Sun, 6 January 2008
Happy New Year! Raminta and I hope that Sausis 2008 is starting off good for you. Sausis is the Lithuanian word for the first month of the year. In English we call this month January. January comes from the ancient Roman God Janus. Janus was the god of the doorway, so January is the door to the rest of the year. Since Lithuania was never conquered by Rome and Lithuanian isn’t a Latin based language it makes sense Lithuanians have an entirely different system for naming months. From now on, at the beginning of every episode we’ll try to remind you which month we’re in so you can learn the months of the year without even studying. Sausas or sausa is an adjective that means, dry. From a Lithuanian perspective, in winter the land is covered by snow, but it’s not wet, it’s frozen and very dry, so the first month in Lithuanian is called Sausis or the dry month.
In November of 2007, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus was announced as the European of the Year for 2007 at a black tie dinner in Brussels. The award went to President Adamkus from a list of 50 nominees of European political leaders, business leaders and other professions. President Valdas Adamkus is the first leader of the countries that have recently joined the 27 nation European Union to receive the award.
In other news, on 21 December 2007, Lithuania was included in the European Union’s Schengen Zone where border and passport controls of the member nations have been eliminated. Lithuanians can now travel visa free throughout almost all of Europe. There are still border controls at airports but they’ll be eliminated in March of 2008. This puts increased pressure on Lithuania to control its borders with Russia and Belarus who, of course, do not belong to the European Union.
On this episode we’ll do a subject that’s long overdue and it’s an intermediate lesson, so, for beginners like me, we’re going to see elements that haven’t really been covered in this series yet such as the locative case, the instrumental case, masculine and feminine adjectives and the past tense of verbs. If you’re not at an intermediate level don’t worry about understanding everything.
Many weeks ago I asked Raminta to tell me about her first trip to Moscow without a script and with a natural flow of Lithuanian off the top of her head. Don’t be intimidated by her story. When she was speaking to me I understood only about .000001 percent, so if you don’t understand it, we’re in the same club. After studying this a lot, I’ve certainly picked up some new Lithuanian. So, here we go, enjoy!
Į Maskvą vykome traukiniu. Kelionė buvo ilga, bet idomi ir atvykę į Maskvą pamatėme daug įdomių dalykų. Didelis kontrastas tarp skurdo ir žmonių, kurie gyvena pasiturinčiai.
Now Raminta will say the sentences in Lithuanian and I’ll repeat the English translation:
Į Maskvą vykome traukiniu.
Now let’s translate a few words from Raminta’s story. Again, even if you’re a beginner like me, you’ll find a lot of interesting stuff here.
Prašom pakartoti lietuviškai, please repeat in Lithuanian…
Į Maskvą to Moscow
now let’s go over some variations on stuff that Raminta said in her story. If you can, say the word or phrase in Lithuanian Out Loud before and after Raminta gives the translation.
To Moscow we went by train į Maskvą vykome traukiniu
Well, we hope you enjoyed this challenging lesson.