Minsk Phrasebook

What languages to speak in Belarus capital

If you speak at least one Slavic language and know a bit of Russian, you will immediately figure out upon your arrival in Minsk that most Minskers speak Russian. At the same time, street titles, ground and underground transportation stops and signs, and other similar information are written mostly in Belarusian. Belarusian and Russian are two official state languages in Belarus, technically enjoying the same status. However, the Belarusian language in Minsk looks like a pinch of salad atop a heavy meal, or like a gold-plated frame on a painting depicting Social realism.

Photo by


Belarusians are not very keen to discuss the language issue. Those who are asked why they speak this or that language may get stressed, even if they try to disguise their dissatisfaction with politeness.




Read more