Thursday, 13 September 2012

How to speak: Belarus or Belorussia?

You will find two versions of writing the name of my country on different sources. Which one is correct?
The official name of the country is the Republic of Belarus. This name you will find in any of the Belarusian newspaper, in anyBelarusian document. Why some people say "Belorussia"?

At the time of the Soviet Union, our country was called the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (Belorussia). This name existed many years, it sits firmly in the memory of many people (non-Belarusians). For example, the Russians call our country only Belorussia. However, country with the same name is not on the map for more than 20 years. So the Russians continue to mention the name of a non-existent country.
From this we can conclude that the right to speak and write: "Belarus".



25 comments:

  1. In my language it is simple - it is only one form: Białoruś :).

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  2. In French we usually say Biélorussie. Belarus exists also but is related to a republic founded in WW2 supported by Nazi Germany so is not popular.
    On TV we hear more of Biélorussie than of République du Bélarus.

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  3. In Ukrainian.. we call your country: Білорусь чи Республіка Білоруси.

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    1. whats that with English symbols? Not sure what that sounds like...

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  5. In Mexico we are used to calling you "Bielorrusia"... However it's good to know that the correct name in spanish is "Republica de Belarús"

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  6. However, byelo is an adjective meaning white, and rus is also an adjective meaning Russian (a noun only when referring to a Russian person), so the name of the country is a pair of adjectives modifying nothing? That doesn't even make grammatical sense. It's as though West Virginia we called West Blue.

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    1. Rus is the name of the country. Rus is a noun. In Slavic languages, it has all the grammatical features of the noun. And the name of the country "Russia" originates from the ancient noun "Rus". In ancient times in Eastern Europe was a few countries with a similar name. For example, Black Rus, Kievan Rus, White Rus. I would have reacted the word "Rus" as a country name to the English word "Land". Therefore, the name of my country is actually made up of a combination of "adjective + noun".

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    2. No, BELO- or BELA- is an adjective that modifies RUSIAN... What kind of Russian? a White Russian... Often in a situation of 2 adjectives, one can modify the other... The big yellow book - which yellow book? the big one, not the small one... Which big book? the yellow one, not the red. This can be reflected in syntactic trees, if you want to get really technical lol.

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  7. Sorry, in Serbian the we refer to your country as Belorusija (Белорусија). Official name is Republika Belorusija (Република Белорусија). :(

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    1. It's okay, I like your version ) ) )

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  8. In estonian we call your country "Valgevene" (valge=white), which is closer to Belarus than Belarussia, because "vene" is a short form of "russia".

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    1. Thanks, it's very interesting.

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    2. You are welcome. By the way, "vene" is an old finnougric word for boat, so for estonian s, literally speaking, "russians" (and also belarussians) in a way mean "boat people". This is the etymology behind it :)

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  9. In German it's Weißrussland

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  10. I want to visit Belarus in the autumn. And think about how I can learn Belarus some words to speak.

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  11. In my language (Dutch) we call it Witrusland. Wit means "white" and in "rusland" "land" means "country". So we actually say "White Rus country". Rusland is also our name for Russia. "Rus Country" so to speak

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  12. I know a song called "Born in Belorussia"

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    1. Yeah.
      This song mentions the name of my country of the Soviet era. I was also born in Belarussia. But I'm living in Belarus now)))

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  13. I know a song called "Born in Belorussia"

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  14. In a my country which is the German Empire, we call your country Weißrussland with "weiß" meaning "white" and "Russland" meaning "Russia". But why are you called white russians?

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    1. Here are a few versions.
      1. White means free. Belarus was not conquered by the Tatars, like the Kiev principality in the Middle Ages.
      2. People had blonde hair and wore light clothes.
      3. White means Christian. So people could call our lands as a counterweight to Black Russia, which was pagan.
      4. White means ancient, great.

      As you can see, there are several versions. Scientists are still arguing which version is right.

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    2. none of these are historical or factual, sorry. Read wikipedia's entry on Belarus - it's really good and factual/historically accurate.
      cheers

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    3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belarus

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