Today we dedicate ourselves to the Macedonian language. Unfortunately, one has to say that there are still forces at work that negate the Macedonian language. Our eastern neighbor Bulgaria is particularly loud in this regard. Its doctrine is that the Macedonian language is not recognized as an independent language. It is considered a Bulgarian dialect. And so we are at a time when there is tension over whether or not the Macedonian language will be preserved as a distinct language on the way to the European Union. That’s why we’ll be devoting more attention to the Macedonian language in the near future. Today, let’s listen to how it sounded before it was codified.
The codification of the Macedonian language happened not so long ago. This is often used by anti-Macedonian propaganda as an excuse to claim it is an “artificially invented language”. This is of course to be referred to the realm of fables and is mostly only thrown out as an “argument” by anti-Macedonian-minded people.
Immediately after the end of World War II, the codification of the Macedonian language began in three stages:
- With the decision of the first session of the Antifascist Council for the People’s Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) on August 2, 1944 to introduce Macedonian as the official language in the Macedonian Republic;
- Then with the resolution of the Presidium of ASNOM of May 5, 1945 on the Macedonian alphabet;
- And finally with the official adoption of Macedonian orthography on June 7, 1945.
But first, let’s clarify what exactly codification means:
“Codification is the acceptance and systematization of language rules and laws and the prescribing of a binding language norm. It represents a significant act in the history of a nation.”
The Macedonian language existed long before its codification, but without any standardized norm, i.e. only in dialectal forms. Since the codification was not long ago, there are still living witnesses of the non-codified Macedonian before 1944/1945.
But what if we delve even deeper into the story and ask ourselves, for example, how Macedonian was spoken by Gjorgji Pulevski, who was born at the beginning of the 19th century and lived and worked until 1893. Could we, the speakers of the modern codified Macedonian language, communicate with him?
Macedonian-American Mario Hristovski has posted a video on his YouTube channel, Mario’s History Talks, presenting one of his latest research findings – how the Macedonian language sounded just before codification.
The research is in English, the language Mario grew up with, but the quotes are from a language spoken by the Macedonians a century or more ago and you will understand the same because Mario presents it in the original.
You might be interested in our story: Politics will decide the future of the Macedonian language
Source: Mario’s History Talks, YouTube channel