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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 Marcinkevičius

"Brálei, sẽseris im̃kiet màni ir̃ skaitíkiet..." Ìš didelė̃s méilės, viltiẽs ir̃ tikė́jimo kỹla tokiẽ žõdžiai, rẽtas Lietuvojè jų̃ nežìno, neskaĩtė ar̃ negirdė́jo. Ìš tolimõs praeitiẽs ataĩdi jiẽ lìgi šių̃ dienų̃. Užsižiẽbę istòrijos tamsojè, jiẽ nùšvietė erškėčiúotą lietùviško žõdžio kẽlią ir̃ lýg pìrmas naujãgimio klỹksmas prànešė pasáuliui, kàd gìmė rãštas, gìmė pirmóji lietùviška knygà. Taĩ įvỹko, kaĩp atspáusta titulìniame jõs pùslapyje, tū́kstantis penkì šimtaĩ kẽturiasdešimt septintų̃ mẽtų saũsio aštuñtą diẽną.

Knỹgos atėjìmą pàs žmónes galė́tumėm prilýginti Prometė́jo žỹgdarbiui - diẽviškosios ugniẽs pagrobìmui, jõs išdalìjimui žmonė́ms. Sù knygà põ žẽmę ė̃mė sklìsti šviesà ir̃ šilumà, jì nè sỹkį gýnė žmõgų nuõ tamsõs ir̃ mẽlo žvėriũ, šìldė sugrùbusią jõ síelą, žãdino miñtį, skãtino veĩklai ir̃ kūrýbai.

Taĩgi knygà prabỹla lietùviškai, ir̃ nè bèt kaĩp, õ eiliúotai. Jõs áutorius, supràsdamas momeñto iškilmingùmą, pačiõs knỹgos vardù įtaigiaĩ kreĩpiasi į̃ skaitýtojus, pranèšdamas jíems, jóg taĩ, kõ tėvaĩ ir̃ prótėviai neregė́jo,- dabar̃ štaĩ ateĩna.

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.