4 August 2008 | 12:46 | BHIMA, Greece
It is astonishing (and deserving attention) that such a small country – Skopje**, has such huge ambitions (requirements) and loose connection to reality. Over the last weeks (pushed form outside) Skopje got deep into play with the language – with the false ‘Macedonian’ language in Skopje, and with the (invented) ‘minority’, which is alleged to speak ‘Macedonian’ like in Skopje, and we have to call things their ‘scholarly’ names, which we already did in 19992 with the collective work published under the title ‘The Language of Macedonia: Ancient Macedonian language and fake language of Skopje’ (It should be noticed that Greece has never agreed, even when asked, on publishing the book in English and popularize the Greek position on the issue).
To make it clear to the readers, and as the topic itself requires it, I explain that there are three languages, which are either completely different (the Geek language in Macedonia, the Serbian-Bulgarian in Skopje and the dialect of Bulgarian origin, popular as Slavic -Macedonian), or partially different (Serbian-Bulgarian in Skopje deriving form the Bulgarian dialect, which is spoken – restrictedly – in the border regions of Greece by Greeks who, together with the Greek language, knew also the so-called Slavic-Macedonian).
Greek language in Macedonia
This is to a great extend Macedonian – i.e. Greek language, spoken by Greeks in Macedonian since the ancient times – then being developed – to nowadays. This is the language of Philip II, Alexander the Great and other Greeks from Macedon, and more precisely an ancient Greek dialect with more Doric character, used mainly in spoken language as in the written text and in official language was predominant the Attic dialect.
Serbian-Bulgarian in Skopje
This is the recent – in the frames of the XX century – language of the Skopje country (created, as it is known, during the are of Tito in 1944). This is the Bulgarian language (the first people in the region are Bulgarians and Bulgarians have always claimed on this lands, which their consider their won – in fact people living in the region used to call themselves Bugari!) This language is artificially ‘Serbianized’ (!), i.e. some lexis and grammatical elements of the surrounding regions, where the Serbian language was spoken, were added to it so that to lower the Bulgarian language element and adopt the Serbian language form, which is the requirement of Tito’s United Serbia, the Yugoslavian Republic.
Thus, the language in Skopje is a Serbian-Bulgarian language, a Bulgarian language that has been artificially Serbianized, adopted as official language because of obvious reasons which the Bulgarians call ‘Kolisevski’. The Skopje citizens themselves gave this language, the Serbian-Bulgarian, the name ‘Macedonian’ (!), to avoid future claims on behalf of Bulgaria and to also hide the Bulgarian origin of the language.
In addition, to usurp a right over a name (Macedonian), which bears prestige and historical notion (by fake identification with the greatness and world known name Macedonia of Alexander the Great) and finally – because their impudence has no limit… (remember the Alexander the Great Airport in Skopje (!) and Skopjie’s soldiers with ancient Greek clothes and long spear (!), which welcome the leader of the Burusho tribe from Pakistan as heir of Alexander the Great (!) in Skopje – to claim certain pretensions, when there is a chance for change in the frontiers on the Balkans.
Thanks to the tolerance and silliness of the official Greek state (let’s bear in mind that in the 70ties and 80ties of the last century, speaking about the frauds of the falsifications of the Skopje people was considered ‘nationalistic’, while during the Tito era such issues were a taboo) the name ‘Maceodnia’ for Skopje and the ‘Macedonian language’ for the Serbian-Bulgarian language in Skpopje became widely spread and almost manage to establish image on international level.
It is a dialect in few Greek-Bulgarian border regions, where few Greeks who apart form the Greek language knew a dialect of Bulgarian origin, as it always happens in the regions near the borderline between the countries. We should notice that due to the bilingual character of the people speaking this dialect and due to the different Bulgarian dialect, as well as because this spoken dialect has not been Serbianized like the Bulgarian language in Skopje, the Slavic-Macedonian is not identical to the Serbian-Bulgarian in Skopje.
Skopje, of course, thanks to (inspired y the USA) Gruevski’s machinations recently started to making provocations, stating that the Slavic-Macedonian language is one and the same fake ‘Macedonian’ in Skopje and thus there is Skopje majority in Greece and Greece has to recognize it. This is some paranoiac conception, which is offered like a theatre play entitled ‘From Kolisevski to Gruevski’!
Three language forgeries
This brief introduction of one highly important issue bearing different consequences (national, political, historical, cultural, and etc.), I believe, clears out the language forgeries made mainly due to political representatives of a small group, which in fact has nothing to divide with Greece.
The first language forgery is the name of Skopje, which we accepted to be balled Macedonia, the region previously called Vardar (Vardarska Banovina).
The second language forgery concerns the Bulgarian or Serbian-Bulgaria language in Skopje declared to be Macedonian.
And the third – highly impudent one, the attempt to form a Slavic-Macedonian minority in Greece, grounded on the alleged similarity of the language of a small group of Greeks with the fake Macedonian in Skopje and the non-authentic Macedonian country.
The whole thing seems ridiculous but it would have been ridiculous if we have proved to the international community how silly all these things are. Now, the issue adopted some provocative notion and evoked a serious of abuses.
* Giorgos Babiniotis is lecturer in linguistics, chairman of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, former rector of the University of Athens, author of a dictionary of the Greek language
** Under ‘Skopje’ the author envisages the nowadays Macedonia (editor’s note).