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Early Indo-European Texts

Lithuanian

Virginija Vasiliauskiene and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Lithuanian with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Baltic Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Lithuanian language and its speakers' culture.

The unity of the flowing river, by Justinas Marcinkevicius

"Brálei, seseris imkiet māni ir skaitíkiet..." Ės dideles méiles, vilties ir tikejimo kyla tokie zõdziai, retas Lietuvojč ju nezėno, neskaite ar negirdejo. Ės tolimõs praeities ataidi jie lėgi siu dienu. Uzsiziebe istōrijos tamsojč, jie nųsviete erskeciúota lietųvisko zõdzio kelia ir lýg pėrmas naujãgimio klyksmas prānese pasáuliui, kād gėme rãstas, gėme pirmóji lietųviska knygā. Tai ivyko, kaip atspáusta titulėniame jõs pųslapyje, tukstantis penkė simtai keturiasdesimt septintu metu sausio astunta diena.

Knygos atejėma pās zmónes galetumem prilýginti Prometejo zygdarbiui - dieviskosios ugnies pagrobėmui, jõs isdalėjimui zmonems. Sų knygā põ zeme eme sklėsti sviesā ir silumā, jė nč syki gýne zmõgu nuõ tamsõs ir melo zveriu, sėlde sugrųbusia jõ síela, zãdino minti, skãtino veiklai ir kurýbai.

Taigi knygā prabyla lietųviskai, ir nč bčt kaip, õ eiliúotai. Jõs áutorius, suprāsdamas momento iskilmingųma, paciõs knygos vardų itaigiai kreipiasi i skaitýtojus, prančsdamas jíems, jóg tai, kõ tevai ir próteviai neregejo,- dabar stai ateina.

Translation

"Brothers and sisters, take me and read (me) ..." Such words arise from great love, hope and faith and (it is) a rare Lithuanian (who) does not know, has not read or has not heard them. They echo from the distant past until today. Having flashed bright in the darkness of history, they have lighted the thorny path of Lithuanian literature (the word) and like the first cry of the new-born have announced to the world that writing has been born that the first Lithuanian book has been born. That happened, as printed on the title page on the eighth of January in the year one thousand five hundred and forty-seven.
We could compare the arrival of a book among men with the heroic deed of Prometheus, the stealing of the divine fire and its distribution to men. With a book light and warmth began to spread over the earth, not once (but many times) it defended man from the beasts of darkness and falsehood, it warmed his benumbed soul, awakened thought, encouraged activity and creativity.
Thus the book speaks Lithuanian, and not any kind, but rhymed. Its author, understanding the solemnity of the moment, in the name of the book itself, addresses himself suggestively to the readers announcing to them that all that which their fathers and forefathers had never seen, is now at hand.