Belarusian Alphabet


The modern Belarusian alphabet was developed at the end of the XIX century by Bronislav Tarashkevich. The letters were based on the  Cyrillic alphabet 0410–0474 and included 32 pieces. Digraphs “Дж” and “Дз” are not considered separate letters, so they are usually not included in the alphabet.

Are Belarusian and Russian alphabets identical? Although it is true that they look very similar, Belarusian differs from the  Russian 0410–044F alphabet by the absence of the letters и, щ, ъ, and the presence of і, ў. The latter actually has its own monument located in Polotsk. Another difference is that instead of the hard sign, an apostrophe ' is used to indicate word division.

However, ancient Belarusian texts were mainly written in the Cyrillic script used in the Slavic languages. The beginning of printing gave rise to several interesting local styles, such as the fonts used by Francysk Skaryna and the “Statuta Lituaniæ” font.

Since the 17th century, there have been occasional uses of the Belarusian alphabet based on the  Latin 0041–007A script, known as “Łacinka.” Initially, it was modeled after the Polish writing system. This script is not a transliteration or transcription. It represents the classical Latin alphabet with the inclusion of the letters č, š, ž, ć, ś, ź, ń, ŭ, ł.