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Lithuanian


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Contents:

1. Grammar and Spelling
2. Punctuation
3. Measurements and Abbreviations
4. Hyphenation
5. Miscellaneous Peculiarities
6. Geographic Distribution
7. Character Set

Section One - Grammar and Spelling

1. Gender: Lithuanian has both masculine and feminine. Usually masculine words have endings with -s (-is, -as, -us), but there are some exceptions (the word "pilis" (castle) is feminine). Feminine words end with vowels: -ė, -a (exceptions: "dėdė" (uncle), "tėtė" (dad)).

2. Articles: There are no definite or indefinite articles in Lithuanian.

3. Cases: Seven, with five main case patterns which govern noun endings attributed to each of the cases. 

4. One-letter words: There are some one-letter words, e.g. "į" (=to), "o" (=oh, however). 

5. Plural: The plural form can be recognized by the endings -iai, -ės, -ys, -ai, -os. 

6. Capitalization: similar to English, except only the first letter of headings and titles are capitalized. (However, this is under Western influence and some companies, associations or publications capitalize their names in the 'English' fashion.) E.g., 'Lithuanian Democratic Labour Party' is Lietuvos demokratinė darbo partija, but it is still all abbreviated in capitals (LDDP). Country names are capitalized, but country-related words are not: England = Anglija, but English = angliškas. The first sentence of a letter (the one after 'Dear Mr. Jones') begins with lower case, unlike in English.

Days of the week and month names are not capitalized!

Lithuanian equivalents of 'you' and 'your' often begin with upper case (depending on the style of the document). There are three forms of address: "Tu" (informal and used between close friends), "Jūs" (general formal use) and "Tamsta" (singular)/"Tamstos" (plural) (highly formal in certain contexts). They are all subject to six of the seven existing cases, and the third one can be singular or plural.

Section Two - Punctuation 

1. Speech marks: Speech marks are represented like this ... ( [Alt+0132], [Alt+0147]), although this is being phased out as it is not supported by most mainstream software packages.

2. Full stops: Full stops are not normally used at the end of headings and titles; they may or may not be used in bullet points.

3. Brackets: Text in brackets begins with lower case letters, if the text in brackets is not the beginning of the sentence. If text in brackets is at the end of the sentence, the full stop should be placed after the brackets.

In general, exclamation marks, question marks and full stops are used the same way as in the English language. Spacing around punctuation marks follows the same rules as English.

Section Three - Measurements and Abbreviations

1. Measurement: Metric measurements are used, except where car size, computer monitor size and floppy disk size is involved.

Time: 10:00, 15:00 (24 hour format only)

Dates: 1999/08/25 or 1999.08.25; 1999 m. rugpjūčio 25 d.

Decimal comma is used: 3,7%

There should always be a space between a figure and a measurement abbreviation. There should always be a space before a % symbol. There should be a space left before °C, e.g. 30 °C

Currency: normally currencies are spelt in full, while in newspaper articles, financial tables, etc., the international banking abbreviations are used. The western style of writing the currency sign before the amount is NEVER used in Lithuanian. (Note: currency names are subject to case endings.)
i.e.: 10 US dollars = 10 JAV doleri
ų - 10 USD
31 Swiss Francs = 31
Šveicarijos frankas - 31 SFR
128 German Marks = 128 Vokietijos markės - 128 DEM
12 Lithuanian Litas = 12 lit
ų - 12 LTL

In numbers, to denote decimals, commas are used, e.g. 4,5 cm. Numbers over 999 are separated with a space. A dot may be used on very rare occasions.

Abbreviations of measurements are followed with a dot, but this is slowly dying out and the English is increasingly being used.

A space is normally used between a number and a measurement.

2. Abbreviations:

Equivalent abbreviations:
gram = g
metre = m
etc. = ir t.t. (can only be used at the end of a sentence)
"and the like" = ir pan. (can only be used at the end of a sentence)
No. = Nr.
WxLxHxD = PxIxAxS
1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th = 1-as / 2-as / 3-ias / 4-as
Mr. / Mrs. = P.
Dear Sir / Madam = Gerb. Ponas / Ponia
centimetre = cm
kilometre = km
year = m.
k (for 1000) = k
EMEA (Europe, Middle-East & Asia)
Days of the week: Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun - Pr, A, T, K, Pn,
Š, S
or Pirm, Antr, Tre
č, Ketv, Penkt, Šešt, Sekm

Months: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec - Saus,
Vas, Kov, Bal, Geg, Birž, Liep, Rugpj, Rugs, Spal, Lapkr, Gruod

Season names are not abbreviated.
 

Section Four – Hyphenation

Hyphenation is practically never used to link words together. Although hyphenation is widely used for splitting words over a line, this is dying out as words can only be split in accordance with the strict rule that a syllable can never be split. In word processing this requires special software which is not compatible with all packages and there is the risk of a hyphen staying in the word unnecessarily after reformatting. The easier option of not splitting words over a line is being used more frequently.

"N" dashes (–) are used, but not the very short dashes (-).

Section Five – Miscellaneous Peculiarities

An odd capital letter at the end of a word or in the middle of it is a tell-tale sign of a font conversion error, representing an erroneous conversion of accented Lithuanian letters.

Place names have all different spelling from the English language, e.g. France = Pranc
ūzija, England = Anglija, etc.

Normally, surnames are given after the name. Usually the first letter of the surname is capitalized and the rest are in lower case.

Section Six - Geographic Distribution

Lithuanian is the native language of the Republic of Lithuania, where it is spoken by over 3 million people, about 80 percent of the total population. Lithuanian is one of the two Baltic languages, which form a branch of the Indo-European family. Lithuanian is perhaps the oldest of all the modern Indo-European languages. It has been said that the speech of a Lithuanian peasant is the closest thing existing today to the speech of the original Indo- Europeans. Lithuanian also bears certain remarkable similarities to Sanskrit, the progenitor of the modern Indic languages.

Of the approximately 800,000 Lithuanian speakers abroad, most live in the United States (650,000), the rest live in Canada, U.K. and several countries of South America. Lithuanian is one of the official languages of the European Union.

Language Family
Family: Indo-European 
Subgroup: Baltic

Source: http://www.worldlanguage.com/Languages/Lithuanian - Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.

Source: http://www.nvtc.gov/lotw/months/december/Lithuanian.html (accessed 04/01/05)

Section Seven – Character Set

[ ] = Alt key codes

LOWER CASE
UPPER CASE
a ą [0224] A Ą [0192]
b B
c ch č [0232] C CH Č [0200]
d D
e ę [145] ė [138] E Ę [146] Ė [0203]
f F
g G
h H
i į [160] I Į [0193]
j J
k K
l [0249] L [0217]
m M
n N
o O
p P
r R
s š [0240] S Š [0208]
t T
u ū [0251] ų [0248] U Ū [0219] Ų [0216]
v V
z ž [0254] Z Ž [0142]

 










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