Belarusian

Language History

Belarusian belongs to the East Slavic group of the Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family. Old Belarusian was the main language used in the early 14th century which was influenced by Old Church Slavonic. Eventually in 1569, Poland took over the areas, leading Polish to become the dominant language and Belarusian to be suppressed. Although some literary works remained in Belarusian, by the late 18th century, Russian eventually became widespread in the area.

In the years following up, Russian became incredibly dominant – a period known as the ‘russification’ of Belarusan which saw the replacement of Belarusian words of Polish origin with Russian words. It wasn’t until 1991 when Belarusian finally became the national language of Belarus, being used in government, the media, and education. In 1995, Russian was also given this official status, making this language somewhat more common that Belarusian in public life and in education.

According to Ethnologue, there are around 7.8 million Belarusian speakers around the world.

Where is Belarusian Spoken?

Belarusian is one of the official languages of Belarus, alongside Russian. It is also spoken in other countries around the world such as Russia, other former republics of the Soviet Union, and the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

Belarus_inner page

FACT

According to UNESCO classification, Belarusian may be on the verge of extinction and is considered an endangered language.

Did you Know?

Belarusian is considered one of the most melodic languages, second after Italian! Belarusian is considered one of the most melodic languages, second after Italian!

Belarusian Dialects

Northeastern

Southwestern

Central on which Standard Belarusian is based.

4 Easy Phrases in Belarusian!

BelarusianEnglish
Добрый день (Dobry dzien)Hello
Прыемна пазнаёміцца (Da pa-bach-jennja)Goodbye
Дзякуй (Dziakuj)Thank you
Як справы? (Yuk spraavey)How are you?

Population vs. Internet Penetration

Belarus Population:

9,449,323

Internet Users:

7,521,628

Penetration:

79.6%

As of 2020. Source:
www.internetworldstats.com

FACT

Belarusian is a Slavic language that is a close relative of Russian and Polish. Ukrainian is another close relative, sharing 84% of common vocabulary. In fact, Belarusians can easily understand Ukrainian!

Belarusian, Russian, Ukrainian & Polish Words!

EnglishBelarusianRussianUkrainianPolish
hellopryvitanneprivetpryvitcześć
goodbyeda pabačenniado svidaniyado pobachennyado widzenia
pleasekali laskapozhaluystabud' laskaproszę
potatobul'bakartoshkakartoplyaziemniak

Source: hifivebelarus.com

Belarusian Translation Tips

• Belarusian has three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter.

• It has three cases of numbers: singular and plural and sometimes dual.

• Belarusian has no indefinite or definite articles.

• The neutral word order in Belarusian is Subject-Verb-Object, however other orders are possible.

• Verbs in Belarusian have two tenses: past and non-past. The present and future tenses have the same endings.

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