Macedonian is a South Slavic language spoken mainly in the Republic of North Macedonia. There are about 1.4 million speakers of Macedonian in North Macedonia, and another 99,400 in Germany, 66,000 in Australia, 22,900 in the USA, 16,800 in Canada, and 12,700 in Serbia. There are smaller numbers of Macedonian speakers in other countries, including Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Norway and Slovenia. There are also speakers of Macedonian in the regions of Central Macedonia and Western Macedonia in northern Greece: the exact number is uncertain, but estimates range from 50,000 to 250,000.
Macedonian is an official language in North Macedonia, and is a recognised as a minority language in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegonvina, Romania and Serbia. It is taught in universities in a number of countries, including Australia, Canada, Croatia, Italy, Russia, Serbia, the USA and the UK.
Macedonian has a high degree of mutual intelligibility with Bulgarian, and to a lesser extent with Serbian.
The varieties of southern Slavic spoken in what is now the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) (Поранешна Југословенска Република Македонија (ПЈРМ)) were codified as Macedonian in 1940 and became the official language of Socialist Republic of Macedonia (Социјалистичка Република Македонија) in 1945.
The Republic of North Macedonia (Република Северна Македонија) is a name adopted in 2019 by the country formerly known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Поранешна Југословенска Република Македонија (ПЈРМ). Before 2019 the FYROM name was recognised by international organisations, Greece and a number of other countries. The constitutional name of the country was formerly Република Македонија (Republic of Macedonia).
The national language of North Macedonia is known as Macedonian, and this name is also used by international bodies, such as the United Nations and the World Health Organisation, and in the field of Slavic Studies. Other names are also used to disambiguate the language from Ancient Macedonian, a language that was spoken in what is now northern Greece until about the 4th century BC.
In Greece the modern Slavic language is known as Macedonian Slav(ic), (македонски словенски), Slavic Macedonian, Macedonian (Slavonic) or Slavomacedonian (славомакедонски / Σλαβομακεδονικά)
Macedonian literature started to emerge during the 19th century. Each writer wrote in their own dialect and with their own spelling system based on the Cyrillic alphabets for Bulgarian or Serbian. In Greece the Greek alphabet was used to write Macedonian, and a version of the Latin alphabet for Albanian was used by some writers.
A modern standard written version of Macedonian using the Cyrillic alphabet appeared in 1945. Since then many literary works have been published in Macedonian. Literary Macedonian is based on the dialects of the West Central region (Prilep, Kičevo, Bitola, Kruševo and Lerin).
This is the official method of Romanizing Macedonian and is used in passports.
Ситe чoвeчки суштeствa сe рaѓaaт слoбoдни и eднaкви пo дoстoинствo и прaвa. Tиe сe oбдaрeни сo рaзум и сoвeст и трeбa дa сe oднeсувaaт eдeн кoн друг вo дуxoт нa oпштo чoвeчкaтa припaднoст.
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All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
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in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
The Macedonian alphabet with sound files
Online Macedonian dictionary
Find a Macedonian language exchange partner
Online Macedonian radio and news
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Page last modified: 26.09.21
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