How To Describe Body Parts In Lithuanian

As I'm learning about my Lithuanian heritage, I am also learning about the language. So far I have looked at Lithuanian greetings, some common courtesies, how to ask questions, numbers, directions, basic verbs, and descriptive words. This week, I'll talk about parts of the body.

An upcoming trip to Lithuania will provide a really good opportunity to test out these 10 most important things to know, to get by in any language for myself and see how good my advice is! This week I'm on the ninth item from that list — body parts.

9. Body parts

galva : head

ausis : ear

akis : eye

nosis : nose

burna : mouth

dantis : tooth

kaklas : neck

krūtinė : chest

širdis : heart

skrandis : stomach

pilvas : belly; stomach (general)

nugara : back

ranka : arm/hand

plaštaka : hand

pirštas : finger

koja : leg

pėda : foot

And some useful words for when you're in need:

skaudėti : to ache

Man skauda ... : my ... hurts

Skauda. : It hurts.

Blogai jaučiuosi. : I don't feel well.

Sergu. : I'm sick.

vaistus : medicine


If you find yourself standing in the vaistinė (pharmacy), confused by what you see, you can say to the shopkeeper, Man skauda galvą. (My head hurts.)

Or if you're having a hard time getting used to Lithuanian food, you might say Blogai jaučiuosi. Man skauda skrandį. (_I'm not feeling well. My stomach hurts.) Of course I have a feeling that one will me more likely a result of eating too much delicious Lithuanian food.

Note that the body part that is hurting is in the accusative case. This subjectless construction (dat.) skauda (acc.) actually means something close to to me, (something) hurts the head. It works the same for a toothache (man skauda dantį) or a sore throat (man skauda gerklę).

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  • Aš labiau sakyčiau : Blogai jaučiuos = I don’t feel well. Nežianau ar tai klaida, tiesiog tariasi lengviau. :)

  • You are supposed to use the accusative with all of them so "man skauda skrandį", galvą, etc.Blogai jaučiuosi is totally correct and you can here that said all the time. Jaučiuos is just a shortened version which is of course encountered too (it might be more dialectal or perhaps set as an expression in some dialect).

  • Really? I guess I got the wrong impression, because I thought in man skauda galva, that galva was the subject, since man is an object in dative form. So based on what you're saying, the phrase man skauda galvą would be something like "to me, it hurts the head". Is that correct?

  • no, head is the object here. you are right about "to me (dat.) it hurts the head (acc.)". not sure about the subject - don't have a grammar at my hands to check with, but i'd say it's missing here (e.g. you could omit "man": - kas negerai? (what's wrong?) - skauda galvą.)although it's rather common to hear people say "man skauda galva (nom.)". it's not grammatically correct but not everyone is aware of that and you'll be understood perfectly fine.

  • Thanks a lot for that clarification. I also found this explanation in my lesson book just a few minutes ago, so it's good to know (based on your answer) that I can trust this book, unlike the other one, fort which Lyzazel has pointed out several errors.

  • you're welcome :) you might want to wait for a couple more "accidental spot checks" until you fully trust that book either :)on a similar note, i kinda liked my professor's idea - he said that it's good when there are a few errors in the learning material. he told he would deliberately make a mistake every now and then during his lectures so that students kept thinking.(although i'm not saying that i prefer books that are wrong :D)

  • Well, the one with all the mistakes is cheap excuse for a dictionary/phrasebook. (I have yet to find a decent phrasebook for Lithuanian.) The better one is my Colloquial Lithuanian lesson book, but since it's a lesson book, the information is organized by lessons, rather than indexed for easy searching.An interesting note about the book: it seems to be intended more for intermediate students rather than beginners, as it jumps straight into conversation with less focus on grammar... but while that requires more work on my part, I'm finding that I learn better this way. I'm strongly considering the Colloquial series as a good resource for future language studies.

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