My new home: Macedonia, country with Cyrillic alphabet

Article published on Feb. 24, 2010
community published
Article published on Feb. 24, 2010
Author: Katka Karcolova (EVS volunteer in Macedonia) Photos: Katka Karcolova

Macedonia? Hmm, that might be too much. That was the first idea, which came to my mind when I found my hosting organisation. It is true that I wanted to go to the Balkans from the beginning, but I had never thought about Macedonia. And here I am! One of the first challenges was the Cyrillic alphabet, but being the language freak that I am I prepared well. Luckily, because of the Internet it was not a problem to start learning it before coming here and as soon as I started I was really excited about it. To my surprise, when I finally arrived in Skopje, the signs where not only in Cyrillic, as I had presumed, but luckily in Latin as well. I still clearly remember how long I was deciphering the first shopping receipt, it took me ages. Of course the most confusing for me were the letters which are the same in Latin, but in Cyrillic stand for different ones. There are also different fonts and handwritten letters, which still remain a challenge for me. As I come from Slovakia the Macedonian language is not such a big problem. Yes, the grammar is different and there are many words influenced by the Turkish language, but in general the languages are similar. The only significant difference, which I still need to overcome, is the basic phrase “nie sme” (we are) which in Slovak means “we are not”!

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