Macedonians had to learn the languages of the conquerors

StoryMacedonians had to learn the languages of the conquerors

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Again we have come to an article that speaks of an irony in relation to the history of the Macedonian language.

“Treasures from Europe: Stories and Classroom Activities” is the name of the work by Flora Joy, published in 2003, we quote today.

About the author:

FLORA JOY is a professor emeritus in the storytelling division of the curriculum and instruction department at East Tennessee State University.

She has been described as the founder of the world of storytelling. She received her Bachelor, Master and PhD degrees in communication and education. She began teaching basic reading / language arts in Knox County, Tennessee in the early 1960s.

Treasures from Europe: Stories and Classroom Activities

Treasures from Europe: Stories and Classroom Activities is a fabulous collection of nine European fairy tales presented by well-known storytellers with European roots. The book is described as a perfect teaching tool to help educators, librarians and storytellers introduce students to different European countries and cultures. These stories and a wealth of related classroom activities allow students to better understand and understand European values, customs and cultural elements.

Each story is accompanied by background information on the contributor, discussion questions, and numerous associated follow-up activities that are easy to adapt to different levels and learning environments. There are also reproducible pages for students, information about the country and residents, a brief historical background, a glossary (if applicable), and resources for further study. This book is a valuable teaching tool and time saver. It’s an excellent tool for cultural exploration in classrooms or with listeners.

And now we take a look at such background information.

Saints Cyril and Methodius, Old Church Slavonic, Macedonian language

In the chapter entitled “Saints Cyril and Methodis, Old Church Slavonic, Macedonian Language.”, we find details about Saints Cyril and Method, as well as the Old Slavonic language and the Macedonian language.

Joy writes that the Cyrillic alphabet was invented by two brothers in the ninth century. They used Greek letters to write down Macedonian phonemes. Soon after, individual Slavic cultures developed their own written languages using the Cyrillic alphabet. Ironically, not so in Macedonia – since the Macedonians had to constantly learn the languages of the conquerors …


The Cyrillic alphabet was invented early in the ninth century by two brothers, Cyril and Methodius, who became monks and Greek scholars. This alphabet described the spoken language of Macedonia. They used Greek letters to represent phonemes found in both Greek and Macedonian, then they invented symbols for the sounds found only in Macedonian, Clergymen of Eastern Orthodox practices became uniform throughout the Slavic-speaking cultures. Soon individual Slavic cultures developed their own written languages using the Cyrillic alphabet, Ironically, this did not happen in Macedonian because it was constantly conquered by stronger cultures that forced the Macedonians to learn their conquerors’ written languages. From 1900-1950, any Macedonians living in Bitola who sought an education had to attend a scholl taught in one of the following languages: Bulgarian, Serbian, Greek, French, German, or Turkish. Macedonian did not become a written language untuil 1948. Macedonian schools began in the mid 1950s.

Source: Treasures from Europe: Stories and Classroom Activities von Flora Joy, Teacher Ideas Press/Libraries Unlimited, 2003

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