be-tarask language subtag registration form

Jaska Zedlik sub at
Sat Mar 31 19:46:26 CEST 2007

Hello toghether,

Let me try to describe briefly the history of the Belarusian language
when it bacame devided into two grammars to let you decide whether
politics is present or absent in Belarusian orthographies. I'll try to
do this in the most neutral way.

In the middle and in the end of the 19th century Belarusian was used
both in cyrillic and latin scripts. Of course, it was a bit different
from the spellings which are currently in use. In the beginning of the
20th (since 1906) even the first Belarusian newspaper "Nasa Niva"
published articles both in cyrillic and latin scripts. Later
Belarusian lunguist Branislau Taraskievic was a success to gather the
main trends in the language and codificate it. So in 1918 was
published his book "Belarusian orthography for schools" in a form of a
teachbook. The latest edition of this book--5th, changed and
enlarged--when Taraskievic was alive was in 1929. Later this
orthography was titled Taraskievica (by the surname of Branislau

In 1933 in Soviet Union was performed a Belarusian language reform.
The orthography was changed to make Belarusian more similar to
Russian. The use of the previous orthography (Taraskiecica) was
forbidden. The new orthography was accepted by the decree of the
Council of People’s Commissaries ("Narodnyja kamisary" in Belarusian),
therefore the orthography got later not neutral title "Narkamauka".
Since that time this grammar was approwed by authorities and developed
in Belarusian Academy of Sciences till now. In 1959 it became the most
similar to the language which is now oficially in use.        

But Belarusian in Taraskievica orthography after 1933 still existed,
mainly in immigration. And in the end of 1980th when the situation in
USSR changed began to spread. In 1991 was published an article where
described an attempt to reconstruct Taraskievica and adopt it for
using after such an isolation. In 2005 was published a book which is
considered to be a grammar for Taraskievica orthography (or so-called
classical orthography).

Nowadays the use of Taraskievica is not apreciated by the authorities.
But it seems to me that the political side of the Belarusian grammars
is concerned with the fact that the authorities are using official
orthography and political parties (mainly opponents of current
authority) preferably use Taraskievica (if both sides use Belarusian,
of cource). But newer the less the Belarusian language is one. And
to my mind this is the most popular and big fault as among foreigners
and as among Belarusians to think that the language or spelling
reflects some political views. And now this is in fact so, but of
cource we have to do something with this. But only way of putting down
of the words is different, but the language is one. There is another
thought that Narkamauka i Taraskievica use different words for the
same things. This is another fault, because there are synonims but
some of them are preferably used in Taraskievica, and others are in
Narkamauka. But any orthography doesn't deal with the words in the
language, it just says how to write them. As Taraskievica and
Narkamauka also don't and shouldn't do.                

Jaska Zedlik

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list