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Lithuanian Out Loud is a podcast series designed for fans of the Lithuanian language. Come along with native Lithuanian author/lawyer Raminta and her North-American husband, Jack. They'll teach you Lithuanian along with tidbits about the history and culture of Raminta's homeland - Lietuva!

Music: Vieux Farka Toure - Ana {Pocket Remix} by pocketproductions (c) copyright 2007 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/pocketproductions/8916 Ft: Pocket (Richard Jankovich)

Nov 19, 2007

Who are the Samogitians?  According to the Wikipedia page entitled, Samogitia, Samogitia or Žemaitija in Lithuanian, is one of five ethnographic regions in Lithuania.  It’s primarily the western third of Lithuania.  The Samogitians were a key factor during the Battle of the Sun.
In 1236, the invading Livonian Brothers of the Sword, whose base of operations was Riga, in present day Latvia, rode south into present day Lithuania.  The Livonian Brothers were Christian Crusaders from Holstein in present day Germany.  Lithuania hadn’t been conquered by the Christian armies and they were willing to fight to keep the Christians out. 
The Livonian knights left Riga, headed south, crossed into Lithuanian land and raided some Samogitian settlements.  After the Germans had their fill of raiding villages, they headed north towards home.  They came to a river crossing and a unit of Samogitian Lithuanians were blocking their path.  The Crusaders chose not to fight but to camp for the night. 

Oops, that was a mistake.

Early the next morning the Samogitian Lithuanians, who were probably led by Duke Vykintas, attacked the German camp.  The lightly armored Germans in the camp bravely ran away but the heavily armored crusader knights stayed and fought.  The knights were completely wiped out, including the leader of the Livonian Brothers, Master Volquin.
The German survivors of the battle who tried to continue north towards Riga were discovered by the Semigallions and slaughtered.  The Semigallions were a tribe of Latvians who were noted for their long resistance against the German crusaders.
All in all, during the Battle of the Sun, some 50 or 60 crusader knights were killed, including the Livonian Master, it was the first large scale defeat for the crusaders in Baltic lands.  The Livonian Order was so soundly defeated that the next year they had to be incorporated into the Tuetonic Order.  The battle inspired the Curonians, the Semigallians, and the Selonians, tribes which had already been defeated by the crusaders, to rebel.  The results of some thirty years of conquest were lost.
The exact location of the Battle of the Sun isn’t known but it’s likely near the present-day city of Šiauliai.

And now, just a quick note before we move on to today's lesson.  We have a new email address, it's lithuanianoutloud@earthlink.net you can find it on the blogpage.  And now, here's a plug from one of our listeners in Lithuania...

Hello everybody!  This is Evaldas from Klaipėda, Lithuania, and you are listening to Lithuanian Out Loud with Raminta and Jack, enjoy!

Thanks a lot for doing that for us, Evaldas, we really appreciate it.  Thanks a bunch!

Today we’re going out for some drinks with our buddies and we just might speak some Lithuanian – Out Loud!
Just before we actually take our first sip of an alcoholic beverage we have a few choices on how to say, “cheers!" or “to your health!" or “here’s mud in your eye!" as you tap your glasses together.

The most common one I’ve heard is
Į sveikatą!

please repeat out loud
prašom pakartoti

Į sveikatą!            
To health!

Į sveikatą!            
Health!

Į sveikatą!            
Cheers!

Į sveikatą!            
Salud!

You can say this one to a male, a female or to a group of people, it doesn’t matter.  In Lithuanian culture it’s important that as you tap your glasses and say, Į sveikatą! that you look the other person straight in the eye.  If you don’t, I don’t know, it’s bad luck or something…

If you want, you can be more specific with this.  Instead of just saying, Į sveikatą, or “to health," you can say, “to your health."

Į jūsų sveikatą!      
To your health! (you formal or you-all)

Į tavo sveikatą!      
To your health! (familiar)

Į jūsų sveikatą!      
To your health! (you formal or you-all)

Į tavo sveikatą!      
To your health! (familiar)

Another great phrase to use is būk sveikas! or būk sveika!  This literally means “be healthy!"  Of course as you might have guessed būk sveikas! is said to a man and būk sveika! is said to a woman.
Please repeat, prašom pakartoti…

būk sveikas!       
Be healthy! (to a male)

būk sveikas!       
Be healthy! (to a male)

būk sveika!        
Be healthy! (to a female)

būk sveika!        
Be healthy! (to a female)

Here’s another one for you.  Iki dugno!
When you’re having any kind of alcoholic beverage, feel free to use į sveikatą, būk sveika, or būk sveikas.
However, the only time we use iki dugno is with shots.  Shots are as popular in Lithuania as they are in North America – that is to say, they’re common.  Dugno comes from the word dugnas, meaning bottom.  So, we’re saying “until the bottom of the glass!" or “drink it down to the dregs!"
In other words, you don’t drink just half a shot.  When you say iki dugno, you’re expected to finish off the glass in one go at it.
Please repeat, prašom pakartoti…

Iki dugno!       
Bottoms up!

Iki dugno!       
Bottoms up!

Iki dugno!        
Bottoms up!

And that’s it for our introduction to drinking with Lithuanians.  You can expect more lessons on this subject.  Maybe a lot more.  :)