Lesson 1



MACEDONIAN LANGUAGE

Macedonian, the official language of the Republic of Macedonia, is an Indo-European language from the family of Slavic languages belonging to the Eastern sub-group of the South-Slavic group. At the same time, it belongs to the Balkan sprachbund and has similarity in grammar and syntax with Albanian, Greek, Romance, and Indo-Aryan languages. The closest relatives of Macedonian language are the Bulgarian language and the Torlakian dialect of the Serbian language.

Macedonian was proclaimed the official language of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia on August 2, 1944, and after that started the process of codification of the Standard Macedonian language. Macedonian Standard was based on the central variants of the western Macedonian dialects (Bitola, Prilep, Kichevo, Veles, Skopje).

Macedonian shares a set of grammatical features that set it apart from all other Slavic languages:
  • A suffixed definite article that comes after the noun, the adjective or the possessive pronoun (книга/kniga - book; книгата/knigata - the book);
  • The loss of case forms, except the vocative form in some situations (книга/kniga - book; книго моја / knigo moja - you, my book);
  • Analytic declination - in Macedonian, as in English, prepositions have replaced cases as a way of showing the grammatical relationships between different parts of a sentence (Daj mu ja knigata na deteto! - Give the book to the child!; Knigata za deteto. - The book about the child.);
  • Three-syllable accent (the accent always falls on the third syllable from the end in words of three syllables or more) and the clear pronunciation of unaccented vowels; (PLA-ni-na ; pla-NI-na-ta ; pla-ni-NA-ri-te);
  • Double object (Jas ja sakam nea. - I love her.; Jas go sakam nego. - I love him.);
  • Constructions with има / нема (ima / nema) - has / hasn't (Имам видено.../Imam videno... - I have seen...; Немам видено / Nemam videno... - I haven't seen...);
  • Constructions with сум / sum (to be) + verb-adjective (Не сум јаден утрово / Ne sum jaden utrovo. - I didn't eat this morning.), etc.


THE LETTERS OF THE MACEDONIAN ALPHABET

The Macedonian language uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet and it has 31 letters (5 vowels and 26 consonants).
The Letters of the Macedonian alphabet are:
А а , Б б , В в , Г г , Д д , Ѓ ѓ , Е е , Ж ж , З з , Ѕ ѕ , И и , Ј ј , К к , Л л , Љ љ , М м , Н н , Њ њ , О о , П п , Р р , С с , Т т , Ќ ќ , У у , Ф ф , Х х , Ц ц , Ч ч , Џ џ , Ш ш .

PRONUNCIATION OF THE VOWELS

The vowels а, е, и, о, у are pronounced like their English equivalents in the following words:
Macedonian Cyrillic Latin Equivalent IPA Pronunciation
Capital Letter Small Letter
А а a a татко -tatko (father) - like a in father
Е е e ɛ метал - metal - like e in metal
И и i i има - ima (has) - like i in image or ee in see
О о o ɔ око - oko (eye) - like o in cold
У у u u утре - utre (tomorrow) - like oo in food

NOTE: The consonant Р (latin equivalent: R) in some positions in a word has a vowel function. In some of those positions, when a word begins with р or when there is a vowel before the р, then the letter р is writen using the sign " ' " before it: . When р (latin equivalent: r) has a vowel function it sounds much like the middle sound in the English words girl, bird or serve:

For example, the consonant Р has a vowel function in these words:
прст /prst/ - finger > pronunciation: something like perst (pirst) ; like ir in English first
прв /prv/ - first > pronunciation: something like perv
дрво /drvo/ - tree > pronunciation: something like DER-voh
'рбет /'rbet/ - back, backbone > pronunciation: something like HER-bet
за'ржи /za'rzhi/ - to start neighing > pronunciation: something like ZAH-her-zhee
The vocal schwa [ə] which appears in some dialects and words is written using the sign `
Samples: к`смет [`kəsmɛt], с`ска [`səska], ф`стак [`fəstak], т`нка [`tənka], т`га `[təga], В`лков [`Vəlkɔv] etc.
In the past this vocal was written using the Cyrillic letters ѫ and ъ.


PRONUNCIATION OF THE CONSONANTS


Macedonian Cyrillic Latin Equivalent IPA Pronunciation
Capital Letter Small Letter
Б б b b бука - buka (beech) - like b in book
В в v v вера - vera (faith) - like v in very
Г г g g гора - gora (wood) - like g in go
Ѓ ѓ gj gj ѓавол - gjavol (devil) - like gi in give; soft g
Д д d d да - da (yes) - like d in dust
Ж ж zh ʒ жаба - zhaba (frog) - like sio in vision
З з z z за - za (for) - like z in zoo
Ѕ ѕ dz dz ѕвезда - dzvezda (star) - like ds in kids or like z in italian zero; pronounce d and z together > d-z > dz
Ј ј j j јас - jas (me, I) - like y in yes
К к k k камера  - kamera (camera) - like c in camera
Ќ ќ kj kj ќуп - kjup (essel) - like cu in cute; soft k
Л л l ɫ or l лук - luk (garlic) - like L in Look; if found before e or и (i) it sounds like soft Л (L) like L in Least
Љ љ lj l љубов - ljubov (love) - like lio in million
М м m m ми - mi (me) - like m in me
Н н n n но - no (but) - like n in no
Њ њ nj ɲ диња - dinja (melon) - like ni in onion or ny in canyon; the spanish ñ
П п p p пат - pat (path) - like p in path
Р р r r роб - rob (slave) - like r in robot
С с s s сон - son (dream) - like s in son
Т т t t тука - tuka (here) - like t in too
Ф ф f f факт - fakt (fact) - like f in fact
Х х h x химна - himna (anthem) - like h in him
Ц ц c / ts ts цар - car (tsar) - like ts in tsar
Ч ч ch чај - chaj (tea) - like ch in much
Џ џ dzh / dj џин - dzhin/djin (giant) - like j in jungle
Ш ш sh ʃ шума - shuma (forest) - like sh in shop



USEFUL EXPRESSIONS AND GREETINGS

Learn how to say hello, how are you, bye etc. Here are the most common Macedonian greetings and their English equivalents. The most common greeting expression is: Здраво! (Zdravo! /ZDRA-voh/) - Hello!
Добро утро! (Dobro utro! /doh-BRO-ootroh/) - Good morning!
Добар ден! (Dobar den! /DOH-bar-den/) - Good afternoon!
Добровечер! (Dobrovecher! /doh-BRO-vetcher/) or Добра вечер! (Dobra vecher! /doh-BRA-vetcher/) - Good evening!
Добра ноќ! (Dobra nokj! /DOH-bra-NOkj/) or Лека ноќ! (Leka nokj! /LEH-kah-NOkj/) - Good night!
Пријатно! (Prijatno! /PREE-yat-no/) - Have a nice day! ; Bye!
Довидување! (Doviduvanje! /doh-vee-DOO-vah-nie/) - See you later!
Збогум! (Zbogum! /ZBO-goom/) - Farewell!
Како сте? (Kako ste? /KAH-ko-steh/) - How are you? ; How do you do? (formal, polite)
Како си? (Kako si? /KA-ko-see/) - How are you? (informal)
Многу добро! (Mnogu dobro! /MNO-goo-DOH-bro/) - Very well!
Одлично! (Odlichno! /OD-litch-no/) - Excellent!
Благодарам! (Blagodaram! /blah-GOH-dah-ram/) - Thanks!; Thank you!
Ти благодарам! (Ti blagodaram! /tee-blah-GOH-dah-ram/) - Thank you! (informal, singular)
Ви благодарам! (Vi blagodaram! /vee-blah-GOH-dah-ram/) - Thank you! (polite, formal, plural)
Каде си? (Kade si? /KA-deh-see/) or Каj си? (Kaj si? /KAY-see/) - Where are you? (informal)
Од каде си? (Od kade si? /ot-KA-de-see/) or Од кај си? (Od kaj si? /ot-KAY-se/) - Where are you from? (informal)
Каде сте? (Kade ste? /KA-de-steh/) - Where are you? (polite, formal, plural)
Од каде сте? (Od kade ste? /ot-KA-de-steh/) - Where are you from? (polite, formal, plural)
Како се викаш? (Kako se vikash? /ka-koh-SEH-vee-kash/) - What is your name? (informal) or
Како ти е името? (Kako ti e imeto? /ka-KOH-tee-eh-E-meh-toh/) - What is your name? (informal)
Како се викате? (Kako se vikate? /ka-koh-seh-VEE-ka-teh/) - What is your name? (formal, polite) or
Како Ви е името? (Kako Vi e imeto? /kako vi e imeto/) - What is your name? (formal, polite)
Зборувате ли македонски? (Zboruvate li makedonski? /zbo-ROO-va-teh-lee-mah-KEH-don-ski/) - Do you speak Macedonian?
Да, малку. (Da, malku. /DUH, MAL-koo/) - Yes, a little bit.
Да! (Da! /duh/) - Yes!
Не! (Ne! /neh/) - No!
мајка (majka /MY-kah/) - mother; мама (mama /MA-mah/) - mum; Мамо! (Mamo! /MA-moh/ - (Hey) mum!
татко (татко /TAT-ko/) - father; тато/тате (tato/tate /TA-toh or TA-teh/) - dad
брат (brat /brat/) - brother; бате/батко (bate/batko /BAH-teh or BUT-koh/) - bro
сестра (sestra /SES-tra/) - sister; дада (dada /DUH-duh/) - sis
дедо (dedo /DE-doh/) - grandfather
баба (baba /BA-bah/) - grandmother
сопруг (soprug /SOP-roog/) - husband
сопруга (sopruga /SOP-roo-gah/) - wife
дете (dete /DE-teh/) - child; kid; деца (deca /DET-sah/) - children; kids
син (sin) - son; Сине! (Sine! /SEE-neh/) - My son!
ќерка (kjerka /KjER-ka/) - daughter; Ќерко! (Kjerko! /KjER-koh/) - My daughter!
>>> For more greetings and useful phrases in Macedonian see Lesson 8

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