Macedonian (македонски)

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 at a glance

  • Native names: македонски (makedonski) [maˈkɛdɔnski], македонски јазик (makedonski jazik) [maˈkɛdɔnski ˈjazik]
  • Language family: Indo-European, Balto-Slavic, Slavic, South Slavic, Eastern South Slavic
  • Number of speakers: c. 1.6 million
  • Spoken in: North Macedonia, Greece, Germany, Australia, the USA, Canada, Serbia, Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Norway and Slovenia
  • First written: 19th century
  • Writing systems: Cyrillic, Latin and Greek alphabets
  • Status: official language in North Macedonia, recognised minority langauge in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegonvina, Romania and Serbia

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)

For more details, see: and

Written Macedonian

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).

Cyrillic alphabet for Macedonian (македонска азбука)

Cyrillic alphabet for Macedonian

Macedonian cursive alphabet (Македонска ракописна кирилица)

Macedonian cursive alphabet (Македонска ракописна кирилица)

Romanization of Macedonian

This is the official method of Romanizing Macedonian and is used in passports.

Official Macedonian Romanization

Download alphabet charts for Macedonian (Excel)

Sample text in Macedonian

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.

A recording of this text by Aleksandar Miloeski


Site chovechki sushtestva se ragjaat slobodni i ednakvi po dostoinstvo i prava. Tie se obdareni so razum i sovest i treba da se odnesuvaat eden kon drug vo duhot na opshto chovechkata pripadnost.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample videos in Macedonian

Information about Macedonian | Phrases | Numbers | Learning materials


Information about the Macedonian language

The Macedonian alphabet with sound files

Macedonian transliteration

Online Macedonian lessons

Online Macedonian dictionary

Find a Macedonian language exchange partner

Online Macedonian radio and news

Information about the Republic of Macedonia

Slavic languages

Belarusian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Kashubian, Knaanic, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Old Church Slavonic, Polish, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, Silesian, Slovak, Slovenian, Sorbian, Ukrainian, West Polesian

Languages written with the Cyrillic alphabet

Abaza, Abkhaz, Adyghe, Aghul, Akhvakh, Aleut, Altay, Alyutor, Andi, Archi, Assyrian / Neo-Assyrian, Avar, Azeri, Bagvalal, Balkar, Bashkir, Belarusian, Bezhta, Botlikh, Budukh, Bulgarian, Buryat, Chamalal, Chechen, Chelkan, Chukchi, Chulym, Chuvash, Crimean Tatar, Dargwa, Dolgan, Dungan, Enets, Erzya, Even, Evenki, Gagauz, Godoberi, Hinukh, Hunzib, Ingush, Interslavic, Itelmen, Juhuri, Kabardian, Kalderash Romani, Kalmyk, Karaim, Karakalpak, Karata, Kazakh, Ket, Khakas, Khanty, Khinalug, Khwarshi, Kildin Sámi, Komi, Koryak, Krymchak, Kryts, Kubachi, Kumandy, Kumyk, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Lak, Lezgi, Lingua Franca Nova, Ludic, Macedonian, Mansi, Mari, Moksha, Moldovan, Mongolian, Montenegrin, Nanai, Negidal, Nenets, Nganasan, Nivkh, Nogai, Old Church Slavonic, Oroch, Orok, Ossetian, Pontic Greek, Russian, Rusyn, Rutul, Selkup, Serbian, Shor, Shughni, Siberian Tatar, Slovio, Soyot, Tabassaran, Tajik, Talysh, Tat, Tatar, Tindi, Tofa, Tsakhur, Tsez, Turkmen, Tuvan, Ubykh, Udege, Udi, Udmurt, Ukrainian, Ulch, Urum, Uyghur, Uzbek, Veps, Votic, Wakhi, West Polesian, Yaghnobi, Yakut, Yazghulami, Yukaghir (Northern / Tundra), Yukaghir (Southern / Kolyma), Yupik (Central Siberian)

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 26.09.21


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