The Macedonian language (Македонски, Makedonski) is a language in the Eastern group of South Slavic languages. It is spoken by two million people, primarily in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Macedonian language is closely related to the Bulgarian language, and Bulgarian and Macedonian share similarities to Romanian, Greek, and Albanian. These five languages make up the Balkan Sprachbund (language league).
Macedonian is the official language in the Republic of Macedonia, and officially recognized in the District of KorÁŽ in Albania. Home speakers are also found in Serbia and Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania.
Like the other members of the Eastern South Slavic group, but unlike other Slavic languages, Macedonian has no noun cases, but has three different definite articles, which are used as suffixes.
A modified Cyrillic script, Macedonian Cyrillic, is used for writing. The earliest texts that refer to themselves as Macedonian rather than some other Slavonic language are 10th century religious codices, written in Glagolitic script. Cyrillic, with Glagolitic, was an old Slavic script. Only Cyrillic is used today because it was closer to Greek and more easily used during translation when scholars like Saint Cyril introduced Christian writings to the Slavic people.
The name of the language is considered offensive by Greece and many Greeks, who assert that the dialect of Greek spoken by Alexander the Great in ancient Macedon is the only "Macedonian language". They further argue that since Slavic immigration to the region did not begin until well after the decline of Macedon, it is historically revisionist to refer to a Slavic language as Macedonian. However, most non-Greek parties such as international news organizations and language scholars refer to the language as "Macedonian". See Republic of Macedonia for more on the related naming dispute.