Pannonian Rusyn language

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Pannonian Rusyn
Руски язик
Ruski yazik
Native to Serbia
Native speakers
20,000 (date missing)[citation needed]
Official status
Official language in
Regulated by Statute of Vojvodina
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Linguist list
Glottolog None
Official usage of Pannonian Rusyn language in Vojvodina, Serbia
Mayor office written in four official languages used in the City of Novi Sad (Serbian, Hungarian, Slovak, and Rusyn).

Pannonian Rusyn (руски язик or руска бешеда) or simply Rusyn (or Ruthenian) is a Slavic language or dialect spoken by Pannonian Rusyns in north-western Serbia (Bačka region) and eastern Croatia (therefore also called Yugoslavo-Ruthenian, Vojvodina-Ruthenian or Bačka-Ruthenian). It is similar to East Slavic languages, but has West Slavic phonetics and vocabulary. It has been influenced by surrounding South Slavic languages (Serbian and Croatian). Pannonian Rusyn is one of the official languages of the Serbian Autonomous Province of Vojvodina.[1]

While it is classified as a microlanguage by the Serbian authors[citation needed], it is considered a Ukrainian dialect in Ukraine[citation needed], and simply as a Rusyn (Ruthenian) language dialect by Slovaks and northern Ruthenians.

Like the northern Rusyn language, it constitutes a mixture of some Eastern Slovak dialects and East Slavic features (namely, Russian Church Slavonic, Russian and Old Ruthenian). This mixture is because these Rusyns emigrated to Bačka from Eastern Slovakia and Western Ukraine around the middle of the 18th century. Like most modern Ruthenians, they are Greek Catholics and therefore have closer ties with Ukraine. The language also has some South Slavic features, and it is sometimes called a "Slavic Esperanto".

Since the Rusyn language was officially not recognized in Czechoslovakia and Ukraine in the past, the Rusyns in Yugoslavia, where the language was recognized, had to create their own language codification: The language has been codified by Mikola Kočiš in "Правопис руского язика" (Pravopis ruskoho yazika; "Orthography of Rusyn", 1971) and "Ґраматика руского язика" (Gramatika ruskoho yazika; "Grammar of Rusyn", 1974) and is written with Cyrillic letters:

The Pannonian Rusyn alphabet
А а Б б В в Г г Ґ ґ Д д Е е Є є
Ж ж З з И и Ї ї Й й К к Л л М м
Н н О о П п Р р С с Т т У у Ф ф
Х х Ц ц Ч ч Ш ш Щ щ Ю ю Я я Ь ь

It is essentially the same as the Ukrainian alphabet, except for not having the letter І, і.

Pannonian Rusyns themselves call their language Bačvan'ska ruska bešeda (бачваньска руска бешеда), or Bačvan'ski ruski yazik (бачваньски руски язик), both meaning "Rusyn language of Bačka". Their cultural centre is Ruski Krstur (Руски Керестур, Serbian: Руски Крстур / Ruski Krstur). Although the number of Pannonian Rusyns is much lower than that of the northern Rusyns (Transcarpathian Ruthenians) — just 23,286 according to the Yugoslav census of 1981 — they were lucky to live in a multinational state that granted them certain minority rights as early as the 1970s, so that there is a Rusyn language high school in Ruski Kerestur (with some 250 schoolbooks printed so far for this school and elementary schools[citation needed]), a professorial chair for Rusyn studies at Novi Sad University.[2] [3] There are regular television and radio programmes in Pannonian Rusyn, including the multilingual radio station Radio Novi Sad, which serves all of Vojvodina. The breakdown of minutes of Novi Sad original broadcasting by language in 2001 was: 23.5% Serbian, 23.5% Hungarian, 5.7% Slovak, 5.7% Romanian, 3.8% Rusyn, 2.2% Romany, and 0.2% Ukrainian.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Statue of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina
  2. ^ Rusin language on the Faculty of Philosophy at the Novi Sad University
  3. ^ Rusin language on the Faculty of Philosophy at the Novi Sad University

External links[edit]