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Recommended book:
EU and Belarus
by Ann Lewis

Most popular pages:
The Belarusian Alphabet
Translit->Cyrillics Tool
Adjective "Belarusian"
Slavic Basic Phrases
White Ruthenia Map
Is "Russia" White?
Nyet to Russian
German Vocab
<br23> blog

Belarusian letters:

Ć ć   Ł ł   Ń ń   Ś ś   Ź ź
Č č   Š š   Ŭ ŭ   Ž ž  

- <<<

September 10th, 2005

Finally, after several years of intensive discussions and work a group of Belarusian linguists published the new updated version of the classical orthography rules. The PDF and DOC files of this document are freely available on our website in the downloads section.

August 31st, 2005

In the beginning of August, the German media giant "Deutsche Welle" announced its plans to start broadcasting to Belarus (tentative starting date, October 2005). The big surprise is the choice of broadcasting language: it's Russian, not Belarusian. This is, probably, the first time ever, when a Western media chooses to broadcast to Belarus in Russian. This decision of the Germans sparkled protests in Minsk and in diaspora all over the world. Youngsters in Minsk staged street protests demanding from "Deutsche Welle" not to encourage further Russification of Belarus. Thousands of people sent letters to the German embassy, also demanding to review the choice of broadcastig language. The vice-president of the European Parliament mister Onyszkiewicz sharply criticised "Deutsche Welle" for choosing Russian, not Belarusan. We are planning to make a separate web-page with the up-to-date information on the issue of European broadcasts to Belarus and related language issues.

July 28th, 2005

"Ethnographical and Historical Territories and Boundaries of Whiteruthenia" is a rare ethnographic map from the a famous Belarusian linguist Dr. Jan Stankievich that was published in New York in 1953. You can find the JPEG-map image and the accompanying text in the download section.

July 2nd, 2005

First of all, I'm happy to announce that a new, long-awaited edition of the new orthography rules of the classical system was released in Minsk last month, and soon we are going to prepare and upload the electronic version of this document. In other news, Vera Rich sent a disquieting open letter about one Belarusian programme of UNESCO Moscow office.

March 25th, 2005

Jan Maksimiuk, a translator of James Joyce Ulysses into Belarusian, shocks Belarusian linguists by proposing to create a totally new literary language called Svoja.

March 16th, 2005

After heated discussions about lexical similarity in case of Czech/Slovak, Belarusian/Ukrainian/Polish/Russian in my blog, I've attempted to compile a special Swodesh list for Belarusian-Polish and Belarusian-Russian.

November 12th, 2004

In 2004, a bilinguial anthology of original poems "Poems on Liberty: Reflections for Belarus" was published by Radio Liberty. Here I posted the preface to the book, the translator's notes about difficulties and challenges in translating poetry from Belarusian into English.

October 27th, 2004

Some updates in the utilities section. There is a new little script to display Unicode codes of characters in any language. Also several weeks ago I've set up a special voting page for Belarusian speakers to vote on the preferred spelling forms of the foreign loan words in the new standard of the classical orthography.

April 17th, 2004

Professor Andrej Katlarczuk from Stockholm (Sweden) wrote a short commentary "Vitryssland is not Russia in winter" in Belarusan. I've written a short English summary.

March 6th, 2004

More good news. Our site won a second prize at the's Web Contest in the category "Education." It's really nice, but practically speaking it's not worth much, because all they do is provide some free hosting at their webservers, and you must keep a link to on all your pages if you are going to take this offer.

February 18th, 2004

Great news. First of all, our colleagues made a bunch of Belarusian dictionaries available online at And secondly there is finally a nice introduction to Belarusian grammar in English! Chris Marchant wrote a great 100-page guide to modern Belarusian, which is now freely available for download on our site.

January 24th, 2004

There is a new article in the Belarusian section about the new 3rd edition of the Soviet Belarusian-Russian dictionary that came out in 2004 and for political reasons does not include even such basic and well-known Belarusian words as "spadar" (mister). The article includes a brief English summary on top of the page.

January 14th, 2003

On January 12th the Minsk city officials informed the director of the Belarusian Language Society (TBM) that they should leave their premises on Rumiancava street, 13 by March 4th. TBM is kindly asking you for support and also asking you to direct your protest letters to the Minsk City Council. :(

December 31st, 2003

On January 1st we celebrate the 143th birthday of the great Belarusian linguist Jauchim Karski, and today I have uploaded one very nice article about him "Academician Karski" that was written by Arnold McMillin and published in "The Journal of Byelorussian Studies" in 1967. Also I have made some changes to Marc Chagall's Biography.

In the Belarusian language section there is a new article with the top ten list of the best-selling Belarusian books in 2003. The article includes an English summary at the bottom. Happy New Year! :)

December 10th, 2003

I've added a lot of new articles in English in the last several days: Soviet Nationalism as Lukashenka's Strategy of Survival (Dynko about current political situation and Belarusian language), Marc Chagall Biography and an introductory article Forming Plural Nominative in Russian and Belarusian.

December 6th, 2003

After a relatively long hiatus there is a new article in English "Grammatical Changes in Modern Literary Belarusian Language" (1968). This is a public lecture that was delivered by professor de Bray in London in 1968, which serves as a good introduction to anyone who wants to know what are the key differences between the classical and the Soviet orthography.

November 24th, 2003

Due to a growing number of guestbook messages (460 messages as of today) and considering that there appeared some rather informative and interesting comments, I have made a special guestbook search. There still might be some small bugs, please, contact me if you spotted any bugs or have any other suggestions.

Also it's worth noting that exactly one month ago on October 24th and counters have crossed the 40,000 mark. In spite of relatively infrequent updates (unfortunately!) people still visit regularly. This is wonderful. Thanks to everyone!

October 4th, 2003

There is a new article in the Belarusian section about the problems of mobile communication in Belarusian language (the article includes a brief English summary on top of the page).

September 11th, 2003

The authorities closed down Belarusian Humanities Lyceum, but children are fighting for their rights, for their right to receive Belarusian-language education in Minsk.

August 6th, 2003

The city council of the oldest Belarusian city Polack (or Polacak) have decided to make a monument of the unique Cyrillic Belarusian letter (non-syllable U). The article about this new monument includes an English summary at the bottom.

August 6th, 2003

The city council of the oldest Belarusian city Polack (or Polacak) have decided to make a monument of the unique Cyrillic Belarusian letter (non-syllable U). The article about this new monument includes an English summary at the bottom.

August 3rd, 2003

There is a new article in Belarusian about an old form of future tense in Belarusian language that was banned by the communist language reformes in 1933. The article includes an English summary.

July 18th, 2003

There is a new article in Belarusian, an opinion poll among famous Belarusian writers, linguists and journalists about the co-existance of two orthographical systems in the Belarusian language. Also there is a new article in English with the tables of the phonetic alphabets for English (British and American), German, Russian and Belarusian.

June 23rd, 2003

Yesterday evening I have received shocking and tragic news from Minsk. Vasil Bykau, one of the greatest modern writers of Belarus, has passed away. Please read this article – Vasil Bykau.

June 11th, 2003

We added a new article in the English section of the site, Publishing or Perishing. Meanwhile, the fight over Minsk Lyceum is not over, the pressure is mounting, as the Ministry of Education sent in the inspectors to perform checks inside the Lyceum. And, Minsk City Council has officially confirmed that "Rakauskaja" will be called "Spartyunaja" (Athletic or Fitness station), and Independence Square will be called Lenin's Square. The summer in Belarus is going to be red hot. :(

June 3rd, 2003

Recently I have made a new sudirectory on our site devoted to the studies of the German language – Meanwhile, together with the summer heat there came a new large-scale conflict between the Ministry of Education and the most famous Minsk Lyceum that offers all courses exclusively in Belarusian language (unlike most other Minsk schools that have only several subjects in Belarusian, and the rest in Russian). The Ministry has fired the founder and the current principal of the school, Uladzimir Kolas, and has appointed a woman who does not speak a word of Belarusian. More information on their site

May 18th, 2003

Several new additions to the lacinka download (corrected the capslock problem and added the versions for Windows 2000 and Windows XP). Also our guestbook now on supports Unicode, which means you can type your entries in any alphabet you want: Cyrillics, Lacinka, Arabica or any other.

May 3rd, 2003

Another new article in the Belarusian section "Belarusian Language in 20th century" is about computer and technical terminology in Belarusian and the problems of the Belarusian language development throughout 20th century. Also there is a new article in English Auld Guid White Ruce about parallels in Scottish and Belarusian history.

April 18th, 2003

New article in the Belarusian section Software Localization in Belarus deals with the problems and issues with software localization into Belarusian language. The article includes a short English summary at the bottom. Also we have joined partnership program of the bookstore. In spite of such Russian name and big offer of Russian books, there is also a nice selection of books in Belarusian language in the section Belarusian jewelbox, currently featuring about 70 titles. :)

March 26th, 2003

New article in the English section "On Nation, Gender, and Class Formation in Belarus." Also we have added the Lacinka (Belarusian Latin Script) keyboard layout to the download section and a special online converter to transform Belarusian Cyrillic texts into Lacinka.

March 24th, 2003

Wonderful news. Based on the recommendation from a trusted source I have finally changed the web hoster. This means faster connection and much less downtime! My friend has three sites hosted with them, and since last year he had less than two hours of total downtime. They are called webhost4life (note: if you click on this link and decide to sign up for the service, the referral id will be filled as pravapis, which means our site get a small percentage).

Also our website has joined the partnership program of, which is almost exactly the same as partners' program, but you can buy books in German, or English books that are delivered immediately within Germany. And, yes, we are planing to add articles about Belarus and Belarusian language auf Deutsch.

March 20th, 2003

A new article in the Belarusian section The Minsk City Guide (1930), a rare edition with only a few copies preserved on paper (this is a shortened version with comments). The guide is written in Belarusian, in classical pre-reform orthography.

I also would like to congratulate all the visitors with the upcoming event: the 85th annivessary of the independence of Belarusian National Republic, that was proclaimed on March 25th, 1918, independent from the communist Russia or anyone else. Best wishes to you!

March 3rd, 2003

Two new articles in the English section "Why is the Russia White" and "Belarus: Real or Fictious Nation". Both are written by our well-known historian Ales Biely. Finally, some light is shed on the etymology of our country's name!

February 24th, 2003

New books and new structure in the books section (as well as in Belarusian books). There are a couple new links in the featured links section. And I've posted a new book review in the articles section: Belarusian, German Minorities In Poland's Political Life In 1989-99.

February 3rd, 2003

Quite a few updates. First of all, an article in English about different forms of the adjective: Byelorussian, Belarusian, Belarusan... Then, a new article in Belarusian, a short slang dictionary of Belarusian hippies and punks of the late 70's and early 80's. And, finally, modified KBD and DLL files with the new keyboard layout that includes the new letter "Cyrillic Ghe with upturn" (as it's called in the Unicode charts) in the download section. Also, note that there is a very active discussion in the guestbook about the adjective and the new letter.

January 10th, 2003

Greetings in the new year! We have compiled a top list of the most popular articles from the last year. Check them out just to be sure that you have not missed some interesting article.

December 29th, 2002

There is a new article about the upcoming Belarusian language reform (and it includes an English summary). Also, I have added an old "Economist" article about Belarus to our archives: "Belarusian history links a dismal present to a more encouraging past."

December 26th, 2002

If you are still undecided what to read in the new year, here is my list of great books about Belarus and Eastern Europe that I have read in 2002 or planning to read in 2003.

Also, you can now search our site using three different options: our internal search (not so friendly, but really searches through all files), with the help of google (probably almost as good as internal, and much friendlier design), and finally, you can search for related books on Amazon. The recommended way to search is via Google, which is the default option in our search box.

December 25th, 2002

Breaking news: our Academy of Science is planning a new language reform. So far, there are only sketchy details regarding the nature of this reform. We will post more details, once we know more about this initiative of the government.

December 23rd, 2002

Finally, on X-Mas eve I added the guestbook. So now you can actually sign the guestbook or check out what others have written already. And, of course, I wish you all a very merry X-Mas!

December 20th, 2002

Compiled a new article containing the letter frequencies for Belarusian and Russian. There is also Excel sheet with complete data and Windows utility to calculate frequencies on your local files, now available from downloads section.

December 8th, 2002

Uploaded a new article in Belarusian, the pot-pourri collection of Worvik's posts from various Belarusian forums about our language situation (the spheres of usage and the co-existence of two orthographical traditions).

December 2nd, 2002

We have scanned and uploaded yet another rare book on our site. This time it's the unique Turkish-Belarusian phrasebook of 1836, published in New York in 1995, and now available in Acrobat PDF file from our downloads section.

Anoter nice thing: we got a real mascot for our site. And it's the Regenmaus.

October 22nd, 2002

Bad news: the new hoster turned out to be not so reliable (we have about 20 hours of downtime since October 1st). And good news: I've uploaded a new article about Jewish songs in Belarusian, written by Janka Stankievic in 1933 for the "Annals of the Belarusian Scientific Society in Vilnia." There is a detailed English summary of the article and the scanned image of the notes.

October 3rd, 2002

Good news: there is a new version of our links page (still in beta) which allows to vote for the sites and submit new links via a special form. Even better news: we uploaded a rare edition of Belarusian ABC "Lemantar" that was published in New York in 1964. You can see it in the download section.

September 14th, 2002

In August I've experienced more difficulties with my web hoster and finally made the decision to move out and search for some other hosting company. Due to moving the site was inaccessible for more than 10 days in mid-August, but, thanks God, with the new web hoster everything seems to work perfectly. We haven't had any downtime so far. This is the good news. The summer is over, and I will try to update pravapis more often, which is perhaps also should be considered good news. And, yes, I did upload a new article in Belarusian about "trasianka", the famous Belarusian-Russian patois. The article includes summary in English at the bottom of the page.

July 28th, 2002

Translated the article about Belarusian Kitabs into English, also scanned and uploaded the images with the Belarusian-Arabic writing samples for this articles, as well as some other pictures for articles in Belarusian.

July 14th, 2002

Vilnius Pedagogical University is offering a major in Belarusian Philology. You are welcome to apply, the details about this programme and application process can be found in this announcement (see English summary at the bottom of the page).

July 9th, 2002

We got a couple more friendly language sites in the links section - and And also I have posted a list of possible topics for the articles submitted to Internet activity in Belarus seemngly slows down in the summertime, but we will try to update as often as we can.

June 28th, 2002

The new article "Saying Nyet To Russian" has been published in the English section the day before.

Also yesterday our site set a new popularity record – 320 unique visitors and almost 600 page views in one day. By the way, the total number of page views since the birth of our site has now reached 20,000. Great!

June 12th, 2002

Translated Jack Fellman's great article "Ben-Yehuda and Revival of Hebrew" into Belarusian and published here both - the English original and the Belarusian translation.

June 4th, 2002

Published on the Web my interview for the Minsk newspaper "The Man & Internet" (in Belarusian). Several days ago I've also added two interviews about the new two-volume collection of Janka Stankevich linguistic works: with Juras Buslakou and with Valer Bulhakau (both in Belarusian).

May 19th, 2002

The new book review about Lee Hogan's "Belarus" sci-fi novel "The thief that stole a whole country" has been added to the articles section (in English).

May 15th, 2002

Added one more book by Czeslaw Milosz and also two books by David Marples to the books review section and, besides, made some changes to the home page and the about page.

May 9th, 2002

Congrutalations on the Victory day. Using this day off, I put two more articles in the English section: a table with the "Library of Congress Cyrillic Transliteration" and a nice little collection of basic phrases in Belarusian, Bulgarian, Russian and English.

Also today, according to the stats of the webcounter we had a 5000th unique visitor. We are becoming the most popular site on the Web about Belarusian language.

May 2nd, 2002

There is a new minibutton which you can use to link to Also, check out a new article in Belarusian about the decline of Old Belarusian in 17th century.

April 21th, 2002

We developed a new online translator for converting "translit" into Cyrillic alphabet. It is still in beta, so you are welcome to play around with it and send your suggestions. We had a lot of fun with this linguistic toy.

April 11th, 2002

A superb article about the scholar who brought the first printed Bible to the Eastern Slavs, dr. Francis Skaryna (Skorina). "At home in the West, in his native country he was perhaps ahead of his time." He was the person ever to publish a book on the whole territory of former Soviet Union.

April 4th, 2002

A new article about various spellings of our country name (Belarus) according to Google. Also an article in Belarusian section about netspeak, the language of the chats and on-line communication.

April 2nd, 2002

This Web site is 1-year old, counting from the domain registration date. Happy birthday,! We drank some champagne to your health and to our beloved Belarusian language. Please leave your comments in the guest book [updated: this is the old guesbook, the new one is located here].

January 26th, 2002

A new article about Minsk slang in the Belarusian language section (the unknown toponimy of the capital). Four new books in the Belarusian books section from the Belarusian bookstore

January 10th, 2002

Several new articles in the Belarusian language section (Al Kitabs – Belarusian-language manuscripts in Arabic writing, Vocative form and its correct usage), new article about political aspect of speaking Belarusian in the 90's.

October 20th, 2001

Several new articles in the Belarusian language section (endings in Genitive of singular masculine nouns; semantic processing of Belarusian language texts, biographical data on Belarusian writers).

October 6th, 2001

New materials were added: a sample phrasebook, two converters from Cyrillic to Latin script, and several new articles. Everything was uploaded to the Web server.

October 3rd, 2001

The new Nasza Niva dictionary was converted from separate RTF files into a single CHM (compiled HTML) help file. Easy search and 400% compression. You can download it from downloads section.

October 1st, 2001

The long "vacations" are over. The collection of the materials has begun (links, articles, dictionaries, language utilities) and the first sample designs of the website have been created. That's the day when our language site started operating.

April 2nd, 2001

Uladzimir Katkouski registered the domain name and configured it to redirect to a Geocities page (until the host is found and the site goes into operation) -

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