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Macedonia’s two official languages are Macedonian and Albanian. Macedonian, a South Slavic language, is spoken by most of the population. There are some grammatical similarities between Macedonian and Bulgarian, such as the omittance of case. Speakers of Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian and, to a lesser extent, Russian should get by without too much difficulty. For others, we recommend a good phrasebook, such as Lonely Planet’s Eastern Europe Phrasebook.

Macedonian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, based on the Glagolitic script, which originated in Macedonia and spread across the eastern Slavic world. Though Latin script appears on road signs and some shop names, the Cyrillic alphabet is predominant and street names are printed in Cyrillic only, so it’s a good idea to learn the alphabet before travelling to the country.

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