I feel I have opened a can of worms! This is a topic where language has been used to serve rival Balkan politics to a large extent, and most sources are extremely biased to be reliable.
My point is that, prior to 1944 the language now known as “Macedonian” was in fact a Bulgarian dialect. After 1944, the dialect was fused with some Serbo-Croatian grammatical rules to differentiate it from Bulgarian.
Here’s the scoop in a nutshell:
- Bulgarians resent the fact that Tito
dubbed Yugoslavia’s Bulgarian minority “Macedonian” so as to alienate them from “mother Bulgaria”.
- The government of FYROM is facing increasing hostility from a substantial separatist Albanian minority. They are much better off economically that either Albania or Bulgaria, and try to cling to their “new macedonian” identity, which was established in 1944.
- Greeks resent the fact that a Bulgarian dialect was dubbed “Macedonian,” as they consider that Macedonian heritage was Greek. And by "Greek", I do not imply anything racial - a Greek, or nore accurately a Hellene, is anyone who adopts Hellenic culture and education. And Alexander
the Macedon's teacher was after all Aristotle
. Besides, Alexander
is a Greek name, he spoke Greek, his father Philip
had a Greek name, and his horse had a Greek name (Bucephalus). All antiquities and written records found in Macedonia (northern Greece) are in Greek. Macedonia, itself, is derived from the Hellenic “makednos” meaning “tall, long” (Henry George
Liddell, Robert Scott
, A Greek-English Lexicon”) In brief, if it walks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck!
Back to the “Macedonian” language issue:
The official FYROM site (http://faq.macedonia.org/language/
) recognizes that the “Macedonian” language is somewhat fuzzy: “Macedonian dialects have been a part of a continuum with the Serbian and Bulgarian dialects for so long, that today it is not possible to draw distinct boundaries between them”.
The Bulgarian viewpoint on how the “Macedonian” language was constructed is expressed in the rather biased and raging site:http://www.macedoniainfo.com/books/kronsteiner/ik_3_eng.html