How To Ask For Necessities In Lithuanian

In anticipation of a coming trip to Lithuania this fall, I wanted to learn a little about the language. I decided this would be a good opportunity for me to put my list of the 10 most important things to know, to get by in any language to the test.

We've already learned some Lithuanian greetings, some common courtesies, and how to ask questions. This week, we'll learn how to ask questions.

4. Necessities

It’s impossible for me to list everything that a person might need while away, but there are a few basic things everyone needs to know. Remember, this isn’t about fluency, it’s about speaking enough to get by. (But if fluency is your goal, you still need to know these things!)

oro uostas : airport

viešbutis : hotel

bankas : bank

valiutos keitykla : currency exchange

bankomatas : ATM

policija : police

ligoninė : hospital

vaistinė : pharmacy

telefonas : phone

tualetas : restroom

baras : bar

kavinė : cafe

restoranas : restaurant

geležinkelio stotis : train station

metro : metro

autobuso stotelė : bus stop

taksi : taxi

ambasada : embassy

konsulatas : consulate

And here are a few ways to ask for things:

Atsiprašau, kur yra... : Excuse me, where is...

Prašom pasakyti kaip nueiti į ... pesčiomis? : Please tell me how to get to ... on foot.

Kaip nuvykti į... : How do I get to ... on foot?

Ieškau artimiausio... : I am looking for the nearest...

Man reikia... : I need...

Noun declension

Nouns are not declined when using the verb to be or when saying you need something, but when you want to find something, when you are looking for it, or when you want to know how to get to it, you should know how to use the accusative case.

Fortunately, this is pretty simple to do in Lithuanian. First, for words ending in an s, you simply drop the s so you're left with a vowel. Then for all words, just convert that final vowel to a long vowel.

 -as-is
nominativebankasviešbutisvaistinė
accusativebankąviešbutįvaistinę

Keep in mind that this is a bit of a simplification. While the accusative is easy to form in Lithuanian, it does have a few more nuances than just what I've described here. But this should work in most situations. And it's close enough that when you're wrong, people will understand what you were trying to do.

Still, if you want to avoid noun declension altogether, you can just ask where is questions. In fact, if you're extremely lazy, Lithuanian actually doesn't require the is, so you can just ask "where hotel?" and not worry about grammar at all!

Putting it together

Just grabbing from the examples above, we can now say Prašom pasakyti kur yra tualetas? to ask for the nearest restrooms. We can get help with a taxi by saying Atsiprašau, man reikia taksi. And when we want to walk to a cafe, we can ask kaip nueiti į kavinę pesčiomis? And of course, to use the easy example, say Kur viešbutis? to ask where the hotel is.

If you’re following along on the 10 things list, this is an exciting milestone, because you’re finally armed with the tools to form sentences on your own. Yes, they’re likely to be grammatically incorrect, but this is the 10 things you need to know in order to get by, not the perfectionist’s guide to fluency. You're probably not going to understand much of the answer, but with the right combination of hand gestures you'll get the idea. Next week, we'll figure out how to understand some of the responses one might get.


Want to see my favorite language resources and courses?
I listed them here.

Author: Yearlyglot
I'll lead you through a 12 month journey from knowing absolutely nothing about a language to having professional fluency.

Leave a comment:

Comment Policy: Comments and feedback are totes welcome but respect is mandatory. Disagree all you want but be nice. All comments and links are moderated.

Want to learn a language in 12 months?
SIGN UP:

Language you're learning...
Join