19th Edition



A language of Belarus

Alternate Names
Belarusian, Belorussian, Bielorussian, Byelorussian, White Russian, White Ruthenian

2,230,000 in Belarus (2011 census). The majority of Belarusans speak Russian [rus] as their L1. Ethnic population: 7,960,000 (2009 census). Total users in all countries: 2,537,640.

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (1994, Constitution, Article 17(1)), largely symbolic use.


Northeast Belarusan (Polots, Viteb-Mogilev), Southwest Belarusan (Grodnen-Baranovich, Slutska-Mazyrski, Slutsko-Mozyr), Central Belarusan. Linguistically between Russian [rus] and Ukrainian [ukr], with transitional dialects to both.


SVO; prepositions; noun head final; gender (masculine/feminine/neuter); no articles; case-marking (6 cases); verb affixes mark person, number, gender of subject (in past tense); passives; tense and aspect; 37 consonant and 6 vowel phonemes; non-tonal; free stress.

Language Development
Fully developed. Bible: 1973.

Cyrillic script [Cyrl].

Other Comments

Christian, Muslim.

Also spoken in:

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