Macedonian is a language that is spoken by 3 million people in Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, the US, Albania, the UK and Serbia. It is also spoken in other countries where Macedonians live. A lot of Macedonians live outside Macedonia. Macedonian is taught in various universities in different countries such as Canada, Australia, Croatia, Italy, Russia and Serbia. Macedonian is an Indo-European language that falls under south Slavic group of languages. Macedonian is divided into 2 major groups. This includes the western and the eastern dialects. The pronunciation of Macedonian words is not that difficult, as words are pronounced as they are written. There are a number of languages which are spoken in Macedonia which shows the ethnic diversity that exists in the country. This includes Albanian, which is spoken by at least 20 percent of the population, Turkish, Croatian, Serbian and Romani. The main language that is most widely spoken and is officially recognized is Macedonian.
Even though Macedonian is a widely known language that is taught all over the world, there are some linguists who insist that Macedonian is not an independent language but a dialect of the Bulgarian language. Macedonian has a high degree of mutual intelligibility with Bulgarian. It is also mutually intelligible with Serbian, though to a lesser degree. The fact that Macedonian was recognized as the official language of Macedonian in 1944 and that it was recognized by linguists around the world and by various international linguistic authorities proves that it can be considered as an independent language.
The first modern written version of the Macedonian language appeared in 1945. The literary language was based on the western Macedonian dialects. This includes Lerin, Kicevo, Krusevo, Bitola and Prilep dialects. The Cyrillic alphabet that is used to write the language was developed by the Macedonian brothers St. Cyril and St. Methodius, through the help of their disciples in a monastery in Ohrid. From there, the alphabet spread and become widely used in Eastern Europe. The Roman alphabet is also used, even though Cyrillic is more predominant. Street names are printed in Cyrillic or using both Cyrillic and Roman alphabets. Macedonian has 31 letters of the alphabet.