Balachka

Balachka (Russsian and Ukrainian: балачка) is a Cossack dialect that is spoken in the traditional Cossack regions of Russia such as the Kuban, Stavropol and Don areas. It is a hybrid of standard Russian, with Ukrainisms and certain Circassian languages.

Balachka varies considerably from one region to the other. For example in the Mountanous regions of the Northern Caucasus, such as Karachayevo-Cherkessia and Stavropolye, contain many borrowed Circassian (mostly Adyge and Cherkess) volcabulary, and also demonstrate a strong Caucasus accents. As such local dialects are usually grouped and from there collective terms such as the Don Balachka (Донская), Kuban Balachka (Кубанская), Mountain Balachka (Горская) arise.

Formation

The earliest examples of Balachka formed during the 14th century, when the then independent Don Cossack Host was known to talk in accents significantly different from that of the standard Moscow langauge.

Before the 20th century, literacy rates were low. During the Russian Empire Census of 1897, certain Balachkas, such as the Kuban-Black Sea (Кубанско-Черномрская), was recorded as Little Russian dialect instead of Great Russian.

Modern Usage

It is questionable on how widespread the Balachka is, as with most dialects of Russian, the education and strict requirements of the Russian Academy of Sciences mean that local press such as TV and radio rarely use anything other than standard Russian, with a notable exception for Historical films (particularly those involving Cossacks) and Folk music groups and ensembles. In such conditions, there has been a gradual erosion of authentic dialects and accents, with unique terms being slowly replaced by standard Russian ones, particularly amongst the younger generations. At the same time, the recent re-awakening of the Cossacks was often done with enthusiasm to old traditions. It is thus not surprising that many Cossacks use Balachka (or some of its elements) in their speach to punctuate their Cossack heritage and/or affiliation.

See also

  • Surzhyk - the use of Russian words on a Ukrainian grammar matrix.
  • Russenorsk - a pidgin language that compines elements of Russian and Norwegian
  • Diglossia - a situation of parallel usage of two closely-related languages, one of which is generally used by the government and in formal texts, and the other one is usually the spoken informally

Externals Links

Russian}}} 
Writing system: Cyrillic (Russian variant)  
Official status
Official language of:  Abkhazia (Georgia)
 Belarus
 Commonwealth of Independent States (working)
 Crimea (de facto; Ukraine)
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Ukrainian}}} 
Official status
Official language of:  Ukraine
Transnistria (Moldova)
Regulated by: National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Language codes
ISO 639-1: uk
ISO 639-2: ukr
ISO 639-3: ukr  


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The Cossacks (Russian: Каза́ки, Kazaki; Ukrainian:
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Kuban (Russian: Кубань) is a geographic region of Southern Russia surrounding the Kuban River, on the Black Sea between the Don Steppe, Volga Delta and the Caucasus.
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Ставропол? (Russian)
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The term Don or DON may refer to
  • Donald, a Western name (a Scottish derivative).
  • Don (honorific), a Spanish and Portuguese title, given as a mark of respect, also used in Italy.
  • A crime boss.

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Russian}}} 
Writing system: Cyrillic (Russian variant)  
Official status
Official language of:  Abkhazia (Georgia)
 Belarus
 Commonwealth of Independent States (working)
 Crimea (de facto; Ukraine)
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Ukrainian}}} 
Official status
Official language of:  Ukraine
Transnistria (Moldova)
Regulated by: National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Language codes
ISO 639-1: uk
ISO 639-2: ukr
ISO 639-3: ukr  


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Circassia, also known as Cherkessia in Russian, is a region in Caucasia. Historically it comprised the coast and all the interior of the current Krasnodar Territory, Stavropol Territory, but now only refers to a portion of the Karachay-Cherkessia
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The North Caucasus is the northern part of the Caucasus region between Europe and Asia. The term is also used as a synonym for the North Caucasus Economical Region of Russia.
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Don Cossacks (Russian: Донские Казаки) were Cossacks who settled along the middle and lower Don River, Russia.
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Russian Empire Census of 1897 was the first and the only census carried out in Imperial Russia. It recorded demographic data as of 28 January [O.S. 15 January] 1897.
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Little Russia, originally Little or Lesser Rus’ (Russian: Malorossiya; Ukrainian: Mala Rus’
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Great Russian language (Russian: Великорусский язык, Velikorusskiy yazyk
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Russian Academy of Sciences (Russian: Росси́йская Акаде́мия Нау́к,
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Folk music can have a number of different meanings, including:
  • Traditional music: The original meaning of the term "folk music" was synonymous with the term "Traditional music", also often including World Music and Roots music; the term "Traditional music" was given

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Surzhyk (Ukrainian: суржик, originally meaning ‘flour or bread made from mixed grains’, e.g., wheat with rye), is currently the mixed language or sociolect used by a considerable part of the population
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Russenorsk (Norwegian for "Russo-Norwegian") was a dual-source pidgin language in the Arctic combining elements of Russian and Norwegian, created by Russian traders and Norwegian fishermen from northern Norway and the Russian Kola peninsula.
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In linguistics, diglossia is a situation where, in a given society, there are two (often closely-related) languages, one of high prestige, which is generally used by the government and in formal texts, and one of low prestige, which is usually the spoken vernacular tongue.
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