Introduction to Macedonian Language
Today the Macedonian language with its Cyrillic alphabet is the official language of Republic of Macedonia, mother tongue of the ethnic Macedonians in the wider geographical region of Macedonia and the Diaspora, used by more than 2.5 million (Friedman 1985). It is an Indo-European language belonging to the South-Slavic group with origin from the liturgical Old Church Slavonic.
History of the Language
The first codification Old Slavonic was made in the IX c. by “the co patrons of Europe” the brothers St. Cyril and St. Methodius from Solun (Salonika/Thessaloniki), with creating of the Glagolitic script and having translated parts of the holy bible into the dialect they spoke, thus making the first codified Slavic language the Macedonian.
Their disciples St.Naum and St.Clement of Ohrid have continued the mission of translating the holly scripts and spreading Christianity and literacy. St.Clement founded the first Slavic University in Ohrid in the X c., and by the claims of many scholars, by using the foundation of Cyril’s Glagolitic alphabet and Greek uncial script, made the Cyrillic alphabet used today by more than 400 million people.
A reform of the Macedonian Cyrillic alphabet and standardization started in the period of national awakening in the XIXc ., lead by Krste Petkov Misirkov, a philologist, slavist, historian, ethnographer and publicist. With forming of Socialist Republic of Macedonia as part of Federal Yugoslavia in 1944, the language was codified and became one of the tree official languages of the Federation.
The Macedonian language uses the Cyrillic alphabet with 31 letters, one letter for each sound thus making it completely phonetic, easy to write, read and learn.
In Macedonian romanization - using the latin alphabet, the following substitutes can be found:
- Ж-ж - Ž/ž - ZH/zh
- Ч/ч - Č/č - Ch/ch
- Ш/ш - Š/š - SH/sh