Belarusian is an Eastern Slavonic language with about 4 million speakers in Belarus. It is closely related to Russian and Ukrainian. Most Belarusians are bilingual in Belarusian and Russian.
During the early 20th century, many Belarusian publications were printed in both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. After the Soviet invasion of eastern Belarus in 1919-1920, the Cyrillic alphabet became the only alphabet used in official writings. Meanwhile in western Belarus, the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets continued to coexist, though after 1943 the majority of publications were printed in the Cyrillic alphabet. One notable exception was publications written by Belarusian emigrés, who favoured the Latin alphabet.
Since Belarus gained independence in 1991, efforts have been made to revive Belarus writing in the Latin alphabet. One major problem is that nobody can agree on a spelling system.
Belarusian has also been written with the Arabic script by Belarusian Tartars and with the Hebrew script by Belarusian Jews.