Talk:Belarusian language

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The real difference between the two variants of Belarusian, the Tarashkevitsa??? What is it?[edit]

I want to know:

The real difference between the two variants of Belarusian, the Tarashkevitsa and the Academic version. Really. This is not an article about politics. I don't care about the politics. I know you care, but we need LANGUAGE information in a language article.

I want the linguistic details! Please someone tell me, what is the difference? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:41, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, please feel free to translate the linguistic part of be:Тарашкевіца. It is academically sourced as far as possible. I don't know the English linguistic terminology well enough, so I can't hope to do this and survive. :) And it is not just the "orthography", it's the "literary norm", including but not limited to the orthography (per Antonyuk, Plotnikov, Belarusian language, Linguistic compendium, 2003). AFAICU, the Western sources won't help you here, as they mostly just draw on the several stereotypes, cultivated around the issue. Yury Tarasievich (talk) 11:44, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Isn't this text important enough to be quoted in the article? [1] Xx236 (talk) 15:25, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

This material is already used in the article (the paper source, StStank 1962). Irrelevant to the subject at hand right now, though. Yury Tarasievich (talk) 09:36, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

StStank 1962 isn't quoted[edit]

The text is among References, but not quoted directly.Xx236 (talk) 10:11, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Where did you look? It's used in the post-1945 part, Footnote #21. Okay now? Yury Tarasievich (talk) 07:32, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Thank you, I have corrected the symbol in the Footnote #21. Xx236 (talk) 08:52, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Vocabulary section[edit]

I'm moving the "Vocabulary" section here to the talk page because so much of it is disputed in comments, and much more of it could be. It reads as follows (including the comments):

Historically, besides the adoptions from neighbouring Russian, Polish and Ukrainian, the Belarusian language includes words adopted from: Celtic languages — "бот" (bot), "тын" (tyn)<!--all Celtic examples are disputable-->; Greek language — "кадка" (kadka), "крыніца" (krynica), "кмен" (kmjen), "мак" (mak), "аладка" (aladka), "хаўтуры" (haŭtury), "чабор" (čabor); Latin language — "байструк" (bajstruk), "бульба" (bul'ba), "каляды" (kaljady), "кот" (kot), "ягня" (jahnja); Gothic language — "бондар" (bondar), "бочка" (bočka), "гурок" (hurok), "кацёл" (kacjol), "крупа" (krupa), "кульгаць" (kul'hac'), "лапік" (lapik), "меч" (meč), "пасма" (pasma), "піла" (pila), "рэмень" (remjen'), "сталь" (stal'); Daco-Thracian language — "каноплі (kanopli)"<!--dubitable! the word exists in all languages of Eurasia-->; Romanian language, and others.

It would help if these words were glossed into English. Without knowing what they mean, and without any sources cited, it's difficult for the reader to evaluate the claims. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 17:35, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Here're some, and some approximated (no vocabularies at hand right now): Celtic - boot, palisade; Greek - wooden vessel (short barrel), spring (watersource), ..., poppy, sort of pancake, wake (not sure about this), ...; Latin - bastard, potatoe, Christmas (calendae), cat, young sheep (I know there's a special word in English); Gothic - barrel-maker, barrel, cucumber, cauldron, groats, (to) limp, patch (as in patch of the land), sword, strip (of cloth) or lock (of hair), saw, belt, steel; Daco-Thracian - hemp. Yury Tarasievich (talk) 21:23, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
The word you're looking for that means "young sheep" is lamb. But jahnja is almost certainly NOT a loan-word from Latin agnus, but rather a cognate to it. I suspect several other of these words are also cognates rather than loans, and others (like kot and kaljady) are probably loanwords into Proto-Slavic rather than loanwords into Belarussian. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 21:48, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

pronunciation of Г[edit]

Belarusian alphabet says that the pronunciation of Г is /ɣ/, but on the other hand, Г says it's /ɦ/. what's the right one? Just OmerTalk 21:00, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

There's been some discussion of this at Talk:Belarusian phonology#velar fricative? too. It looks like there's a degree of free variation between the two, but [ɣ] is considered prescriptively correct. —Angr 06:35, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Also, fricative (gamma) is overwhelmingly prevailing when spoken, while glottal and plosive are spoken variations (plosive's also prescripted in several loanwords). Yury Tarasievich (talk) 07:45, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Tarashkevitsa and Taraškievica[edit]

Taraškievica is more preferable title, as this is the original name and spells so in the Belarusian Latin, so I doesn't require additional romanization to Tarashkevitsa from Cyrillic as already exists in the Belarusian Latin script. Romanization of Belarusian Geographic names using the Belarusian Latin script was adopted by the United Nations in 2007 as well [2]. So I suggest using Belarusian script for Belarusian proper names. —zedlik (talk) 00:18, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Additionally the title Taraškievica is used in the corresponding messages file in MediaWiki ([3]), and language subtag registry [4]. —zedlik (talk) 00:29, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

What you use for Latin script does not matter. In English there is no letter š. (talk) 19:41, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Google Books finds 3 books with Tarashkevitsa, but NO books with Taraškievica. So Tarashkevitsa is more common in English. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 20:29, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
    There are 3 results as well for "classical orthography" [5]. Does this mean that we should use such a title? Taraškievica is included into the IANA language-related standard. —zedlik (talk) 00:54, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
    • Yes we can use it, but we can decide a form - as a primary version (article name) or a second one added in the article and create a redirect page from Belarusian classical orthography to the Tarashkevitsa. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 07:11, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • There are lots of proper names in English with the letters š, č, ü or many other letters with diacritic signs. Taraškievica is just one of them. —zedlik (talk) 00:54, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
    • As out of Wikipedia there are NO reliable sources in English using Taraškievica Wikipedia can not be the first - we use reliable sources only, we NEVER add to the articles original researches. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 05:58, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
      • Please try searching Taraskievica in books and you will see that the same count of sources do exist for this variant of the name [6]. For instance, if you open the preview of Vasil Bykaŭ: his life and works, it is possible to see that the Taraškievica variant is used there. Taraškievica is named after Branisłaŭ Taraškievič with š and č in the surname (ref.), so Tarashkevitsa appears to be a poor way of romanization of Belarusian title тарашкевіца. Besides all this Taraškievica is just widely used according to Google, and finally is included into IANA standard. On the base of Taraškievica name the language subtag be-tarask (not be-tarash or be-tarashk) defining this language version is based. Taking all this into account I consider Taraškievica (or its ASCII variant of Taraskievica) to be more preferable to be used as the primary title. —zedlik (talk) 16:47, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
        • You are talking about the possibility of Taraskevica? But why? We already have completely English (English orthography) name which is in use, so why we need change the orthography? English name is preferred in English Wikipedia, I see. "Taraskevica" and "Taraškievica" can be the redirect pages, so everything would play.Bogomolov.PL (talk) 17:10, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
          • Taraskievica is an acceptable variant when the Unicode support is not available or can't be used for example. The same what we have with Skoda (instead of Škoda) or Gdansk (instead of Gdańsk). The thing is that currently we don't have one solid term to describe this phenomenon in the English language, as this subject is either not popular or not studied properly in the English-speaking world, so different variants do exits. "Tarashkevitsa" is as English as "Taraškievica" is, just different romanisation methods were used. And as well "Tarashkevitsa" can be a redirect page, too, and it is already a redirect page (along with other variants), and everything already plays with no problem, isn't it? —zedlik (talk) 17:37, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
            • We use English names in Wikipedia, isn't it? Tarashkevitsa looks like more English term as it is written using the conventional spelling rules (and this English form is really used in the English books). But Taraskievica or Taraškievica are not any English spelling - but a romanization only. Who can imagine these Taraskievica or Taraškievica spelling (if is English speaker, but not Belarusian)? Milosevic is spelled not Miloshevich, you see. It is a good fortune Tarashkevitsa has conventional English spelling, I see. Aspiration for teaching the world correct Belarusian romanization is not realistic, so if it is possible to omit unclear non-English spelling we need do so, I guess. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 20:35, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm not going to teach anybody, but why do you consider "Tarashkevitsa" to look more English than "Taraškievica"? Both variants are possible, both are used, what's the problem then? Why "Taraškievica" can't be an English spelling? Nobody suggests to write Škoda as Shkoda in English, or Milošević as Miloshevich, or Białystok as Byalystok. For example, there is an official Instruction on transliteration of Belarusian geographical names with letters of Latin script exists which was adopted by the United Nations and has a lot of diacritic signs. The English-language maps published in Belarus use all these ŠČŽŚŬ-letters for Belarusian geographical names and nobody is bothered that the spelling is not English. Or is "Szlachta" an English spelling (not shlahta, or shlakhta)? It is just ok when a foreign proper name has letters outside of 26-letter alphabet. For people who don't know how to read "Taraškievica" but want to, it is possible to provide the pronunciation. —zedlik (talk) 22:57, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

  • I'm talking about the way of orthography notation: š - what is this for the native English speaker? But "sh" is clear as it is a routine English sound. The same with the "ica" - how it would be read by the native English speaker? But with the "itsa" everything is clear.
  • About Škoda in English. It is a registrated trade mark (for the decades), but Tarashkevitsa is not any TM, and it is not any "geographical name", and it is not any person name and it exists in English in this form, you see. I'm not glad with native English speakers teaching of foreign language: we are not glad do see in English Warszawa, Moskva, Praha, Kyjiv etc. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 18:36, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
    • Any native English speaker knows that foreign proper names may contain any latin character which can't be found in the English alphabet, but exist in the Latin alphabet. Warszawa, Moskva, Praha are not used in English as the English names for these cities exist and have wide usage. On the other hand there are many other names which are used in English with the diacritic marks: Białystok, Červený Kostelec, Dobříš, or Benešov and many many others. How should an English speaker read this? Or why do you think that this is a real problem for the English-speaking people? There are "orthographic" examples exist, too: Høgnorsk, Bokmål, Uyghur Latin Yéziqi. Aren't they English enough? They all are proper names and are used in the English language by English speakers in the English Wikipedia. Taraškievica is just one among these proper names. —zedlik (talk) 21:28, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
      • The topic with Warszawa etc was introduced to demonstrata a simple idea - if we have English form we don't need a foreign non-English one. The same with Tarashkevitsa - we have an English form, do we need a non-English one? When you are talking about numerous foreign names with the diacritics you asks "Aren't they English enough?". No, they aren't English as without the foreign language knolege native English speaker has a problem with speaking and even with typing these words. We use foreign names with diacritics whet we have no proper English names only, isn't it? Or Warszawa, Praha, Moskva will come to Wikipedia. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 10:52, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
        • Why do you consider Tarashkevitsa to be the English form and Taraškievica not? Only because of diacritic signs absence? Then Taraskievica is the form without diacritic marks--normally they are just omitted if somebody wants to type it. The example of such a usage is provided in one of the books above. The problem is that Moscow, Warsaw and Prague have been used in the English language for decades and centuries, but there is no equivalent for Belarusian тарашкевіца exist in the English language. Only some ways of transliteration are occasionally used when it is required to describe this phenomenon in the Belarusian language. There is no extensive usage of these names in the English language, none of them can be treated as "more" English than another one, they just remain the transliterated forms based on the Belarusian word, so there is no matter which characters the result word will have. sh is not better than š or s as the English speaker doesn't need to read this as they know that the pronunciation of a proper name (especially taken from the foreign language) may be totally different from the spelling. For instance, I've just tried to google--Bialystok, Byalystok, and even Byalistok are used in the English-language texts (without any diacritic marks!), and despite this Wikipedia still uses some strange form of Białystok which is unclear to the English-speaking people. —zedlik (talk) 12:46, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
          • Again: Google Books finds 3 books with Tarashkevitsa, but NO books with Taraškievica. So Tarashkevitsa is more common in English. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 16:01, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
            • Again: it was 3 books in Google Books using Taraškievica or Taraskievica when I posted the search link 4 days ago [7]. Now there is 2 (I don't know where Google put the 3rd, but you may have seen). The first uses Taraškievica (this means that Google Books search is not accurate searching content with the diacritic marks, and there may be more books), the second is a dictionary. Plus we have IANA language-related standard for Taraškievica, plus logical derivative form from the Taraškievič name (with š as appeared on the grammar book cover), plus wider usage over the net according to Google. —zedlik (talk) 17:31, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

Summary should explain the two standards[edit]

I think the summary should explain the two standards (normative and Taraškievica). Now there seem to be two different Belorussian languages. Or may be I misunderstood (I did not read the whole lengthy article). Andries (talk) 10:31, 29 October 2009 (UTC) your a ass —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:17, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Kazimir Malevich[edit]

Was Kazimir Malevich an ethnic Belarusian? Did he speak Belarusian? I don't think so. He clamed a Polish ethnicity [8]. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 20:46, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

There are different views on this point exist, and the ethnicity is just arguable and uncertain. —zedlik (talk) 01:03, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Can you provide this views? Reliable sources are welcomed. We need analyze these sources do decide a form of pointig Malevich ethnicity, is't it? Wikipedia never decides what is true but only provides reliable sources opinion(s), more sourced opinion first, less sourced next as a possible variant.Bogomolov.PL (talk) 05:55, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Besides the point Malevich was of polish ethnicity, for instance the following variants are possible:
  • Belarusian (as in [9], [10], [11])
  • Ukrainian (as in Родословие и предки К. С. Малевича // Малевич о себе. Современники о Малевиче. Авторы-составители И. А. Вакар, Т. Н. Михиенко. Т. 1. Москва, 2004. С. 372-385)
Maybe some other versions or sources exist, but I don't know about them. —zedlik (talk) 16:22, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • You are missing the WP:Reliable sources idea: Belarusian mass media publications are not reliable as these sources are Belarusian (not neutral) and these sources are mass media. That is why I will not welcome Polish mass media sources.
  • Malevich was an Ukrainian as he was born in Ukraine and spent his youth in Ukraine. But was he an ethnic Ukrainian? Do you know a lot of Ukrainians Roman Catholics with Polish mother tongue? Google Books founds in the source you provided ("Малевич о себе, Современники о Малевиче: письма, документы, воспоминания, критика" И. А Вакар, Татьяна Н. Михиенко, Казимир Северинович Малевич) the words: "He was one of the artists-Poles" [12]. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 17:39, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • As I know, in that book the Malevich's family is described since the beginning of the 17th cent. stating that all the time they lived under Kiev. That was just the information, if you find it interesting, I really don't feel like arguing on this point, sorry. —zedlik (talk) 17:55, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes, Malevich ancestors history is known, they were a Polish szlachta in Ukraine. That is why he can not be an ethnic Belarusian, I see. He never hide his Polish ethnicity and so himself decided this question. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 18:04, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Agree with you that this is the most reliable version, and it looks well-grounded to me, too. I don't try to convince anybody of Belarusian ethnicity of Malevich, it is just interesting that something makes the reliable linguists like Adam Maldzis (doctor of philology, professor) say that Malevich was born and lived under Kapyl, for example--that's my point. —zedlik (talk) 18:27, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

  • But Malevich himself was sure he was born in Ukraine and grew in Ukraine. And all his family was agree with this point of view. And everybody his friends too. But what scientific magazine (=reliable source) published prof. Maldis discovery (this article can not be a reliable source and it is not any scientific publication, I see)? And why a linguist is interesting in the field of historians work? Bogomolov.PL (talk) 20:21, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Do we have many scientific magazines describing the ethnicity of Malevich? It just depends on what to consider a reliable source. —zedlik (talk) 23:01, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes, you are right. But you presented mr Maldis as a specialist in this field. But the publication quality is surprizing: somebody told that his grandmother told this person that it was a family legend... History is a work with the sources - but is this kind of rumors a reliable source? You see it is very possible to find in Belarus somebody with the name Malevich, I guess.
  • Malevich ethnicity was (and is) wellknown. His relatives (real, known) his friends and enemies knew his ethnicity as he never hide it, it was impossible to hide it. When he 10 years was in Kursk - he was in a Polish community, his frends were Poles (in Kursk - too far from Poland or Belarus or Ukraine - where are native Poles). He married with Polish girl, and his brother married with Polish girl. His father sister married with Pole etc. As the sources about his life coming from his contemporary never discussing his ethnicity, ever don't pay any special attention - his ethnicity was undisputable for them. You see why I'm interested in this question - as in the infobox "Belarusians" Malevich portret is present - in my opinion with no reliable support. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 07:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes, agree with you, thanks for the info. I just was trying to show that there are different versions exist, but I didn't analyzed how reliable they are, sorry if I misled you. Personally I don't know why Malevich portrait was put onto that picture, and I think that it would be fair if his picture is removed from the collage. As well, I've found one more collage of Belarusians in Commons: File:Беларусы. Biełarusy. Belarusians.png, maybe it makes sense to replace the picture with Malevich in the template with this another one. —zedlik (talk) 17:09, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
  • It is only one problem with this collage: Sofia Kovalevskaya. This problem was discussed in ruwiki here. There are no relevant sources supporting her Belarusian ethnicity - she was of Polish-German descendancy parents in a completely russified family. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 18:15, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the link. Well, then we have either to use the separate files or to create a new collage which won't be disputable. Maybe based on File:Беларусы. Biełarusy. Belarusians.png but with arguable portrait of Kovalevskaya replaced with some other portrait. I think it would be the best solution, though it is time-consuming. Perhaps I will try to raise a local discussion on whose portrait will suit such a collage better, and then it will be possible to update the picture in the template. —zedlik (talk) 18:35, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

He is a Belarusian national hero as well. Kościuszko was born on the territory of the modern Belarus, in the family of a local noble, may have Belarusian as a mother tongue and in his letter to Alexander I of Russia wrote that he was born a litvin (= ethnic Belarusian). I can't see any problem with him. —zedlik (talk) 12:54, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

  • The problem exists as he was a Ukraine origin Polish szlachta. Theory claiming "Litwin=ethnic Belarusian" has no any wide support out of Belarus. Hypothesis "may have Belarusian as a mother tongue" has no support in real life as nobels in this period even if were really of Belarusian origin were polonized. But Kościuszko was not Belarusian origin at all. Litwin means "citizen of Litwa (Lithuania)" but not an ethnicity as Litwins were ethnic Lithuanians, Belarusians, Poles, Jews, Tatars, Russians from Litwa. I think Belarus has a lot of ethnic Belarusian prominent persons in politics, science, military, art, sport, religion etc. not to use "hypothetically Belarusians", I see. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 13:23, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
  • You told above that Malevich was of Polish ethnicity as he claimed himself to be of Polish ethnicity. But in the case of Kościuszko claimed the same thing you emphasize that it was just a citizenship--it is a little bit weird. Nevertheless, there are sources exist which claim that Kościuszko came from the old local Belarusian family (as in Касцюшкі // Беларусь: энцыкл. даведнік / Рэдкал. Б. І. Сачанка (гал. рэд.) і інш. — Мінск: БелЭн, 1995. С. 379 and in 88. Хто такі Тадэвуш Касцюшка? // Іван Саверчанка, Зьміцер Санько. 150 пытанняў і адказаў з гісторыі Беларусі. — Менск: 1999; 150 пытанняў і адказаў з гісторыі Беларусі. — Вільня: Наша Будучыня, 2002.). Are there any sources exist which prove his Lithuanian (in the modern sense), Polish, Jewish, Tatar, Russian or Ukrainian ethnicity? —zedlik (talk) 14:30, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
  • It was not MY opinion Malevich claimed Polish ethnicity, there are reliable sources, my opinion is not important. For me was something new to hear the Belarusian ethnicity of the Polish national hero Kościuszko. Britannica tells us he was Polish[13], but nothing about his Belarusian ethnicity. It is some tendency to change etnicities of prominent persons post factum: Malevich, Dostoyevsky, Kovalevskaya, Kościuszko - all these persons post mortem were in Belarusian sources named Belarusians. That is why I'm at the neutral sources side - I never use Polish or Belarusian sources declaring ethnicity of somebody, but citing documents or evidences of eyewitness. Also useful are sources bringing a public opinion in this person period of life. Are you sure in Belarusian nationalists neutrality? We know about Kościuszko only he was the leader of the Polish uprising and for his friends and enemies he was a Pole. His family was polonized and we know he was speaking, reading, writing Polish. But Belarusian, Jewish, Lithuanian, etc - we don't know. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 15:49, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Britannica tells Kościuszko was a "Polish army officer" meaning an officer of the Polish army. Nothing is said there about his ethnicity at all. I don't consider the authors of the encyclopedic reference I provided above to be Belarusian nationalists. The Kościuszko's family since 1458 is described there. There are sources which state that Kościuszko was a Lithuanian [14] or of Lithuanian and Ruthenian descent with the family's estate in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania [15], meaning that he of Grand Duchy's ethnicity, not the Polish one. Based on the Kościuszko's claim of being a litvin (historic term for modern Belarusians) and the details from the mentioned sources about Kościuszko's family I can see that he was born on the ethnically Belarusian territory in the ethnically Belarusian family and consider him to be an ethnic Belarusian whose portrait suits well such a collage picture. —zedlik (talk) 16:44, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I didn't tell Britannica claimes his Polish ethnicity - but it tells nothing about his Belarusian ethnicity. To be a Belarusian nationalist is a normal thing for Belarusian, but I don't think Belarusian nationalists are neutral in this question, isn't it? It is a racist POV to decide somebody's ethnicity from 1458 origins. Ethnicity is not a genetic question (black and white Americans are genetucally from different races) but a person selfdetermination. What we know about Kościuszko - he was Pole from linguistic POV, he was Pole from political POV and he was a Pole for the contemporary public opinion. Hypothesis claiming his Belarusian / Lithuanian ethnicity are post mortem. But there are no evidencies of his linguistic, political, public opinion Belarusian / Lithuanian determination. And again - Belarusian nationalist theory abot "litvinizm" (litvin=Belarusian) out of Belarus/Belarusian nationalists is a marginal theory. Did Kościuszko spoke Belarusian? Did his family spoke Belarusian? We don't know. That is why Kościuszko is a finest person for the Belarus collage, but from the NPOV we have no evidencies of his Belarusian ethnicity, so his presence in Belarusians collage is not indisputable, I see. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 17:25, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Do you know any sources which describe Kościuszko's ethnicity? I've provided two of them (without any references to the mass media) which confirm his Belarusian ethnicity, and all the other sources I've seen for now are not contradictory to those two. —zedlik (talk) 17:49, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Wellknown Kościuszko's words written in a letter to Jefferson: "I am an only true Pole in Europe" (a month before his death). Selfdetermination, isn't it? Bogomolov.PL (talk) 18:32, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Could you provide a reference? I didn't hear anything about these words before and can't find in Google anything related to this subject [16]. —zedlik (talk) 18:44, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Thanks for the link. It was quite interesting, so I've studied this subject a little. I've found that during his life, Kościuszko called himself to be both Polish and Lithuanian in different periods of his life. For example he called himself a Pole in his letter to Jefferson, as you wrote, and in some other cases. But as well he calls himself to be a Lithuanian (Litvin) in his letter to Alexander I; he claims being a Lithuanian in his letter to general Niesiolowski ("Who am I? Am I not a litvin?" — Któż jestem, ażali nie Litwin [18]); Kościuszko describes himself as "a native of Lithuania, in Poland" in his will in 1806 (a legal document) [19]. And in the end of his life he calls himself even "a man without a country" [20]. Therefore I think we can't use these Kościuszko's proclamations, because they most likely describe his attitude to his motherland and don't indicate his ethnicity. Though I found some non-Belarusian sources describing Kościuszko's family: "Kosciuszko, a Lithuanian by birth" as in History of the late Polish revolution: and the events of the campaign By Joseph Hordynski [21], and "he was descended from a noble Lithuanian family" as in The new American cyclopædia, ed. by G. Ripley and C.A. Dana [22]. I suppose it goes without saying that Lithuanian ethnicity described here has nothing in common with the Lithuanians in the modern sense. —zedlik (talk) 22:21, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
  • You provided sources where Kościuszko (he was born in Lithuania and Lithuania was his native land) is describing himself as Lithuanian and his dream is comign back to the native Lithuania [23]. And about his native land he wrote in Polish (a propos do we know any text written by Kościuszko not in Polish, German, French or English? I mean in Lithunian or Belarusian? Did he knew Lithunian or Belarusian?).
  • But what was the Lithuania? Next (legal) source you provided tells us Lithuania (where Kościuszko was born) first was a Poland province, next - a Russia province [24]. So we know the Lithuania is just a province name (if we rely upon sources you provided). Like Masovia or Galizia.
  • Next source you provided [25] where he describes himself as "a man without a country" makes possible to understand what was a country for him. We know the Lithuania never disappeared - first it was a Poland province, next - Russia province. But what country disappeared making Kościuszko "a man without a country"? Answer is clear: Poland. Poland was Kościuszko country, not Lithuania (just a province in it). That is why he was fighting for the freedom of Poland but not Lithuania only. In the source you provided in the same phrase he claimes himself as a Pole and a man without country. It is very difficult to interprete his words in a different way. His nationality (we know) was Polish, his country was Poland. In the source you provided author is talking about Kościuszko - Pole or "as other Poles". A good source.
  • "Though I found some non-Belarusian sources describing Kościuszko's family: "Kosciuszko, a Lithuanian by birth" as in History of the late Polish revolution: and the events of the campaign By Joseph Hordynski [26]" you wrote, but who was Joseph Hordynski? Joseph Hordynski, Major of the late Tenth Regiment of Lithuanian Lancers. Of course Hordynski (or Kościuszko) was not Belarusian as this term didn't even exist this time. But he was from the same province Lithuania and "he was descended from a noble Lithuanian family" was a truth we know before. But it never decides Kościuszko ethnicity as we know all nobels were polonized. Nobel in Lithuania was the same as Pole - all nobels were speaking Polish, we don't know nothing about Kościuszko knolege of Belarusian language. And did you pay any attantion on a title of the book? "Polish revolution" - so mjr. Hordynski also was sure he was Polish, I see.
  • Next source you provided The new American cyclopædia, ed. by G. Ripley and C.A. Dana [27]: first words of the encyclopedia article are "Kościuszko, Tadeusz (Taddeus), a Polish patriot". A good source, thanks for the link.
  • So what we know about Kościuszko? He was a Polish patriot, his country was Poland, he fighted for Poland freedom, he called himself "a Pole". He was born in polonized nobel family in Poland province Lithuania, so he called Lithuania his native land and loved it. But when Poland was annexed by Russia (Lithuania province) and Prussia (Masovia) Kościuszko become a leader of Polish national uprising against both Prussia and Russia for the Poland liberating. We have no evidences Kościuszko spoke Belarusian, but it is possible, of course, but even so - does this language (his peasants language) hypothetic knolege makes him ethnic Belarusian? Are we sure in 100% he was a Belarusian? No and no again. We are not sure. That is why Kościuszko presence in the collage of ethnic Belarusians is not undisputable. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 09:35, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • For me it is clear now, that Kościuszko under "his country" considered the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. This country comes under the title of Poland in some sources, so the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a part of it, it the same way as the Kingdom of Poland. Even if Kościuszko wrote his letters in Polish (if any), this fact doesn't point to his ethnicity, as Belarusian wasn't used in the Commonwealth officially after 1697, and Polish was the primary language of the local nobility. It is nonsense to consider the Belarusian (Lithuanian) nobility to be of the Polish ethnicity only if they spoke Polish--Belarusian wasn't in use in that time widely. "Polish patriot" is your last citation stands quite clearly for the "patriot of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth". The words "Lithuanian by birth" or "he was descended from a noble Lithuanian family" tell us that he was born in the local Lithuanian family. Not Polish, nor Jewish, nor Tatar, nor Russian. So for now we have 4 sources pointing Kościuszko was Lithuanian or Belarusian in the modern sense by birth, and none which was telling us he was Polish, Tatar, Jew or whatever else. —zedlik (talk) 13:05, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • It is not widely accepted out of Belarus / Belarusian nationalists the "Litvinism theory" based at the simple idea: Lithuanian = ethnic Belarusian. When Kościuszko writes he is a Pole and his nation is Poland you originally decides he was speaking about Lithuania and Belarusian ethnicity. But Kościuszko new what is Lithuania and used this term when was talking about nis native land. So when he was naming his country Poland - he was meaning Poland, when he was speaking po pres.Jefferson "I am a Pole" he was understanding his own words, I guess. You agree with wellknown fact of polonization of the Lithuanian nobels. You have no evidencies Kościuszko spoke Belarusian. You consideration is based on the marginal theory Lithuanian = ethnic Belarusian. Not everybody born in Lithuania were ethnic Belarusians. Did Kościuszko spoke Belarusian? We don't know did he used his servants language, but we know he was speaking Polish - every nobel in Lithuania was polonized, isn't it? It would be an unique situation if nobel was spoken Belarusian. Was Kościuszko a Polish patriot? Yes he was. Was Kościuszko declaring he is a Pole? Yes he was. Was Kościuszko talking that his country is Poland? Yes he was. Was Kościuszko fighting as Polish national uprising leader for the Poland freedom? Yes he was. But you decides that any of this facts is not valid as Kościuszko was born in Lithuania. It is a single fact undisputable in the Kościuszko supposed Belarusian ethnicity - his place of birth. All other facts and Kościuszko himself are telling us he was a Pole. That is why Kościuszko Belarusian ethnicity is not undisputable. There are no sources out Belarus/Belarusian nationalists supporting his Belarusian ethnicity. Even Kościuszko himself was declaring he was a Pole. So you declaration "none which was telling us he was Polish" contradicts the sources you provided. We have a lot of sources (and Kościuszko himself) telling us he was a Pole. We have no evidencies of his Belarusian ethnicity. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 13:46, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Many times Kościuszko declared himself to be Lithuanian, there are the references above. That's why his words about being a Pole can't be treated literally. Especially when "being the only true Pole in Europe" sounds rather selfish and humiliating for the whole Polish nation, isn't it? The "Litvinism theory" you speak about has nothing to do with his subject. In the Kościuszko's times the word "Belarusian" didn't exist, Belarusian language wasn't in use, but this doesn't mean that the Belarusian nation didn't exist--they just called Lithuanians, from the name of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Or you may also say that Euphrosyne of Polatsk and Mikołaj Hussowczyk can't be on this picture too, as they didn't spoke Belarusian. All the sources I've seen state the Kościuszko's ethnicity or family to be Belarusian/Lithuanian or don't mention this aspect at all. You claiming that he was a Pole basing on no secondary source, just on the only one Kościuszko's declaration of being "the only true Pole" the meaning of which I believe should be analyzed by the reliable sources, not here. —zedlik (talk) 14:33, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • "Many times Kościuszko declared himself to be Lithuanian, there are the references above. That's why his words about being a Pole can't be treated literally. Especially when "being the only true Pole in Europe" - you said. Please try to read your sentence in this form "Many times Kościuszko declared himself to be Pole, there are the references above. That's why his words about being a Lithuanian can't be treated literally. Especially when "being the only true Pole in Europe" - when I was replacing word Lithuanian with the word Pole - is it difference? Your (as the rest of adepts of marginal "Litvinism" theory) logics is based on the single hypothesis Lithuanian=ethnic Belarusian. This hypothesis is not any scientific fact adopted with the science out of Belarus/Belarusian nationalists. And Kościuszko words declaring he was a Pole are the fact (wellknown 200 years), but marginal "Litvinism" theory is not a fact, it is not any NPOV. This theory is out of the world science as it is not a science at all. We know Kościuszko place of birth - Lithuania (a province in Poland). We know the Lithuanian nobels were polonized. We know Kościuszko family and himself were polonized too. We know Kościuszko was talking about himself as a Pole, we know his friends and enemies considered he is a Pole. He was claiming his country is Poland. He was a Polish patriot, a leader of Polish national uprising. You tells us "In the Kościuszko's times ... Belarusian language wasn't in use" - I don't think so, peasants were speaking Belarusian. But the nobels were speaking Polish - "Belarusian language wasn't in use", I see. About Belarusian nation I never told as this question is out of this discussion. The same with Euphrosyne of Polatsk - she died a centuries before Belarusian language was born, but she never considered to be Polish as Polish, Russian, Belarusian nations did not existed this time. So as an ancestor (sorry) of the nation she is acceptable. Mikołaj Hussowczyk moved to the territory of the modern Belarus when he was an adult person, his poems were written in Latin... so no influence on any modern language. Mickiewicz - also from Lithuania did not wrote in Belarusian, in Polish only. But he loved Lithuania. Was he a Belarusian? From racist POV it is possible, but from civilized POV person determines itself its ethnicity, isn't it? We have no 100% facts of Kościuszko non-Polish selftedermination, but we know his native land was Lithuania - partially a modern Belarus territory (also Russia, Lithuania and Poland), but from Lithuanian part deeply inside of modern Belarus. Kościuszko Belarusian ethnicity is not indisputable, I see. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 15:42, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't feel continuing arguing on this point, sorry. All my references to the printed reliable sources are above. —zedlik (talk) 16:53, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

  • There are no reliable NPOV sources above supporting your POV, sorry. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 16:58, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I consider them to be neutral enough as you didn't provide any secondary source contradictory to these ones or disproving them. —zedlik (talk) 01:41, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Sources neutrality is not a question of my activity in sources providing. There is a Litvins=ethnic Belarusians hypothesis only, this hypothesis is not a fact, it is ignored with the world science. We (you and me - everybody) have primary, secondary sources proving Kościuszko was a Pole. Both Kościuszko declared he is a Pole and the secondary non-Belarusian and non-Polish sources are stating he was a Pole. Belarusian source you provided is not a neutral one and it is based on the marginal hypothesis Litvin-Belarusian identity. Just now Kościuszko(we are talking about his portret presence at the Belarusians collage) is present at Poles collage. Now Kościuszko's Polish ethnicity is supported with Kościuszko himself, with neutral secondary sources. Kościuszko's Belarusian ethnicity is supported with the hypothesis of the Litvin-Belarusian identity, but not with Kościuszko himself, not with neutral secondary sources. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 06:05, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't know which secondary sources you are talking about support your theory that Kościuszko was a Pole, I haven't seen any yet. —zedlik (talk) 15:01, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
  • No, I don't agree because of existence in the same time of primary sources declaring Kościuszko was a Lithuanian/Litvin. Thanks for the links, now I see the question is really disputable. --zedlik (talk) 16:11, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
  • You don't agree Kościuszko told he was a Pole? Kościuszko declaration is a primary source. Your disagreement with Kościuszko declaration is not valid in Wikipedia as we are creating Wikipedia using a reliable sources but not wikipedians opinios. That is why I agree with Kościuszko declaration he was a Lithuanian - it is a fact, the fact is his declaration of being a Pole. But I am sure the sources you provided interpreting Lithuanian as synonimous of Belarusian ethnicity are not a neutral POV and are not accepted out of Belarus or Belarusian nationalists. So I am sure Kościuszko portret presence at ethnic Belarusians collage is not indisputable. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 16:46, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

So we have two Kościuszko's declaration of being both a Pole and a Lithuanian/Litvin, but on some reason you decide that he declared himself as a Pole, and pay no attention to his declaration of being a Lithuanian/Litvin. Kościuszko's portrait in the same way is not indisputable in the Poles article, so you may try raising the same discussion to remove it from there, too. —zedlik (talk) 17:22, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

  • We have only ONE declaration (was a Pole) with clear sens, but an other one declaration ("was Lithuanian") has very disputable sens as Belarus/Belarusian nationalists sources are interpreting this term "Lithuanian" as synonimous for "ethnic Belarusian". This hypothesis has no support out of Belarus/Belarusian nationalists. I don't know Kościuszko ethnicity and my opinion is not important for Wikipedia, but I know a lot of English speaking reliable sources providing mr.Kościuszko was a Pole. That is why mr. Kościuszko presense at Poles collage has a stong support in neutral (non-Polish and non-Belarusian) reliable sources. But mr. Kościuszko presense at Belarusians collage is not supported with neutral (non-Polish and non-Belarusian) reliable sources, I see. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 18:41, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Seems we have already discussed this. —zedlik (talk) 18:57, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I think so, it was just a brief synopsis. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 19:04, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

The map of "territory, where Belarusian language is used chiefly"[edit]

Belarusian lang.png

This article shows a map saying "territory, where Belarusian language is used chiefly". I don't understand what is the source for the linguistic data. I tried asking the uploader, ru:User:Olegzima, but he didn't reply. If a source won't be presented in the next few days, i'll have to remove it. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 17:06, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Map is still in article ( 10 may 2012 ). Have you recived answer? And what are meanings of diffrent colours used on map? It lacks description. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:01, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Grammar Checks[edit]

Hello. I would like to work on this article more with grammar checking and the completing of sentences. Please correct me if I make grammar or conceptual errors. Lam Kin Keung (talk) 05:16, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Akanye and Russian[edit]

The information about the pronunciation of the word молоко in 7.4.1 is not entirely accurate. I don't know about Belarusian and southern Russian, but in standard Russian the word is pronounced [məɫɐˈko], not [malaˈko]. In Russian [ə] and [ɐ] are allophones of the sound [a], which only appears in stressed positions. The point about the difference between Russian and Belarusian orthographies with regard to akanye is valid, but the transcriptions are still off. Can anyone think of a way to reformulate the statements? — Preceding unsigned comment added by VonPeterhof (talkcontribs) 02:28, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

As a native Russian I can feel practically NO difference between Russian pronunciation of "молоко" and Belarusian "малако". Dilas25 (talk) 12:34, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm also a native speaker of Russian, albeit without much exposure to spoken Belarusian. I suppose one way to reformulate the statement could be to change the transcription from phonetic ([]) to phonemic (//). That way /malaˈko/ will fit Russian phonemes and won't contradict any information in the Belarusian phonology article. It would be nice if said article made it clear whether or not the Belarusian /a/ has any allophones, but that's a different topic.VonPeterhof (talk) 11:58, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
On a second look at the Belarusian phonology article I saw there is a problem with another phoneme. According to the article Belarusian has the phoneme /ɔ/, not /o/. The Russian phonology page makes no mention of [ɔ], not even as an allophone, and the Belarusian one has hardly any information on allophones, so there is still no way of transcribing the words молоко and малако the same way without contradicting phonetic information from other Wikipedia pages.VonPeterhof (talk) 12:10, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Went ahead and removed the example altogether. Also replaced [a] with /a/ to account for allophonic variation in Russian. VonPeterhof (talk) 17:11, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

West Palyesian dialect group[edit]

An anonymous editor is trying to state that the West Palyesian dialect group is actually Ukrainian and not Belarusian. The sources he/she is using are not in English and appear to be ethnographic in nature and not linguistic. A translation of the relevant comments in these sources should be placed here to support the assertion. Then, if these sources do, indeed, support that assertion about West Palyesian, then shouldn't mention of that dialect group be moved to the article on Ukrainian? The anon IP is edit warring about this rather than justifying it on the Talk Page per WP:BRD and building a consensus for his/her edits. In other words, we need proof that these ethnographic sources are reliable sources. The anon IP may be right, but we can't judge such an extreme assertion (that a Belarusian dialect is actually a Ukrainian dialect) without being able to evaluate the sources. Since this is the English Wikipedia, then a translation of the relevant comments in the sources is required for the discussion. --Taivo (talk) 15:51, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

  • The West Palyesian dialect group as an Ukrainian one was a trivial idea in XX century beginning (Yefim Karskiy). Polish Census 1931 counted in West Polessia "tutejsi" ("locals") linguistic group majority as well as a Ukrainian and Belarusian linguistic group minorities. After the West Polessia was annexed by the Soviet Union the "tutejsi" linguistic group was considered to be a Belarusians part. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 16:28, 28 February 2012 (UT
    • It's irrelevant what the authorities in the respective countries and areas claim. They're politicians, not linguists. They have their own reasons for their actions that often have nothing to do with linguistics. What really matters here is the unbiased linguists' point of view and the fact the Polesian and Podlachian population hasn't been forcibly removed from their ancestors' territory, unlike the victims of the Operation Vistula or Sudeten Germans and other ethnic groups. The official language on those territories is also of no importance, since we're talking about the dialects spoken there. (talk) 14:54, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
      • Linguistic maps were made by the linguists not politicians. Was prof. and academician Yefim Karskiy a politician? He was a scientist only. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 19:01, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Before urging me to start a discussion on ground of BRD, you should have taken a closer look at what What BRD is, and is not. I'm returning the piece and I'm expanding the list of reliable sources. If you feel the statement I've inserted in the article should be rectified, precised or expanded, you're more than welcome to bring forward your arguments and back them with your reliable sources. If not, put up or shut up. If the only change you can provide to the article is deletion, you'd better restrain from doing so.
As for the maps themselves: the word "ethnographic" used in their description stands for "linguistic". There's hardly any other way of interpreting this word differently under the circumstances when a good deal of the European peoples had no national state of their own and even no clearly defined autonomous territory. In case one may doubt: Yefim Karskiy clearly stipulated in his work "К вопросу об этнографической карте белорусского племени" ("On the Еthnographic Map of the Belarusian People") (St Petersburg, 1902): "Основой для определения границ Белорусской области у нас исключительно служит язык" (translation: "The only criterion we have used to define the limits of the Belarusian area is the language"). E. Karsky, a Belarusian himself, can't be suspected of being biased in favour of the Ukrainians. Nor can the Czech Lubor Niederle or the Russian linguist Nikolay Durnovo. The latter provided his work "Введение в историю русского языка" ("Introduction to the History of the Russian Language") with a number of maps. Two of them are called "Dialectological map of the Little-Russian (i.e. Ukrainian) language" and "Dialectological map of the Belarussian dialects" (pp. 298 and 299 of Moscow 1969 edition by the Academy of Sciences of the USSR). N. Durnovo assigned the Polesian and the Podlachian dialects to the Little-Russian language. (talk) 14:54, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
You are the one who made the changes, so YOU are the one who must build a consensus on this page BEFORE continuing to insert your material. Read WP:BRD. --Taivo (talk) 17:48, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Without building some kind of consensus here, your edits are going to be reverted per WP:BRD. When someone objects to your edit you must discuss before re-editing. That's WP:BRD. Plain and simple. So lay out the evidence and translate it clearly. You might convince me if you stop your edit war and clearly lay out the translated evidence and allow time for others to consider it. --Taivo (talk) 17:53, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
This is what I have found in English-language sources:
  • In Linguasphere (1999/2000), the "ukrainska-belaruskaya" subdialect is included under the "ukrainska-mova" dialect of the "Russkiy-Ukrainska" language. The description is: "part of ukrainian-N., poleskie (= "northern")... transitional to Belaruskaya; ... (Belarus) Brest... Pinxk... Kalinkavicy..." Is that the dialect you're talking about here?
  • Ivan Zilyns'kyj, A Phonetic Description of the Ukrainian Language' (1979) shows a Polissian dialect area on his map of Ukrainian dialects that extends into SW Belarus north and east of Brest. Is that the same dialect?
  • The Slavonic Languages (2001) has conflicting information. The dialect map in "Belorussian" by Peter Mayo (pg. 943) shows Belorussian dialects that exactly correspond to the borders of Belarus and include the Brest-Pinsk (Palessian) group as part of the south-western dialect. But the dialect map in "Ukrainian" by George Y. Shevelov (pg. 994) is a reproduction of Zilyns'kyj's map is broader than just the borders of Ukraine and includes Polissian within Ukrainian next to a region labelled as "Transitional Ukrainian-Belorussian...dialect"
From these three sources it seems clear that 1) the "Palyesian/Palessian/Polissian/Polesian" dialect is transitional between Ukrainian and Belarusian; 2) Belarusian linguists will assign it to Belarusian; 3) Ukrainian linguists will assign it to Ukrainian. Based on this review of the English-language sources on my shelf, it cannot be clearly said that this speech variety is either Ukrainian or Belarusian since the boundary between those two "languages" really isn't a language boundary at all, but a dialect cluster boundary as far as it can be drawn at all. The text here should not say that Palyesian is either Belarusian or Ukrainian, but that it is transitional and cannot clearly be assigned to either definitively. It should be mentioned as a transitional dialect in both language articles. --Taivo (talk) 19:06, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Pronunciation of 'Belarusian'[edit]

Would it be helpful to include the English pronunciation of the name of the language? To many it may be clear that it's 'Belarus' + '-ian' /bɛlərsiən/, but in English 's' in this position is always voiced /z/ or palatalized /ʒ/ and is never just /s/, except in 'Belarusian'. Though it might be just me who is confused by this :) --Moogsi (talk) 23:41, 16 November 2012 (UTC)


The population was reduced to 4M, but I don't see any discussion here. For a 50% cut I'd think we'd at least want people to sign off on the figure. I put in a range temporarily. — kwami (talk) 08:17, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

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