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, descriptive words, and parts of the body.
An upcoming trip to Lithuania was going to 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! Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen medical issues with a family member, that trip is most likely going to be put off until next year. But I'm still going to finish the list. This week I'll look at the final item: vital information.
10. Vital information
Aš vegetaras. : I am a vegetarian.
Aš alergiškas... : I am allergic to …
riešutams. : to nuts.
žuviai. : to fish.
vėžiagyviams. : to shellfish.
aspirinui. : to aspirin.
antibiotikams. : to antibiotics.
penicilinui. : to penicillin.
Aš nėščia. : I am pregnant.
Sergu astma. : I am asthmatic.
Aš diabetikas. : I am diabetic.
Aš epileptikas. : I am epileptic.
Vartoju vaistus... : I’m taking medication for …
Negali girdėti. Jis kurčias. : He can’t hear you. He’s deaf.
That doesn’t cover everything, but it’s a good sample of what you should know. If you're traveling to Lithuania and you have a medical condition, legal status, or other detail which you should know about, which wasn’t listed here, learn how to say it.
Putting it together
If you’re being treated by a doctor, you can add some of these phrases to the body parts we learned, and build informative phrases like Vartoju vaistus širdžiai, to let him know I’m taking medicine for my heart.
Grammar note: The noun following už goes in the genetive case, which is formed by changing the endings as follows:
If you’re in a restaurant, you can say Ką pasiūlytumėte dėl vegetaras? to ask if the waiter can recommend something for a vegetarian. And if you have a food allergy, you can say Aš alergiškas riešutams. Ar galiu valgyti šito? to tell the waiter I’m allergic to nuts. Can I eat this?
One more note about grammar. The thing to which you are allergic should be described in the dative. For simplicity, the words I have listed above are already declined to the dative case.
That’s the end of my ten most important things to know, for Lithuanian. This list is still untested by me. I had hoped to put it to a test next month, but now it appears that I won't be going to Lithuania until next year. Knowing me, I probably won't be able to spend the next 6-12 months without learning more Lithuanian, so I may have to look for another opportunity to test my list.
But that serves as a good reminder that you shouldn’t feel the need to limit yourself to these ten things. This is a good guideline to begin your studies, especially in preparation for travel, but there is always more to know, and no reason why you should stop after just learning what I’ve written out in my list.
Want to see my favorite language resources and courses?
I listed them here.