Мова Нанова

Language Anew / Мова Нанова

Published: April 18, 2017

Language Anew (Мова Нанова) is a Belarusian TV show, one of the very, very few that are actually in Belarusian. Because of Belarus’s history of very close ties with Russia, Belarusian is very rarely spoken in most areas of Belarus (somewhat similar to in Ukraine, but more pronounced), and most Belarusian media is in Russian. The producers of the show decided to take the situation into their own hands and increase people’s knowledge of their native language.

According to the show’s website, “Many Belarusians, calling the Belarusian language ‘native’ [роднаю], are not fluent in it. And Belarusian speakers, because of the lack of a rich language environment, can’t easily learn new words, constructions and rules.” The show tries to make language-learning fun: recent episodes include playing board games in Belarusian, learning about supernatural traditions in Belarus, and a lesson on hip-hop in Belarusian, among other compelling subjects.

The show is hosted by Alesya Litvinouskaya (Алеся Літвіноўская) and Gleb Labadzenka (Глеб Лабадзенка), and most episodes also feature experts on the subjects at hand. The show airs on Belsat, Belarus’s first independent TV network. Aided by Polish TV services, it began broadcasting on Human Rights Day in 2007.

Language Anew was actually a language and culture institute before it became a TV show. It was founded by Litvinouskaya and Labadzenka, and its main feature was offering free Belarusian language courses in Belarus. As part of a Belarusian language renaissance across the country, Language Anew courses have become extremely popular in the last few years.

Aside from his work on the show and the institute, Labadzenka is a journalist and poet who has won several awards for his journalism and literary work.


Hosts: Alesya Litvinouskaya (Алеся Літвіноўская), Gleb Labadzenka (Глеб Лабадзенка)
TV channel: Belsat


The show’s official website.

Language Anew’s YouTube channel, which features videos of the in-person language courses.


A recent episode of the actual TV show:


About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie studied Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk and before that, Bishkek, with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

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