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Top Ten Tips for Learning the Bulgarian Language


1. Read Road Signs! To learn the alphabet, you must first study the letters and if you are already living in Bulgaria, you should practice reading road signs whilst out and about, this will help you remember and recognize the letters

2. Remember! In Bulgarian conversation, you will hear a lot of unknown words to begin with. There will be words that you hear more than others and when you hear these words you must remember, check them, remember and use them. Remember the word, check their meaning and after using the word a few times, you will have learned a word.

3. Learn basic grammar to begin with. Many language teachers choose to plunge in to the grammar without even teaching you a single word. From my experience, I think it is best to learn just a few basic grammar rules such as the 'to be' rule and focus on learning words and phrases, the grammar will come later.

4. Learn words that resemble your own language. For example, there are many words in the Bulgarian language that are the same as English,  the same word with a different meaning or sound similar. Learning these words means that you will have learned many words easily and quickly without even trying.

5. Read subtitles! Many of the films shown on Bulgarian satellite are in English language with Bulgarian subtitles. Reading the Bulgarian subtitles, whilst listening to the film in English will help you to learn some new words, whilst relaxing and watching a film.

6. Word of the day. Write on a piece of paper a new word for the day or week and stick it on a door/the refrigerator or any place where you will see it often. Every time you see it, read it and practice saying it, by the end of the day or week you will have learned a new word.

7. Listen to music. Bulgaria has its own type of music, which is very popular in Bulgaria. Listening to Bulgarian music whilst you work, will help you to pick up phrases, slang and words by listening to the words along with the cool rhythm.

8. Talk with the locals. Not only is this a great way to integrate with the local community, but practicing speaking Bulgarian is one of the most important parts in learning the lingo. Just passing the time of day with people you meet at the shops, in the street or on the bus, will help you learn pronunciation, word order, grammar, words and day to day life.

9. Learn the alphabet and listen to people speaking. This is very important to ensure that you will be understood when you talk to people. Although the alphabet is very phonetically, it is important to learn how to pronounce the letters in the alphabet and when you know this, you will have no trouble being understood or pronouncing words. Another thing is that you must listen to people speaking to learn where the stress in the word is, as there are a few words in the Bulgarian vocabulary that have different meanings with a similar spelling, but can only be distinguished by the stress.

10. Last but not least, writing! anybody that lives in a rural area will know that when you go to the local shop, you often have to ask for most of your shopping over the counter. Practice the words of the things on your shopping list and also write your shopping list in Bulgarian. Keep referring to it, as it is using Bulgarian in every day life that helps you to learn more.


Okay so there are 10 tips on learning Bulgarian. Language lessons can also be found in many towns and cities or you can even ask a friend to teach you. In my experience, I have found that going to lessons was simply not for me. I discovered that the only time I was speaking or practicing Bulgarian was when I was in the lesson, which I went to once or twice a week. After attending many lessons over a period of a few months, I learned that I still couldn't hold any kind of conversation. When I started the lessons, we plunged straight into the grammar, without learning any words. I recommend that you learn some words first, with basic grammar, because you need to know basic words before you can begin to understand the grammar.