Macedonian language

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Македонски јазик
Makedonski jazik
Native toRepublic of North Macedonia, Greece, Australia, Serbia, Albania, Germany, France, Italy, United States, Canada Turkey
RegionThe Balkans
Native speakers
1.6[1] - 3 million[2]
Cyrillic (Macedonian variant)
Official status
Official language in
North Macedonia
recognised as minority language in parts of:
Regulated byMacedonian Language Institute "Krste Misirkov" at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje
Language codes
ISO 639-1mk
ISO 639-2mac (B)
mkd (T)
ISO 639-3mkd
Countries with significant Macedonian-speaking populations

Macedonian (македонски јазик, makedonski jazik) is a Slavic language spoken mainly in North Macedonia. Macedonian is a part of the Balkan linguistic union, which also includes Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian, Albanian and Torlakian dialect of the Serbian language. Macedonian is very similar to Bulgarian and some linguists say it is a dialect of Bulgarian.

Phonology[change | change source]

Vowels of Macedonian[4]
Front Central Back
Close и /i/ у /u/
Mid е /ɛ/ о /ɔ/
Open а /a/
Consonants of Macedonian[4]
Bilabial Labio-
Dental Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar
Nasal m n ɲ
Plosive p b t d c ɟ k g
Affricate ts dz
Fricative f v s z ʃ ʒ x
Approximant j
Trill r
Lateral ɫ l

Alphabet[change | change source]

The Macedonian language uses a Cyrillic alphabet. The following table provides the upper and lower case forms of the Macedonian alphabet, along with the IPA value for each letter:

CyrillicIPA А а/a/ Б б/b/ В в/v/ Г г/ɡ/ Д д/d/ Ѓ ѓ


Е е/ɛ/ Ж ж/ʒ/ З з/z/ Ѕ ѕ


И и/i/
CyrillicIPA Ј ј/j/ К к/k/ Л л/l/ Љ љ/lj/ М м/m/ Н н/n/ Њ њ/ɲ/ О о/ɔ/ П п/p/ Р р/r/ С с/s/
CyrillicIPA Т т/t/ Ќ ќ


У у/u/ Ф ф/f/ Х х


Ц ц/ts/ Ч ч/tʃ/ Џ џ/dʒ/ Ш ш/ʃ/

References[change | change source]

  1. Although the precise number of speakers is unknown, figures of between 1.6 million (from ethnologue) and 2-2.5 million have been cited, see Topolinjska (1998) and Friedman (1985). The general academic consensus is that there are approximately 2 million speakers of the Macedonian language, accepting that "it is difficult to determine the total number of speakers of Macedonian due to the official policies of the neighbouring Balkan states and the fluid nature of emigration" Friedman (1985:?).
  2. [1]
  3. Hill (1999:?)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lunt (1952:1)

Other websites[change | change source]