It past a longer time since we have not new posts on this topic, but itÂ’s evident that this theme makes some interest among a bigger number of OSM users, which is visible from the number of views. Even though the number of active participants is small, in my opinion, however, there are some quite productive contributions. Certainly, itÂ’s not so easy to find out the best answers to some Â“delicateÂ” and very sensitive linguistic issues such is the compatibility of the Macedonian Cyrillic and Macedonian (or not Macedonian?!) Latin letters to the international IT progress which took a global dimension. Expecting for new posts on this topic, in the meantime I spent a lot of time exploring different sours, rules and documents related to this issue.
First of all, IÂ’m perfectly aware that the Cyrillic is our cultural heritage which we have to keep with respect, but, from the other side, the achievements in the IT development and contemporary international communications become a global, worldÂ’s heritage, so that we have to make some steps to Â“updateÂ” our stage to the common international circumstances, if we want to be an active part in that developed world. ItÂ’s clear that, besides the official Macedonian Cyrillic, on the international level we have to use Latin alternative script too. Related to this, there are many questions: whether the Latin characters like ? ÂŠ ÂŽ are Macedonian or not? Is it suitable to use the diacritics or not? What transliteration to use for the geographical names in cartography etc. Even though that some of these questions has different aspects - linguistic, technical, pragmatic or by the low and international rules, they overlaps each other making a complex subject. Therefore itÂ’s not for wondering why is so difficult to find out the right answers. Probably we will be even more confused if we read the article Â“??? ?? ?? ??? ???Â” http://www.globusmagazin.com.mk/?ItemID=E05814E53750B04B8D30FF5C8EB91A2E , or the article Â“??? ??? Â– ??? ??? ??? Â– ???Â” http://www.dnevnik.com.mk/?itemID=9EFCFF3FA3B1AF4696A3FAF46FDC2224&arc=1 .
Similar like Sasha Petrov, personally for me somehow is more reasonable and easier to use Â“shÂ” instead Â“ÂšÂ”, Â“chÂ” instead Â“?Â“ etc. For instant, my OSM username previously was Â“BlagaduÂšaÂ” (obeyed to the official Macedonian Orthography). But, after my bad experience with difficult procedures entering the special character Âš on every my login on OSM, I decided to change my personal settings, and thatÂ’s why my username now is Blagadusha. Certainly, this personal attitude in the case with my username results from practical reasons, but, however, when we have to decide how we will behave in the naming of the Macedonian places, we should not start from our different and particular understanding based on the personal experience. Namely, if the OSM map which we build together is an official map, we should to take in view the official rules. Here is whatÂ’s about our official rules:
ItÂ’s true that in the Law for use of Macedonian standard language itÂ’s clear written that Â“in Republic of Macedonia the official language is Macedonian language with its Cyrillic lettersÂ”. But, this rule on an implicit way actually means that we have to use the official Macedonian grammar and orthography. Once when we are here, it worth to underline that in the Orthography of the Macedonian standard language (??? ?? ??? ??? ???) from a group of authors: BoÂžidar Vidoeski, Todor Dimitrovski, Kiril Koneski and Radmila Ugrinova-Skalovska, issued from Â“Prosvetno DeloÂ” Â– Skopje, 2005, on the page 112, Chapter VIII Â“??? ?? ??? ??? ?? ???Â”, as rule No. 294, we have quite clear explanation how to use the Latin letters in Macedonian language, where we have:
?, ?Â– ?, ? (not ?, ? like in Serbian and Croatian)
?, ? Â– ÂŽ, Âž,
?, ?Â– Dz, dz,
? Â– Lj, lj or ?, ?,
? Â– Nj, nj, or ?, ?
For ?, ? Â– ?, ? (not ?, ? like in Serbian and Croatian),
?, ? Â– ?, ?,
?, ? Â– DÂž, dÂž,
?, ? Â– ÂŠ, Âš.
Additionally, in this rule (294) of the Macedonian Orthography itÂ’s given a few other Â“sub-rulesÂ” too, which tells us that we may use: for ??? Â– Gjorgji (instead ?or?i), ??? Â– Gjoko (instead ?oko) etc. The last improved edition of this Orthography by the same authors in redaction of Todor Dimitrovski, is from 2007 year! That is the official Macedonian Orthography which is on power at the moment.
Besides the rule 294 in our official orthography, certainly, we should take in view the official documents of the United Nations too. For instant, we should take in view the document No. E/CONF.94/CRP.81 Â“Report on the current status of the United Nations Romanization systems for geographical namesÂ” (Eighth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names Â– Berlin, 27 August Â– 5 September 2002), in which, on the page 35 we can find the part related to the Romanization of Macedonian Cyrillic. As for this UN document which, by the way, is approved with participation of Macedonian official representatives too on expertÂ’s level, everyone can check here:
I perfectly understand and respect the SashaÂ’s and IvanÂ’s endeavour for avoiding of the accentuated letters because that endeavours are simply from practical reasons. But, regarding the rules mentioned above, in my opinion Sasha and Ivan are not right when say that the Latin letters as ? ÂŠ ÂŽ are not Macedonian, afterwards, that this is a situation which remains to be still under the Serbo-Croatian influence from the former times etc. In contrary, it turns out that Heinz (Enif) is right giving the link to ÂŽitoÂše as a strong proof that the Latin letters with their Macedonian diacritics (different accents) are in a regular and quite normal use on the traffic signs in Macedonia. And thatÂ’s not all! I will give you another one example: Macedonian registration plates on the cars. For instant, for Skopje we have SK, for Bitola Â– BT, but for Shtip is ÂŠT (ex. ÂŠT-156-TI) etc. ItÂ’s quite sure that this is not accidental thing! Why nobody changed them Â– the traffic signs and the matriculation plates?! IÂ’m asking my self: How to change them without any official procedure? Certainly, they will be changed immediately if some appropriate and competent state institution previously changes the rule No. 294 in Macedonian Orthography, as well as the rules in the international UN documents related to standardization of the languages in the part of Romanization of Macedonian Cyrillic, but that is not a case until this moment. ThatÂ’s why I prefer an approach writing KruÂševo instead Krushevo or Krusevo, ÂŽitoÂše instead Zhitoshe or Zitose etc., even though this way is more difficult for everyone who use a standard keyboard.
My only dilemma is - whether all search machines will recognize the symbols like ? Âš Âž Â… (I checked on http://openrouteservice.org/ it works successfully using c s z instead ? Âš Âž Â…), and, how to solve the technical problem with entering of this symbols, because the standard keyboards are not configured to support this kind of letters directly. Probably these technical problems are the main reason that Sasha and Ivan insist to be avoided the accented Latin letters.
If we approve a solution in which would be avoided the accentuated characters, I will change immediately all my edits and tags which contains letters like ? Âš Âž. But, IÂ’m not sure that we are authorized to establish new rules which would be different in comparison with the existing official rules in this sphere. I would appreciate very much if in the meantime we have a post on this forum from somebody who is quite competent on this topic. I know some people from Ss Cyril and Methodius University Â– Skopje Â– Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Â– Institute of Geography, who participate actively on the UNGEGN conferences (United Nations Experts Group on Geographical Names). It would be very usefully to have an explanation from an official place Â– from a competent person or institution.
As you probably note, in this post I am exposing my personal opinion especially related to dilemmas Â– to use or not to use the Latin letters with diacritics. In the other aspects in general and mostly I agree with all of you.
Also, I support the IvanÂ’s idea that we should split the topics because like that certainly will be easier to proceed the discussion on a better way.
Sorry for too long elaboration.