The Macedonian language
The Macedonian language is a unique phenomenon in the European linguistic reality of the mid-twentieth century. Its emergence has little in common with the normal emergence and development of natural languages on the continent.
The Macedonian language is an idea that originated as early as 1887, when Stoyan Novakovic – Serbian politician, prime minister, foreign minister, president of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Serbian ambassador in Constantinople – outlined in his report to the Minister of Education in Belgrade the plan to replace the Bulgarian national consciousness with a Serbian one by temporarily building a Macedonian identity. Together with Naum Evrovic and Kosta Grupecevic, he agreed to publish the newspaper “Macedonian Voice”. In a special programme, the following is mentioned as a separate point: the use of the Macedonian dialect of the Bulgarian language without Bulgarian articles and with increasing mixing with the Serbian language. The Belgrade mentors and their helpers in Skopje imposed Macedonism as an ideological current of Serbianism in science and linguistics.
“Since the Bulgarian idea, as is known to all,” writes Novakovic, “has taken deep roots in Macedonia, I consider it almost impossible to undermine it by opposing it only with the Serbian idea. I fear that this idea alone will not be able to displace the Bulgarian idea, and for this reason the Serbian idea will need an ally who is resolutely opposed to Bulgarianism and who has elements in him that can attract the people and popular sentiment and separate him from Bulgarianism. This ally I see in Macedonism, or within reasonable limits a reflection of the Macedonian dialect and character. There is nothing more contrary to Bulgarian tendencies than this – with no one can the Bulgarians be in a more irreconcilable position than with Macedonism. In this direction it seems to me most necessary to prepare a special Macedonian dialect book for Macedonia. In this primer, the Serbian primer should be united with the Macedonian one, but in such a way that the Macedonian primer makes up two-thirds and the Serbian one-third, in its second half. The booklet should be written in Serbian spelling and with care for a good transcription of the Macedonian dialect.“
First steps …
The next step towards establishing the Macedonian language was taken by his successor Krastyo Misirkov, a philologist and publicist. In 1903, he published the book “On Macedonian Affairs” in Sofia, in which he laid the foundations of today’s Macedonian language. According to this book, the Bulgarian dialects spoken by the population in the central parts of Vardar Macedonia were to be used as the basis for the creation of the Macedonian language.
The official birth of the Macedonian language
The Macedonian language came closer to its implementation, when the Balkan Secretariat of the Executive Committee of the Communist International in Moscow, officially introduced the terms “Macedonianism” and “Macedonian nation” in 1934. On 2 August 1944, at the monastery of Prokhor Pchinski in the Socialist Republic of Macedonia (within Yugoslavia), at the first meeting of the Communist Organisation under the name of the Anti-Fascist Assembly of the People’s Liberation of Macedonia, a decree was issued on a “service language” which was to “come into force immediately”. A few months later – again administratively – the Macedonian language was finalised and approved for the most part by a vote of 10 teachers, a poet and a politician – a representative of the assembly – at a meeting in Skopje (27.XI.-3.XII. 1944). With the creation of the Macedonian language, Russia and Serbia began to implement the final phase of the debulgarisation of Macedonia. This was one of the mechanisms for the eradication of the Bulgarian identity of the Macedonian population.
The Macedonian language is already a fact. After 1944, when Vardar Macedonia became part of Tito’s Yugoslavia, the process of eradication of Bulgarian identity and the crushing of the Bulgarian people and language reached its climax. Bulgarians in Macedonia were subjected to unprecedented terror and repression by the Yugoslav State Security Service (UDBA) if they did not agree to the creation of the so-called “Macedonian people and language”. More than 200,000 Bulgarians were forced to concentration camps and prisons in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, many of whom never left.
Some of the sources used during the research on the Macedonian language:
- “The composition of the so-called Macedonian literary language” – by Sr. Iv. Kochev and Iv. Aleksandrov, and Prof. Otto Kronsteiner.
- “Macedonism and the Macedonian resistance to it” by Kosta Tsarnushanov, Sofia, 1992.
- “Titovtsi without a mask” – Dino Kjosev, Sofia, 1952.
- “Confession from Tito’s “Paradise”” – Blaga Bozhinova, Sofia, 1992.