Belarus map of Russian and Belarusian speaking areas

Belarus population is bilingual between Belarusian and Russian.

Belarusian writing The map of Belarus shows Russian (East) and Belarusian (West) speaking areas:

Belarus uses:

  • Cyrilic script (Беларускаямова)

General

РЭСПУБЛІКА БЕЛАРУСЬ (Respublika Belarus'), Republic of Belarus is commonly reffered to as 'White Russia'.

The word 'Bela-' means 'white' in many Slavic languages. However during its birth hundreds of years ago 'Bela-' also meant 'pure', 'free', 'western' but also 'northern'.

Belarusian and Russian

Belarusian is similar to Russian and is mutually understood. In 1995 Russian became official second language. Although Belarusian is most closely related to Ukrainian.

Russian does seem to be dominant over Belarusian and seems to be slowly pushing it back. Most forms will be in Russian

The Belarusian alphabet is slightly different to the Russian alphabet (see below).

English is almost non-existent as there are very few foreigners. To comunicate you would have to use Russian, Belarusian or Ukrainian, otherwise it will be a struggle.

Similarity of Belarusian and Russian

The Belarussian language has become more popular since the 1990 fall of the Soviet Union and Independance although Russian still seems a major language and on a par with Belarusian with its use.

Belarusian Latin (not currently used) and Cyrilic (in common use) Text Samples

Belarusian Latin script (not currently in common use)
Usie ludzi naradžajucca svabodnymi i roŭnymi ŭ svajoj hodnasci i pravach. Jany nadzieleny rozumam i sumleńniem i pavinny stavicca adzin da adnaho ŭ duchu bractva.

Belaruesian Cyrilic script (in common use)
Усе людзi нараджаюцца свабоднымi i роўнымi ў сваёй годнасцi i правах. Яны надзелены розумам i сумленнем i павiнны ставiцца адзiн да аднаго ў духу брацтва.

Russian script
Все люди рождаются свободными и равными в своем достоинстве и правах. Они наделены разумом и совестью и должны поступать в отношении друг друга в духе братства.

 

Latin to Cyrillic Alphabet

 

The Belarusian Cyrillic script is similar to Russian and uses the same alphabet as well as a few Belarusian letters.

It does use accents and digraphs (two letters used together), see below:

Belarusian Cyrillic Alphabet (Digraphs)

To type accents with ALT codes, hold down the ALT key, then on the numeric keypad type the three or four digits listed here. However not with laptops, ALT codes only work with the numeric keypad, NOT the row of numbers across the top of your keyboard, as on laptops.

a
   a      A  

ã with tilde
   ъ      Ъ  

b
   б      Б  

c
   ц      Ц  

č with caron
   ч      Ч  

d
   д      Д  

e
   е      Е  

f
   ф      Ф  

g
   г      Г  

i
   и      И  

j
   й      Й  

ja
   я      Я  

ju
   ю      Ю  

k
   к      К  

l
   л      Л  

m
   м      М  

n
   н      Н  

o
   о      О  

p
   п      П  

s
   с      С  

š with caron
   ш      Ш  

š with caron and t
   шt      Шt  

t
   т      Т  

u
   у      У  

v
   в      В  

x
   х      Х  

z
   э      Э  

ž with caron
   ж      Ж  

'
   ь      Ь  

 

 

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