Last weekend I got my first opportunity to learn Macedonian during the #LangJam Challenge.
The Macedonian alphabet is quite different to English. For a start, the Macedonian language uses a Cyrillic script, so I had a week before the challenge to learn that.
This image shows the vowels in yellow. They correspond directly to the English “A”, “E”, “I”, “O” and “U”. The rest of the letters not so much.
It is quite a challenge remembering alphabets in other scripts. Especially if they use symbols we also use, but in a different way (like “3” meaning “Z”!!). Back to front “N”s, weird looking spider-letters and upside down “h”s all serve to confound and confuse. Even worse are the letters that we have, that they use to mean a completely different sound (like “H” for “N”!).
The benefit of learning many languages is that you begin to become familiar with how different scripts look. Even if just dabbling, you quickly begin to see the similarities between each other, and even the Roman script. I have been dabbling with Greek for a few months, learning the alphabet and basic vocab, and there are significant similarities between Greek and Macedonian Cyrillic. Similarly, I am currently learning Hebrew, and there are similarities between the Hebraic script and Macedonian Cyrillic.
Macedonian Alphabet Song – Fail 🙁
I always go looking for “alphabet songs” when learning a new language. If I could have a unique alphabet song it would help me learn, much like our Alphabet song helps in English. (I haven’t had much success, so if you know a song in other languages to teach the alphabet, that DOESN’T use the English “A, B, C, D…” tune, let me know in the comments below!)
I didn’t get much past the alphabet, hello, goodbye, and “I am learning Macedonian” over the weekend, but as usual I really enjoyed learning this new language for a couple of days. I will be back for more next Jam 🙂
(FYI – some themed Language Jams are planned down the track, including an Indigenous Languages LangJam to celebrate the International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019. So make sure you get yourself on the notification email list and put the next challenge in your calendar for June 2019!)
Did you participate in this Jam? What language did you have, and what did you learn? Let me know in the comments section below! I’m always fascinated to hear what others have been doing 🙂