L'anthologie of Global Inestabilidad Transpuesta - The Absence of Linguistic стабiльнасць: Does the Belarusian Language Have a Future? (Part 6)


Guest emblem by Tatiana Mankevich  
 
Usurped by a foreign tongue

A culture and history, traditions and values, a heritage and certainly language, all these things form both the nation in general and each individual separately. These are things that make us who we are. 

Let’s fix our attention on the language – that is our birthright and property! The language follows us throughout life, from the birth to the death. Everyone must take care of his own language.

There are two official languages in Belarus: Belarusian and Russian. But, unfortunately, the Russian language dominates and most people speak Russian.
 
Let me take you back in time. In the 20s all paperwork in all areas was kept in Belarusian, 90% of schools and universities also worked in the Belarusian language. Later came the objective of creating a unified socialist nation, and all the republics of the former Soviet Union were affected by the russification process.

As a result, only a quarter of the country’s population speaks Belarusian, but it is not the literary language. Most of the institutions work in the Russian language and it is a sad reality! In the country called Belarus, Russian is widely spoken.

The Russian language, certainly, is one of the greatest languages in the world. It is the language of Pushkin and Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Turgenev, Chekhov and Gorky, and it is the very ‘great and powerful’[i] Russian language upon which was built the acclaimed Russian literature. It cannot be said the Belarus has failed to produce exceptional literature. Belarusian is the language of Kupala and Kolos, Bykov and Korotkevich, Bogdanovich and Tank, Bydny and Skoryna, Dunin-Martinkevich and Kostushko – all well-respected writers and poets. 
 
The native tongue seeking its place

Nowadays the Belarusian language should be promoted by successful, respectful and influential people. It is necessary that public administrators like the Council of Ministers and the Presidential Executive Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and etc. speak Belarusian when they talk at international conferences and when they represent our government on the international stage. If we hear Belarusian regularly from those members of society, then others will speak Belarusian too. We can save Belarusian with the help of popularization. 

Today a lot of young people are interested in the Belarusian language. They try to speak Belarusian, to see Belarusian films and to read Belarusian books. “Indisputably the greatest law of life - it is human speech, which man was given above all living creatures under the sun,” as the famous Belarusian poet Jánka Kupála wrote. At all times when people need to disown their native language and homeland, they suffer greatly. For this reason, we must defend our national interests.
 
The Belarusian language is beautiful and unusual. How many beautiful works are written in this language! You can't help admiring Belarusian.

Over the centuries, the Belarusian language has changed, developed and perfected, but as we say, there is no limit to perfection, so many generations will complement and develop our great language and won’t let the Belarusian language die.

Belarusian language carries the culture and customs of the country where it is spoken. Every self-respecting man should be proud of his language. If your native language is popular and loved, it will also be so with the people who speak it.
 
The struggle against externally imposed stability

The objective of the future generations is to preserve the native language and not to let it disappear, because if the language disappears, the whole nation will cease to exist. Native language is no less valuable than all mineral deposits, it cannot be bought or sold, you can only be proud and admire it.

In each nation and country, the people have a different native language. The Belarusian language makes us feel free and allows us to be proud of our country. Language is the soul of the nation, the age-long work of many generations, the mirror of the spiritual life, our main and priceless treasure.

The Belarusian language passed down a hard and complicated road until it won its unstable freedom. The florescence of the Belarusian language started in the Skorina period,[ii] but at the end of the XVI century, a time of decadence, it lost its status as the state language, and books written in it were destroyed. But the people still loved their language, it was spoken in fields, meadows and under the roofs of farm houses. Many poets during that period of time turned to their nation in the hope of awakening the desire to fight for the Belarusian language. Unfortunately, it so happened that the period of renaissance was short. 

Now, we are experiencing another wave of interest in the Belarusian language. It has been adopted with renewed vigor and come alive. We must not be silent, we must fight to keep, develop and promote our lovely and beautiful Belarusian language, especially at such an uncertain time.


 

STANDARD ENGLISH VERSION:

Usurped by a foreign tongue

A culture and history, traditions and values, a heritage and certainly language – all these things shape both the nation in general and each individual separately. These are things that make us who we are. 

Let’s fix our attention on language – our birthright and property. Language follows us throughout life, from birth to death. Everyone must take care of their own language.
 
There are two official languages in Belarus: Belarusian and Russian. But, unfortunately, the Russian language dominates and most people speak Russian. 

Let me take you back in time. In the 20s all paperwork throughout Belarus was written in Belarusian; 90% of schools and universities also used the Belarusian language. Later, the objective of creating a unified socialist nation was adopted, and all the republics of the former Soviet Union were affected by the russification process.

As a result, only a quarter of the country’s population speaks Belarusian, but it is not the literary language. Most of the institutions use Russian and it is a sad reality! In the country called Belarus, Russian is widely spoken.

The Russian language is certainly one of the greatest languages in the world. It is the language of Pushkin and Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Turgenev, Chekhov and Gorky, and it is the very ‘great and powerful’[iii] Russian language that has given us internationally acclaimed Russian literature. It cannot be said the Belarus has failed to produce exceptional literature. Belarusian is the language of Kupala and Kolos, Bykov and Korotkevich, Bogdanovich and Tank, Bydny and Skoryna, Dunin-Martinkevich and Kostushko – all well-respected writers and poets. 
 
The native tongue seeking its place

Nowadays, the Belarusian language should be promoted by successful, respected and influential people. It is necessary for public administrators like the Council of Ministers and the Executive Office of the President, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, etc. to speak Belarusian when they talk at international conferences and when they represent our government on the international stage. If we hear Belarusian regularly from those members of society, then others will speak it too. We can save Belarusian by making it more popular. 

Today a lot of young people are interested in the Belarusian language. They try to speak Belarusian, to see Belarusian films and to read Belarusian books. “Human speech is indisputably the greatest law of life, given to man above all living creatures under the sun,” as the famous Belarusian poet Jánka Kupála wrote. Whenever people need to disown their native language and homeland, they suffer greatly. For this reason, we must defend our national interests.
 
The Belarusian language is beautiful and unusual. How many beautiful works are written in this language! You can't help admiring Belarusian.

Over the centuries, the Belarusian language has changed, developed and perfected itself, but as we say, there is no limit to perfection. So many generations will add to and develop our great language, and won’t let it die.

Belarusian carries the culture and customs of the country where it is spoken. Every self-respecting person should be proud of their language. If your native language is popular and loved, it will also be so with the people who speak it.
 
The struggle against externally imposed stability

The objective of future generations is to preserve our native language and not to let it disappear, because if a country’s language disappears, the whole nation will cease to exist. A native language is no less valuable than all the mineral deposits, it cannot be bought or sold, you can only be proud and admire it.

Each nation and country has a different native language. Belarusian makes us feel free and allows us to be proud of our country. It is the soul of the nation, the age-old work of many generations, the mirror of our spiritual life, our main and priceless treasure.

The Belarusian language passed down a hard and complicated path on its way to winning unstable freedom. The golden age of Belarusian started in the Skorina period,[iv] but at the end of the XVI century, a time of decadence, it lost its status as the state language, and books written in it were destroyed. Despite this, the people still preserved their language: it was spoken in the fields, meadows and under the roofs of farm houses. Many poets during that period of time appealed to their nation in the hope of awakening the desire to fight for Belarusian. Unfortunately, the period of renaissance was short. 

Now, we are experiencing another wave of interest in the Belarusian language. The people of Belarus have taken it up with renewed vigor and brought it back to life. We must not be silent, we must fight to keep, develop and promote our lovely and beautiful Belarusian language, especially at such an uncertain time.



Credits

Photo 1: Gomel, Belarus: Festival of Colors by Olga X.
Photo 2: Minsk, Belarus: Forum of Theaters by Elen Almond
Photo 3: Minsk, Belarus: Forum of Theaters by Elen Almond
Photo 4: Minsk, Belarus: Forum of Theaters by Elen Almond
Photo 5: Minsk, Belarus: Forum of Theaters by Elen Almond

Parts of the Emblem of Instability

Friedrich, Angelika. Introduction: The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.
Fondevik, Vigdis. Unstable Nature: Norway and Denmark. October 2016. 
Persio, P.L.F. Social Instabilità and Instabiliteit: Italy and the Netherlands. November 2016.
Romano, Mavi. Unstable Identities: Ecuador and Europe. October 2016.
Zadrożna-Nowak, Amelia. Economic Instability: Poles at Home and the Polish Diaspora. November 2016.

To follow: texts by Bulgarian, Indian, Belorussian and Korean writers and translators

Further reading

Friedrich, Angelika. The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.
Whittlesey, Henry. Forward to Next Transposing Emblem. January 2016. 
Whittlesey, Henry. Changes to Transposing Emblems. November 2015.
Whittlesey, Henry. Excerpt of new emblem transpoзиция on trash. September 2015.

[i] Ivan Turgenev
[ii] Francisk Skorina was a Belarusian humanist in the sixteenth century.
[iii] Ivan Turgenev
[iv] Francisk Skorina was a Belarusian humanist in the sixteenth century.
Post a Comment