Belarusian/Lesson 14

Foreign Names in Belarusian


When foreign proper names are written in Belarusian, they are normally transcribed, not transliterated. For example, the name Peter would be written as Пітэр, not Пэтэр, because the first e here stands for a long i sound. Some rules for English sounds that do not exist in Belarusian:

Diphtongues having i as their second element are represented by a vowel+й combination in Belarusian.

Бра́йтан Brighton

Ро́нальд Рэ́йган Ronald Reagan

The ng sound is represented by нг combination.

Да́унінг-стрыт Downing street

The th sound is usually represented by т.

Саутге́мптан Southampton

Плімут Plimouth

However, in most Greek borrowings this sound is represented by ф.

Афiны Athens

Кары́нф Corynth

Марафо́н Marathon

(In tarashkievica т is used in such cases: Атэны Athens, Кары́нт Corynth, Марафо́н Marathon)

The w sound is usually represented by у though sometimes it may be represented by в.

Уiльям William

Уэ́льс Wales

(In tarashkievica short u is usually used, though it breaks the rule that Ў can't precede vowels: Ўiльям William, Ўэ́льс Wales)

In German proper names this phonetical principle is, however, violated.

The ei and eu combinations are represented by эй (ей) though they are read as ай and ой in German.

Альбе́рт Эйнштэ́йн Albert Einstein

Зiгмунд Фрэйд Sigmund Freud

German words with the h sound have the г letter in Belarusian.

Герц Hertz

Гiтлер Hitler

This is not so with English words having this sound.

аэрапо́рт Хiтроу Heathrow airport

хэло́уiн halloween

Adjectives Derived from Nouns


Most nouns have corresponding adjectives. An adjective derived from a noun N usually means "having some relation to N" and thus is similar to the genitive.

Adjectives are usually used to denote a relation to a noun as a concept whereas the genitive would be used to denote a relation to a certain object belonging to the class denoted by this noun.

шко́льны наста́ўнік a school teacher

дырэ́ктар шко́лы the headmaster of the school

царко́ўная літарату́ра church literature

ку́пал царквы́ the dome of the church

Гэ́та жано́чы го́лас. This is a voice of a woman (not of a man).

Гэ́та го́лас той жанчы́ны. This is the voice of that woman.

With nouns denoting unique objects, particularly, with proper names, the adjectives and the genitive are interchangeable.

со́нечны свет = свет Со́нца sunlight = the light of the Sun

ло́нданскі мэр = мэр Ло́ндана the London meyor = the mayor of London

Adjectives are usually derived from nouns with the help of different suffixes. The most common of them is the н suffix.

маро́з frost - маро́зны дзень a frosty day

гара́ a mountain - го́рная краіна a mountainous country

футбо́л football - футбо́льны матч a football match

Note that adjectives formed from nouns ending in л obtain a soft sign to make л soft.

Some other suffixes, that are used less often, include:

  • ов (ёв)

вёска a village - вяско́вы хло́пец a village boy

по́ле a field - палёвая мыш a field mouse

по́шта post; mail - пашто́вая скры́ня a mailbox

  • оўн

пра́ца work - працо́ўны дзень a working day

  • альн

тэа́тр a theatre - тэатра́льная ка́са a theatre desk

  • ск

го́рад a city; a town - гарадска́я пло́шча a town square

мо́ра a sea - марскія хва́лі sea waves

This suffix is used with most geographical names.

Віцебск Vitebsk - віцебскі трамва́й a Vitebsk tram

Украіна Ukraine - украінская мо́ва the Ukrainian language

Note that adjectives derived from proper names are not capitalized in Belarusian.

The Second Conjugation of Verbs


This group includes mainly the verbs ending in ыць or іць. However, a number of verbs having other endings also belong to the second conjugation. Here are the typical endings for the second conjugation.

Infinitive я ты ён (яна, яно) мы вы яны Translation
ыць у ыш ыць ым ыце аць
іць ю іш іць імм іце яць
куры́ць куру́ ку́рыш ку́рыць ку́рым ку́рыце ку́раць smoke
маўча́ць маўчу́ маўчы́ш маўчы́ць маўчы́м маўчы́це маўча́ць keep silence
мро́іць мро́ю мро́іш мро́іць мро́ім мро́іце мро́яць dream



Proper Names


Write these names in Belarusian.

Sharon Stone

Margatet Thatcher

Joanne Rowling

Winston Churchill

Neville Chamberlaine

George Orwall

Lewis Carroll

Michael Owen

Clue: Шэран Стоун, Маргарэт Тэтчар, Джоан Роулінг, Уінстан Чэрчыль, Нэвіл Чэмбрлен, Джордж Оруэл, Льюіс Кэрал, Майкл Оуэн

Verbs Conjugation


Conjugate these verbs taking note that they belong to the second conjugation:

ма́рыць (dream)

гарэ́ць (burn)



Translate into Belarusian.

(1) That sea bird is beautiful.

(2) That is the shore (бераг) of the Minsk sea [a water repository to the North of Minsk].

(3) That man is a school techer.

(4) There are three tables here.

(5) They are silent and smoking.

(6) The house is burning.

(7) Here are five church books.

Clue: (1) Тая марская птушка прыгожая. (2) Гэта бераг Мінскага мора. (3) Гэты мужчына - школьны настаўнік. (4) Тут чатыры сталы. (5) Яны маўчаць і кураць. (6) Хата гарыць. (7) Тут пяць царкоўных кніг.