Giving a warm smile and a friendly pasisveikinimas (greeting) like labas (hello) is essential in Lithuanian culture. Basic greetings in Lithuanians are reserved. This symbolizes politeness and respect among each other whether you are a local Lithuanian or a foreigner. This is also a nice way to welcome someone. What makes Lithuanian greetings interesting is their special ways of doing it.
In Lithuanian culture, the most common greeting is a handshake, but you should maintain direct eye contact and, of course, a smile. Lithuanians can get a little reserved and shy at the first meeting, but greetings may become more unreserved once a relationship has been established. You may also include a hug if you have been comfortable with each other. But who will determine the level of intimacy? Of course, it is your Lithuanian friend.
In addressing people, Lithuanians addressed people with their honorific title and their surname. Again, it would help if you had to wait until you get to the first name basis level of intimacy.
How Do Lithuanians Greet Each Other?
If you are going on a trip to Lithuania, make sure to learn how they usually greet one another based on their gender. Like what is stated above, they tend to be
Man Greeting Each Other
It is a norm to do a firm handshake. Men shake hands when they are greeting one another. If they are greeting a close friend or family members, light hugs are also appropriate.
Woman Greeting Each Other
Women typically shake hands also. Sometimes, a simple nod of acknowledgment may do. If they talk with their close friends and family, they may also engage in hugs and kisses on the cheeks.
Man Greeting Woman
Lithuania is not as liberated as other countries. They should be more sensitive if they are greeting someone of the opposite sex. At the first meeting, a regular handshake and a big smile will do. Just like the first two, greetings will depend on the level of intimacy. Hugs and kisses are applicable if they are talking with their close friends and family.
Basic Greetings In Lithuanian
Are you going on a trip to Lithuania but you do not know how to speak Lithuanian? Here are some basic greetings in Lithuanian that you should start with. Although some of the locals know how to speak English, these words, phrases, and expressions will surely help you build a connection with the Lithuanians.
1. Hello / Hi – Labas
Like in other cultures, Labas (Hello / Hi) is the common greeting you can easily learn in the Lithuanian language. It can be used in almost all situations, for both males and females, especially if it is your first meeting.
Aside from Labas, you can also use the words Sveikas and Sveiki.
Sveikas – is used to greet a male.
Sveiki – on the other hand, is used to greet a female.
2. Good Morning – Labas Rytas
Starting the day with a nice greeting and a big smile can go a long way. Good morning (Labas rytas) is essential, especially in the workplace where you have to be nice and polite with everyone.
3. Good Day/ Good Afternoon – Laba Diena
Besides Good morning, one of the Lithuanian daytime greetings is Laba Diena (Good Afternoon). Lithuanians use Laba Diena to greet someone Good day, and it is actually the same as Good Afternoon.
4. Good evening- Labas Vakaras
Lithuania has an amazing nightlife reputation. Aside from incredible tourist spots, Lithuanian people knows how to say Į sveikatą! (Cheers/ Toast) and party at night. To start the evening right, why not learn to greet someone Good evening (Labas vakaras)?
5. Good night – Labanakt / Labos Nakties
If you are a foreigner and you are spending the night in Lithuania, there are many cheap places where you can sleep soundly. After a long day, it is nice to end it with proper greetings also.
6. Goodbye – Viso Gero
Saying Goodbye is a polite way to say to someone when the day is ending. Lithuanians are very polite in welcoming people. That is why they do the same even in saying goodbye. Viso Gero (Goodbye) is the formal way to say goodbye to someone in the Lithuanian language.
There are different ways to say goodbye in Lithuanian.
Sudie – this is the casual way to say goodbye in the Lithuanian language. In English, it literally means “bye.”
Iki Pasimatymo! – another way to say goodbye in the Lithuanian language is iki pasimatymo! which means”See you later” or “Until next time” in English.
7. How Are You? / How Do You Do?– Kaip gyvuojate? / Kaip sekasi?
Asking someone about their well-being is another way to greet someone. It is like saying hello but in a more caring expression. If you want to know how someone is doing in his/her life, you can ask How are you? (Kaip sekasi? / Kaip gyvuojate?). Lithuanians value friendship and relationships. That is why they need to know one’s well-being.
Ačiū, Gerai. – if you were asked this question, do not hesitate to reply. It is a nice and polite way. You can use this phrase to reply to this question.
8. Long Time No See – Seniai Nesimatėm / Ilgai Nematytas
After not seeing someone for a while, you can use this greeting to express your gladness to see someone again.
9. Welcome – Sveiki atvykę
Lithuanians are very hospitable. In fact, they are shown hospitality; they reciprocate it because, for them, it is a true friendship.
Upon arriving in the country, you may also hear people asking for your name to welcome you formally. Here are some helpful words and phrases for that situation.
Aš esu / Mano Vardas Yra – the phrase Aš esu / Mano Vardas Yra means “My name is ____” in English.
Malonu Susipažinti – another way to greet somebody who you just met is Malonu susipažinti which means “Pleased to meet you.” in English.
10. Have a nice day – Geros dienos!
Wishing someone to have a nice day is a polite and heartwarming greeting to anybody. Even you, you would want to have a really nice day. Saying these words to someone you know will magically put a smile on his/her face.
Now that you have learned these words and phrases that Lithuanian use to greet somebody, it is now your turn to practice the right pronunciation to be understood more. You don’t have to be too fluent at first. It will take time but learning Lithuanian or any other languages worldwide is really worth your time.
You have learned the basic greetings in Lithuanian like Labas Rytas (Good Morning). Now, let us proceed to other Lithuanian greetings that are used on different occasions. Check out the following:
- Sveikiname! – Congratulations!
- Su gimtadieniu / Sveikinu gimtadienio proga – Happy Birthday
- Linksmų Kalėdų – Merry Christmas
- Laimingų Naujųjų Metų –Happy New Year
- Lik sveikas! : All the best! (to a male)
- Lik sveika! : All the best! (to a female)
- Viso gero! : Best wishes!
These basic greetings in Lithuanian are really essential in Lithuanian culture. Lithuanians are generally respectful and polite. They follow a somewhat conservative protocol in communicating and showing manners. In fact, they tend to be direct in what they say without being rude. Most of all, Lithuanians are very warm people, but they tend not to show it during the first meeting. This what makes them really special.
If you enjoy learning this for free, you might also enjoy learning the basic words and phrases in Lithuanian like Gal (Yes), Prašau (Please), Atsiprašau (Excuse me), Aš apgailestauju (I’m sorry), Kiek tai kainuoja (How much does this cost?). These will really help you if you are planning to go to their country. But, you can check it in a separate blog post.
Learn Lithuanian Now!
If you are planning to learn Lithuanian, Ling App is the perfect tool for you. With interactive and engaging lessons, you will probably love your language learning experience. You will learn the words and phrases and the right pronunciation of each word. Ling App; you will also have access to free blog posts like this that will deepen your understanding of their language and culture.
Lithuanian language is fascinating to learn. It may be one of the least spoken languages in Europe, but the culture and history of Lithuania will make you fall in love with them. So, start learning Lithuanian now!