“You are a scientist, but not that far!”

Victor Friedman (5) , also known as Boris Sukich Razvratnikov (2) , is among those “scientific” anachronisms with which the representatives of serious Bulgarian linguistics do not want to waste time. However, he thrives successfully in the environment of The Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU) and similar northern Macedonian linguistic institutions, some of which simply imagine they are doing science.

That is why his presence among them is completely logical. As for the pseudonym Boris Sukic Razvratnikov, Friedman chose it himself, and he very precisely fit his life and “creative” nature. The obscene lexicon is obviously not just an object of his lasting research interest, it turns out to be inherent in his whole being, and it is not excluded that in the name of science Friedman / Razvratnikov schizophrenically split into a researcher and an informant vocabulary that is mastered and natural.

The so-called “Scientific” syllable of the author in question, especially in his writing “Bai Ganyo in the Academy”, printed in the chaotic compilation of omnipresent articles entitled “Views on the Macedonian language” (3), does not even resemble the analytical tone and structure inherent in a scientific text (but rather springs from the deep bowels of the so-called clos… of stylistics typical of people suffering from creative infirmity, but with pretensions reaching Olympus) . The Views themselves are also very diverse, but here for the first and last time the emphasis will be on Friedman’s scandal, because each subsequent reading of it is an undeserved sign of attention and a waste of valuable time. Another issue is that, coincidentally or not, the compilers of the collection apparently did not realize that by their very presence there, Friedman’s writing offended other authors in the first place, but also potential readers (the collection, as well as other publications totaling thousands of pages are a desperate but hysterical response to the short but very informative text,(4) ). It is not just about the use of hooligan cynicism from the lowest strata of society, but about the use of obscene expressions that cannot be found even in the dictionaries of the most impure words in language. Debauchery in life does not deserve approval, but in science it definitely has no place and does not have the power of proof.

Friedman obsessively quotes only one name from the authors of the book “On the Official Language of the Republic of Northern Macedonia”, trying to create the deceptive impression that the text of BAS, which is a response to the “MANU Command for the Macedonian Language”, is almost a case per person, not 12 authors, 6 scientific consultants and one scientific project leader, ie. a total of 19 specialists from different national research centers, ie. this is a common and overall position of the Bulgarian humanities, built on mountains of facts and documents. The Skopje motto, turned into Friedmanov’s: “I have no evidence, but we claim“Is not relevant for BAS, because the Bulgarian Revivalists, the revolutionaries from IMRO, the Macedonian press abroad have clearly, unequivocally and categorically declared their Bulgarian nationality. The replacement of the national characteristics from Bulgarian to Macedonian in the historical and linguistic documents are a feature of the Skopje ideological fiction and of Friedman himself. In Bulgaria, by the way, we are aware of his embarrassments – probably at the end of his career he reluctantly realized that he actually served the Bulgarian dialectology, like Moliere’s character, he realized that all his life he spoke in prose without realizing the meaning of the word prose. previously. By the way, it was because of his dialectological contributions to Bulgarian studies that Friedman received the medal “1300 Years of the Bulgarian State”.

Friedman is also excited about the origin of individual authors of the text of BAS. Meaningless and unnecessary! Every third citizen of Bulgaria is of Macedonian origin (the other two are of Moesian or Thracian). “Macedonians” in Bulgaria (local or expelled by Serbs and Greeks) are more numerous than those who inhabit the Republic of Northern Macedonia, and, as Krastyo Misirkov notes, “they are more Bulgarians than Bulgarians themselves.” It is obvious that Friedman did not read the works of the Revivalists from Macedonia, and especially of Miladinovtsi (from whose family they are the authors of the book of BAS), Jinzifov, Parlichev and a whole galaxy of intellectuals.

The fact is that a foreigner can hardly understand the Bulgarian national situation in the Balkans. The fate of Macedonia is also a personal, family destiny of a large part of the Bulgarian people. For him, however, as he himself claimed years ago in an interview with a Skopje newspaper, the connection with Macedonia is almost a coincidence. He was involved in the Belgrade-Skopje cause by Samuel Borisovich Bernstein, the founder and leader of the Comintern Macedonian studies in Moscow. It was Bernstein who offered Friedman to work on the newly formed “language” in an elevator, where the two traveled together. He accepted. This elevator intrigue later grew into a bias towards the region, especially after Friedman saw the beautiful Lake Ohrid. In a strange way, the roads in this world cross. For my family for centuries Lake Ohrid (with the towns of Struga and Ohrid near it) is a life destiny, for the foreigner Friedman, who is also of Bessarabian origin, Ohrid is an attraction that has become a business with a predominantly political color. Here is the ridiculous situation: the foreigner mentors blames the locals for dementia. They must forget their origins, preserved for centuries by grandparents and great-grandparents, and accept foreign suggestions of Macedonianism against traditional identity.

However, the scale of Friedman’s attacks was not limited to individuals of Macedonian descent, they were directed against the Bulgarians in general and their country. He identifies Bai Ganyo with the Bulgarian in general, without being aware that he is a social, not a national character. Nor did he understand the fact that self-criticism is a supreme form of intelligence. By the way, there are Baiganyovites all over the world, including overseas, and the scientific and political business has its ugly manifestations.

The chaos in Friedman’s sketches continues. After Bai Ganyo, without any connection to the topic of the official language of the Republic of Northern Macedonia (RSM), he began to “thunder” Bulgaria for its attitude towards the Jews in Macedonia. It is convenient for him to miss the fact that during the Second World War Macedonia was not givenof Bulgaria, and only a temporary Bulgarian administration was sent there, which is mainly of Macedonian origin and does not have the jurisdiction to make any fateful decisions. The Jews within the borders of the Kingdom of Bulgaria were saved by the entire Bulgarian people, which, despite the enslaved lives, is one of the most tolerant in the world to the foreign ethnic groups with whom they have lived together for centuries. A fact acknowledged many times with thanks from the state of Israel! It is by virtue of his origin that Friedman should know him best and appreciate him with dignity. The Bulgarians, by the way, welcome not only the Jews, but also the Armenians, with whom they also live in full harmony as brothers.

Dementia, so brilliantly formulated in the American Dictionary of English Heritage (Pickett 2000) as: 1.Determination of intellectual abilities, such as memory, concentration and judgment, as a result of an organic disease or brain disorder, which is sometimes accompanied by an emotional disorder and personality changes. 2. Madness, madness fits perfectly with the ideology of Macedonianism and its representative in this case – Friedman. A similar wording long before this dictionary (30 years ago) was articulated by the prominent Austrian Slavic scholar Prof. Otto Kronsteiner.

What does Friedman not know or have he forgotten? For example, the fact that the problems with the so-called Macedonian language are a matter of discussion not so much between Skopje and Sofia, but inside Skopje itself, which still fails to discover its own identity. The question of whether or not there was a Macedonian language before the codification was raised by philologists there at the meetings of the first philological commission (see Ristevski 2000: 3. Stenographic notes). Precisely because there is no time to wait for the language to develop as a natural language, we move directly to the recodification of the existing literary language, ie. to a slight modification of the literary Bulgarian language, well known in Macedonia. The technology that is applied is the use of the internal Bulgarian language translation: from Bulgarian literary to Western Bulgarian regional. This results in one of the six regional forms created on the basis of the Bulgarian language. (Lunt himself placed a sign of equality between the Bulgarian and Macedonian dialects in his later research).

Today, Krastyo Misirkov’s work is presented in a false light in the RSM and by Friedman only as the founder of linguistic Macedonianism (with several articles he collected in the small pamphlet On Macedonian Affairs (1903). A few years ago in Skopje, Misirkov was named “The greatest Macedonian” of the twentieth century. His name is also a company name for the Institute of the Macedonian Language. Neither the philologists from MANU nor Friedman have analyzed his voluminous Diary in Russian, published in both Skopje and Sofia, and Friedman has not begun to analyze those numerous findings. of Misirkov from “Insights”, of which I will cite only a few below:

a) the national self-consciousness of the population in Macedonia:

“The beginning of the 19th century found Greek clergy and Bulgarian national self-consciousness in Macedonia. But here are the cries of the Macedonians themselves: We are Bulgarians, more Bulgarians than the Bulgarians themselves in Bulgaria… You could have defeated Bulgaria, to impose whatever contracts you want, but this does not change our conviction, our consciousness that no We are Serbs, so far we have called ourselves Bulgarians, so we call ourselves today and we want to call ourselves such in the future. We will be more Macedonians than Bulgarians, but Macedonians with their own different from your Serbian self-consciousness, with their own historical past, with their own literary language, common with Bulgarian, with their own Macedonian-Bulgarian national school, with their own national church. Whether we call ourselves Bulgarians or Macedonians, we are always aware of ourselves as a separate, unified, completely different from the Serbs and with Bulgarian consciousness nationality ”(p. 16 / p. 16).

“According to the chronicle data, the Bulgarian ethnic group also speaks of the Bulgarian national self-consciousness of the Macedonians in the 14th century and the following centuries to the present day” (p. 33 / item 43).

b) the name of the nationality:

“Due to the collusion between Serbia and Greece, Bulgaria was robbed and two million Slav-Bulgarians were enslaved… The shed and shed innocent blood for the freedom of the Bulgarians in Macedonia may sue before the Slavic public conscience the Serbian-Greek attempt on the freedom of the Bulgarian people, the Bulgarians from Macedonia ”(p. 20 / item 5).

“The population of Skopje is purely Bulgarian ” (p. 19 / p. 24)

“We love the Bulgarian nation-state as our own ” (p. 17 / p. 17).

c) the history:

“Entangled in various lies, in attempts to crush the souls of the Macedonian population, the Serbs perverted the whole story ” (p. 22 / p. 31).

“(Serbs) with the help of intrigues and Balkan allies conquered a larger part of Bulgarian Macedonia . However, these 1912 Serbian gains provoked the 1913 war; they provoked the war between Serbs and Bulgarians in 1915-1918 and will provoke many more wars if Dushan’s empire is not liquidated as in the twelfth century on the principle of self-determination of peoples “(p. 21 / p. 28).

“Why the Serbs want Macedonia – this purely Bulgarian country , which remains so from the VI century to this day, despite all the vicissitudes of historical destiny” (p. 20 / v. 28).

“There is an ousted Macedonian intelligentsia: priests, teachers, lawyers, journalists, professors, doctors, people of all professions who care about their enslaved homeland and will not allow Serbia to falsify the recent and distant history and ethnography of Macedonia” (p. 22 / p. 32).

d) the church:

“This spiritual unity of the Moesians, Macedonians and Thracians preceded and followed the creation of the Bulgarian Exarchate and the liberation of Bulgaria” (p. 16 / p. 16).

“The more awakened Macedonians, hand in hand with the Bulgarians from Bulgaria and Thrace, led the struggle for national education and the national church” (p. 16 / v. 16).

e) holidays:

 “The Serbs forced the celebration of” Saint Sava “on the enslaved population, which is forbidden to celebrate the all- Bulgarian holiday of St. St. Cyril and Methodius and the anniversary of the Ilinden Uprising ” (p. 25 / p. 37).

(f) the language:

“We Macedonians voluntarily chose a common literary language with the Bulgarians even before the liberation of Bulgaria, when it was not more cultural than us and could not be culturally or politically necessary. In other words, we have a literary language that is our homework and the result of free choice. The prohibition by the Serbs to use this literary language of ours , which is the only connection between us and the Bulgarians, is one of the blatant violations of our human rights ”(p. 14 / p. 13).

These quotes from the proclaimed creator (or rather propagandist) of Serbian linguistic Macedonianism, raised in the emblem and patron of the Skopje Institute for the Macedonian Language, Krastyo Misirkov prove that even the greatest Macedonian of the twentieth century was a convinced Bulgarian and that ” The language dispute is between Skopje and Sofia, and in Northern Macedonia itself. Instead of writing cynical articles against Bulgaria and Bulgarian science, Friedman may try to refute the arguments of his icon. By the way, it is made to be demented for the minutes of the First Philological Conference in Skopje (XII. 1944), in which in many places it is openly emphasized that until now there was no Macedonian language. The Commission must ‘establish’ it, without waiting, very quickly.

A little more about Friedman’s “scientific” arguments. Inconveniently, for the sake of the readers and himself, I have to quote some of them in order to see the bottom of morality in his philosophy: “ Most Bulgarians have been trained for generations not to accept the independence of the Macedonian. It is an intellectual poison that can be compared to the waste that the human body needs to separate. Most people have special, private places for excretion. But demented individuals lose their sense of it and excrete it where it is not appropriate. ”In the spirit of what has been quoted above are the stinking cynicisms about the similarities, according to him, between how and how. Friedman himself found himself in the ridiculous situation in this “correspondence” between him and the Bulgarian college that he was the oldest participant. All members of the Bulgarian author’s team are at least 15 years younger than him, the foreigner of retirement age. Flirting with age and the ensuing adversity proves to be a boomerang for Friedman himself.

The unraveling of the “knot” with the General Slavic Linguistic Atlas (OLA) is obviously also beyond the power of the author of the sketches. He is seriously mistaken about the exit and entry of the Bulgarian Commission into OLA. The “exit” was the result of pressure from the formerly populous Yugoslav commission (before the break-up of the SFRY), led by Pavle Ivic, not to have a Bulgarian numbering of 4 points outside the state borders in northern Greece. Two of them are not even in Macedonia, but in Thrace. (At that time, the BDA Summary Volume was not yet ready.) The Macedonian Commission has never played a special role in OLA’s activities. Corresponding Member Ruben Iv. Avanesov was not against the Bulgarian checkpoints in Greece, studied by Bulgarian scientists, to have Bulgarian numbering. (Avanesov’s letters are preserved and can always be published.) However, due to Ivich’s intransigence, The Bulgarian Commission leaves OLA. The re-entry took place there after the entire Bulgarian language continuum was reflected in the Summarizing Volume of the BDA. It became visually clear to the world where the borders of the Bulgarian language are and what are the dialects they carryall its main features. The Russian numbering in OLA for the Bulgarian language abroad (in Greece) remained as an eternal monument to the Yugoslav (and Friedman’s today) scientific misconception.

Finally, a few clarifications on Friedman’s superficial descriptions of the leaderships in Sofia and Skopje. Prof. Svetla Koeva, until recently director of IBE at BAS, is not only a computer linguist, but also a syntactologist. Prof. Vasil Raynov, with whom the Bulgarian Commission returned to OLA, began his career as a dialectologist and had publications in this field before becoming a psycholinguist. BAS is not managed by the Institute of Bulgarian Language (or individuals in it), but quite the opposite. The Council of Academics and Corresponding Members makes its decisions on important issues of science. And he is fully aware of the problems of history and language based on the vast documentation that is found not only in Bulgarian but also in world libraries. Before the facts and the gods are silent! Only the statement that M .. Marković is without Macedonian complexes is true; this is also indicated by his father’s name, ending in -ić. It is fashionable for Macedonian science to be made by foreigners. After Samuel B. Bernstein (the “godfather”), Victor Friedman took over the baton of Macedonianism. There is a difference between them, though: Bernstein liked to behave like an aristocrat, while Friedman’s vulgar language resembled him. That is why the analysis of his writings, willy-nilly, throws brown splashes on the one who analyzes it. His readers also felt sprayed, but at least they drew their own conclusions about the latest trend in world and Macedonian linguistics, created and zealously defended by Friedman. Bernstein liked to act like an aristocrat, while Friedman’s vulgar language resembled him. 


  1. The article is on the occasion of the text of Victor Friedman, entitled “Vai Ganyo in the Academy: Bulgarian ideological dementia”, published in the collection “Views on the Macedonian language”, Skopje, 2020.
  2. In the 1970s and 1980s, Victor Friedman published several articles in Maledicta magazine on obscene language (Russian and Georgian) under the pseudonym Boris Sukitch Razvratnikov.
  3. http://imj.ukim.edu.mk/documents/doc1.pdf
  4. http://www.bas.bg/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Za-oficialnia-ezik-na-Republika-Severna-Makedonia-Online-Pdf.pdf


  1. Lunt 1952: Lunt, H. A grammar of the macedonian literary language. Skopje.
  2. Kocheva, Kochev 2019: The Pluricentrism of the Bulgarian Literary Language – a Result of Dialectal Codifications and Dialectized Precodifications. – In: Linguistic problems. SWU.
  3. Misirkov 2000: Misirkov, K. (no comment). Insights from I. “On Macedonian Affairs”, II. “Notes on South Slavic Philology and History” etc. MNP, Sofia.
  4. Risteski 2000: Risteski, S. Stenographic notes from the first language commission. Facsimile. Published by Menorah. Skopje.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Friedman

* Linguist in the Section of Bulgarian Dialectology and Linguistic Geography at the Institute of Bulgarian Language at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences