A Comprehensive Online Lithuanian Language Tool


Pasaulio lietuvis magazine recently published information on a new source for Lithuanian language assistance, to be found at  ekalba.lt/. The project was developed in 2012-2015 by the Lithuanian Language institute in partnership with the Lithuanian Literature and Folklore Institute, Vilnius University and the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences (now the Vytautas Magnus Education Academy).

The resource system (LKIIS – Lietuvių kalbos išteklių informacinė sistema) consists of 11 digitized single language and bilingual dictionaries, and five catalogues with data bases. These were completed by 2015, then updated from 2018-2021 with three more dictionaries, another index, and seven new functions.

The site is so broad as to include several Lithuanian dictionaries as well as bilingual dictionaries of Lithuanian and English, Polish, German, Latin, and Ancient Greek. It includes a catalogue of riddles, post-war partisan songs, and folk beliefs, data bases of surname and geographical etymology, morphology (word construction), an archive of dialects and even word games.

The system allows the user to access to all 33 resources, or to select several for one word. Alternate keyboards are provided for searching in languages other than Lithuanian for international users.

An example of the complexity of this system can be illustrated by the Catalogue of Dialects, where a word may be searched according to grammatical use, syllabification, etymology, geographical origin or syllable stress. The site includes the entire 20-volume Lithuanian Dictionary (Lietuvių kalbos žodynas – LKŽ) with supplements and explanatory entries ranging from one line to dozens of pages, with all possible variations of each word – for example, the word “to carry”, nešti, has 33 variants formed by prefixes (e.g. sunešti, panešti).

Ekalba.lt is accessible on computers, smartphones and tablets. Entries can be copied or enlarged for easy reading. Data can be retrieved in pdf and sml formats, and shared on Facebook. The site also provides the exclusively Lithuanian font Palemonas https://ekalba.lt/EKALBA%20Palemonas.

The introductory chart from the website shows the amazing depth and breadth of the work accomplished by Lithuanian linguists and lexicographers, but is also an indicator of the richness of the Lithuanian language. The project has been nominated for the Communication Ministry’s Road to Progress 2023 award.