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Belarusian: The language with a 32-letter alphabet.

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10 facts about the Belarusian language

01

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

02

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

03

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

04

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

05

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

06

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

07

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

08

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

09

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

10

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.

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History of the language

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

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Learning the language

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

Belarusian for beginners

Ten basic words to start learning in Belarusian:
Hello: Dobry dzień
Goodbye: da pabačennia
Thanks: dziakuj
Snow: snieh
Beautiful: pryhoža
Love: kacchanie
Sea: mora
Mountain: hornaja
Family: siamja
Friend: siabar

Quotes

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

Fun facts about the Belarusian language

Alphabet system

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

Widespread influence

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

Russian sister language

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

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.

Native language in Ukraine

Around 55,000 Belarusians, or 19.7% of Belarusians living in Ukraine, have chosen Belarusian as their "mother tongue." Belarusian is recognized as a "language spoken at home" by about 40,000 Belarusians in Poland.

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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