How endangered is Belarusian?


Indonesian, Indonesia
How endangered is Belarusian actually?
Is it true that even in Belarus less and less people get the chance to speak it (like in the cities?) even though they have a decent command of it?

I have quite a decent command of Belarusian, although I don't get to speak it a lot.

the knowledge of Belarusian is quite poor in Belarus.

Belarusian has, apart from the standard language, two main dialects. The subdialects may have some Ukrainian, Polish influence but all of them are heavily influenced by Russian to the point that people are not able to separate what's Russian, what's Belarusian.

As regards Belorussian and Ukrainian, on the printed page they look rather like forms of Russian that have acquired Polish vocabulary. Spoken Belorussian, more than Ukrainian, sounds like Russian to me, but listening carefully it is possible to detect sounds you would not get in Russian.

  • cyanista

    законодательница мод
    I had a quick look around and found this blogpost. An insider view, so to speak, however biased... The part named "Why Don’t They Speak Belarusian? Why Should They?" is especially relevant.

    Here you will find a more sober scientific approach, unfortunately it is just a short abstract.

    EDIT: This essay provides valuable insight into the situation:

    Sociology as a Science of Culture: Linguistic Pluralism in Australia and Belarus

    (in Sociology and ideology by Eliezer Ben Rafael)

    See especially pages 69 to 72.
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    Speaking of my personal experience, I lived in Eastern Belarus since 1989 till 1998, and I did not hear a word in Belarusian outside Belarusian classes. Well, you still could hear [nonlive] stop announcements in buses/trolleys in Belarusian, and you could hear Belarusian on TV. You could see Belarusian messages on government buildings, but rarely so on private ones. Basically, every time I saw or heard Belarusian I had the feeling that I was dealing with something governmental/municipal.
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