Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Bulgarian dialects in Macedonia
In a simplified picture, the Bulgarian linguist territory is divided into the East Bulgarian and the West Bulgarian dialects. In the 1990s Macedonian, as well as the dialect of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, are part of the West Bulgarian dialects. The main distinction lies in the realization of Proto-Slavonic "'e" (called 'yat'), which yielded "ja" and "e" in East Bulgarian, but only "e" in the West, e.g., "melko" 'milk' > South Slavonic "ml'eko" > East Bulgarian "mljako", but "mleka" (plural) and West Bulgarian and Macedonian "mleko", "mleka". Macedonian further distinguishes between Northern, Central and Southern dialects. Late twentieth-century literary Bulgarian and Macedonian have to be regarded as representatives of both the 'Slavonic' languages and the 'Balkan' languages. Owing to historical circumstances Bulgarian and Macedonian have acquired a large number of Turkish and Greek loan-words and loan-expressions. In Bulgarian most of them are avoided in the literary language, but they survive in colloquial speech. Only a few of them are part of the basic vocabulary, for instance, "tavan" 'ceiling' (Turkish), "moliv" 'pencil' (Greek). Macedonian developed a more 'benevolent' attitude towards them. Furthermore, the Bulgarian lexicon is full of Russian elements (mainly from the nineteenth century), whereas Macedonian has experienced an analogous influence from Serbian. Sample sentences: Bulgarian: Toj chranese naroda sas slovoto, onzi istinski chljab, kojto ukrepva sarcata, no v sastoto vreme toj ne zabravjase da chrani i telesno onezi, za koito vidja, ce imat nuzda ot takava chrana. Macedonian: Toj go hranese narodot so slovoto, onoj vistinski leb sto gi ukrepuva srcata, no vo isto vreme toj ne zaboravase da gi hrani i telesno onie sto gledase oti imaat nuzda ot takva hrana. The two sentences render the same original, which may be translated: 'He nourished the people with the word, that real bread which fortifies the heart, but at the same time he did not forget to nourish also with earthly food those who he realized needed such food' A literal translation of the Bulgarian: 'He nourished people-the with words-the, that real bread, which fortifies hearts-the, but in same-the time he not forgot that [he] nourishes also physically those, about whom [he] saw, that [they] have need of such food.' A literal translation of the Macedonian: 'He it nourished people-the with word-the, that real bread that them fortifies hearts-the, but at [the] same time he not forgot that [he] them nourishes also physically those that [he] looked/saw that [they] have need of such food'.