Belarusian/Lesson 10

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Hard Consonant Assimilation[edit]

The consonants с, з, т, д when followed by a soft consonant are pronounced softly. Consequently, д and т change for дз and ц due to diekannie and tiekannie.

снег "s'nekh" snow

змяя́ "z'miaya" a snake

дзве́ры "d'very" a door

цвёрды "t'viordy" hard

Note that (1) дзверы is a plural noun. It has no singular form; (2) in the figurative sense the word цяжкі (heavy), not цвёрды should be used, e.g.

ця́жкая пра́ца hard work

А consonant followed by the same soft consonant is also pronounced softly.

сне́данне "s'niedan'nie" breakfast

сме́цце "s'miet'tie" rubbish

стаго́ддзе "staghod'die" a century

The ддз combination stands for double дз.

In tarashkievitsa, this assimilation is reflected in writing, i.e. such assimilated consonants are followed by a soft sign: сьнег, зьмяя, дзьверы, цьвёрды, сьнеданьне, сьмецьце, стагодзьдзе

Nouns ending with ок (ак)[edit]

Nouns ending with the ок (ак if unstressed) suffix loose the о (а) letter in plural.

га́нак a porch га́нкі porches (note that it is one of a few words where г is read g, not h)

кава́лак a piece кава́лкі pieces

The о (а) is not lost, if ок (ак) is not a suffix but a part of the root.

прыто́к a tributary (of a river) прыто́кі tributaries

Verbs ending with аваць[edit]

Verbs ending in аваць (яваць) change their ав (яв) suffix for у (ю) in conjugation.

Infinitive я ты ён (яна, яно) мы вы яны Translation
аваць ую уеш уе уем уеце уюць
яваць юю юеш юе юем юеце ююць
працава́ць працу́ю працу́еш працу́е працу́ем працу́еце працу́юць work
малява́ць малю́ю малю́еш малю́е малю́ем малю́еце малю́юць paint
вандрава́ць вандру́ю вандру́еш вандру́е вандру́ем вандру́еце вандру́юць travel

If the ав is not a suffix, but a part of the word root, it is not lost in conjugation.

пла́ваць swim - пла́ваю I swim пла́ваеш You swim etc.

Adverbs[edit]

In Belarusian, adverbs are normally placed before the verb. Note that many adverbs have similar adjectives.

Adverb Adjective Translation
до́бра до́бры good
дрэ́нна дрэ́нны bad
ху́тка ху́ткі quick
мару́дна мару́дны slow
паво́льна паво́льны slow
ціка́ва ціка́вы interesting

Note a differense between марудна and павольна. Saying that somebody does something марудна, you imply your negative attitude to it: "you are doing it too slow". The word павольна, conversely, would rather imply your approval, "you are good not to do it too quickly" -something like English quietly.

Short Answers[edit]

In colloquial speech, when answering a special question (i.e. a question with a question word who, what, how etc.), it is possible to reduce your answer to a single word or phrase, corresponding to that question word.

Хто гэ́та? - Кот. (full answer: Гэта кот.) "Who is this?" "This is a cat".

Чый гэ́та кот? - Наш. (full answer: Гэта наш кот.) "Whose cat is this?" "It is ours".

Як пла́ваеце? - До́бра. (full answer: До́бра пла́ваю.) "How do you swim?" "I swim well".

A short positive answer to a general question is the principal word of the sentence (the verb or the predicate noun or adjective).

Mалю́еш? - Малю́ю. (full answer: Так, я малюю.) "Are you painting?" "Yes, I am painting."

Гэ́та каро́ва? - Каро́ва. (full answer: Так, гэта карова.) "Is this a cow?" "Yes, It is a cow."

Exersizes[edit]

Short and Full Answers[edit]

Translate these into Belarusian, giving both short and full answers to the questions.

(1) "Who is that?" "That is a dog."

(2) "Whose house is that?" "That is her house."

(3) "What kind of city is that?" "That is a big city?"

(4) "What country is this?" "This is China."

(5) "How do they read?" "They read quickly."

Clue: (1) Хто гэта? - Сабака. Гэта сабака. (2) Чыя гэта хата? - Яе. Гэта яе хата. (3) Які гэта горад? Вялікі. Гэта вялікі горад. (4) Што гэта за краіна? Кітай. Гэта Кітай. (5) Як яны чытаюць? Хутка. яны чытаюць хутка.

Translation[edit]

Translate into Belarusian.

(1) "Are you working?" "Yes, I am working." "Are you working quickly?" "No, I am not. I am working slowly."

(2) "What is this?" "This is a book." "Is that your book?" "No, it is not." "Whose book is this?" "It is hers." "Is it interesting?" "Yes, it is."

(3) "Is he working?" "No, he is not. He is having a rest."

(4) "Are the students here?" "No, they are not. They are ill."

(5) "Is it Poland?" "No, it is not." "What country is it?" "This is Ukraine."

Clue: (1) Ты працуеш? - Так, я працую. - Ты хутка працуеш? - Не, я працую павольна. (2) Што гэта? - Гэта кніга. - Гэта твая кніга? - Не, яна не мая. - Чыя гэта кніга? - Яе. - Яна цікавая? - Так. (3) Ён працуе? - Не, ён не працуе. Ён адпачывае. (4) Студэнты тут? - Не. Яны хварэюць. (5) Гэта Польшча? - Не, гэта не Польшча. - Што гэта за краіна? - Гэта Украіна.