Lithuanian orthography

Lithuanian orthography employs a Latin-script alphabet of 32 letters, two of which denote sounds not native to the Lithuanian language. Additionally, it uses five digraphs.


Today, the Lithuanian alphabet consists of 32 letters. It features an unusual collation order in that "Y" occurs between I nosinė (Į) and J.

Lithuanian alphabet
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32
Uppercase Latin alphabet A Ą B C Č D E Ę Ė F G H I Į Y J K L M N O P R S Š T U Ų Ū V Z Ž
Lowercase Latin alphabet a ą b c č d e ę ė f g h i į y j k l m n o p r s š t u ų ū v z ž
Name of Letters a a nosinė čė e e nosinė ė ef ha i trumpoji i nosinė i ilgoji jot ka el em en o er es u trumpoji u nosinė u ilgoji žė

Acute, grave, and macron/tilde accents can mark stress and vowel length. However, these are generally not used, except in dictionaries and where needed for clarity. In addition, Lithuanian orthography uses five digraphs (Ch Dz Dž Ie Uo); these function as sequences of two letters for collation purposes. The "Ch" digraph represents a voiceless velar fricative, while the others are straightforward compositions of their component letters. The letters F and H, as well as the digraph CH, denote sounds only appearing in loanwords.

Sound–spelling correspondences[edit]

Grapheme Sound (IPA)
Short Long
a ɐ äː
ą äː
e ɛ () æː
ę æː
i ɪ
o ɔ
u ʊ

⟨o⟩ is short only in loanwords. ⟨a e⟩ are always short without accent and under accent in endings -a, -e, -es, in comparative, in pronouns and in loanwords, and besides usually long.[1]

Grapheme Sound (IPA)
Hard Soft
b b
c t̪͡s̪ t͡sʲ
č t͡ʃ t͡ɕ
ch x
dz d̪͡z̪ d͡zʲ
d͡ʒ d͡ʑ
f f
g ɡ ɡʲ
h ɣ ɣʲ
j j
k k
l ɫ
m m
p p
r r
š ʃ ɕ
v v
ž ʒ ʑ

Consonants are always palatalized before ⟨e ę ė i į y⟩; before ⟨a ą o u ų ū⟩, palatalization is denoted by inserting an ⟨i⟩ between the consonant and the vowel.


The majority of the Lithuanian alphabet is in the Unicode block C0 controls and basic Latin (non-accented symbols), and the rest of the Lithuanian alphabet (ą Ą č Č ę Ę ė Ė į Į š Š ų Ų ū Ū ž Ž) is in the Latin Extended-A.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Wymowa" (in Polish). Retrieved 2014-07-13.