The Belarusian Language
One of the official languages of Belarus, Belarusian, is also spoken in Poland, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Now written using the Cyrillic alphabet, consisting of 32 letters, old Belarusian texts contain some Arabic and Latin symbols. Because of Belarus’ position in the world, the Belarusian language is heavily influenced by both Russian and Polish. Indeed, Russian is also an official language of Belarus, making it difficult to establish the exact number of Belarusian speakers in Belarus.
Origins and Brief History:
- Early Roots: The Belarusian language developed from the Old Slavic language, spoken from the 7th to the 14th century.
- Middle Belarusian: This period, from the 14th to the 17th century, saw the emergence of specific Belarusian linguistic features. Texts from this time started to display unique characteristics.
- Modern Belarusian: The contemporary form of the language began to evolve in the 17th century. It underwent significant changes in spelling, grammar, and vocabulary.
Number of Speakers:
As of the latest data, there are approximately 4 million native Belarusian speakers.
The language is also spoken by many more as a second language.
Official Language Status:
Belarusian is one of the two official languages in Belarus, the other being Russian.
The Constitution of Belarus grants equal status to both languages, though Russian is more widely used in everyday communication.
Example of Text:
Here’s an example of a sentence in Belarusian, followed by its English translation:
Belarusian: “Беларуская мова – гэта мова нашага народу.”
English: “The Belarusian language is the language of our people.”
Where and How It Is Used:
- In Belarus: It is used in governmental functions, educational institutions, media, and literature.
- Diaspora: There are Belarusian-speaking communities around the world, especially in countries like Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.
- Cultural Expression: The language is vital in expressing Belarusian cultural identity and is used in traditional music, folk stories, and ceremonies.
English Words Used in Belarusian:
Technology Terms: Words like “комп’ютар” (computer) and “інтэрнэт” (internet) are borrowed from English.
Business Terminology: English words like “менеджэр” (manager) and “бізнес” (business) have found their way into Belarusian.
Belarusian Words Absorbed into English:
Though the influence of Belarusian on English is minimal, some cultural or culinary terms may be recognized by English speakers with a specific interest or exposure to Belarusian culture. However, there are no widely recognized examples of Belarusian words that have been fully absorbed into standard English.
The Belarusian language reflects the nation’s history, cultural heritage, and modern development. While it has struggled at times to maintain its prominence in the face of political and social challenges, efforts to preserve and promote the language continue. Its connections with other languages and its role in the identity of the Belarusian people make it an essential part of the country’s fabric.
The ongoing revitalization efforts, including educational programs, media broadcasting in Belarusian, and cultural initiatives, are integral in maintaining the language’s vitality and importance in the 21st century.
We understand that a large amount of trust is involved when using a translation service to translate your brand’s content into a different language. Brightlines has worked with brands such as the British Postal Consultancy, Land Rover and Microsoft, who wish to communicate their brand to Belarusian speakers. Our Belarusian translation services include everything from copywriting, voiceovers and quality assurance.
Our translation services - FAQ
Do you use native translators?
Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.
How long will the translations take?
The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.
What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?
All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.
Which languages can you translate into?
We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.
I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?
Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.
Does the translation need to be proofread?
Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.