Languages of Belarus
Today there are two official languages in Belarus (Russian and Belarusian). The majority of the Belarusian population speaks Russian, but continues to believe that Belarusian is their mother tongue. In Belarus, there are also schools where teaching is provided in the Belarusian language. Traveling on the roads of Belarus, you can often see the signs in the Belarusian language.
Belarusian is a very rich language. There are a lot of variants of the Belarusian language. The dialects of the Belarusian language differ in the pronunciation of certain types of letters. In addition to dialects, in the Belarusian language there is also the so-called “trasianka” – a form of the Belarusian spoken language that has mixed morphology and word formation. There are some Belarusian provinces where people still speak trasianka.The history of the Belarusian language goes through three stages: the first stage related to the period of stay of the Belarusian lands within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. At that time, the old Belarusian language was recognized as the official language. After the unification of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with Poland and the creation of the state of the Commonwealth (1569), the old Belarusian language lost significance and gave way to Polish. In 1696 Polish was recognized as the official language of the Commonwealth. The second stage of the formation and development of the Belarusian language related to division of the Commonwealth. Russian was the official state language on the Belarusian lands, but at the beginning of the 19th century the issue of the Belarusian language independence was raised.
After the October Revolution of 1917, the Belarusian language was recognized as a state language, and it began to be used in official documentation, court case, educational sphere.
Today, walking the streets you will hear the Russian language in 95 percent of cases. Russian is the language of communication in Belarus and everyone speaks Russian fluently. English and other international languages were rarely taught in the past: the majority of the people who were studying in soviet schools doesn’t speak English. However, now these international languages are growing in popularity. Of course English is a leading language now. There are a lot of English courses in Belarus now. In all schools pupils are studying the English language from the 1st form. Nowadays other foreign languages such as Chinese, Arabic, Spanish are also becoming popular in Belarus. Despite this fact, few people speak English well enough to hold a conversation.