Benefits of International Loanwords for English-Speaking Learners of Lithuanian

  • Kazuhito Uni
Keywords: Lithuanian, foreign language learning, Latin and Greek loanwords, adaptation of loanwords, internationalism


    This study explores the benefits of international loanwords in Lithuanian for the learning of its vocabulary by English speakers. This study focuses on the international vocabulary that originate from Latin or Greek, much of which, however, was borrowed through Russian, English and French. The author examined the lexes of the above-mentioned category in the Oxford 3000 wordlist and counted the number of the Lithuanian equivalents of identical category. As a result, a total of 511 vocabulary items of that category were found in the approximately 3,000 basic Lithuanian words corpus. This study categorised the collected Lithuanian lexes by suffixes to propose regularity in cross-linguistic similarity. Many of the high-frequency English words ending in -tion and -ion corresponded to Lithuanian words ending in -cija (e.g. administracija ‘administration’) and -ija (e.g. diskusija ‘discussion’). Moreover, English words ending in -y were equivalent to Lithuanian words with the ending -ija (e.g. filosofija ‘philosophy’, geografija ‘geography’, harmonija ‘harmony’). Similarly, the Lithuanian agrikultūra ‘agriculture’, architektūra ‘architecture’, kultūra ‘culture’, literatūra ‘literature’, struktūra ‘structure’ and temperatūra ‘temperature’ regularly correspond to their English equivalents. Thus, suffixes are key elements for vocabulary learning. Therefore, the present study concluded that international loanwords in Lithuanian could accelerate learning high-frequency Lithuanian vocabulary by English speakers.