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The Romanization of Macedonian is the transliteration of text in the Macedonian language from the Macedonian Cyrillic alphabet into the Latin alphabet. Romanization can be used for various purposes, such as rendering of proper names in foreign contexts, or for informal writing of Macedonian in environments where Cyrillic is not easily available. Official use of Romanization by Macedonianmarker authorities is found, for instance, on road signage and in passports. Several different codified standards of transliteration currently exist and there is widespread variability in practice.

For a number of Cyrillic letters, transliteration into matching Latin letters is straightforward. Cyrillic а, б, в, г, д, е, з, и, к, л, м, н, о, п, р, с, т, у, ф are matched with Latin a, b, v, g, d, e, z, i, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, t, u, f, according to all conventions. Cyrillic ц (pronounced [ts]) is mostly rendered as c, in accordance with the conventions for many other Slavic languages. The letter х is typically rendered as h, matching the pronunciation in Macedonian. For the Macedonian/Serbian letter ј, the preferred transliteration is its visual Latin counterpart j (rather than y, otherwise widely used in English for the rendering of the same glide sound in other languages). For other Cyrillic letters, the choice is between a single Latin letter with a diacritic, and a digraph of two Latin letters. This goes mainly for the letters denoting palatalised consonants, and for those denoting fricatives and affricates in the alveolar and palatal range.

A standardized system of transliteration is defined in ISO R9:1968; this system was also adopted by the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1970, is regarded as officially codified today, and is taught in schools in the Republic of Macedonia. It uses letters with diacritics ž, č, š for Cyrillic ж, ч, ш respectively (as for many other Slavic languages), and for the special Macedonian letters ѓ, ќ. The palatalised consonants of Cyrillic љ, њ are rendered with diagraphs lj, nj, and the voiced affricates of Cyrillic ѕ, џ with dz, dž respectively. A variant of this system, also defined in ISO 9, allows for digraphs rather than diacritics in more cases, using zh, ch, sh rather than ž, č, š for Cyrillic ж, ч, ш.

A more recent norm, ISO 9:1995, opts entirely for a one-to-one mapping between letters and unique uniform mappings across all Cyrillic orthographies, using diacritic combinations rather than digraphs throughout. This involves rare diacritic combinations such as ẑ, ǰ, l̂, n̂. This system is not widely used in practice for Macedonian.

At the other end of the spectrum is a system that goes wholly without diacritics and prefers digraphs instead, making it easier for use in environments where diacritics may pose a technical problem, such as typing on computers. Common usage has gj, kj for ѓ, ќ, either dj or dzh for џ, and sometimes ts for ц. Such a diacritic-free system, with digraphs zh, gj, dz, lj, nj, kj, ch, sh, dj has reportedly been adopted since 2008 for use in passports of the Republic of Macedonia.

In some older non-standard usage, following Serbian usage, Latin đ, ć are sometimes found for ѓ, ќ, reflecting the fact that these sounds regularly correspond to Serbian Cyrillic ђ and ћ. Latin x is sometimes found for џ in the rendering of some words.
Comparative table of some standard romanizations of the Macedonian letters
Cyrillic IPA ISO 9 (1995) ISO 9 (R:1968)

+ National Academy
ISO 9 (R:1968, b) In passports
А а A a
Б б B b
В в V v
Г г G g
Д д D d
Ѓ ѓ Ǵ ǵ Ǵ ǵ Ǵ ǵ Gj gj
Е е E e
Ж ж Ž ž Ž ž Zh zh Zh zh
З з Z z
Ѕ ѕ Ẑ ẑ Dz dz Dz dz Dz dz
И и I i
Ј ј J̌ ǰ J j J j J j
К к K k
Л л L l
Љ љ L̂ l̂ Lj lj Lj lj Lj lj
М м M m
Н н N n
Њ њ N̂ n̂ Nj nj Nj nj Nj nj
О о O o
П п P p
Р р R r
С с S s
Т т T t
Ќ ќ Ḱ ḱ Ḱ ḱ Ḱ ḱ Kj kj
У у U u
Ф ф F f
Х х H h H h Kh kh H h
Ц ц C c C c Ts ts C c
Ч ч Č č Č č Ch ch Ch ch
Џ џ D̂ d̂ Dž dž Dž dž Dj dj
Ш ш Š š Š š Sh sh Sh sh

See also

Notes and references

  1. Macedonian Latin alphabet, Pravopis na makedonskiot literaturen jazik, B.Vidoeski, T.Dimitrovski, K.Koneski, K.Tošev, R.Ugrinova Skalovska- Prosvetno delo Skopje, 1970, p.99
  2. Victor Friedman, "Macedonian", in: B. Comrie (ed.), The Slavonic Languages; see also extended online version. See also US Library of Congress romanization tables [1].
  3. Da čitame i pišuvame Latinica, primary school textbook.
  4. Како да се латинизира кирилицата (How to Romanize the Cyrillic Alphabet) by Z. Georgievski, published in the Skopje Globus Weekly of August 19, 2008.

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