What are the languages and dialects spoken in Central Macedonia?


Central Macedonia is one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece, situated in the north of the country. It covers an area of 18,811 km2 and has a population of about 1.9 million people. The region is home to a diverse linguistic landscape, with several languages and dialects spoken by different ethnic and religious groups.

In this blog post, we will explore the languages and dialects spoken in Central Macedonia, their historical origins, their current status and their linguistic features. We will focus on the following languages and dialects:

  • Greek
  • Turkish
  • Aromanian
  • Megleno-Romanian
  • Pomak
  • Slavic


Greek is the official language of Greece and the most widely spoken language in Central Macedonia. It belongs to the Hellenic branch of the Indo-European language family and has a long and rich history dating back to the ancient times. Greek has several dialects that vary in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar, but they are generally mutually intelligible.

In Central Macedonia, the most common dialect of Greek is Northern Greek, which is spoken in the prefectures of Thessaloniki, Imathia, Kilkis, Pella, Pieria and Serres. Northern Greek has some distinctive features, such as:

  • The use of instead of before velar consonants, e.g. anápa ‘breath’ instead of aŋápa.
  • The use of instead of before front vowels, e.g. galiá ‘milk’ instead of gjiá.
  • The use of instead of before , e.g. miʃíri ‘Egypt’ instead of mísiri.
  • The use of instead of , e.g. patsás ‘butcher’ instead of patʃás.
  • The use of the future tense with θa instead of ʝa, e.g. θa páo ‘I will go’ instead of ʝa páo.
  • The use of the subjunctive mood with instead of námi, e.g. ná fígo ‘let me go’ instead of námi fígo.
  • The use of the particle for emphasis or interrogation, e.g. pú rɛ pás? ‘where are you going?’.

In addition to Northern Greek, there are also some speakers of Cappadocian Greek in Central Macedonia, mainly in the prefecture of Kilkis. Cappadocian Greek is a dialect that was originally spoken in Cappadocia, a region in central Turkey, by Greek Orthodox Christians who migrated to Greece after the population exchange of 1923. Cappadocian Greek has been influenced by Turkish and other languages and has some unique features, such as:

  • The loss of vowel length and stress distinctions.
  • The use of vowel harmony, e.g. kuzúlu ‘lamb’ vs. kizíli ‘red’.
  • The use of postpositions instead of prepositions, e.g. sora mu ‘on me’ vs. ména sora.
  • The use of suffixes for grammatical cases, e.g. kuzúlu-nu ‘the lamb (accusative)’ vs. kuzúlu-sa ‘the lamb (genitive)’.
  • The use of Turkish loanwords, e.g. baʃí ‘head’ vs. kɛfalí.


Turkish is a Turkic language spoken by the Turkish minority in Greece, who are mostly Muslims living in Western Thrace, a region that borders Turkey and Bulgaria. However, there are also some Turkish speakers in Central Macedonia, mainly in the prefectures of Thessaloniki, Kilkis and Serres. Turkish has a complex morphology that uses suffixes to express grammatical functions and has a rich vocabulary that reflects its contact with various languages, such as Arabic, Persian, French and Greek.

Some examples of Turkish words and phrases are:

English Turkish
Hello Merhaba
Thank you Teşekkür ederim
How are you? Nasılsın?
I am fine İyiyim
What is your name? Adın ne?
My name is … Adım …
Where are you from? Nerelisin?
I am from … …lıyım
Do you speak Turkish? Türkçe konuşuyor musun?
Yes, I do / No, I don’t Evet, konuşuyorum / Hayır, konuşmuyorum


Aromanian is a Romance language spoken by the Aromanians or Vlachs, an ethnic group that lives in various Balkan countries, including Greece. Aromanian is closely related to Romanian and has been influenced by Greek, Albanian, Bulgarian and Turkish. Aromanian has several dialects that differ in phonology, morphology and vocabulary, but they are generally mutually intelligible.

In Central Macedonia, Aromanian speakers are mostly concentrated in the prefecture of Kastoria, where they form the majority of the population in some villages. Aromanian speakers are also found in the prefectures of Florina, Pella and Thessaloniki. Aromanian has some distinctive features, such as:

  • The use of instead of , e.g. aʒúndu ‘I help’ instead of aʤúndu.
  • The use of instead of , e.g. aɲéa ‘year’ instead of aŋéa.
  • The use of instead of , e.g. batsíriu ‘boy’ instead of batsíriu.
  • The use of the definite article after the noun, e.g. fata lu mare ‘the big girl’ instead of lu mare fata.
  • The use of the infinitive with modal verbs, e.g. vrea să scriu ‘I want to write’ instead of vrea să scriescu.
  • The use of Greek loanwords, e.g. pandoflu ‘cake’ vs. kolaʧu.

Some examples of Aromanian words and phrases are:



English Aromanian
Hello Bunã tsirã / Bunã zua / Bunã sira / Bunã sera / Bunã noapti (depending on the time of day)
Thank you Multsumescu / Multsumiri / Multsumitu (depending on the gender and number)
How are you? Cumu itse? / Cumu itseati? (depending on the number)
I am fine Suntu bine / Sunt