East Slavic languages: Spelling reforms - shedding Russian (Soviet?) influences?


Senior Member
First off, we've had a successful thread on spelling refoms, but East Slavic langauges didn't feature there.

This question was triggered by Krossaffschcheg who mentioned that "i" was dropped from the Russian language after 1917. I didn't know there used to be an "i" in Russian. :eek:

But this thread should have a wider scope than just one vowel.
I would like to know
  • about the political circumstances that led to the dismissal of "i" after 1917;
  • whether and to what extent the spelling of other azbuka-based languages was influenced by the changes in Russian. I guess it could have been but then, Ukrainian and Belarussian were relegated to second-league languages anyway, so why bother to mold them into something more Russian?
  • the present state of affairs: If some (potential) changes from the Soviet era are being reversed, is there a wide consensus (at least in the non-nostalgic parts of the population) about the benefits of such reforms?
While preparing the Slavic stickies, I became aware of some spelling issues in Belarussian (see the resources stickies for links about the history of Belarussian) but I am almost ignorant about Ukrainian.

The Wiki article on Ukrainian is excellent, but it does not exactly address my questions.



P.S. As an aside, let me mention Mongolia: Cyrillic script was imposed on Mongols in the 1930s, and the traditional Mongolian script was outlawed.
"(Nowadays the traditional script) ...is taught to some extent in schools, though is mainly used for decorative purposes by artists, designers, calligraphers and poets. The average person in Mongolia knows little or nothing about the traditional alphabet, though there is high literacy in Cyrillic." Source
  • MindStorm

    Russia, russian
    Hello, Jano!
    You'll be surprised, but there was a letter "ять", wich I didn't find in a character map, so I decided to draw and attach it.
    About reversing the changes-I didn't hear anything about it, and I hope it won't happen. You know, before 1917 the "ъ" signs were widely used, although there was no really use of them. (Again, in "Война и Мир" the removal of those signs reduced the size of the whole writing by numerous pages).
    I heard about other kind of reformation: the further simplification, but it concerns only a few words, such as "парашют" (it is pronounced as "парашут", so there was intention to change ю with у).
    I don't think there are some reasons of reverting the 1917's changes back-they were constructive and very useful (the usage of those abandoned letters made russian more like czech with charky).
    About nostalgic parts of population-I don't think there are much people who learned the writing before 1917 left.
    I think there were no political circumstances for those changes (except the communist revolution, of course), it was just a part of country modernisation (along with the new calendar, time etc.)

    By the way, while I was writing the post, my mother found an 1898's 1 rouble banknote, and there is a note about fake money that was written in old-styled russan. I can scan and publish it if you are interested.

    [off topic] about modern unofficial reformation: if i'm not mistaken. the nickname "Krossaffschcheg" means "красавчик". This type of language is called "сленг падонкаф" ("the bastards' slang"). If you want more, visit the www.udav.com. Attention: the site is full of different types of explicit content, so proceed on your own risk. It's not a language portal, but it's the main place where the new "language" is widely used.

    Hope I was helpful.


    • yat.JPG
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    'Yat' was a very important letter, it was read like the today's E after vocals, ь and at the beginning of words, while 'E' was read like it is read today after constants. Фор экзэпл,"Электричество" вас вриттэн эз "Електричество" бэк зэн, бут ит ваз read without the 'й' at the beginning, as we would read it today in russian. Philologists think that the change was not nescessary and terribly wrong. The 'i' was afaik the same letter as И, and it was used more often. Also, the bolsheviks abolished the tradition to write a ъ at the end of each word which end with an constant. Originally Lenin and Trotski planned to change Russian entirely to latin alphabet, but they met much resistance from within the party.


    New Member
    Russian spell reforms developed at time Caesar... Bolshevig's just do it...
    All educated peoples "contra". But hell red wings time decided it.. khm..:) You understand me)
    After 30th years was educated 100.000.000 soviet peoples... They learned by new spelling rules... There is not nostalgy, because 70% of educated peoples was die...

    padonki slang - myth, they speak pure russian. They write words as hear them - anytime it stupid, anytime it fun.
    Plus, if you read issues of udaff.com then *hear* live russian language))