Language - Belarusian language

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Belarusian language

Belarusian (беларуская мова ) is an official language of Belarus, along with Russian, and is also spoken in Russia (where it is known as "Western Russian"), Poland and Ukraine. Before Belarus gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the language was only known in English as Byelorussian or Belorussian, transliterating the Russian name, белорусский язык Belorusskiy yazyk, or alternatively as White Ruthenian or White Russian. Following independence, it has acquired the additional name Belarusian.

Belarusian is one of the East Slavic languages and shares many grammatical and lexical features with other members of the group. To some extent, Russian, Rusyn, Ukrainian, and Belarusian are mutually intelligible. Its predecessor stage is known as Ruthenian (14th to 17th centuries), in turn descended from Old East Slavic (10th to 13th centuries).

In the first Belarus Census of 1999, the Belarusian language was declared as a "language spoken at home" by about 3,686,000 Belarusian citizens (36.7% of the population). About 6,984,000 (85.6%) of Belarusians declared it their "mother tongue". Other sources, such as Ethnologue, put the figure at approximately 2.5 million active speakers.

According to a study done by the Belarusian government in 2009, 72% of Belarusians speak Russian at home, while Belarusian is actively used by only 11.9% of Belarusians. Approximately 29.4% of Belarusians can write, speak, and read Belarusian, while 52.5% can only read and speak it.

In the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger, the Belarusian language is stated to be vulnerable.

Although closely related to other East Slavic languages, especially Ukrainian, Belarusian phonology is distinct in a number of ways. The phoneme inventory of the modern Belarusian language consists of 45 to 54 phonemes: 6 vowels and 39 to 48 consonants, depending on how they are counted. When the nine geminate consonants are excluded as mere variations, there are 39 consonants, and excluding rare consonants further decreases the count. The number 48 includes all consonant sounds, including variations and rare sounds, which may be semantically distinct in the modern Belarusian language.



Belarus (Беларусь, ), officially the Republic of Belarus (Рэспубліка Беларусь, Республика Беларусь), formerly known by its Russian name Byelorussia or Belorussia (Белоруссия), is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk. Over 40% of its 207600 km2 is forested. Its major economic sectors are service industries and manufacturing. Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk (11th to 14th centuries), the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire.

In the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Belarus declared independence as the Belarusian People's Republic, which was conquered by Soviet Russia. The Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union in 1922 and was renamed as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (Byelorussian SSR). Belarus lost almost half of its territory to Poland after the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921. Much of the borders of Belarus took their modern shape in 1939, when some lands of the Second Polish Republic were reintegrated into it after the Soviet invasion of Poland, and were finalized after World War II. During WWII, military operations devastated Belarus, which lost about a third of its population and more than half of its economic resources. The republic was redeveloped in the post-war years. In 1945 the Byelorussian SSR became a founding member of the United Nations, along with the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian SSR.


Belarusian language (English)  Lingua bielorussa (Italiano)  Wit-Russisch (Nederlands)  Biélorusse (Français)  Weißrussische Sprache (Deutsch)  Língua bielorrussa (Português)  Белорусский язык (Русский)  Idioma bielorruso (Español)  Język białoruski (Polski)  白俄罗斯语 (中文)  Vitryska (Svenska)  Limba bielorusă (Română)  ベラルーシ語 (日本語)  Білоруська мова (Українська)  Беларуски език (Български)  벨라루스어 (한국어)  Valkovenäjän kieli (Suomi)  Bahasa Belarus (Bahasa Indonesia)  Baltarusių kalba (Lietuvių)  Hviderussisk (Dansk)  Běloruština (Česky)  Beyaz Rusça (Türkçe)  Белоруски језик (Српски / Srpski)  Valgevene keel (Eesti)  Bieloruština (Slovenčina)  Belarusz nyelv (Magyar)  Bjeloruski jezik (Hrvatski)  ภาษาเบลารุส (ไทย)  Beloruščina (Slovenščina)  Baltkrievu valoda (Latviešu)  Λευκορωσική γλώσσα (Ελληνικά)  Tiếng Belarus (Tiếng Việt)