Reading and Pronouncing Macedonian: an Interactive Tutorial

Biljana Belamaric-Wilsey, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and Dr. Curt Ford, University of South Carolina


Beta-test version now available!
Here you will find:
The Project: General Description
Screen Shots
The Sponsors and Cast
Bibliography Consulted
Reviews of the Tutorial
Contact Information

The Project: General Description

The interactive tutorial on Macedonian phonology and orthography aims to present an authoritative and technologically enhanced means of alleviating the scarcity of pedagogical materials for Macedonian language instruction on the most basic phonological and orthographic level. Apart from Kristina Kramer's book and accompanying CD, Macedonian for Beginning and Intermediate Students, and Kim Gareiss' instructional materials based on the Macedonian film "Before the Rain," there are no other materials in English for teaching the language. Furthermore, Macedonian phonology and orthography, among the first tasks that confront a language learner, are not the foci of either of these two materials. The need is present for this type of instructional material, as the number of students interested in learning Macedonian is poorly reflected in the small number of institutions teaching it: University of Toronto, University of Chicago, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Arizona State University and its Critical Languages Summer Institute. There are many eager learners of Macedonian outside those institutions, some of whom have contacted me in search of materials to aid the learning of Macedonian, and I have not been able to find adequate materials for them. This tutorial will be downloadable from the web and available on CD; therefore, it will be accessible to anyone interested in using it for self-study as well as in the classroom.

The tutorial is meant for a broad audience, including beginning and intermediate students of Macedonian with no background in any other Slavic language, as well as students who have had experiences with the phonology of other Slavic languages. It is designed to draw on that knowledge by paralleling Macedonian phonological traits with those of Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, and Bulgarian, presenting similarities and differences that may not be obvious even to advanced speakers of those languages. These features are addressed in notes to speakers and learners of those languages, explaining, for example the differences of the place of articulation of the dental "d" in Russian as opposed to Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian, of the palatals "kj" and "gj" in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian as opposed to Macedonian, or the orthographic differences between a Russian Cyrillic and a Macedonian Cyrillic capital "D."

The tutorial features a brief language history timeline, a brief description of Macedonian language stress patterns, numerous examples for illustrating different sounds and letters, pronunciation samples by native speakers of sounds, words, and entire texts, and various exercises. The presentation of letters and sounds in the tutorial is based on unvoiced/voiced consonant pairs, which are illustrated with minimal pairs. The orthography is addressed by representing all the sounds in print as well as in cursive. In the latter case, animations show the stroke of individual letters, as well as how they fit into words, and within the context of two texts: a Macedonian folk tale and the poem "Denovi" by the renown Macedonian poet Koco Racin (1908-1943). The inclusion of two authentic texts, authentic cultural graphics, and maps, which are incorporated throughout the tutorial and in the review exercises, gives students the opportunity to interact with elements of Macedonian culture.

Screen Shots

Here is a sneak preview of a few of the tutorial's pages: the menu page, and sample pages of one of the lessons, the animated orthography, notes for speakers of other Slavic languages, and an audio-visual review exercise.

Sponsors and Cast

The project was funded by the Slavic and East European Language Resource Center (SEELRC) at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and Duke University, and was co-produced by Biljana Belamaric-Wilsey, from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, and Dr. Curt Ford at the University of South Carolina. The native speakers, whose voices were used for the project, are Biljana Belamaric-Wilsey, from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, and George Mitrevski from Auburn University. Special thanks to Meredith Clason, from SEELRC, and Dr. Laura Janda at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.


Download the BETA-TEST by clicking on the latest version below. Note that you will download a zip file that you will then have to unzip with a unzipping utility.

If you do not have multilanguage support installed on your computer, it may not be able to display the tutorial correctly. Should you run into this problem, install 'Multilanguage support' options from a Windows CD. (Thanks to Matt Lynch for this advice!)

Please send an email to to let me know you are testing the tutorial. Thank you for your cooperation!

Bibliography Consulted

Bicevska, Kita. Poceten kurs po makedonski jazik za stranci. Skopje: Univerzitet Sv. Kiril i Metodij, 1995.

Carlton, Terence R. Introduction to the Phonological History of the Slavic Languages. Columbus, OH: Slavica, 1991.

Friedman, Victor. "Macedonian." In The Slavonic Languages. Bernard Comrie and Grenville Corbett, eds. New York, NY: Routledge, 1993, 249-305.

Gockova, Kosara, and Vojo Veljanovski. Gramatika za VI oddelenie. 14th ed. Skopje: Prosvetno delo, 1990.

Hristovski, Aleksandar. Gramatika na makedonskiot literaturen jazik. Skopje, 1995.

Kepeski, Krume. Gramatika na makedonskiot literaturen jazik za ucilištata za sredno obrazovanie. 12th ed. Skopje: Prosvetno delo, 1992.

---, Gramatika za VII oddelenie. 8th ed. Skopje: Prosvetno delo, 1985.

---, Pouki za jazikot: ucebnik za VII oddelenie. 2nd ed. Skopje: Prosvetno delo, 1964.

Koneski, Blaže. A Historical Phonology of the Macedonian Language. Trans. Victor A. Friedman. Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, 1983.

---, "Macedonian." In The Slavic Literary Languages. Alexander Schenker and Edward Stankiewicz, eds. New Haven, CT: Yale Concilium on International and Area Studies, 1980, 53-63.

Kramer, Christina. Macedonian: A Course for Elementary and Intermediate Students, University of Wisconsin Press, 1999.

Kramer, Christina, Fielder, Grace, Mitkovska, Liljana, Hammonds, Phillip. Macedonian: A Course for Elementary and Intermediate Students. Double CD-ROM. University of Wisconsin Press, 2000.

Racin, Kosta. White Dawns. Trans. Graham W. Reid. Skopje: Macedonian Review Editions, 1974.

Savicka, Irina, and Ljudmil Spasov. Fonologija na sovremeniot makedonski jazik. Prva sveska. Makedonska akademija na naukite i umetnostite, Skopje, 1991.

Veljanovski, Vojo. Gramatika za V oddelenie. 3rd ed. Skopje: Prosvetno delo, 1987.

Veljanovski, Vojo, and Kosara Gockova. Pouki za jazikot: za III oddelenie. 9th ed. Skopje: Prosvetno delo, 1983.

Veljanovski, Vojo, and Branko Kocevski. Gramatika za IV oddelenie. 12th ed. Skopje: Prosvetno delo, 1987.


To access the review of the tutorial by the UCLA Language Materials Project, go to, then select Macedonian (from the list of languages), Computer-Aided Instruction (from the list of definition of materials), and Beginning (from the list of levels available).

Contact Information

If you have any questions or suggestions, please email Biljana Belamaric at

The graphics used for this page are from

Macedonian Language E-Learning Center - Free online multimedia tutorials and other resources for studying Macedonian
Macedonian language games (not updated since 2004)
Reading and Pronouncing Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian (Dr. Ford's other online tutorial)
Back to Biljana's main page

Last updated in September, 2011