Uladzimir Katkoŭski, 2002-03-26

U.K. (inspired by <a href=»»>the intellgient Britney fans</a>)

No kidding about that. Inspired by <a href=»»>the misspellings</a> of Britney Spears’ first name I decided to find out how the name of our country is [mis-]spelled in the cyberspace. I guess this sounds somewhat crazy, but that was my idea of having fun on Belarus independence day (25th of March).

To make things easier, I decided to concentrate on the English-speaking part of the Net (as much as this was possible). Basically this means that I was only searching for spellings that could be used in English. I ignored other alphabets such as Cyrillics, extended Latin-based alphabets, Arabic, etc. I also ignored adjectives that could be used in Belarusian Latin script (e.g. bielaruski, bielaruskaja). Finally I ignored the variants from languages other than English even if they use Latin-based alphabet, e.g. <a href=»»>Belorusko</a> (in Czech) or <a href=»»>Vitryssland</a> (in Swedish). And here is what is left over:

<a href=»»><img src=»google2.gif» width=»390» height=»264» alt=»Google in Belarusian» /></a>

  1. <a href=»»>Belarus</a>   2,150,000   (93,355%)
  2. <a href=»»>Belorussia</a>   58,500   (2.540%)
  3. <a href=»»>Bielorussia</a>   36,100   (1.567%)
  4. <a href=»»>Byelorussia</a>   28,200   (1.224%)
  5. <a href=»»>Belorus</a>   10,200   (0.443%)
  6. <a href=»»>White Russia</a>   7,180   (0.312%)
  7. <a href=»»>Byelarus</a>   3,590   (0.156%)
  8. <a href=»»>Belarussia</a>   2,560   (0.111%)
  9. <a href=»»>White Ruthenia</a>   1,200   (0.052%)
  10. <a href=»»>Bielarus</a>   991   (0.043%)
  11. <a href=»»>Great Litva</a>   921   (0.040%)
  12. <a href=»»>Bielorus</a>   881   (0.038%)
  13. <a href=»»>Byelorus</a>   826   (0.036%)
  14. <a href=»»>Kryvia</a>   760   (0.033%)
  15. <a href=»»>Bellarus</a>   470   (0.020%)
  16. <a href=»»>White Rus</a>   224   (0.010%)
  17. <a href=»»>Belaja Rus</a>   214   (0.009%)
  18. <a href=»»>Ruthenia Alba</a>   86   (0.004%)
  19. <a href=»»>Byelarussia</a>   59   (0.003%)
  20. <a href=»»>Bielarussia</a>   48   (0.002%)
  21. <a href=»»>Bielaja Rus</a>   22   (0.001%)

<span class=»small»>   * searches performed on 25.03.2002</span>

So far the situation does not look bad at all! More than 90% of the time people spell it right. This is a big improvement in comparison with 1997-1998 when the form «Byelorussia» (promoted by the Russians) was much more popular. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the old data (but will definitely post it here, if I find it). In any case, I will repeat a similar «search rating» in a year’s time. And today’s bonus, the tips on how to make your Google «speak» in Belarusan, assuming that you are using Internet Explorer.

Google pa-bielarusku

  1. In Internet Explorer go to «Tools | Internet Options...» dialog box, and click on the button «Languages».
  2. In the «Language Preferences» dialog box that should appear, you should click «Add» button and select «Belarusian [be]» (this corresponds to the server variable http_accept_language)
  3. Select «Belarusian [be]» and click «Move up» button as many times as needed to make «Belarusian [be]» the first item on the list
  4. Just reload <a href=»»>Google</a> main page
  5. The alternative way is to go to Google's settings from the main page and change the language settings there. In this case Google will set a cookie on your computer with your language preference.
  6. Finally, yet another way of looking at Belarusian version of Google is to add a special variable »hl=be» to the URL, e.g. <a href=»»></a>. This will be a temporary solution, since there are neither cookies nor changes in yout http_accept_language list.
    • Uladzimir Katkoŭski