Bulgarian language

Explore the magic of the Bulgarian language

On your first rendezvous with the Bulgarian language, you may get a little confused by the letters.

Magic Bulgarian Language
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Moreover, you can be puzzled by the way Bulgarian language sounds. However, if you know another Slavic language, understanding Bulgarian should be straightforward. Still, if you don’t, you may be facing some challenges.


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  1. Self-learning
  2. Skype teacher
  3. Corporate Classroom training

You should not be anxious, though.

Once you experience the magic of the Bulgarian language, you will be amazed by the appealing sounds and melody. When you hear it for the first time, you might find the Bulgarian language complicated. However, it is not so hard to learn the basics.

Here we give some interesting facts about it.

Where is the Bulgarian language from?

Contemporary Bulgarian is a mixture. It has mostly Thracian, Slavic, and Proto-Bulgarian words.

Tracians Bulgarian Language
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Often there are plenty of synonyms for everyday things.  Moreover, a lot of foreign words infuse the language. There are many Greek, Turkish, Russian, French, and English words. They penetrate the Bulgarian language through the years of turbulent history.

Bulgarian Academy of Sciences claims there are 200,000 words in the Bulgarian language.

By comparison: The Spanish language has 150,000 words. And the French language has only 135,000. However, you will be okay with just 800 words. It will give you the basis for a meaningful conversation with a local.

So it’s easy. You only need to learn 800 words.

What is the alphabet of the Bulgarian language?

The Bulgarians use the Cyrillic script.

There are thirty letters in the Bulgarian alphabet. Still, some symbols look Latin. However, most are pronounced differently.

This is because, the letters came from the Greek, Coptic and the Glagolitic scripts.

Coptic Bulgarian language

Coptic alphabet

Glagolitic alphabet Bulgarian Language
Glagolitic alphabet

Therefore, the Bulgarian alphabet is a bit confusing for a foreigner. However, it is believed to be a perfect alphabet. It is because there is only one way to pronounce each letter.


See the three ways to learn Bulgarian language with Online Bulgarian:

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  3. Corporate Classroom training

There are some small exceptions, though. But in general, reading comes straightforward once you learn the alphabet. It used to be much more complicated. There were forty-three letters. However, most of them are gone in the modern language.

That is why you shouldn’t be afraid to learn the Bulgarian language.

The difficult letters are gone. So it’s easy.

What are the letters like?

Eleven letters overlap between English and Bulgarian alphabets nowadays. They are part of the same twelve symbols that overlap between Greek and English scripts. However, only A, K, M, and T are pronounced the same way as in English.

Sounds confusing, no?

Wait! There is good news.

Bulgarian alphabet Bulgarian language
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In the Bulgarian alphabet, you always read the letters in the same way. In contrast to some other languages, there is only one sound for each letter. Of course, there are a few minor exceptions.

Yet, letter pronunciation is straightforward every time. Therefore, reading in Bulgarian is a piece of cake.

You read what you write. So it’s easy.

Who created the Cyrillic alphabet?

The World knows the Cyrillic as the Russian alphabet. Nevertheless, it comes from Bulgaria.

It all stars in the 9th century. In year 855-862 the Saints Cyril and Methodius create the so-called Glagolitic alphabet which is the predecessor of the Cyrillic. The saints are believed to be Bulgarian born brothers although they live in the East Roman Empire. Together Cyril and Methodius coin the Glagolitic by order of the Roman Emperor.

Saint Syril and Methodius Bulgarian Language
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Their alphabet is unusual, exotic, and extremely hard to learn. As a result, it quickly became unpopular.

 

The Bulgarian ruler at those years is Tsar Simeon the Great. He orders to Saint Clement of Ohrid to create a new script. Not by chance, Saint Clement is one of the five disciples of Cyril and Methodius. Together the scholars struggle with teaching Glagolitic to the Orthodox priests in Moravia.

The Tsar wanted the new alphabet to be more natural to apprehend compared to the Glagolitic.

At that time most of the Orthodox Christian holy books were written in Greek and Coptic. Because these languages were familiar to the Bulgarian priests, Saint Clement coined the Cyrillic as a mixture of Greek, Coptic, and Glagolitic.

Saint Clement of Ohrid Bulgarian Language
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However, the alphabet kept only a few of the original Glagolitic letters nowadays.

In the following 10th century the five scholars of Cyril and Methodius spread the Cyrillic alphabet around the region. It is mainly used to preach Christianity through the Orthodox countries. For this reason, it became the basis of other Slavic alphabets. It includes the Russian, Serbian, Polish, etc.


See the three ways to learn Bulgarian language with Online Bulgarian:

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  2. Skype teacher
  3. Corporate Classroom training

Therefore, if you learn Bulgarian, you will acquire the ability to understand other Slavic languages better.

But don’t be afraid of the Cyrillic.

In its early versions, the alphabet had many complicated letters. However, the modern version is quite simple and easy to use.

Who is using the Cyrillic Alphabet?

Over 300 million people around the world use the Cyrillic script nowadays.

Syrillic usage Bulgarian language
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Besides in Bulgaria, the alphabet is official in several other countries. These are Russia; Serbia; Northern Macedonia; Belarus; Montenegro; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Ukraine; Kyrgyzstan; Mongolia; Tajikistan; and by 2018 Kazakhstan.

Some decades ago, even Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan used the Cyrillic.

Some letters in the Bulgarian language have peculiar features.

The letters from the Glagolitic and Coptic are the weirdest ones.

They are Ж – Ц – Ч – Ш – Щ – Ь – Ъ – Ю – Я.

Moreover, just as the letter “H” is silent in some languages, there is such a letter in the Bulgarian language.

If you see the letter “Ь” /er-maluk, literally – small R/, you cannot pronounce the sound of it. It only goes together with “O” behind it /ьо/, and it reads like [yo]. “Ь” is used to soften the “O” sound together with “Й” /e-kratko, literally short E/ which is also used to soften the “O”.

Yo Bulgarian language
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However, don’t hold back on learning the Bulgarian language. Exceptions are rare and easy to remember.

Have you seen the letter “И”. It looks like a reverse “N”. This letter reads as “E”. It is the 9th symbol of the alphabet.

So it’s easy. You have to learn a few exceptions only.

Some words in the Bulgarian language can’t be translated.

In the Bulgarian language, some words don’t have a straightforward version in other languages.

Ayeliack Bulgarian language
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Often it’s because their purpose is to explain a way of life or a complex situation. You can get for example the word “Ayeliack”. It describes a person that is easy going with a calm approach to life. This kind of people does not take anything personally. They always enjoy their moments here and now.

Such words make the Bulgarian language fascinating. They can set your mind in sync with the Bulgarian way of life.

National Bulgarian language day

In Bulgaria, there is a national holiday in honor of the Bulgarian language.

24-may Bulgarian language
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The 24th of May is the national holiday of the Bulgarian letters.

On this day Bulgarians celebrate the creation of the Cyrillic alphabet. Plus, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church honors the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius – the fathers of the Cyrillic alphabet. On May 24, there are many parades and celebrations around the country.


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If you are in Bulgaria at this time of the year, seeing such a spectacle is always a joyful experience.

Learning Bulgarian is easy. Don’t be afraid! Check out the free demo here.

10 reasons to learn Bulgarian

Why learn Bulgarian?

Here we give you 10 reasons to learn Bulgarian.

BG border learn bulgarian
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1. Learn Bulgarian to apply for a citizenship

If you have visited Bulgaria already, the chances are that you fell in love.

Might be with the country, the people who live here, the job opportunities or with a special someone. So you have decided that you want to move to Bulgaria and live your life here. You even want to call yourself a Bulgarian and apply for Bulgarian citizenship.

To do it, you must know the language people speak here. And this a good reason to learn Bulgarian.

2. You have to learn Bulgarian if you plan to study here

Bulgaria is offering a high-quality college education for students around the world.

If you want to become a specialist in medicine, law, economics or computer science, you can do it here. However, you must learn Bulgarian. It is because some of the classes are in Bulgarian.

So, if you want to study in Bulgaria, you might need to learn Bulgarian.

See the three ways you can learn Bulgarian with Online Bulgarian:

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  3. Corporate Classroom training

3. For sure it is better to learn Bulgarian if you want to work in Bulgaria

Bulgaria can offer you a high number of jobs, especially if you are skilled in IT.

Here you can find a great job with some of the biggest companies like Coca-Cola, HP, and IBM. However, you will have much higher chances to get that job if you learn Bulgarian.

That is why if you want to work here you need to learn Bulgarian.

Treasures learn bulgarian
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4. You plan to explore hidden “treasures”

Bulgaria is a small, beautiful country that can offer a lot to its foreign visitors.

With the high mountains and golden beaches, this eastern European country can provide something for everyone.

But why do you have to learn Bulgarian just to come and see Bulgaria?

Speaking the language is very useful when you travel through the country. If you plan on visiting the big cities like Sofia, Plovdiv or Burgas, you will be OK with English only. However, if you want to visit smaller towns and villages, you may need to learn Bulgarian.

Here is where you can take a deeper soak in the authentic Bulgarian culture.

Still, who knows, maybe you will find a hidden “treasure” in the Bulgarian mountains. Even if you don’t find one – to speak the language is the best way to connect with the locals.

That is why you need to make an effort when you are searching for a treasure.

5. Learn Bulgarian because of the rich history

Do you know that the Bulgarian alphabet uses Cyrillic symbols?

Saints Cyril and Methodius craft the alphabet for the Bulgarian people. However, sometimes Cyrillic is referred to as the “Russian Alphabet”. The fathers of the Bulgarian alphabet create it a long time ago in the 9th century. Some hundred years later it is spread by their scholars to other Slavic countries. These include Russia, Macedonia, Ukraine, Belarus, Mongolia, and others.

The earliest inscription, written with these symbols, is dated from 931.

You can see it in a cave monastery near the village of Krepcha in Bulgaria. The earliest manuscript written in Cyrillic is the “Book of Sava”. It dates between the X and XI c.

That is why history is inspirational for you to learn Bulgarian.

6. Now you can learn Bulgarian easily

The Cyrillic alphabet is simple.

It is known to be the most precise one on the planet. It has a unique model which is the reason why you can learn it quickly. There is only one sound for every letter, with few exceptions. Thus, it makes the Bulgarian language straightforward to read and write.

An easy trick to learn the Alphabet – click here to see the blog post

In other words, what you speak, write and read is the same. It has only a few hidden sounds and specific combinations.

That is why you should not be afraid to learn Bulgarian.

Map Learn Bulgarian
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7. It opens the door to the other Slavic languages

Do you want to understand the nations from the Slavic group?  Learn Bulgarian!

You may ask why.

The language people speak in Bulgaria belongs to the southern branch of the Slavic language family. So does the languages of former Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, and others.

Therefore, if you want to understand the Balkan languages, learn Bulgarian.

Knowing it, not only you can speak with Bulgarians. You can reach to other nations like Macedonians plus to a great extent Serbians, Croatians, Slovenians, and Bosnians.

Therefore, the Bulgarian language is quite handy, especially when traveling around the Balkans.

Finally, the Bulgarian language can provide a solid basis for learning other Slavic languages including Russian and Polish.

8. To thank for the Bulgarian hospitality

Bulgarians are known for their hospitality, warmth and most of all respect to the foreigners.

If you visit a Bulgarian family, you will immediately feel at home. Enjoy the care of the hosts, the traditional meals and the best water you can get in the world. It was common in the past for the hosts to sleep on the floor if there is not enough space for their guests. Although you are not likely to see people sleeping on the floor today, the Bulgarian hospitality is still the same.

That is why local hospitality is a great reason to learn Bulgarian.

9. You want to start a new business or expand an existing one

The labor in Bulgarian is way cheaper than the rest of Europe. If you’re going to start a business in Bulgaria something that will help you is to know the Bulgarian language.

As a foreigner when you learn Bulgarian, you become unique. Thus, people here will treat you with great respect. For locals, you are not just another investor who speaks English. If you learn Bulgarian, you will get ahead of your competitors.

Still, that’s not all of it.

FORBES recently announced Sofia in the top 10 cities for launching a Start-up.  Do you want to try and bootstrap here? Understanding Bulgarian language is priceless if you plan to set up or expand your business here.

That is why business is one of the top reasons to learn Bulgarian.

Love learn Bulgarian
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10. It will help you find the love of your life in Bulgaria

Lastly, the Bulgarian people are kind, loving and fun. Here you can not only find friends. You can meet the love of your life.

Most foreigners know that Bulgarian women are famous for their beauty. And Bulgarian men are smart, caring and generous. The country is a great place to meet new people and why not find your love.

And that’s even not the last reason to learn Bulgarian.

See the three ways you can learn Bulgarian with Online Bulgarian:

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  3. Corporate Classroom training

Still not convinced? Here are some extra reasons:

Knowing a language different from your native one allows you more freedom. Plus, it can open the door for you to a wide variety of possibilities.

Moreover, understanding a language that few people know is making you outstanding.

There is a vast amount of people who understand English, French, German, or Spanish. For that reason, if you want to be unique, you might want to turn to less popular language.

Furthermore, the Bulgarian language is incredibly beautiful and multi-phonics.

Every word has its deep meaning, and one can recreate every thought fabulously. For that reason, it will not only be useful but will give you pleasure also. Therefore, if you are inspired to learn a new language, learn Bulgarian.

Although Bulgaria may be a small country there is plenty to offer:

It has a history that will conquer you, beautiful scenery, welcoming people and melodious language.

In the end, these we believe are 10+ pretty good reasons to help you decide if you want to learn Bulgarian.

See the three ways you can learn Bulgarian with Online Bulgarian:

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  3. Corporate Classroom training

How to learn a foreign language quick and easy

How to learn a foreign language quick and easy

Teza Team

Everyone would like to learn a foreign language because they know that it opens a whole new world before them. That is why we introduce a tried-and-tested method of learning a foreign language.

In the first place, the desire and attitude are the most important – you cannot learn anything if your initial attitude is like: “It’s a mission impossible”.

You have to prepare and supply materials, because the goal is to learn as children do it – playing and having fun. You need a large white sheet (cardboard), colored pencils and motivation J

The method is called “Mind Map”, and its creator is Tony Busan. As a result of long observation and analysis, he found that it is easy and quick to learn a foreign language with the help of it. The Mind Map is a schematic representation of any topic you might choose. It is an easy and convenient way of presenting the material through key words or ideas. It can be drawn in a number of ways – like a branched tree, like a sun with several beams, or another figure that is easy for you to remember.

Here is an example of a Mind Map:

Online Bulgarian - tree graphic

At the core of the map lies the main idea (or the title of the lesson), and each subsequent branch appears under the topic of the main one. The goal is to be as colorful as possible, with more items to indicate the topic of the lesson.

What is the first thing we learn in a foreign language? Yes, it’s the alphabet. That is why we will make a mental map whose purpose is to teach us the Bulgarian alphabet.

At the bottom is the main topic – the Bulgarian alphabet from which starts the branched stems. They are quite bold at the base and thinning towards the end. Each branch is a subtopic of the previous one. In our case, we will have 30 branches for each of the letters in the Bulgarian alphabet, as well as sample words with the corresponding letter.

It has been proven that the brain remembers many times easier and faster when it comes to playing. It’s working the same way children discover the world – with colors, games and entertainment.

In this case, the mental map could help people of all ages and learning purposes.

The good thing is that you have no restrictions here – relax your imagination and have fun!

Innovative approaches used in the technology for development of the Bulgarian language for foreigners

Innovative approaches used in the technology for development of the Bulgarian language for foreigners

 
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Katia Issa
Dr. Eng. Milena Yordanova
 

Communicative language teaching approach
The communicative language teaching approach is traditionally considered to be fundamental in Bulgarian teaching as a foreign language. Its significance is growing especially now, in a rapidly changing world where languages and cultures stand up for their uniqueness in a dialogue so necessary for the modern global world.
The Bulgarian language interactive application gives users the opportunity to acquire speech skills in accordance with the literary-conversational norm of the modern Bulgarian language.
The exercises to each lesson are structured so that the learner involves in dialogue with the characters speaking from the screen and learning communicative code without limiting their communicative function. Code-switching actually refers to the association of the native language with the foreign one, to which a speaker can pass smoothly after having mastered it.
Most textbooks are satisfied with this level, but it does not explain the nature of linguistic significance as the association is made from word to word and not from word to concept. That is why, when developing online lessons language is “played” and language concept as a code of thinking is replaced by consideration of the understanding of the language, which does not refer to a preliminary understanding of the terms that can be expressed through it.
Such an understanding represents language not only as a means of expressing thought but as a mediator of thought.
Thus, the theory of meaning fits into the theory of communication as far as it is something mastered by the speakers upon successful completion of the course.
They easily acquire practical skills for use sentences in the foreign language, and the dialogues presented between the characters on the screen, commented and explained by the two teachers in front of the virtual board, give them confidence that they both had conducted the same mental process while one spoke and the other has listened. All this results in the satisfaction that their thoughts are communicable.

A cognitive approach is set in the development of the Bulgarian language online course.
According to the concepts of anthropological, sociological and philosophical theories we explain the command of some language or some of its elements by knowledge. To understand an expression means knowing its meaning.
This approach is applied by visualizing objects and individuals as well as activities in different situations. Relationships are built between the characters on the screen supporting the use of abstract concepts. Nature of linguistic and purely linguistic significance is not neglected.
The textbook electronic version consists of grammatical tables, references to which are recommended in the course during each lesson periodically.
On the one hand, the importance of language units is made up of semantic fields and proves the connection of meaning with the recognition of words articulately, audibly and graphically.
The characters of the teachers, who conduct the course from the virtual classroom with a whiteboard, bring the sensation of attendance form of training, relating the studied material semantics to the science of signs – semiotics.
Lexicography stands between semantics and semiotics.
All words contained in the lessons are summarized a vocabulary, where they are traditionally perceived as special mediators that transfer human experience (life, cognitive and professional one) from the animated situations to the lexicographic vision of the concepts.

Cultural Oriented Approach
The cultural aspect in the electronic applications in Bulgarian language for foreigners lies in the consecutive teaching and learning of the language, not only as a sign system serving as communication and knowledge, but also as a cultural code for transmitting the information accumulated over the centuries (information on how the Bulgarian people have perceived and perceive the world, how Bulgarian people assess the surrounding reality, how Bulgarian people form their specific “cultural mirror” and thus they build their own national attitude of mind and picture of the world.)
In the written scenario of the electronic application culture is not regarded as a subject of learning, but its social significance for the Bulgarian is reinvented.
The learner without compulsive explanations, acquires awareness of how Bulgarians spend an ordinary day, where they have fun, what they do, where and what they are shopping, what they eat at home and in public places, how they furnish their home, how they dress, how they celebrate, where to travel in Bulgaria.
The difference from the textbooks that describe situations in a family or work environment is the fact that both the family and the work of the main plot characters represent foreigners in the Bulgarian environment. Thus, in their continuous contacts with Bulgarians (one pair of the characters is Bulgarian) foreigners understand how they would feel in our country, how they would be welcomed and accepted. The textbook gives priority to culture in the structurally distinctive semantic spaces of the Bulgarian way but through the view of the foreigner. The textbook gives priority to the culture structurally-defining sematic spaces of the Bulgarian traditional lifestyle, but through the eyes of a foreigner.

Sociolinguistic approach
Sociolinguistics describes the social practice in which language is performed in relation to social processes. Thus, the reference to the concept of knowledge refers to the assimilated language models in situations of relevance according to public opinion in the Bulgarian environment. By introducing different stories from the characters’ daily routine into the e-textbook, individual speech acts are fixed to a given language situation in such a way as to pay attention to the etiquette of communication held by people of different social status.
At the same time, each dialogue shows the speaker’s goal, their intention. Speech is a rational activity and is always used with some intent.
It is understood simultaneously with the absorption of implicit knowledge.
In the everyday life of people, knowledge is perceived both as a process and as a result. This is achieved through related units resulting in an aggregate or knowledge system. Thus, learner acquires an idea or information about the things and people whose daily problems he meets and at the same time memorizing phrases and more voluminous speech constructs. People define memory as a form of existence of knowledge. The textbook provides an opportunity to discover Bulgaria and its language by providing not only information but also a chance to discover what is hidden behind this information. The language mastering growing with any new dialogue and the language presented and summarized by the teachers in the virtual room reveals the nature of its meaning, and the numerous exercises based on the gaming principle enable any foreigner to join the modern Bulgarian language situation. Thus, any foreigner can “come” to Bulgaria before actually visiting it.

Interactive Application – Bulgarian language for Foreigners – “We Discover the Bulgarian Language”, Level A1

Interactive Application – Bulgarian language for Foreigners – “We Discover the Bulgarian Language”, Level A1

 
Dr. Eng. Milena Yordanova
 

   The use of interactive learning applications is quite common already. However, given that the language learning requires a higher degree of interactivity, creating a language learning application is a thought challenge for the software developers and language tutors.

  The application contains grammar exercises designed to learn Bulgarian language grammar, both spoken and written in the comfort of your couch. The course contains 10 units covering language proficiency level A1.
Each of the 10 units is a separate application containing animated interactive lectures and grammar exercises.