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Macedonian vs Macedonian conceptual conflict
Thread poster: Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ

Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 02:28
Bosnian to French
+ ...
Sep 2, 2007

Hello,

I am having a headache due to a conceptual conflict of the word Macedonian in English and other nonSlav/nonGreek languages.

As a matter of fact, when we write Macedonian in English, the Greek community think directly of Ancient Macedonian language, modern Macedonian dialect, and all related things to the Greek Macedonia.

On the other hand the Macedonian community from Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, think of their own language and all related things to their Republic of Macedonia.

We should bear in mind that Greek and Slavic languages are not related and that this presents a linguistical problem.

Therefore, if we want to create a forum called "Macedonian" in English, we have a big dilemma. It seems that we are in need of official neologisms which both communities seemingly refuse to adopt.

Anyone has an aspirine for this one?



[Edited at 2007-09-02 17:55]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
Macedonian Sep 2, 2007

When I saw "Macedonian" I thought instantly of the Republic of Macedonia and its language. We've all heard of Macedonia in studying ancient history, but I think most people now have enough world awareness to distinguish, including Greeks, although they may have other issues.

So "Macedonian" sounds good to me.

[Editado a las 2007-09-02 15:17]


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:28
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
EU says "Macedonian" Sep 2, 2007

The European Union uses "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" for the country name and "Macedonian" for the language name.
See http://publications.europa.eu/code/pdf/370000en.htm

There are lots of other possibilities, but I think it should be safe to keep with EU, as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has now been added to the list of the candidates countries.

Microsoft uses "FYRO Macedonian"
Wikipedia (En) has an interesting article about the "Macedonian name dispute".
The article proposes "Makedonski" (used in English).
The Council of Europe uses the term "Macedonian (Slavic)".
International bodies, such as the United Nations and the World Health Organisation, say "Macedonian".


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Gabriela Nikolova  Identity Verified
Macedonia (FYROM)
Local time: 02:28
Member (2005)
English to Macedonian
+ ...
Thank you Sep 3, 2007

Henry Hinds wrote:

When I saw "Macedonian" I thought instantly of the Republic of Macedonia and its language. We've all heard of Macedonia in studying ancient history, but I think most people now have enough world awareness to distinguish, including Greeks, although they may have other issues.

So "Macedonian" sounds good to me.

[Editado a las 2007-09-02 15:17]



Thank you very much for thinking instantly of the Republic of Macedonia and its language, you just showed us that we have to think and act as translators only, and that this site is a site of translators and interpreters around the world...

kindest regards


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alinguista  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:28
Member (2007)
English to Macedonian
+ ...
Macedonian Sep 3, 2007

Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ wrote:

Hello,

I am having a headache due to a conceptual conflict of the word Macedonian in English and other nonSlav/nonGreek languages.


Therefore, if we want to create a forum called "Macedonian" in English, we have a big dilemma. It seems that we are in need of official neologisms which both communities seemingly refuse to adopt.

Anyone has an aspirine for this one?



[Edited at 2007-09-02 17:55]


Hello,

I do not think there is a conceptual conflict. Macedonian is the official language of Republic of Macedonia and if we act only as language professionals this should not be a problem.

International organizations such as United Nations, Council of Europe and European Union use "Macedonian". Outsourcers and other communities for translators too.

Best regards


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Irena Kacarski-Kimova  Identity Verified
Macedonia (FYROM)
Local time: 02:28
Member (2006)
English to Macedonian
+ ...
Exactly! Sep 3, 2007

alinguista wrote:

I do not think there is a conceptual conflict. Macedonian is the official language of Republic of Macedonia and if we act only as language professionals this should not be a problem.


It is so simple and logical.

As linguists we are also aware that the two languages, the Macedonian spoken in the Republic of Macedonia and the Greek language spoken in the Greek region called Macedonia are exactly that, two different langugages with accent to "different"! How can they be confused or mistaken for each other? If you were an outsourser insisting on hiring a translatior from the Greek region called Macedonia would you expect him/her to translate in Greek or in Macedonian? The language spoken in the Greek region Macedonia is a variant/dialect of the Greek language, not of the Macedonian. The Macedonian language spoken in the Republic of Macedonia is not a variant or dialect, it is exactly that, a language.

I like proz.com very much and I like to belong to this communty of intelligent people called translators/interpreters. But, I do not expect to have to defend my language before my collegues, regardless of their country of origin.





Best regards

[/quote]


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Emilija Ivanovska  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:28
Member (2005)
English to Macedonian
+ ...
I don't see a conflict Sep 3, 2007

alinguista wrote:



I do not think there is a conceptual conflict. Macedonian is the official language of Republic of Macedonia and if we act only as language professionals this should not be a problem.



I totally agree with alinguista. In Proz languages tab it says Macedonian. I was never ever asked by an outsourcer if I translate into Macedonian (Slavic) or Macedonian (Greek dialect) during these 3 years of being present on Proz. I believe none of my Macedonian colleagues was asked that question either. Isn't that a perfect indicator of what the forum should be named?

Best regards,


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amurati
Local time: 02:28
English to Albanian
+ ...
I do live in Kosovo and I am quite close to Macedonia Sep 3, 2007

Well I agree to other peoples that said that FYRO Macedonia is used widely as the country name by international agencies like UN, EU and language is called Macedonian.

By the way I can speak Macedonian but I can't do translations.


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Sherefedin MUSTAFA
Netherlands
Local time: 02:28
Member
English to Macedonian
+ ...
Consistency and credibility of proz.com Sep 3, 2007

In addition to what Henry wrote
When I saw "Macedonian" I thought instantly of the Republic of Macedonia and its language.

I wish to emphasize some important points referring to the way proz.com itself deals with this issue:

- Looking at the daily posting of translation jobs from any X language into Macedonian or vice versa, the last one being http://www.proz.com/job/196021, we very well know which language is meant;

- While scrolling the language bar on proz.com we find just the mention “Macedonian” without any other specifications, and we all know which language is meant;

My question is: What kind of aspirine does actually proz.com need if they already have one "in house"?

Subsequently, my suggestion to proz.com would be:

Stay consistent and don’t risk any loss of credibility towards members or outsourcers and just call the forum by the name used by yourself: Macedonian!

Regards


[Edited at 2007-09-03 15:32]


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d_miteva  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 02:28
English to Macedonian
+ ...
no dilemma here.... Sep 4, 2007

Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ wrote:


Therefore, if we want to create a forum called "Macedonian" in English, we have a big dilemma. It seems that we are in need of official neologisms which both communities seemingly refuse to adopt.

Anyone has an aspirine for this one?



[Edited at 2007-09-02 17:55]


I don't see any dilemma here. Macedonian is the official language of Republic of Macedonia and there is no need to think up neither neologisms nor variants of the term that already exists.

The comments of the Macedonian fellow translators made it clear and I totally agree with them.


Regards,
Daniela


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Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 02:28
Bosnian to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Correction Sep 4, 2007

alinguista wrote:

Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ wrote:

Hello,

I am having a headache due to a conceptual conflict of the word Macedonian in English and other nonSlav/nonGreek languages.


Therefore, if we want to create a forum called "Macedonian" in English, we have a big dilemma. It seems that we are in need of official neologisms which both communities seemingly refuse to adopt.

Anyone has an aspirine for this one?



[Edited at 2007-09-02 17:55]


Hello,

I do not think there is a conceptual conflict. Macedonian is the official language of Republic of Macedonia and if we act only as language professionals this should not be a problem.

International organizations such as United Nations, Council of Europe and European Union use "Macedonian". Outsourcers and other communities for translators too.

Best regards



UN, EU and NATO use "Macedonian", but Council of Europe use "Macedonian (Slavic)"


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Nick Lingris  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:28
Member (2006)
English to Greek
+ ...
Please read with equanimity, whichever Macedonia you come from Sep 5, 2007

What has always impressed me most about the ongoing discussion concerning the official name of the Republic of Macedonia is the fact that our neighbours (I am a Greek from Crete and now live in Athens) want the international community (and that would and should include the Greeks) to respect their history and sensibilities and allow them an international presence under the simple names of Macedonia and Macedonian, while ignoring the fact that similar sensibilities may be shared by the Macedonians of Greece.

There are about two million Macedonians in the Republic of Macedonia and more than two million Macedonians in the region of Macedonia in Greece. (Population data from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Macedonia and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greece )

Although the name Macedonian in my politically correct wording is shared by two groups of people, and there is fortunately more and more exchange between these neighbours in recent years, the two groups do not share the same (or even similar) language, sense of identity, national pride, history, or continuity. In these respects, they are two different peoples.

I consider myself, first and foremost, a cosmopolitan, a citizen of the world. But this has never stopped me from feeling proud of my Cretan and Greek origins. We all like to flatter ourselves with the belief that the culture of our ancestors and our surroundings has somehow affected our nurture if not our nature. As someone born and bred only a few kilometers away from Knossos, and brought up with the myths of ancient Greece and the novels of Kazantzakis, I am not prepared to relinquish that heritage.

I can therefore sympathise with the Greeks of Macedonia (or the Macedonians of Greece) when they, too, want to hold on to their heritage as part of their nurture if not their nature – not just their links with the civilization of ancient Greece but also with Alexander the Great all through Byzantine Macedonia to the rich contemporary presence of their region.

One need not and should not become entangled in arguments of the kind “Is there more of Alexander the Great’s blood in the veins of these or the other Macedonians?” Take this a bit further back in time and we may be arguing over whose genes are closer to the chimpanzee’s.

The point is that the Macedonians of the Republic should realise that their neighbours to the south are exactly the same in at least one respect: they, too, have sensibilities.

If Macedonia is a much bigger area than just the Republic of Macedonia and there are more people prepared to introduce themselves as Macedonians than the Macedonians of the Republic, it is inevitable to have confusion if not conflict over the exclusive use of these words.

In this forum there are as many Macedonians from the Republic as there are Macedonians from Greece. I understand that there is only one Macedonian language, officially recognised since the mid-1940s. However, when it comes to forums, the pull-down menu says ‘Select forum’. And the title of the language forums is ‘Non-English forums’. If there is a ‘Macedonian’ forum, I believe that the Macedonians of Greece would be entitled to start their own threads in there – in the Greek language. I also believe it would look strange and might even be offensive to some to make a distinction in this case only, by adding, say, ‘Macedonian (language)’ to the list. The simple solution would be to change the title of that section to ‘Non-English-language forums’ (tricky hyphen). The forum itself should be called ‘the Macedonian language forum’. ‘Macedonian’ does not point to anything specific when used on its own, out of context.

If the neighbours in the region insist on exclusive use of the names Macedonia and Macedonian and cannot learn to respect the sensibilities of the other side, they will go on causing confusion to the rest of the world and bitterness among themselves. Many mistakes were made by politicians in the past. Let’s leave it to them to sort things out. In this community, we should seek simpler solutions, and communicate with more empathy – in the English sense of the word.


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Sherefedin MUSTAFA
Netherlands
Local time: 02:28
Member
English to Macedonian
+ ...
Dear Nick Sep 5, 2007

Dear Nick,

Thank you very much indeed for your sincerity in sharing your feelings and opinions with us. I can understand your sensibility when referring to both historical aspects and political involvement of this issue.

I am not a politician and neither have I the intention to defend any national cause, country or mythology while addressing this words to you. If I wanted to do so I could find numerous sites on the web where representatives of this or that part of the Balkans daily fulminate their “arguments” and vent their gall toward their “enemies”. I refuse to be a part of that lunacy and limit myself to the sole linguistic aspect of the discussion, in the hope that you will agree with me that all languages are equal and no discrimination is allowed. Especially not when language professionals talk about languages.

The forum that members of proz.com are missing and need is purely a language forum. All the so-called “Non-English Forums” are, in my opinion, nothing more and nothing less then forums of the respective languages:

- Albanian [= Albanian Language Forum]
- […]
- Greek [= Greek Language Forum]
- […]
- Urdu [= Urdu Language Forum]

I have never experienced any of this forums as national- or country-related forums. My belief is that the French forum, for example, belongs as much to a Frenchman/Frenchwoman as to any member of proz.com with “no distinction on the grounds of his/her race, colour, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability, political beliefs, or sexual orientation” who works with the French language or is interested in it. The same thing with the Greek (language) forum. Just few days ago I posted a thread in that forum in English and I am more then happy with the reactions of our Greek colleagues (http://www.proz.com/topic/82430) there.

Consequently, the new forum will be open to every proz.com member who works with the Macedonian language, is interested in issues concerning the Macedonian language. This is the whole story. I wish I could speak your beautiful language more then: kalimerases, efharisto, parakalo, melao ligo Eliniki! In that case I could answer eventual threads posted in Greek in the new forum. It will be the task of the moderator to forward such a thread to the Greek [language] forum or ask his/her Greek fellow moderator for help.

Proz.com recognizes the existence of the Macedonian [language] by the use of this denomination in the language bar. Very soon we’ll welcome the whole proz.com site in the same Macedonian [language]. Just have a look at the foot of of the proz.com home page and you can read “Macedonian” among the languages in which proz.com is (being) localized.

I have no problems with your suggestion to change the name of the section “Non-English Forums” into “Non-English language Forums” even though it doesn’t add any value to the sense of the actual name.

As I suggested in my posts on the Bosnian forum my proposal would be the following:

proz.com/Community/Non-English Language Forums/

- Albanian
- …
- Greek
- …
- Macedonian
-…
- Urdu

Or:

proz.com/Comunity/Non-English Forums/

- Albanian Language Forum
- … Language Forum
- Greek Language Forum
- … Language Forum
- Macedonian Language Forum
-… Language Forum
- Urdu Language Forum

I’d go for the first one, and you?

Kind regards,
Sherefedin


[Edited at 2007-09-05 09:40]


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Dimitra Karamperi  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 03:28
English to Greek
+ ...
Not a politician but... Sep 5, 2007

Sherefedin MUSTAFA wrote:

I am not a politician and neither have I the intention to defend any national cause, country or mythology while addressing this words to you. If I wanted to do so I could find numerous sites on the web where representatives of this or that part of the Balkans daily fulminate their “arguments” and vent their gall toward their “enemies”.


First of all, the information found in the web are not always true, accurate or historically consistent. The fact that one may find several websites promoting FYROM's arguments does not mean anything to me. What one should search for is the ancient ressources and the history books. But this is not the main point here.

I think the way this subject is presented to all those who do not have any relation with Greece or FYROM, is the least one-sided. If suddenly appeared a country naming itself for example "Huston", whould it be OK for you living in Huston? Same thing happaned here. Macedonia is the one that has thousands of years of history, a part of the history of the Greeks; the one from which Filippos & Alexander the Great (and so many countless others) have come from. A simple visit to Vergina will learn to you more things than the web sites could do. Those people did not speak "Macedonian" as you call them. They spoke Ancient Greek.

Yes, there is a dilemma here. And yes, this is a national problem. If it was so easy as the other Macedonian friends are trying to present it, it would have already been solved by the EU, the United Nations, the politicians etc. But it is not solved yet.

I do understand that we could talk for hours and both sides have indeed many many things to say. I also realize that we all here are not politicians neither will we solve a problem that needs a tricky solution. But the least we can do is to accept a solution that respects both sides sensibilities.
I would certainly not accept "Macedonian" but I could give ground to "Macedonian (Slavic)" as the Council of Europe uses and Said suggests.

Kind regards,
Dimitra


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Sherefedin MUSTAFA
Netherlands
Local time: 02:28
Member
English to Macedonian
+ ...
Dear Dimitra Sep 5, 2007

Dear Dimitra,

One more time I wish to repeat:

1. I am not a politician and therefore I refuse to use this forum for political goals.

2. I am writing this words as equal member of this forum and because I work with the language that the rest of the modern world has accepted to call “Macedonian”.

3. I completely agree that it is up to the Greek translators to call this language as they like and in the way they think it satisfies their needs.

4. You can not and will never have the competence to decide how other language communities will call this language. Be sure that the French, Dutch, Italian, Albanian, Turkish and many other language speaking people will continue to call it as they already do, respectively: Macédonien, Macedonisch, Macedone, Maqedonisht, Makedonca, whether you like it or not.

After all, we have to be realistic. Proz.com already uses the name “Macedonian” for the language we are talking about!

Kind Regards,
Sherefedin


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