What Prevents Businesses from Using Belarusian?


The Association of European Business held the roundtable How Belarusian Can Help in Business on January 15, 2015. Business representatives and experts from different fields discussed the use of Belarusian in business, office management, and advertising.

Igor Kopylov, scientific secretary, the Institute of Language and Literature named after Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas, the National Academy of Sciences, spoke about business terminology, as well as the need to publish reference books and dictionaries. According to him, the Institute is aware of the problem of legal terminology but because of the lack of human resources, the process of creating the legal terminology is not as fast as one would like.

Vitaly Staniszewski, CEO, LINGVA-BY, drew attention to the fact that the lack of legal terminology hinders the work. Alexei Nareika, director, Prauny Peraklad, is convinced that it is possible to use any terms, and only time will tell which of them will take root. Alena Anisim, first deputy chairman, the Belarusian Language Society, also shared her thoughts on the business use of Belarusian.

Nicholai Lubin, director, Leader-Invest, offered to use a special character at the entrance of the company, where customers can receive service in the Belarusian language.

Katsiaryna Syraezhkina, Head of International Cooperation, the Association of European Businesses, told about the request she sent to the National Centre of Legislation and Legal Research of the Republic of Belarus about draft regulations in Belarusian. “We were told that it is the legislator who takes the decision to prepare a draft legal act in one of the state languages. And traditionally, a series of laws are adopted in Belarusian – in the area of culture, international relations, on awarding state awards and diplomas, on personnel matters, etc. A law may be translated into another language at the decision of the authority responsible for drafting that law. In 2014, 69 laws were adopted in Belarusian.”

Yulia Lyashkevich, an independent consultant in advertising, said that now it is a unique moment when the Belarusian language attracts attention and can be used as an additional advertising tool. After all, trust in advertisements made in Belarusian is very high.

Dmitry Kurlovich, head of brand management, velcom, said that velcom creates branding campaigns in Belarusian, where the language has positive and cultural impact. “Another important moment is that we get a lot of free media as the videos get re-posted on various sites, in social networks, and we don’t have to do anything to achieve it.”