Notes on Transliteration, Translation, and Names

In: The Path to a Soviet Nation
Alena Marková
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For the translation of Belarusian names and terms in this book one of the variants of the Belarusian Roman script (bielaruskaja lacinka) is used.

Nevertheless, while translating Belarusian geographic names priority was provided to the already established form of transliteration that was based on a Russian variant of the spelling of one name or another. In such cases, the Belarusian version was provided in the brackets (e.g., Vitebsk (Viciebsk), Gomel (Homieĺ) etc.).

When transliterating from the Belarusian language the names of historical figures, an important question arose that was often related to national identity. Belarusian transliteration was used for the names of those personalities who were most directly associated with Belarusian national history, who were its inalienable part and who, not unimportantly, often identified themselves as Belarusians (Usievalad Ihnatoŭski, Aliaksandr Čarviakoŭ, Vincent Kanstancin (Kastuś) Kalinoŭski, and others).

The translation of quotations from the archive materials of the collections of the National Archive of Belarus and other archives, periodicals, fragments of utterances and speeches by politicians, public and other figures was performed using Belarusian originals. For that particular reason, those quotations often contain peculiar party and other vocabulary and terminology of that period (e.g., the terms “ideologically aware” (idealahična vytrymany), “nationally unconscious” (nacyjanaĺna niesviadomy), “national democrat” (nacdem) and many others).

The translation of acronyms and abbreviations was performed on the basis of their spelling in the source language, i.e. Belarusian terms preserved their Belarusian transliteration (e.g., the NKA of the BSSR, i.e. Narodnyj kamisaryjat asviety BSSR, and so on), and Russian terms preserved their Russian transliteration (e.g., OGPU, i.e. Obyedinyonnoye gosudarstvennoye politicheskoye upravleniye, and so on).

The term West Belarus is used in this book to denote the territory of Belarus that as a result of the Treaty of Riga (1921) and the subsequent partition of the territory of Soviet Belarus became and remained a part of Poland in 1921–1939.

In the course of translation, some new terms were introduced. Thus, for instance, the equivalent enlargement was used for the Belarusian term uzbujniennie that traditionally denoted the process of augmenting the territory of Soviet Belarus in 1924 and 1926, and so on.

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