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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 26, 2007

Beginning at the age of 40, Grand Duke, or High King, Gediminas was ruler of Lithuania from 1316 to 1341. He became the monarch of the Lithuanians 80 years after the Battle of the Sun.  Gediminas ruled for 25 years and he inherited lands that included what is now Lithuania as well as parts of Belarus. Gediminas was very loyal to his subjects, giving them the freedom to worship the traditional Lithuanian gods, Christianity or Judaism.  He’s the true founder of the modern idea of a Lithuanian nation.

He created a large, powerful Lithuanian army; defended Lithuania with a series of strong forts and built castles in towns including Vilnius.  He originally placed the capital at Trakai, near Vilnius, but later decided on Vilnius itself.

His reputation is that of a man who worshipped the old Lithuanian gods and who resisted every attempt to christianize his country, but the reality is a little different from the legend.

Wanting to create a strong nation and needing help to defend Lithuania from the German Teutonic Knights, Gediminas asked for help from Pope John XXII. He promised to become Christian himself and invited members of different Christian orders to build churches in Lithuania. However, his subjects were uneasy with his plans to convert to the new religion. He eventually reneged on his promise to convert, strengthened his relationship with his people and withdrew from the process of christianization. It’s not clear whether Gediminas actually intended to become Christian.  The conversion was probably just a political move to help fight his Teutonic enemies.

According to historian Stephen Christopher Rowell, in about 1339-40 Gediminas executed two Franciscan friars from Bohemia, Ulrich and Martin, they had gone beyond what Gediminas had allowed and had publicly preached against the Lithuanian religion. Gediminas ordered them to renounce Christianity, and had them killed when they refused.

Gediminas died in 1341 from wounds he received in either a fight or a battle.  His funeral included a traditional Lithuanian cremation, including the human sacrifice of his favorite servant and many German slaves burned in the fire along with his corpse.

Gediminas is a central figure in one of the most popular Lithuanian legends. 

Once upon a time the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Gediminas, was hunting in the holy woods near where Vilnius would later be built. Tired after a successful day’s hunt the Grand Duke settled in for the night. He fell soundly asleep and had a dream. A huge iron wolf was standing on top of a hill and the sound of hundreds of wolves inside the hill filled the surrounding fields and woods. When he woke up, the Duke asked a Lithuanian priest to reveal the secrets of the dream. The priest said, "What is destined for the ruler and the state of Lithuania, is this: the iron wolf represents a castle and a town which will be built by the ruler on this site. The town will be the capital of the Lithuanian lands and the dwelling of rulers and the glory of their deeds shall echo throughout the world."

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Today let’s work a little bit on some unusual Lithuanian words.  Most masculine nouns end in –as, -is, -ys, and –us.  Most feminine nouns end in either –a or –ė.
But first, here are some new words some of which we touched on in earlier episodes, primarily in episode 0018.  We need to go over them since we’ll see them later in this lesson.

vieta                                          
a location

vieta                                          
the location

spalva                                         
the color

spalva                                         
a color

šalis                                           
the country

šalis                                           
a country

kokybė                                        
a quality

kokybė                                        
the quality

mašina                                         
car

mašina                                         
auto

butas                                          
a flat (as in an apartment)

butas                                          
the flat (as in a condo)

Now, let’s go over some words that have non-standard declensions in the genitive or kilmininkas.  First, the masculine nouns in vardininkas…

šuo                                            
dog

šuo                                            
the dog

šuo                                             
a dog

akmuo                                       
stone

akmuo                                       
a stone

akmuo                                       
the stone

asmuo                                        
person

asmuo                                       
a person

asmuo                                       
the person

vanduo                                      
water

vanduo                                      
water

vanduo                                      
water

dėdė  uncle  -  note here that dėdė ends in –ė and so that would normally indicate a female noun, however, dėdė is a masculine noun.

dėdė                                         
uncle

Dėdė Džiakas                            
Uncle Jack

now, some unusual feminine nouns in vardininkas

moteris                                     
woman

note that most nouns which end in an “s" are masculine, however, moteris is feminine.

moteris                                     
a woman

moteris                                     
the woman

stotis                                         
station

stotis                                        
a station

stotis                                        
the station

sesuo                                       
sister

sesuo                                       
a sister

sesuo                                       
the sister

duktė                                       
daughter

duktė                                       
a daughter

duktė                                       
the daughter

marti                                         
daughter-in-law

marti                                        
daughter-in-law

marti                                         
the daughter-in-law

Okay, now let’s “decline" these words in the genitive.  You can see the spellings of these words on the Lithuanian Out Loud blogpage.

dog, or šuo changes to šuns

the dog’s water                           
šuns vanduo   - tricky huh?

the dog’s name                           
šuns vardas

a dog’s house                              
šuns namas

stone, or akmuo changes to akmens

the stone’s color                         
akmens spalva

the stone’s quality                       
akmens kokybė

the stone’s location                     
akmens vieta

person, or asmuo changes to asmens

the person’s name                       
asmens vardas

the person’s house                      
asmens namas

the person’s location                   
asmens vieta

water, or vanduo changes to vandens

the water’s color                        
vandens spalva

the water’s quality                      
vandens kokybė

the water’s location                    
vandens vieta

uncle, or dėdė changes to dėdės

the uncle’s dog                          
dėdės šuo

the uncle’s room                        
dėdės kambarys

the uncle’s name                        
dėdės vardas

woman, or moteris changes to moters

the woman’s house                     
moters namas

the woman’s name                    
moters vardas

the woman’s dog                       
moters šuo

station, or stotis changes to stoties

the station’s toilet                      
stoties tualetas

the station’s color                      
stoties spalva

the station’s location                   
stoties vieta

sister, or sesuo changes to sesers

the sister’s name                        
sesers vardas

the sister’s car                             
sesers mašina

the sister’s house                        
sesers namas

daughter, or duktė changes to dukters

the daughter’s flat                       
dukters butas

the daughter’s book                     
dukters knyga

the daughter’s room                     
dukters kambarys

and finally, the daughter-in-law, or marti changes to marios

the daughter-in-law’s name           
marčios vardas

the daughter-in-law’s dog              
marčios šuo

the daughter-in-law’s room            
marčios kambarys

Okay, good job, I know that that was an awful lot of information

Again, these are some oddball or irregular declensions in kilmininkas.  Most nouns aren’t this difficult.  You’ll just have to commit these to memory.  Again, I’d recommend you follow along on this lesson with the text from the Lithuanian Out Loud blogpage.  Just keep doing it over and over until you get comfortable with it.