Lithuanian language has close links to Sanskrit and Indo-Iranian languages. For example, 'Darius,' a Lithuanian word for king, is 'krall' in Swedish, 'kralj' in Croatian, 'kral' in Czech, and 'Karol' in Polish.
One of the many peculiarities of the Lithuanian language is 'semiotic dualism,' which uses one word to represent two opposite ideas. For instance, 'genys' means 'cheeks' and 'skies.'
Lithuanian has many loanwords adopted over the centuries, mainly from Polish, Russian, and Latin. Interestingly, 'karūna,' a Lithuanian word for crown, comes from the Latin' corona.'