Wiktionary:About Belarusian

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link={{{imglink}}} This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. Specifically it is a policy think tank, working to develop a formal policy.
Policies – Entries: CFI - EL - NORM - NPOV - QUOTE - REDIR - DELETE. Languages: LT - AXX. Others: BLOCK - BOTS - VOTES.

This page explains considerations (beyond those covered by general policies) which apply to Belarusian entries.

Wiktionary:Entry layout explained is the principal policy on formatting entries. This document supplements that policy.

Introduction edit

Entries edit

Spelling edit


As a result of various historical events, the current Belarusian orthography and alphabets situation is rather complicated. But as far as the Belarusian literature in the form of the existing books and periodicals is concerned, only Łacinka, Taraškievica and the official orthography (Narkamaŭka) are relevant and have their own IANA tags [1].

Additionally, uncoordinated efforts of modern bureaucrats, employed by different departments, produced a number of mutually incompatible romanization schemes tailored for various niche purposes. Among these romanization schemes, the geographical names romanization and the passport names romanization are notable and can be encountered in real life on the road signs or in the passports. The geographical names romanization resembles Łacinka in the uncanny valley manner, but it isn't the real thing. Some examples:

Official orthography (be-1959acad) Taraškievica (be-tarask) Łacinka (be-Latn-tarask) Geographical names romanization Passport names romanization
спартсмен спартсмэн spartsmen - -
спаніэль спаніель spanijel - -
сімвал сімвал simvał - -
сымбаль сымбаль symbal - -
Плошча Незалежнасці Плошча Незалежнасьці Płošča Niezaležnaści Plošča Niezaliežnasci -
Святлана Алексіевіч Сьвятлана Алексіевіч Śviatłana Aleksijevič - Sviatlana Alieksijevich

Various automatic converters exist [2][3][4], but not all of them are perfectly accurate.

History edit

Classic orthography (Taraškievica) edit

  • Up to the middle of the 19th century, all the existing scarce printed publications in contemporary Belarusian almost exclusively used the Latin alphabet [5], because by that time people gave up on the cumbersome old Church-Slavonic alphabet. Anyone familiar with Łacinka can easily read and understand these texts today, though there was a certain degree of variability in spelling.
  • Then a disruptive ban of the Latin alphabet in 1859 caused some Belarusian authors to either stop trying to publish their works, resort to publishing them abroad or switch to the Cyrillic alphabet altogether, while additionally being subjected to heavy censorship in the Russian Empire. This ban was lifted in 1905 and many printed publications in Belarusian started to appear.
  • In 1918, Branisłaŭ Taraškievič published Belarusian grammar textbooks for schools in both Latin[6] and Cyrillic[7] scripts, which standardized and summarized the already established practices and became the basis of Taraškievica orthography. Both Latin and Cyrillic scripts were supported and a reversible mapping existed between them.
  • Since 1933, Taraškievica and the use of the Latin script got superseded and banned on the territory of the USSR, but still remained in use on the territory of Western Belarus and everywhere else.
  • Taraškievica returned to the independent Belarus around 1991 after the collapse of the USSR in the form of newspapers and published books, but didn't make it to the Belarusian schools.
  • In 2005, the modern normalization of Taraškievica was published[8]. Since 2010 Taraškievica is officially banned on the territory of Belarus, but remains in use in printed publications outside of Belarus.

Official orthography (Narkamaŭka) edit

  • In 1930s the soviet authorities were engaged in jailing and executing Belarusian linguists and writers and the Belarusian orthography reform of 1933 emerged as a part of these activities. This made it highly controversial and rejected outside of the USSR, causing the current split. Additionally, this reform only supported the Cyrillic script, banning the Latin script on the territory of USSR.
  • In 1957 there was an evolutionary update of this orthography standard and it came into force in 1959 two years later. That's what the be-1959acad IANA subtag refers to.
  • In 2008 another update[9] happened, primarily as an answer to the Taraškievica 2005 standardization. All printed publications in Belarusian were legally required to switch to it by 2010. The ban on printing or importing books and newspapers using any other orthography standard also came into force on the territory of modern Belarus.

Dzejasłovica edit

  • This orthography variant[10] was in use in the literary magazine "Дзеяслоў" from 2002 and up until the 2010's ban. It combines the phonetically accurate spelling of the native Belarusian words from Taraškievica with the spelling of the foreign loanwords from Narkamaŭka, basically rejecting the Taraškievica's prescribed rules of adopting foreign loanwords. Some people are using this spelling naturally and independently on their own without even knowing that it has a name.

Wiktionary Policy edit

Criteria for inclusion edit

The criteria for inclusion with respect to Belarusian terms are the same as Wiktionary's general criteria for inclusion. There are a few caveats though. Almost all Belarusians learn both languages in school, but Russian is the dominant language for many people. And they are inadvertently making mistakes. Some examples:

Russian English translation Belarusian translation What's wrong?
фамилия familia surname фамілія прозвішча A native Russian speaker may be tempted to use a similarly sounding word without realising that it's a false friend in a different language. [11]
точка зрения dot of view point of view кропка гледжання пункт гледжання A native Russian speaker may be tempted to disregard the context and do a literal word by word translation without realizing that the result sounds awkward or doesn't make sense in a different language. [12][13][14]
-Please! You are welcome!
-Калі ласка! Няма за што!

With a strictly formalistic approach to the attestation process, it's likely possible to almost always find the required 3 citations of any arbitrary Russian word mistakenly mixed into Belarusian speech or text in the durably archived sources somewhere out there. In general it's necessary to be careful with citations, unless they are taken from the books, written by well known notable Belarusian authors. But even citations from books may be problematic if they deliberately depict speech of a foreigner for artistic purposes:

  • 2019, Зоя Доля, Акно ў замежжа (зборнік), Litres, →ISBN:
    – Алег можайт сделать тарелка мой друг? – Ды запраста. Няхай твой сябар завітае да мяне на выходныя, дамовімся аб аплаце і падключым яму Альджазіру.
    – Aljeh móžajt sdjelatʹ tarjelka moj druh? – Dy zaprasta. Njaxaj tvoj sjabar zavitaje da mjanje na vyxódnyja, damóvimsja ab aplacje i padključym jamu Alʹdžaziru.
    (please add an English translation of this quotation)

For example, the bold part of the text from the citation above is not written in Belarusian. Trasianka speakers are sometimes featured as the characters in books or skits [15] and they don't represent the actual Belarusian language either.

Provisional guidelines (yet to be discussed in WT:BP):

  • if something looks like a transliterated Russian word and can't be found in big academic Belarusian dictionaries, then merely 3 citations from Google Books may be insufficient to attest it.

References edit

  1. ^ https://www.iana.org/assignments/language-subtag-registry/language-subtag-registry
  2. ^ https://nashaniva.com/?c=latnsa
  3. ^ https://gooseob.github.io/taraskevizatar/
  4. ^ https://corpus.by/Romanizator/?lang=en
  5. ^ Павел Кукольник (1859) Адказ міністру Віленскага Цэнзурнага Камітэту ад 27 ліста­пада 1859 г. за № 733[1] (in Russian):
    Комитетъ имѣетъ честь донести Вашему Высокопревосходительству, что онъ до полученія опредѣленія Главнаго Управленія Цензуры 25 апрѣля сего года о воспрещеніи примѣненія польскаго алфавита къ Русскому языку не считалъ случая сего сомнительнымъ потому, что съ давнихъ временъ Бѣлорусскія сочиненія какъ здѣшнимъ, такъ и С.-Петербургскимъ Комитетомъ одобряемы были къ печати польскими буквами, которыхъ экзем­пляры своевременно представляемы были въ Главное Управленіе Цензуры и онымъ не было сдѣлано по этому предмету возраженій. [...] Наконецъ, сколько Комитету извѣстно всѣ бѣлорусскія сочиненія печатаны были доселѣ польскими буквами.
    Komitet imějet čestʹ donesti Vašemu Vysokoprevosxoditelʹstvu, što on do polučenija opredělenija Glavnago Upravlenija Cenzury 25 aprělja sevo goda o vospreščenii priměnenija polʹskago alfavita k Russkomu jazyku ne sčital slučaja sevo somnitelʹnym potomu, što s davnix vremen Bělorusskija sočinenija kak zděšnim, tak i S.-Peterburgskim Komitetom odobrjajemy byli k pečati polʹskimi bukvami, kotoryx ekzem­pljary svojevremenno predstavljajemy byli v Glavnoje Upravlenije Cenzury i onym ne bylo sdělano po etomu predmetu vozraženij. [...] Nakonec, skolʹko Komitetu izvěstno vsě bělorusskija sočinenija pečatany byli doselě polʹskimi bukvami.
  6. ^ https://be.wikisource.org/wiki/Індэкс:Biełaruskaja_hramatyka_dla_škoł_(1918).pdf
  7. ^ https://be.wikisource.org/wiki/Індэкс:Беларуская_граматыка_для_школ_(1918).pdf
  8. ^ https://knihi.com/storage/pravapis2005.html
  9. ^ https://be.wikisource.org/wiki/Закон_Рэспублікі_Беларусь_«Аб_Правілах_беларускай_арфаграфіі_і_пунктуацыі»
  10. ^ https://be.wikipedia.org/wiki/Дзеясловіца
  11. ^ https://nashaniva.com/325873 («Фамілію» ў атэстатах усё ж выправілі на «прозвішча»)
  12. ^ https://nashaniva.com/316725 (Новы знак на гары Дзяржынскай мае дзве памылкі ў пяці словах)
  13. ^ https://nashaniva.com/326709 (Памылкі на кожнай старонцы. Як выглядае беларускамоўны падручнік у Беларусі)
  14. ^ https://nashaniva.com/203662 (Гродзенскія чыгуначнікі нарабілі моўных памылак, але ўжо паспелі іх выправіць)
  15. ^ https://youtu.be/sfq0y-vseys?t=98