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Macedonian is a modern Slavic language, not to be confused with the ancient Macedonian language that was spoken around the time of Alexander the Great. The modern form of Macedonian is an Indo-European language with approximately 2.5 million native speakers.

In 1945, Macedonian was implemented as the official language of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, which became a constituent republic in the Yugoslav Federation. Today, it is primarily spoken in Macedonia, one of the successor states that developed after the breakup of Yugoslavia. Other countries where Macedonian speakers can be found include Albania and Serbia, where it is an official minority language, as well as Bulgaria, Greece, the USA, Australia and Canada. The Macedonian Cyrillic script is similar to the Serbian Cyrillic script, though it differs in three letters.

Linguistically, Macedonian is most closely related to Bulgarian. In fact, Macedonian is occasionally referred to as a Bulgarian dialect, although this classification is incorrect. Together, these two linguistic standards belong to the Eastern South Slavic branch and are different from their neighboring languages.