Friday, September 6, 2013

Belarusian toponyms won't be translated into Russian anymore

Toponymy Commission at the Council of Ministers of Belarus for the second time decided to maintain the existing order of naming placenames of the country: the names will be first given in the Belarusian language and only then transliterated into Russian.

"Otherwise, we will have to break down all that we have built," - said the Chairman of the Committee for State Property Georgy Kuznetsov, commenting on the amendments to the Law of the Republic of Belarus № 190-Z "On the names of geographic objects."

No transliteration, but direct translation

Amending for the "naming" Law has already been raised on behalf of the Council of Ministers in December 2012, the latter was formulated following a meeting in the presidential administration. According to representatives of the local public administration, it is practical way to legitimize the transfer of geographical names by direct translation from Russian to Belarusian language: Будаўникоў - Builders, Чэрвеньская - June. This approach, they say, is justified by the existence in Belarus of two official languages​​.

Supporters of the Russian translation of Belarusian names also use the World Cup Hockey 2014 as a primary argument in order to normalize the names of the road network. However, said Kuznetsov, if a change in the law will be adopted, it will happen no earlier than to the end of 2015. It means that all these years the naming will be proceed on the existing scheme, and the law, as we know, is not retroactive.

From 2011 to 2013 in Belarus 29 geographic objects have been renamed, 13 among them got the names according to the new requirements. Within the limits of the register addresses's regulation, all kinds of road network's placenames should be renamed. 30 % of them have been already renamed and in the next two years this task is to be completed. The new rules also entail new costs!