Lithuania

Lithuania is a country and the southernmost of Europe’s Baltic states, a former Soviet bloc nation bordering Poland, Latvia and Belarus. Its capital, Vilnius, near Belarus’ border, is known for its medieval Old Town. It also has Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, and 18th-century cathedral built on a pagan temple site. Hilltop Gediminas’ Tower, a symbol of the city and the nation, offers sweeping views.

Lithuania is situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea and borders Latvia on the north, Belarus on the east and south, and Poland and the Kaliningrad region of Russia on the southwest. It is a country of gently rolling hills, many forests, rivers and streams, and lakes.

Key Cities

Key cities in Lithuania include Vilnius, Kaunas,  Siauliai,  Panevezys,  Alytus,  Marijampole,  Mazeikiai,  Jonava,   Kedainiani,  Telsiai, and Taurage.

Historical, Cultural facts & Religion

History of Lithuania: Introduction. The first known habitation of Lithuania dates back to the final ice age, 10 000 BC. The hunter-gatherers were slowly replaced by farmers. Ruled by Grand Duke Vytautas Lithuania became the largest state in Europe, stretching from Baltic to the Black Sea in the 15th century.

The culture of Lithuania combines an indigenous heritage, represented by the unique Lithuanian language, with Nordic cultural aspects and Christian traditions resulting from historical ties with Poland.

Brief Country History

The ancestors of modern Lithuanians were a people called the Balts who arrived in the area about 2,000 BC. In 1240 AD a man named Mindaugas united the Lithuanian tribes. In 1251 he converted to Christianity. However, Mindaugas was assassinated in 1263 and his people reverted to paganism.

In 1316 Lithuania was united again by a man named Gediminas. He chose the title grand duke rather than a king and under his rule, Lithuania grew strong. He made Vilnius the capital and he encouraged settlers from other parts of Europe.

Lithuania expanded eastwards into what is now Belarus and Ukraine. However, they faced a growing threat from the Teutonic knights. They were an order of German knights who crusaded against pagans in the Baltic.

In 1377, Jogaila became the Grand Duke of Lithuania. In 1381 he was forced to flee Vilnius by his uncle, Kestutis, who declared himself Grand Duke. However, in 1382 Jogaila seized power in Vilnius while Kestutis was away. He captured both Kestutis and his son Vytautus.

Then in 1386 Grand Duke Jogaila married Jadwiga of Poland. The Polish Sejm (parliament) elected him king of Poland. Jogaila accepted Christianity and most of his people converted. Afterward, Jogaila was based in Poland. He was too far away from Lithuania to rule so in 1392 he made peace with Vytautus, his former enemy. Vytautus (1350-1430) was made Grand Duke of Lithuania, on condition that he lent his support to Jogaila.

Meanwhile, one province of Lithuania, Samogitia, was still mostly pagan. In 1398 the Teutonic knights captured the province. However, in 1409 the Samogitians rebelled. Both Jogaila and Vytautus supported the rebellion and they met the Teutonic knights in battle. In 1410 the Poles and Lithuanians routed the Teutonic Knights at the battle of Tannenberg (also called Grunwald or Zalgiris). That ended the threat from the Teutonic knights forever.

Under Vytautas, known as the Great, Lithuania was at its peak. During his reign, Lithuania extended his territory to the east. Vytautas the Great died in 1430.

In 2004 Lithuania joined NATO and the EU. Lithuania suffered badly in the recession of 2009 and unemployment rose to a very high level. However, Lithuania soon recovered. Today the economy of Lithuania is growing steadily. Meanwhile, in 2009 Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture. Also, in 2009 Dalia Grybauskaite was elected the first woman president of Lithuania. Then in 2015 Lithuania adopted the euro. Today the population of Lithuania is 3.5 million.

Language (s) Written & Spoken

The sole official language in Lithuania, as well as the language you will hear the most, is Lithuanian (native to some 85% of the population and spoken by 96%).

Important Types of Commerce in Lithuania

Lithuania is a country in the Baltics of Northern Europe. Lithuania is bordered by Kaliningrad Oblast, Poland, Belarus, and Latvia. Lithuania occupies an area of about 25,200 sq miles, and its largest and capital city is Vilnius. Lithuania has the largest economy in the Baltic region and is a member of the EU. Over 95% of Lithuania’s foreign direct investments come from other EU nations. Lithuania is a member of the eurozone, NATO, the Council of Europe, and the Schengen Agreement.

The Largest Industries in Lithuania include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Financial Services
  • Agriculture
  • Tourism

Language Services US and others will provide working with Lithuania

Tourism is one of the main service industry and the largest source of foreign exchange of Lithuania. This increases the need of language services. The areas, where the services of native Lithuanian translators are especially in demand, are: marketing (naming, slogans localization, copywriting, etc.), law, localization of corporate sites and internet portals text content, software and manuals localization. Translating and localizing the products/services to Lithuanian will allow faster growth by removing any language or cultural barriers that would prevent potential clients from understanding what a business is offering. This opens up a new opportunity for both travelers and website owners. Companies that offer a multilingual site will find an increase in traffic and, consequently, will be able to convert all those potential leads into sales.

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