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Belarusian: The language with a 32-letter alphabet

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10 facts about the Belarusian language


The Belarusian language belongs to a branch of Slavic languages along with Russian and Ukrainian.


Belarusian is very similar to the Ukrainian language and shares 84% of its vocabulary with Ukrainian.


The Belarusian language has been the official language of the Republic of Belarus since 1918.


Belarusian was the official language of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which contained multiple countries.


The blend of Belarusian and Russian creates an inter language known as the "Trasyanka" language and is commonly spoken in those regions.


There are 2.5 million active speakers of Belarusian in Belarus; however, 72% of Belarusians reportedly speak Russian.


The UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger lists the Belarusian language as endangered.


The Belarusian alphabet is derived from the Cyrillic script, a writing system used for many Eurasian languages.


Standardized Belarusian grammar underwent a series of changes in 1985 and in 2008.


Belarusian is celebrated along with Russian on February 21 every year on International Mother Language Day.

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Origin of the language

Belarusian originated in Russia. The first effort to unify and regulate the language was made after the Russian Revolution in 1917.

History of the language

It is believed that Belarusian originated towards the end of the 18th century.

Learning the language

An English speaker is expected to need about 1100 hours to learn Belarusian.

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Romanian language diversity

Romanian is the official language of Romania and the Republic of Moldova.

When Romania occupied the area south of the Danube river, the Latin and Balkan languages influenced the Romanian dialects. Romanian is now classified into 4 different dialects: Dacoromanian, Aromanian, Istroromanian and Meglenoromanian.

Dacoromanian is the standard form of the language that is spoken in Romania and Moldova whereas the others are regional variants. Aromanian is spoken across some communities in Greece, Albania, Serbia and Kosovo. Istroromanian and Meglenoromanian, on the other hand, are almost extinct but are still spoken in some regions in Istria and Northern Greece, respectively.

Some very significant dialects include Swiss French (CH), Canadian French (CA) and Belgian French (BE). Additionally, there are numerous varieties of French. In France, for example, speakers in the bigger cities of France speak Metropolitan French while speakers in some regions communicate in regional dialects such as Meridional French.

Apart from the well-known French dialects such as Swiss French and Belgian French, there is also Aostan French in Italy. Two primary types of French in Canada are Quebec and Acadian French. In Cambodia, Cambodian French is spoken while Laos French is spoken in Laos.

In Lebanon, Lebanese French is spoken because French was the country’s official language until 1941. French is both officially and unofficially spoken in the Maghreb countries of Africa (Algeria, Mauritania, Tunisia), as well as in other countries all over the African continent. French is also spoken in some parts of India that were previously colonized by the French.

Did you know?

Romanian is written in the Latin morphological case differentiation.

Nearly 72% of Romanian words are derived from a Latin root and 15% from a Slavic root.

The popular song “Dragostea din tei” by the music group O-zone is in Romanian.

Unlike most languages, Romanian has three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter.

The verbs usually precede the object in Romanian sentences.

Romanian officially switched from the Cyrillic alphabet to the Latin alphabet in 1989.

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Belarusian for beginners

Ten basic words to start learning in Belarusian:








Goodbye=da pabačennia


Hello=Dobry dzień

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Say what you know, do what you must, come what may.

Sofia Kovalevskaya

Mathematician and Educator

Suffering makes us human. A person without suffering is just grass.

Vasil Bykaŭ

Author and Novelist

Hatred will always give birth to more and more hate, and love has the power to demolish the borders between us.

Svetlana Alexievich

Journalist, Author, and Oral Historian

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Fun facts about the Belarusian language

Russian sister language

In addition to its similarities with Ukrainian, 80% of written Belarusian is similar to written Russian.

Alphabet system

Unlike the English language, which has a 26-letter alphabet, the Belarusian alphabet has 32 letters!

Widespread influence

Belarusian was an official language of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania which stretched across modern Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, and Poland.

The language of Nobel laureates

Belarus can claim five Nobel Prize laureates, including Svetlana Alexievich, who won the prize for literature.

Spoken by small groups

It is considered a "familiar language" by about 316,000 residents, including approximately 248,000 Belarusians. This accounts for roughly 30.7 % of Belarusians living in Russia.

Preservation of Belarusian Language

Despite the fact that the majority of indigenous Belarusians do not speak Belarusian as their native language or as their primary language, the language is still thriving in many places.

Recognition by world famous company

The popular, well-known game World of Tanks was translated into Belarusian by the renowned organization Warming to show its appreciation for the Belarusian language.

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