Phrases help when visiting a foreign country and the locals appreciate a foreigner who tries to understand their culture and finds interest in their language. The people here are very friendly and of course will always welcome you to their store, home, or any place you may way want to visit. Welcome in Macedonian is Добредојдовте (pronounced: Dobredojdovte).
While walking through the streets of Skopje you may hear a friendly greeting such as Здраво (pronounced: Zdravo) meaning Hello. If by any chance you enter a shop and greet the salesperson then it is natural for them to continue the conversation with a Како сте? (pronounced: Kako ste?) which means How are you? And the best response to such a delightful question would be Добро сум, како сте вие? (pronounced: Dobro sum, kako ste vie?) which translates into ‘I am good, how are you?’.
When the locals find out you are not from Macedonia then the question that follows is Where are you from? – Од каде сте? (pronounced: Od kade ste?) and an appropriate answer would be I’m from … – Јас сум од (pronounced: Jas sum od …).
Greetings vary depending on the time such as: Добро утро (pronounced: Dobro utro) meaning good morning, Добар ден (pronounced: Dobar den) meaning good afternoon, Добра вечер (pronounced: Dobra večer) meaning good evening, Добра ноќ (pronounced: Dobra nokj) meaning good night.
Wishing someone a pleasant meal or day is very common in Macedonia and the following phrases are used regularly: Пријатен ден (pronounced: Prijaten den) – Have a nice day; Пријатно јадење (pronounced: Prijatno jadenje) – Have a nice meal; Среќен пат (pronounced: Sreken pat) – Have a good journey.
The following phrases are helpful if you visit the market, the old bazaar, a theater or museum or just take a walk by the river: I don’t know – Не знам (pronounced: Ne znam); I understand – Разбирам (pronounced: Razbiram); I don’t understand – Не разбирам (pronounced: Ne razbiram); Forgive me– Прocтeтe (pronounced: Prostete); Excuse me – Извинете ме (pronounced: Izvinete me); How much is this? – Колку чини ова? (pronounced: Kolku čini ova?); Жал ми е (pronounced: Zhal mi e); Thank you – Благодарам (pronounced: Blagodaram).
Enjoy your stay and never forget that it’s never late to learn a new language you just need a little motivation: One language is never enough – Еден јазик никогаш не е доволен (pronounced: Eden jazik nikogaš ne e dovolen).
Author: Rinisa Redzepi