Languages of North Macedonia
|Languages of North Macedonia|
|Official||Macedonian (national), Albanian (co-official)|
|Minority||Turkish, Romani, Serbian, Bosnian & Aromanian|
|Foreign||Serbo-Croatian, English, Russian, French, German|
|Signed||Macedonian Sign Language|
The two main & official languages of North Macedonia are Macedonian and Albanian. Apart from Macedonian and Albanian, North Macedonia officially recognises five national minority languages: Turkish, Romani, Serbian, Bosnian, and Aromanian. The Macedonian Sign Language is the country's official sign language.
- 1 Statistics
- 2 Language policy
- 3 List of languages
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
According to the last 2002 census, North Macedonia had a population of 2.022,547 citizens. 1,344,815 Macedonian citizens declared that they speak Macedonian, 507,989 citizens speak Albanian, 71,757 citizens speak Turkish, 38,528 citizens speak Roma, 6,884 citizens speak Aromanian, 24,773 citizens speak Serbian, 8.560 citizens speak Bosnian and 19,241 citizens speak other languages.
Macedonian (official and national)
The language policy in North Macedonia is regulated by the 7 Article of the Constitution of North Macedonia and the Law of languages. According to the national constitution:
- The Macedonian language, written using its Cyrillic alphabet, is the official language throughout the Republic of North Macedonia and in the international relations of the Republic of North Macedonia.
- Any other language spoken by at least 20 percent of the population is also an official language, written using its alphabet, as specified below.
- Any official personal documents of citizens speaking an official language other than Macedonian shall also be issued in that language, in addition to the Macedonian language, in accordance with the law.
- Any person living in a unit of local self-government in which at least 20 percent of the population speaks an official language other than Macedonian may use that official language to communicate with the office of the central government with responsibility for that municipality; such an office shall reply in that language in addition to Macedonian. Any person may use any official language to communicate with a main office of the central government, which shall reply in that language in addition to Macedonian.
- In the organs of the Republic of North Macedonia, any official language other than Macedonian may be used in accordance with the law.
- In the units of local self-government where at least 20 percent of the population speaks a particular language, that language and its alphabet shall be used as an official language in addition to the Macedonian language and the Cyrillic alphabet. With respect to languages spoken by less than 20 percent of the population of a unit of local self-government, the local authorities shall decide on their use in public bodies.
The Albanian language is co-official at a state level (excluding defense, central police and monetary policy) and in local self-government units where speakers of the population are 20% or more. These include places such as Tetovo, Brvenica, Vrapčište and other municipalities.
The change in status occurred in 2019 as usage of the Albanian language became no longer geographically limited. The new law extended the official use of Albanian over the entire country, easing communication in Albanian with the institutions. Under the new legislation, Macedonian continues to be the primary official language, while Albanian may be used now as a second one, including at a national level in official matters. The legislation stipulates also all public institutions in the country will provide Albanian translations in their everyday work. Despite since 2019 the usage of Albanian language being no longer geographically limited, the Macedonian language with the Cyrillic alphabet remains the only official language throughout the whole territory of North Macedonia and its international relations, per Macedonian Government.
Some minority languages are co-official, along with Macedonian, in the municipalities (opštini) where they are spoken by at least 20% of the municipal population. Turkish is co-official in Centar Župa and Plasnica. Romani in Šuto Orizari and Aromanian in Kruševo, even though it is spoken by ~10% of the municipal population. Serbian is also co-official in Čučer-Sandevo. Bosnian is the only recognized minority language that is not official on municipal level.
List of languages
Macedonian (македонски јазик, makedonski jazik) is a South Slavic language, spoken as a first language by approximately 1.4-2.5 million people principally in North Macedonia and the Macedonian diaspora. It is the official language in North Macedonia and a recognized minority language in parts of Albania, Romania and Serbia.
Standard Macedonian was implemented as the official language of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia in 1945 and has since developed a thriving literary tradition. Most of the codification was formalized during the same period.
Albanian (gjuha shqipe) is an Indo-European language spoken by over 7.3 million people world-wide, primarily in Albania and Kosovo but also in other areas of the Balkans in which there is an Albanian population, including western North Macedonia, southern Montenegro, southern Serbia and Greece. Albanian is also spoken in centuries-old Albanian-based dialect speaking communities scattered in southern Greece, southern Italy, Sicily, Ukraine and the Albanian diaspora. Within North Macedonia, Albanian is spoken in Western parts of the Republic. As of January 2019 it has become the co-official language in North Macedonia.
Turkish (Türkçe) is the most populous of the Turkic languages, with over 70 million native speakers. Speakers are located predominantly in Turkey, with smaller groups in Germany, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Cyprus (mostly in the occupied North of the island), Greece (mostly in Western Thrace), and other parts of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. Small Turkish-speaking communities can be found in several places in North Macedonia, such as Vrapčište, Skopje and Gostivar. Turkish language is currently official in Centar Zupa and Plasnica Municipality
Balkan Romani (Romani: romani ćhib) is one of several related languages of the Romani people, belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. Many varieties of Romani are divergent and sometimes considered languages of their own. The largest of these are Vlax Romani (about 900,000 speakers), Balkan Romani (700,000), Carpathian Romani (500,000) and Sinti Romani (300,000). In North Macedonia Balkan Romani is spoken. Šuto Orizari is the largest Romani-speaking settlement in the country.
Serbian (српски, srpski) is a standardized register of the Serbo-Croatian language spoken by Serbs, mainly in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and North Macedonia. It is official in Serbia and one of the official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is the principal language of the Serbs. Serbian is mainly spoken in the municipalities of Čučer Sandevo (~20% of the population) and Staro Nagoričane (19%).
Bosnian (bosanski, босански) is another standardized register of Serbo-Croatian, spoken by Bosniaks. As a standardized form of the Shtokavian dialect, it is one of the three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most of the Bosnian-speaking Macedonian citizens live in Skopje and the Municipality of Veles.
Aromanian (Limba Armãneascã) or Vlach is a Balkan Romance language spoken in several pockets across Southeastern Europe. Its speakers are called Aromanians or "Vlachs" (which is an exonym in widespread use to define the communities in the Balkans). It shares many features with modern Romanian, having similar morphology and syntax, as well as a large common vocabulary inherited from Latin. An important source of dissimilarity between Romanian and Aromanian is the adstratum languages: while Romanian has been influenced to a greater extent by the Slavic languages, Aromanian has been more influenced by the Greek language, with which it has been in close contact throughout its history. The largest Aromanian-speaking community in North Macedonia can be found in the town of Kruševo (~10% of the municipal population). In North Macedonia, the language is known as 'Vlach' (влашки јазик, vlaški jazik).
The Macedonian sign language (Macedonian: македонски знаковен јазик, romanized: makedonski znakoven jazik or македонски гестовен јазик / makedonski gestoven jazik) is a sign language of the deaf community in North Macedonia. As all sign languages, the Macedonian sign language is also based on gestures and body movements, particularly movements with the hands. The precise number of signers in North Macedonia is not known, but 6,000 people request signed news on Macedonian television. The learning and the usage of the language, as well as the rights of the deaf community in North Macedonia are regulated by a national law.
Many people speak a foreign language. Most of the older population has knowledge of Serbo-Croatian, French or German. Russian is also well-known. Among the younger population, English is extremely common, along with knowledge of Serbo-Croatian and some German.
- "Macedonian census, language and religion" (PDF). www.stat.gov.mk. 2002.
- Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia See amendment V
- Law on Use of Languages will cost a lot and requires a lot of work. 16.01.2019, META.mk
- Albanian designated Macedonia’s 2nd official language, New York Times, Jan. 15, 2019.
- Macedonian Information Agency, 18 Jan. 2019.
- Macedonia's Albanian-Language Bill Becomes Law. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. January 15, 2019.
- Associated Press: Albanian designated Macedonia’s 2nd official language. January 15, 2019.
- "Census" (PDF). www.stat.gov.mk. 2002.
- "МИА - Македонска Информативна Агенцијa - НА ДЕНЕШЕН ДЕН". Mia.com.mk. Archived from the original on 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2010-08-15.
- Studies in contact linguistics, G. Gilbert, Glenn G. Gilbert, Janet M. Fuller, Linda L. Thornburg, Peter Lang, 2006, ISBN 978-0-8204-7934-7,p. 213.
- Friedman, V. (1998) "The implementation of standard Macedonian: problems and results" in International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Vol. 131, pp. 31-57
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-21. Retrieved 2012-01-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "The Albanian Language - Robert Elsie". www.albanianlanguage.net.
- "Turkish Language Program". Syracuse University. Archived from the original on 2011-08-23. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
-  Text: Turkish is co-official in Centar Zupa and Plasnica
- David Dalby, Linguasphere (1999/2000, Linguasphere Observatory), pg. 445, 53-AAA-g, "Srpski+Hrvatski, Serbo-Croatian".
- Benjamin W. Fortson IV, Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (2010, Blackwell), pg. 431, "Because of their mutual intelligibility, Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian are usually thought of as constituting one language called Serbo-Croatian."
- Václav Blažek, "On the Internal Classification of Indo-European Languages: Survey" retrieved 20 Oct 2010, pp. 15-16.
- E.C. Hawkesworth, "Serbian-Croatian-Bosnian Linguistic Complex", also B Arsenijević, "Serbia and Montenegro: Language Situation". Both in the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition, 2006.
- Benjamin V. Fortson, IV, Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (2010, Blackwell), pg. 431, "Because of their mutual intelligibility, Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian are usually thought of as constituting one language called Serbo-Croatian."
- See Art. 6 of the Constitution of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, available at the official website of Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Admin. "Знаковен јазик". www.deafmkd.org.mk.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2012-12-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Закон за употреба на знаковниот јазик, Службен весник на Република Македонија, број 105, 21 август 2009, Скопје
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Languages of North Macedonia.|
- Languages of Macedonia on Ethnologue.