Why Belarusians speak Russian? Nobody knows
how to call correct our country. Someone tells Belarus, someone Belarus, and in all laws is written Republic of Belarus. Even such paradoxes occur in newspapers: “ Latest news: The champion conceded to Belarus in the first match of the Cup of Belarus “.
And as there is no stable name, so there is no stability of the speech also. The most part speaks Russian, still part on a trosyanka (mix Belarusian with Russian), and only the small part speaks Belarusian. Documents in the main higher education institution of the country, the Belarusian State university, are kept in Belarusian. Confusion is some.
If I am not mistaken, then Russians learn only the language, we, Belarusians, have to learn native and Russian. It turns out that already at school we are accustomed to a trosyanka. Our languages are similar, so, it is very simple to get confused in words.
Many today`s politicians and romantics from history and literature like to attribute to Belarusian the status official in Grand Duchy of Lithuania which part the Belarusian territory was. For example, having rummaged in “ Wikipedias “ I found such opinion:
“ If you attentively read articles on stories of the states which “ borrowed “ the territory of present Belarus, there is a natural question: “ And whether we have the right to speak about Belarus as the state in general? “. In all articles Belarus acts as part of other states.
The problem is that the historical heritage of Belarus in many respects was “ it is divided “ between the following states: Lithuania, Poland and Russia. And meanwhile what we know as “ Grand Duchy of Lithuania “ in fact was the Belarusian state. Any sane person will agree that the state documents are written in language of the main nation, as well as all official events (diplomatic meetings, courts, etc.) are carried out in a state language. In all these cases such language in Grand Duchy of Lithuania was old Belarusian.
Unfortunately, most of people associate the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) with modern Lithuania though the full name of the state was - Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Russian and Zhemaytiysky. Modern Lithuania “ borrowed “ the name of the country in 1918, having appropriated thereby, it is free or involuntarily, and all history VKL. “
Such point of view is described by N. Yermolovich in the book “ Belarusian state Grand Duchy of Lithuania “.
But old Belarusian, or “ West Russian written language “ as it is called still (as VKL has also other name - the Western Russia), had with colloquial a little general and it is not even considered a direct source of modern Belarusian, Russian, Ukrainian languages. It was official with XIV and almost till the 17th century. It was applied in the districts inhabited by both Ukrainians, and Russians and in those days there was even such exotic as the Belarusian arabitsa - the Arab letters which the old Belarusian text registered, the Belarusian, or Lithuanian Tatars used them.
In my opinion, the following page of history very strongly affected future national language of Republic of Belarus. Since the 16th century, since the beginning of association VKL and Poland in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, there was an opolyachivaniye, Belarusian was pushed aside. It was forbidden to write in Belarusian. Only in the XIX-XX centuries so-so - the western kind of national Belarusian was gradually issued in the written literary language.
In 1933 spelling reform was carried out, rules of writing of words changed, brought closer them to rules of Russian. But still some Belarusians, generally emigrants and opposition, write in prereform language - a so-called tarashkevitsa. Even creation of the Belarusian part of Wikipedia was complicated in the beginning as could not decide in what language there have to be articles. Adherents of a tarashkevitsa consider that in the 20th century occurred “ russification “ Belarus. It turns out that throughout several centuries Belarusian was as if in a prison cell, and having served the sentence, it could be restored only in some villages, and in the cities Russian or a trosyanka already prospered.
Answering the question posed why all - Belarusians speak Russian, I can tell what was so made by history. We have two national languages - Belarusian and Russian. And nobody not in offense that Republic of Belarus has no stable national language, but we understand Russians, Poles, Ukrainians. Perhaps it is not so bad to talk in the mixed languages? How you consider?