Belarusian Latin alphabet

Łacinka, the Belarusian Latin alphabet, used since the 17th century next to the Cyrillic alphabet for the White Russian and was occasionally used as a personal official alphabet.


The Łacinka based on similar principles as the alphabets of the Polish, Czech, Lithuanian, inter alia:


The use of each piece of writing was related to the religious orientation of the Belarusian people. Since the times of the Kievan Rus, the Belarusian people were orthodox and used that for the typical Altostslawische Cyrillic alphabet, which dates back to the Orthodox Slavic saints Cyril and Methodius. With the forced proselytizing the west Belarusian territories under Polish rule to Catholicism, the first written in Roman script documents the Belarusian language appeared (see also history of Belarus ). The first works of modern Belarusian literature and the first Belarusian magazines published in the 19th century in the Latin alphabet. Many features that are typical of modern Belarusian Cyrillic orthography, first appeared in the Łacinka ( consistent phonetic spelling, the letter ŭ / ў and others).

With the spread of the Russian language, and thus the Cyrillic alphabet Belarusian journalists rose early 20th century, partly back to the Cyrillic alphabet in order.

In the 20s and 30s of the 20th century has been discussed in Belarusian philological circles violently over a possible switch to the Latin alphabet. The discussion was ended by the communist repression and the Soviet policy of Russification - the use of Łacinka was designated and banned in the Soviet Republic of Belarus as a counter-revolutionary. The Latin alphabet remained in western White Russia (until the forced unification with the Soviet Republic in the wake of the German - Soviet Non-Aggression Pact in 1939 ) is in use, as well as among immigrants in the U.S., Canada, Australia etc.

Łacinka today

Today the Łacinka is used mainly by active Belarusian speakers, especially on the Internet.

One of Łacinka very close official system to transcribe Belarusian name was introduced by the State Committee for Land, Geodesy and Cartography on 23 November 2000. The main difference is usually in the application to play the softness of consonants on the letter Ll: as in Nn - Nn, Cc - Cc is also ль represented by LL. The letter ll is missing in the official system.

Back into the public consciousness moved Łacinka but only in 2012 with new signs and signs for the Minsk metro. For this transcription was further simplified: The Cyrillic soft Л has now by the two-letter combination "Li" (instead Ĺ ) and reproduced the hard Л by a simple L (instead of Ł ). Example: Плошча Леніна - Plosca Lienina.


Mahutny Boža, a religious anthem of Belarus (Text: Natalla Arseńnieva, Music: Mikola Ravenski )

Магутны Божа

Mahutny Boža