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Back You are here: Home Lifestyle The Bulgarian Language Learning The Bulgarian Language - Part One

Learning The Bulgarian Language - Part One

Bulgarian is not one of the easiest languages to learn and neither is the alphabet.

The Cyrillic alphabet first appears quite different from the Latin alphabet that most of us are familiar with however, once you are get to grips with the letters and pronunciation, you will learn it and be able to use it in no time. Quest Bulgaria has constructed a refreshed language course for the member's area, to help you develop your knowledge and skills with the Bulgarian language.


Lesson one is all about the alphabet.

Some of the letters are the same as in the Latin alphabet, but pronounced differently or similar. Some letters may look strange to start with and you may have difficulties with writing them. Each letter of the Bulgarian alphabet has a special pronunciation, which believe it or not, makes learning to say Bulgarian words a lot easier. In the English language we have words such as "daughter" and "water", they rhyme, but are spelt completely different. The word "daughter" even has silent letter "gh", which we do not pronounce when we say the word. It is also the same with "floor" and "paw" again, they are pronounced similar but spelt completely different. In the Bulgarian language, every word is pronounced as you see it, which is one of the advantages.

Advantages for learning the Bulgarian language

Apart from the obvious advantage that you will be able to speak another language, which is especially useful if you live in Bulgaria, there are some other advantages too.
1) Each word is pronounced as you see it, making it easy to read and write words in Bulgarian.
2) There are no silent letters in the Bulgarian vocabulary, where as there are many in the English language. We have words such as "know", but do we pronounce the "K" when we say these words - no we don't!
3) The English language has an astonishing twelve tenses, where as Bulgarian only has seven. People learning English as a second language complain about the difficult they have with all of the English tenses, because the Bulgarian language doesn't have so many.

Disadvantages to the Bulgarian language

Well apart from the initial problem of learning the alphabet, which tends to immediately put people off from continuing learning the language, there are few disadvantages to learning the language. The few disadvantages are:
1) If there was no alphabet to learn, Bulgarian would be a much easier language and there would probably be more people learning it as a second language. However, the initial difficulty of having to "decode" each letter and translate them in to Latin, makes many learners want to give up.
2) In the English language, we mainly add "S" to every word that we want to make plural, but in the Bulgarian language it differs. Depending on the gender of the word, the ending to make the word plural will vary. However, once you have learnt how to identify the three genders in the language, you will be able to work out how to make each word plural and the grammar rules.

The Alphabet

A = a in "cat"
б = b in 'ball'
В = V in 'very'
г = G in 'good'
д = D in 'day'
E = E in 'every'
Ж = dzh in ‘treasure'
З = Z in ‘zebra'
И = ee in ‘week'
Й = y in ‘yellow'
К = K in ‘kick'
Л = L in ‘like'
М = M in ‘man'
Н = N in ‘night'
О = O in ‘orange'
П = P in ‘perfect'
Р = R in ‘real'
С = S in ‘song'
Т = T in ‘today'
У = u/oo in ‘blue'
Ф = F in ‘fire'
Х = H in ‘hi'
Ц = ts in ‘tsarevets'
Ч = ch in ‘chair'
Ш = sh in ‘shoes'
Щ = sht in ‘bashta' (father in Bulgarian)
Ъ = a/ur in ‘further'
Ь = u in ‘sum'
Ю = ew/oow in ‘menu'
Я = ya in ‘Yasmin' or ‘Yamaha'

Practice learning the alphabet for now, until you are able to recognise and translate simple words without having to check this first. The best way to learn and memorise the alphabet is to do the simple:
Look, cover, say, check.

In the next lesson, we will:
• Learn to translate simple words from Bulgarian to English
• Learn basic greetings that are important to know
• And we will also look at the beginning stages of Bulgarian grammar

But until then...

Чао За Сега (bye for now)