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Tips On Learning The Bulgarian Language

How difficult would you say Bulgarian is to learn? Well although most foreign languages are difficult to

learn, especially for those of us who are not naturally gifted at picking up languages, where would you rank Bulgarian as a foreign language? The main disadvantage to learning Bulgarian is that you really need to get to grips with learning the Cyrillic alphabet before you can even start. It is a daunting prospect admittedly, as some of the letters do look very strange at first glance, but once you've learnt the alphabet pronouncing and spelling words in Bulgarian is very simple.


Questbg talks to Luisa a native English girl who relocated to Bulgaria over 3 years ago. Luisa shares her tips and views with us on how to help learn at least some of the Bulgarian language.

'I remember when I first moved to Bulgaria and was having a conversation with a Bulgarian friend who spoke English, about learning Bulgarian. I was telling him how difficult it looked and that I'd probably have equally as good chance of mastering Chinese as what I would Bulgarian! He reassured me by telling me that if I already knew English, Bulgarian shouldn't be too difficult after all. He explained simple things about the English language that we already know, but forget, such as the confusing way in which we spell. Looking at two words: "Daughter" and "Water", they sound the same but are spelt completely different. If you were learning English as a second language and were unsure of how to spell one of these words, would you spell them in either of these ways, probably not? Bulgarian however, is a lot less complex and the words are spelt and pronounced exactly as they look.

Perhaps you can appreciate the difficulties in which non-native English speakers have with the English grammar, by this I mean the tenses. It takes a lot of knowledge of the English language to use all of the tenses correctly. Did you know that the English language has a total of twelve tenses and although we already know how to use them, it is very difficult to explain to those learning English how we would use them and that they are extremely difficult to learn from scratch? Luckily, there are only seven tenses in the Bulgarian language, which is a lot less to learn! I really don't understand why in English there are an additional five tenses, but let's be grateful that we've already mastered that language!!

After you've learned the Bulgarian alphabet, the next difficult step is learning the grammar. I would say that the hardest part of learning Bulgarian is the grammar. As I've already said, there are fewer tenses to learn which makes this part less tricky, but there's also the problem with words genders. In English we don't separate our words by gender but in Bulgarian there is a Masculine, Feminine and Neutral gender. Now, this is where I have noticed that everyone has difficulties and I have yet to find anyone that can sail through learning this, but if you've been given the right facts to start with you can pick it up easier!

The hardest thing for me is learning the Bulgarian tenses. After a while the Bulgarian genders and grammar rules are reasonable to grasp, but the tenses are difficult, as they are used in a different way to how we would use them in English. It is also quite strange to see the way that a Bulgarian sentence is put together because if you were to translate it directly in to English it would seem very mixed up and odd. As in any language, some parts are easier than others. I studied French at school for three years and was useless! To my relief I found that through living in the country I was better able to learn the language by mixing with Bulgarian speaking friends and of course repetition and memorizing of words on a daily basis.

I think if you can at least learn some of the words of the language and although you may feel a little silly when speaking to Bulgarian's you can at least think that you have tried!'

Remember Quest Member's area has a language course to help those interested in learning this difficult language.