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Recommended book:
On Burning Ground
by Michael Skakun

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The Belarusian Alphabet
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NB: You are welcome to contribute your own articles and research papers about Belarus and Belarusian language. Note to those who also read in Belarusian: there are many more articles in the Belarusian section of the site.

White Ruthenia Ethnographic Map   Dr. Janka Stankievic

July 28th, 2005

"Ethnographical and Historical Territories and Boundaries of Whiteruthenia" is a rare ethnographic map from the well-known 20th century Belarusan linguist and ethnography researcher Dr. Jan Stankievich that outlines the areal of Belarusian people based on linguistic features of the dialects. The map was published in New York in 1953, the scanned image can be found at the bottom of the page. >>>


UNESCO's Belarusian CD   Vera Rich

July 2nd, 2005

Vera Rich's open letter about the internal problems and the fate of the UNESCO's programme to produce a comprehensive CD of Belarusian literature in English translation. >>>


Belarusians in the Bialystok Region as a Trilingual People   Jan Maksimiuk

March 25th, 2005

Jan Maksimiuk, a translator of James Joyce's Ulysses into Belarusian, makes a revolutionary proposal to elevate the Polish-Belarusian dialect of Belarusians in Poland into a new literary language, which he tentatively calls Svoja language. The article is both a "manifest destiny" and a solid theoretical explanation, why creating a new language makes perfect sense in the current sociolinguistic situation in Eastern Poland. >>>


Swadesh List: Belarusian - Polish, Russian - Belarusian   U.K.

March 16th, 2005

Our complition of the Swadesh list for Belarusian - Polish and Russian - Belarusian. The Swadesh lists are used to measure lexical similarity of the languages and the approximate dates of the "divergence" of similar languages. Our result is that Polish and Belarusian vocabulary is more similar than Russian and Belarusian. >>>


"Poems on Liberty" Translator's Notes   Vera Rich

November 12th, 2004

This article is a preface from the book "Poems on Liberty. Reflections for Belarus," a bilinguial English-Belarusian collection of poems published by Radio Liberty in 2004, these are the translator's notes about difficulties and challenges in translating poetry from Belarusian into English. Could be interesting to all those who translate from Slavic languages. >>>


Academician Jauchim Karski   Arnold B. McMillin

December 31st, 2003

This is an article from the 1968 issue of "The Journal of Byelorussian Studies" written by Arnold McMillin and devoted to Jauchim Karski: "There can be no one involved in Belarusian affairs and, indeed, few scholars in the Slavonic field as a whole unfamiliar with at least the name of Jauchim Karski (1861-1931) who, championing the study of Belarus in the field of language, dialectology, literature, ethnography and palaeography, achieved more than all his predecessors and perhaps also all his successors put together." >>>


Soviet Nationalism as Lukashenka's Strategy of Survival   Jan Maksymiuk

December 10th, 2003

An interview with Andrey Dynko, editor-in-chief of the Minsk-based Belarusian-language weekly "Nasha Niva," and chairman of Belarus's P.E.N. Center. Dynko is a leading figure among those Belarusian intellectuals who oppose the Russification and re-Sovietization policies pursued by the regime of Belarusian President and stand for the development of Belarus's indigenous culture and language. >>>


Marc Chagall Biography   compiled by Uladzimir Katkouski

December 9th, 2003

Marc Chagall is a famous Belarusian-born French painter and designer who grew up in a Jewisch family in Vitebsk, Belarus. Marc Chagall is recognized as one of the most significant painters and graphic artists of the 20th century. >>>


Forming Plural Nominative in Russian and Belarusian   U. Katkouski

December 8th, 2003

A simple step-by-step explanation on how to form plural nominative in Russian and Belarusian with many examples and comparison of the two systems. An introductry-level text for those who only began to study either of the two languages. >>>


Grammatical Changes in Modern Literary Belarusian   prof. de Bray

December 5th, 2003

This is a public lecture given under the auspices of the Anglo-Byelorussian Society in London on the 26th of January, 1968 by professor Reginald George Arthur De Bray, devoted to changes in literary Belarusian after the Soviet reform of 1933. A very interesting persepctive and a good introduction to anyone who wants to know what are the key differences between the classical and the Soviet orthography. >>>


Belarusian Humanities Lyceum closed down   by Ihar Svabodzin

September 11th, 2003

Unlike the other 90,000 students countrywide, these 141 high school students in Minsk started the new academic year quite differently. Students of the Belarusian Humanities Lyceum sat at their desks outdoors! The first day of classes was held outside because the Lyceum was closed down by the government, and the Lyceum building was blocked by the police and construction workers. >>>


Belarusian Alphabet   by Uladzimir Katkouski

August 22nd, 2003

This is an introductory article which describes the peculiar features of the Belarusian Cyrillics and Belarusian Lacinka (Latin Script) alphabets. The article includes easy-to-read images for both alphabets. >>>


Phonetic Alphabets   compiled by U.K.

July 18th, 2003

Here you will find the phonetic alphabet tables for American English, Belarusian (draft), British English, German, Russian, International, and International Civil Aviation. >>>


Publishing Or Perishing   Jan Maksymiuk

June 11th, 2003

Publishing in Belarusian language: has anything changed since the Soviet times? Or is it even worse than in the BSSR era? Will Belarusian suffer the same fate as the Irish language in Ireland? Are there still enough "Belarusian natives [who] still derive interest and amusement from the artful use of their mother tongue"? >>>


Auld Guid White Ruce (Scotland & Belarus)   Ales Biely

May 3rd, 2003

The amazing parallels between Scotland and Belarus history. Ales Biely tells us an interesting story about Scots and our people of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. There are also some interesting linguistic parallels. >>>


On Nation, Gender & Class Formation in Belarus  [PDF, 90KB]   E.Gapova

March 25th, 2003

Here is a very interesting article from Elena Gapova which was published in "Nationalities Papers" (Vol. 30, No. 4, 2002). The article mostly deals with nationalism and nation construction in Belarus as well as gender issues, but since these topics are tightly connected with the language, there are lot of information which pertains to our language situation (from the 19th century to the present day). The article is available as 24-page PDF file. >>>


Why is the Russia White?   Ales Biely

March 3rd, 2003

This is a concise English summary of the book "The Chronicle of White Russia" (Ruthenia Alba), which was written by the author himself. The conclusion is very simple: the term "Russia Alba" was invented by Western scholars and in 600 years became the name of an independent country. >>>


Belarus: real or fictitious nation?   Ales Biely

March 1st, 2003

This is probably the best summary of Belarus history that you can possibly fit into 4-5 pages. It is a must-read for anybody interested in the history of Belarus. The article is written by Ales Biely, the author of the book "The Chronicle of Ruthenia Alba." >>>


Belarusian, German Minorities In Poland's Political Life   A. Maksymiuk

February 24th, 2003

Alastair Rabagliati's new book: "A Minority Vote. Participation of the German and Belarusian Minorities Within the Polish Political System 1989-1999." A nice book review from "Niwa" senior editor. >>>


"Belarusian" and "Belarusan" the correct adjective forms   U.Katkouski

February 3rd, 2003

...Millions of English-speaking people know very little about this country and its language, and usually one of the very first questions that arises when people first encounter the name is: "What is the correct adjective form, and how does one pronounce it?"... >>>


New Belarusian Language Reform   Kiryla Pazniak

December 29th, 2002

The Belarus government is planning a new language reform. This article is based on the interview with Aliaksandar Padluzhny, the director of the Lingustic Institute at the Belarusian Academy of Sciences. And, yes, there is an English summary. >>>


Letter Frequency (Belarusian and Russian)   rydel n23

December 20th, 2002

The article contains the table with letter frequencies for Belarusian (both orthography variants) and Russian. There is also some analysis of the data. Highly useful data for any Slavic linguist and wanna-be cryptanalyst. >>>


Jewish religious songs in Belarusian   Janka Stankievic

October 22nd, 2002

The article was published in 1933 in the "Annals of the Belarusian Scientific Society in Vilnia." Our revolutionary linguist doctor Janka Stankievic provides the lyrics and the notes of one Jewish song in Belarusian language. The article is in Belarusian, but I have included detailed English summary. >>>


Kitabs, the unique highlight of the Belarusian language   Niesciarovich

July 28th, 2002

Kitabs are the books written in Belarusian language using Arabic script. They were written mostly in the 16th century by the Tatars that lived in Belarus, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, since 14-15th centuries and have gradually forgotten their native language. In order to preserve their religion they had to translate Koran and other sacred Islamic books into Belarusian language, but preserving the Arabic script... >>>


Saying Nyet To Russian   Eve Conant

June 28th, 2002

Hardly anyone these days has a good word for the language of the former Soviet Union. Teenagers in Central Asia say they hate it; thousands have taken to the streets of Moldova and Belarus to protest it; former Soviet governments have deleted it from their mandatory-education programs, and some countries, like Latvia, have passed discriminatory laws against those who speak it... >>>


Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and the Revival of Hebrew   Jack Fellman

June 12th, 2002

In his pioneering work on language revivals and language revivers published in 1966, the American linguist Einar Haugen wrote: "It appears to be almost the rule that such movements can be traced back to a single devoted person, who gave focus to the prevailing dissatisfactions of his people. Having issued from the group whose language was neglected, such reformers often had more than a purely intellectual motivation for establishing the existence of their language. Theirs became one contribution to the general liberation of the group, a medium of revolt and a symbol of unity." For the Hebrew language revival, one of the truly outstanding socio-linguistic events of modern times, this characterization is eminently true of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. >>>


The thief that stole a whole country   Uladzimir Katkouski

May 18th, 2002

"Belarus" by Lee Hogan. The only thing that this book has in common with the real country called Belarus is the title. That's it. Lee Hogan should've done her homework first. While reading the book I had the nagging thought that Lee Hogan is like a cyber squatter who steals someone else's Internet domain and exploits it in bad faith. Let me try to put the stolen jewel back where it belongs... >>>


Belarusian-Bulgarian-Russian Basic Phrases   Uladzimir Katkouski

May 9th, 2002

Miraculously preserved in the bottomless archives of the WWW, this is a small collection of Belarusian, Bulgarian, Russian basic words and expressions, containing about 3 x 100 = 300 words. Probably this miniphrasebook is best place to start for a beginner just to get acquainted with Belarusian, Bulgarian, Russian, also to observe the similarities and the differences between them. >>>


LOC Cyrillic Transliteration

May 9th, 2002

This is the Slavic Cyrillic transliteration for Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian used by the the Library of the U.S. Congress (GIF image, around 75KB). >>>


Francis Skaryna, the first Belarusian printer and Bible scholar   Alexander Nadson

April 11th, 2002

"The history of printing began with the appearance the famous Bible, printed in 1456-58 in Mainz by Johann Gutenberg... ...the year 1506 saw the publication of the Czech Bible, while the first Slavonic book in Cyrillic script in Venice was printed in 1512. By coincidence, in the same year 1512, only some twenty miles away, a young Belarusian scholar obtained a degree of Doctor of Medicine at the University of Padua. His name was Francis Skaryna who a few years later was destined to become the first Belarusian printer... ...Skaryna was the first, not only in Belarus, but in Eastern Europe to use the new invention of printing to bring the light of knowledge to his people... ...At home in the West, in his native country he was perhaps ahead of his time..." >>>


The 21 Names of Belarus   Uladzimir Katkouski

March 26th, 2002

"Inspired by the misspellings of Britney Spears' first name on Google I decided to find out how the name of our country is [mis-]spelled in the cyberspace. I guess this sounds somewhat crazy, but that was my idea of having fun on Belarus independence day..." >>>


Language, nationalism, and populism in Belarus   Alexandra Goujon

January 8th, 2002

Goujon discusses the politicization of language issues in Belarus and how it has increasingly intensified since the progressive implementation of Alaksandar Lukashenka's authoritarian type of rule. In this respect, language is part of the "psychological" violence that exists in Belarusian politics today. >>>


Writers, poets, linguists   compiled by Uladzimir Katkouski

October 15th, 2001

For your reference here is a comprehensive list of Belarusian writers, poets, linguists, ethnographers and other people who were involved in the Belarusian language development or research. The list contains the full name, birth date (and death date if applicable) and very short biographical note. under reconstruction >>>


Britannica Stumbling   Uladzimir Katkouski

October 6th, 2001

Is it possible that the entry on Belarusian language in Britannica volume hasn't got a single truthful piece of information about our language? Well, that's what the author claims. Let's see if his claim is justified. >>>


Introduction to Belarusian Latin Script   Mikola Paczakajeu

September 30th, 2001

This is a wonderful introduction to Lacinka (Belarusian Latin Script). There is nothing like that on the 'Net. The Belarusian graduate student from Cambridge, Mikola Paczakajeu, made a thorough overview of the subject. >>>


The Forgotten Slang   U.Katkouski, L.Szatalava

September 29th, 2001

This is just a list of "top 100" Belarusian slang words that were collected in Belarusian villages by Lubou Szatalava in the 70's. To be extended... >>>



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