Collection of linguists and intellectuals about the language of Slavs in FYROM

“……….the nucleus of the Macedonian vocabulary consists of words which have exact correspondence in Greek.The importance of these words and the archaic phonological character of Macedonian lead to the conclusion that these are not borrowings but inherited words: this fact is confirmed by the genetic unity of Macedonian and Greek.
Moreover, the numerous lexical and phonological isoglosses in Macedonian and the different Greek dialects confirm the supposition of genetic unity.”

Vladimir I. Georgiev, “Introduction to the History of the Indo-European Languages”, Sofia 1981, p. 169


apart from the word Bugari which is the true national name of the Slavic Macedonians, which shows that they adopted the form of the name “Bulgarians” given to them by the Serbs

A. Vaillant, “Le probleme du Slave Macedonien”, in “Bulletin de la Societe de Linguistique de Paris” 39 (1938), p.205.


Indeed, the macedonian language is a product essentialy of political origin

V. Pisani, “Il Macedonico”, in, “Paideia” 12 (1957), p.250.


Macedonian national conscience and from that conscientious promotion of Macedonian as a written language, first appears just in the beginning of our century and is strengthened particularly during in the years between the two world wars

Fr. Scholz, “Slavische Etymologie”, 1966, p.61.


From a strictly linguistic point of view Macedonian can be called a Bulgarian dialect, as structurally it is most similar to Bulgarian.

— Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (1994)


It [Macedonian language] has not created by natural means, as all other languages in the world, but was created by political circumstances. It is an absurd, that it was created on a certain date – namely August 2nd, 1944, and at certain place – the monastery “Prohor Pchinski”, with a decree. Such an event has not happened to any other language in the world.


With other words, the very soul of the so-called Macedonian language is of no linguistical but of political nature, which is the source of todays political problems between the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria

Prof. Dr Ivan Kochev – Sofia University, newspaper “Kontinent” – 17.10.1997


Whoever is familiar with the basic structural principles of the two neighboring languages must, even though he may not be a philologist, arrive, on the basis of the examples cited here, at the same conclusion to which also the French slavicist, Louis Leger, came, and I repeat his words: The Macedonian Slavs are Bulgarians and speak a Bulgarian dialect.

Czech Balkanologist Vladimir Sis in his book about Macedonia


In the language of the Serbians around Prizren it is clearly noticeable how much it tends to resemble the Bulgarian dialects. It would be interesting to investigate how this blend of the Serbian language with the Macedo-Bulgarian has come about.

Russian scholar Hilferding in his book An Excursion Into Hersegovina And Old Serbia


Whatever segment of this language we analyze, again and again it becomes evident that we deal here not with the Serbian, but the Bulgarian language. All attempts of Serbian chauvinists to design the Bulgarian language as spoken in Macedonia as a Serbian dialect or as a mixed language of indefinite character will therefore end in failure. One could pose the question whether, perhaps, the Macedonian Slavs haven’t their own language, something in between Serbian and Bulgarian. Such an assumption, however, would be absolutely unjustified, for, as we have seen, in phonology, morphology and syntax Macedonian Bulgarian and Bulgarian proper harmonize in every respect. Certain exclusively Macedonian peculiarities cannot essentially change this picture. In the lexicon there occurs a number of words of Greek or Turkish origin which do not exist in the Serbian or Bulgarian vocabulary. In proportion to the overall lexicon, however, their number is quite insignificant, as can be seen from the linguistic samples adduced here, which clearly demonstrate that Macedonian can only be considered a Bulgarian Dialect

German Balkanologist and linguist, Professor Guslav Wcigand, Ethnographic von Macedonien, 1924

Experts agree that the Slavic language he [Delchev] spoke – and the one spoken here now – is closer to Bulgarian than to Serbian. But on account of Tito’s break with Stalin, the Yugoslav government, encouraged by the Serbs, promoted a separate ethnic and linguistc identity for Macedonian, in order to sever any emotional link between the local population and the one next door in Bulgaria

[Robert D. Kaplan, “Balkan Ghosts”, p.60]



In Yugoslav Macedonia the new authorities quickly set about consolidating their position. The new nation needed a written language, and initially the spoken dialect of northern Macedonia was chosen as the basis for the Macedonian language. However, this was deemed too close to Serbian and the dialects of Bitola-Veles became the norm.(1) These dialects were closer to the literary language of Bulgaria but because the latter was based on the eastern Bulgarian dialects, it allowed enough differentiation for the Yugoslavs to claim it as a language distinct from Bulgarian-a point which Bulgaria has bitterly contested ever since(2). In fact the differentiation between the Macedonian and Bulgarian dialects becomes progressively less pronounced on an east-west basis. Macedonian shares nearly all the same distinct characteristics which separate Bulgarian from other Slav languages lack of cases, the post-positive definite article, replacement of the infinitive form, and preservation of the simple verbal forms for the past and imperfect tenses-but whether it is truly a different language from Bulgarian or merely a dialect of it is a moot point.The alphabet was accepted on 3 May 1945 and the orthography on 7 June 1945, and the first primer in the new language appeared by 1946, in which year a Macedonian Department in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Skopje was also founded.

A grammar of the Macedonian literary language appeared in 1952, and the Institute for the Macedonian Language “Krste P’ Misirkov” was founded the following year. Since the Second world ‘war the new republic has used the full weight of the education system and the bureaucracy to make the new language common parlance, and indeed it is noticeable that old people still tend to speak a mixture of dialects which include obvious Serbianisms and Bulgarianisms, while those young enough to have gone through the education system in its entirety speak_ a ‘purer’ Macedonian.

Hugh Poulton


We the Macedonians voluntarily choose one and the same language with Bulgarians long before the liberation of Bulgaria from Turkey. The prohibition from the Serbs to use our literally language, which is the only one connection between us and Bulgarians is significant violation of our human rights. .. and further.. when they forbid us to call ourselves Bulgarians, to learn Bulgarian history and to be ashamed from everything which connect us with Bulgarians. It is enough to learn our Macedonian culture and history to understand that we are very different from Serbian nationality.

[K.Misirkov, Balazki po jusno-slavjanskata folilogija…”, Balfarka Sbirka, XVII, 1 Sofijia,1910,Kn 1-39-41 and Kn 3-168] ..

GIANNA says: