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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)

Jan 28, 2008

Hi there, I’m Jack and welcome back to Lithuanian Out Loud and the month of January which in Lithuanian is…sausis. 

Today is the 63rd anniversary of the Battle of Memel.  Lithuania’s only seaport is on the Baltic Coast.  This city has had two names.  Its German name was Memel and its Lithuanian name is Klaipėda.  In 1938 the Nazi party won 26 of 29 seats in elections of the local assembly or Landtag.  You see, for hundreds of years Klaipėda or Memel was populated mostly by  Germans.  They were the descendants of the German Crusaders we’ve mentioned in previous episodes.  In 1939 the Klaipėda area was at least 80% German and this German population was caught up in the nationalistic fever that swept over German populations in Europe when Adolph Hitler came to power.

Nazi Germany pressured the Lithuanian government to hand the city and the surrounding area over to the Third Reich so as to include it in “Greater Germany."  Seeing that neither France nor England were willing to stop the Nazi demands and since the population was pro-unification, the Lithuanian government was forced to give up the area.

This capitulation disappointed Geman generals and admirals who had drawn up amphibious invasion plans for the area.  Lithuania could not have possibly defeated the combined German army and navy.

Adolph Hitler himself sailed to Klaipėda in 1939 on a warship and was greeted by jubilant crowds of the city.  Today you can still see the balcony where he addressed the populace in a downtown square.  Click on the link on the Lithuanian Out Loud blogpage to see a youtube video of the crowd greeting Hitler in the city. In this video you’ll see a man enthusiastically painting over Lithuanian words on a sign in deference to German words.

Later, as Germany was losing the war on the Eastern Front to the communist Russian forces, Hitler ordered the evacuation of all Germans to the west.  The German army stayed behind to defend the city but at the Battle of Memel, 28 January 1945, the city fell to the Soviets.

The story of the German people retreating from the Russians is a sad one.  Many boarded German transport ships, others joined wagon-trains for the oveland trip.  It was winter and bitterly cold.  To stay was to face cruelty, murder and rape at the hands of the Russian troops looking for revenge on a German population.

The few Germans who stayed behind were expelled by the communists.  Tens of thousands of people lost their homes, their belongings, their communities and their lives.  Many Germans who had lived in Klaipėda for untold generations tried to return after the end of World War II to the only home they’d ever known - but were denied.  Today only some 1,000 Germans live in Klaipėda.

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When I’m in Lithuania taxis are essential, but, of course, we’ve got to be able to communicate with the driver.  Here are some words and phrases we can’t live without when you’re in the back seat of a taxi.

Kaip pasakyti lietuviškai? 
How do you say it in Lithuanian?

The word for taxi is – taksi
 
taksi                         
taxi

taksi                         
taxi

now, we need to be able to tell our taxi driver where we’d like to go.
prašom pakartoti…please repeat…

tiesiai                       
straight

tiesiai                       
go straight ahead

atgal                         
back

atgal                         
go back

čia                            
here

čia                            
here

štai čia                      
right here

štai čia                      
this is it, right here

štai and čia both translate as, here
štai čia is used for emphasis, right here!
prašom pakartoti…please repeat…

į kairę                       
to the left

į kairę, prašom          
to the left, please

į dešinę                     
to the right

į dešinę, prašom        
to the right, please

ten                           
there

ten                           
go over there

čia?                          
here?

ne, ne čia, ten            
no, not here, there

čia?                          
here?

ne, ne čia, ten            
no, not here, over there

čia?                          
here?

taip, čia                     
yes, here

now, if you’re really feeling up to a challenge, here’s an entire sentence for you to learn…

palaukite manęs čia penkias minutes, prašau  
wait for me here five minutes, please

palaukite manęs čia penkias minutes, prašau  
wait for me here five minutes, please 

palaukite manęs čia penkias minutes, prašau  
wait for me here five minutes, please

palaukite manęs čia penkias minutes, prašau  
wait for me here five minutes, please

galima?                     
can you?

galima?                     
can you?

alright, we’re at our destination, time to say goodbye to our taxi driver.
prašom pakartoti…

geros dienos!              
have a good day!

geros dienos!             
have a good day!

sudie!                       
goodbye!

sudie!                       
goodbye!

gero vakaro!             
have a good evening!

gero vakaro!              
have a good evening!

viso labo!                  
goodbye!

viso labo!                  
goodbye!

gero vėjo!                 
good wind! (goodbye!)

gero vėjo!                 
good wind! (see ya!)

Yeah, it’s kind of funny, I think the taxi driver would look at you like…what are you thinking about?  Gero vėjo!  Right!  What do you think?  Do you ever hear gero vėjo?  Yeah, around friends maybe, it’s kind of – joke, you know, a little bit of a joke, but it’s cute, it’s cute you know, gero vėjo, oh that would be interesting to hear with the accent…

you may have guessed correctly this is an old nautical term for goodbye, but you don’t have to be on a boat to use it.  gero vėjo!  gero vėjo!  good wind!  goodbye!

labos nakties!            
good night!

labos nakties!            
good night!

Now, could you really, would you say this maybe to a taxi driver, or not?  Yeah, sure.  Oh, okay.

of course, you can use these expressions with anyone you like, not just a taxi driver.  If we’re being dropped off at the airport our driver might say…

gero skrydžio!           
have a good flight!

gero skrydžio!           
good flight!

gero skrydžio!            
good flight!

gero skrydžio!            
have a good flight!

If the driver is dropping you off at the bus station, train station or airport he might or she might say, have a good trip!

geros kelionės!           
have a good trip!

geros kelionės!           
have a good trip!

geros kelionės!           
have a good trip!

į kairę and į dešinę are examples of a declension we haven’t discussed yet.  This is the accusative case or the accusative declension also known as galininkas in Lithuanian.  On the next episode we’ll start working on this common declension.  Congratulations for getting through another lesson.  Šaunuoliai – Congratulations!

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Alright, that’s it for today, we’d like to thank you very much for listening, we appreciate it.

To leave us comments call our voicemail number that’s in the title of every show or call our Skype voicemail at Lithuanianoutloud – that’s one word, and leave us a message there.

If you’d like to see the Lithuanian spelling of any word in this series just go to WWW dot Lithuanian dot L I B S Y N dot com.

If you’d like to get these lessons every time a new one is available just go to iTunes and do a search for Lithuanian Out Loud and click subscribe.  It’s completely free.  But, if you don’t want to subscribe on iTunes, just send us an email asking us to alert you every time a new episode hits the internet.  And feel free to make copies of our lessons, put them on cds and pass them out to your friends.

Thanks to CCMixter.org, Ditto Ditto and Vieux Farka Toure for the podcast music.

Thanks for tuning in, tell your friends about us, we’ll see you on the next episode of Lithuanian Out Loud.

I’m Jack and I’ve never met a Lithuanian I didn’t like.  Viso gero!  Sudie!

Hitler arrives in Klaipėda, Lithuania, 1939, youtube video, one minute 15 seconds long
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFsfP_5AcQ4

http://www.Lithuanian.Libsyn.com
Skype voicemail:  Lithuanianoutloud
email Raminta and Jack at: lithuanianoutloud@earthlink.net
Thanks to:  CCMixter.org, ditto ditto, and Vieux Farka Touré for allowing us to use the music for this podcast.
http://www.vieuxfarkatoure.com/
http://www.ccmixter.org/