Get 40% off with the Now or Never sale. Hurry! Ends soon!
Get 40% off with the Now or Never sale. Hurry! Ends soon!
BulgarianPod101.com Blog
Learn Bulgarian with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

How Long Does it Take to Learn Bulgarian?

Thumbnail

The Bulgarian language is not an easy one for English speakers to learn. Being part of the Slavic language family, it differs quite a bit from the Germanic and Romance languages. Not only do learners have to get used to the Cyrillic alphabet, but they must also learn all the noun and adjective endings for different genders, the verb conjugations for different tenses, and so on. 

Feeling intimidated already? 

Don’t worry! BulgarianPod101 is here to encourage you. 

Although it might take some time, learning Bulgarian is possible. In this article, we’ll teach you how to learn Bulgarian faster and more effectively for the best results. 

There are three things you’ll need if you want to master the language: 

  • Motivation. In order to succeed, you need to maintain a high level of motivation during the entire learning process. One way you can do this is to stick to a schedule. Of course, in order to make a good plan, you’ll need to know how long it would take to learn Bulgarian to reach a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level. Don’t worry: Our guide will give you practical information regarding what kind of time commitment you’re looking at.
  • Persistence. You’ll come across some difficult topics and subjects throughout the course of your studies, but it’s important to continue your learning in order to advance. Each challenge you overcome will make you a more successful language learner.
  • Achievement. When you see your first marks of progress, you’ll be motivated to continue your studies. The more achievements you see, the more motivated you’ll be to learn the Bulgarian language in full.
Your Progress Depends on Your Motivation, Persistence, and Achievements!
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. 3 Factors That Play a Huge Role in Bulgarian Language Learning
  2. Comparison Between Bulgarian and Other Languages
  3. How Long Does it Take to Achieve aBeginner Level?
  4. How Long Does it Take to Achieve an Intermediate Level?
  5. How Long Does it Take to Achieve an Advanced Level?
  6. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn the Bulgarian Language

3 Factors That Play a Huge Role in Bulgarian Language Learning

There are three main factors that determine how long it takes to learn Bulgarian:

  • Attitude. Having a positive attitude toward learning will make the process much easier and more enjoyable for you. Try to be as dedicated as possible, and view this as an opportunity to broaden your horizons. 
  • Time. The more time you study and practice the language, the less time it will take to get used to it.
  • Attentiveness. Some people have a talent for learning foreign languages quickly. If you’re among them, consider yourself lucky! The learning process will require less effort from you compared to other learners. But regardless of your natural inclinations toward language learning, you should always strive to be attentive in your studies!
Attitude, Time, Attentiveness

Comparison Between Bulgarian and Other Languages

The time it will take you to learn Bulgarian depends, to some extent, on your first language. If you’re a native English speaker, then you might find the Bulgarian language more difficult to learn than other languages (like French, Spanish, or Italian). 

One of the reasons for this is the existence of a third gender (neuter) in Bulgarian, compared to the two genders (masculine and feminine) used in the Romance languages mentioned above. This means that Bulgarian learners have to learn more noun and adjective forms, as well as how to identify the three different genders. 

In addition, Bulgarian belongs to the group of Slavic languages, which are more challenging to learn compared to the other European languages. There are many irregular forms of verbs, noun cases, exceptions to the rules, etc. that make studying more difficult.

However, learning the Bulgarian language is not Mission Impossible as long as you dedicate your time and efforts to achieving this goal. Below, we’ll discuss how long it takes to master each of the Bulgarian language levels based on research by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI).

How the Foreign Service Institute Ranks Bulgarian

The FSI has divided foreign languages into four categories. Category I languages are the most similar to English (and thus easier to learn), while Category IV languages are the least similar (and most difficult to learn). 

Category I languages include Spanish, French, and Italian, for instance. These take an English speaker roughly 24 weeks (600 hours) of intensive study to reach speaking and reading proficiency. 

On the other end of the scale are Category IV languages, which include Arabic, Korean, and Japanese, for example. These languages take about 88 weeks (2200 hours) to fully master. 

So where exactly does Bulgarian fall? 

Category 1 Languages

The FSI classifies Bulgarian as a Category III language. Other languages in this category include Czech, Polish, Turkish, and Greek. These languages take about 44 weeks (1100 hours) of study to master. 

So if you would like to learn Bulgarian, you may need almost a full year of studying to gain fluency in speaking, reading, and writing, and to communicate freely with Bulgarians. Although this might seem like a long time, you can succeed if you’re persistent in your efforts and accumulate knowledge slowly but surely. 

That said, you can start speaking Bulgarian way sooner! If you follow the lessons prepared by BulgarianPod101, you’ll be able to start communicating with native speakers within a few weeks. Don’t you think it’ll be worth the effort? 

Additional Note: Keep in mind that Bulgarian learners who already know Russian or another Slavic language will have a much easier time picking up the language. This is because Bulgarian and other Slavic languages have many things in common.

How Long Does it Take to Achieve a Beginner Level?

Start to Communicate at the Beginner Level

What language skills are developed at the beginner level?

The beginner level encompasses levels A1 and A2

It involves comprehension of everyday expressions and simple conversations. For example, you’ll be able to greet someone, introduce yourself, and ask questions to maintain a conversation at a simple level, if your interlocutor speaks slowly enough. You’ll also be able to express your needs to others. 

How do you know whether you’re at the A1 or A2 level? If any of these things apply to you, you’re probably still at the A1 level: 

  • The Bulgarian language is completely new to you
  • You may have lived for a short time in Bulgaria, but you know only a few words and phrases
  • You may have started to study this language on your own, but without sufficient practice

How long does it take to become a beginner-level Bulgarian speaker?

It usually takes 2 months (50 hours) to master these basic Bulgarian language skills.

How can you reach this level faster?

If you would like to accelerate your progress, you can watch YouTube channels that teach the Bulgarian language to beginners. A good place to start is Learn Bulgarian with BulgarianPod101.com, where you can find hundreds of free lessons to help you advance much more quickly.

Using flashcards to remember new words is also very useful at this level of language study. Wondering how to learn Bulgarian faster using mobile flashcards? You can learn more about this method on our website!

Absolute Beginner Pathways for Bulgarian Learners

Here are some tips on how to learn Bulgarian online using BulgarianPod101.com! 

  • Start with the Bulgarian alphabet. 

    The Bulgarian alphabet is the foundation upon which you’ll build the rest of your language skills. Do not skip or postpone this step! We recommend starting with our free alphabet guide for absolute beginners, which will help you quickly become familiar with the Bulgarian alphabet. It might take you up to a week to feel completely comfortable with it, but it’s well worth the effort.
  • Go through some well-structured audio lessons.

    Becoming comfortable with audio material right from the start will really help speed up your progress. You can check out our 3-Minute Bulgarian series, which consists of 25 three-minute lessons suitable for beginners. You’ll get acquainted with topics such as self-introductions, greetings, manners, asking questions, making apologies, and much more. It might take you a couple of weeks to get through the series, depending on how many lessons you do each day.
  • Study longer, more complicated beginner lessons. 

    Next, you might want to go through our Absolute Beginner pathway. It features 25 lessons (about 10 minutes each) that will help you better assimilate the information from the previous course and learn new vocabulary/skills. By the end of this series, you’ll be able to express your thoughts, needs, and questions more effectively. It might take 2-3 weeks of study and practice to feel confident speaking with your Bulgarian interlocutors.

Bonus: How much Bulgarian can you learn in 60 minutes? To find out, try out our 60-minute course Lessons for Your Flight to Bulgaria! If you’re an A2-level learner, you’ll find this easy to complete—but it’s still a great way to reinforce your vocabulary knowledge. 

How much time will it take to reach beginner-level Bulgarian with BulgarianPod101.com?

Mastering the Bulgarian AlphabetUp to 1 week
3-Minute Bulgarian SeriesUp to 2 weeks
Absolute Beginner PathwayUp to 3 weeks

It takes a maximum of 6 weeks to reach the beginner Bulgarian level with our platform. Not that bad, right?

  • We’ve also prepared a bunch of interesting 1-minute animated series videos that are well-suited for absolute beginners.

How Long Does it Take to Achieve an Intermediate Level?

What language skills are developed at the intermediate level?

The intermediate level (B1 and B2), can be summed up in just one word: communication

At this stage, you have the ability to communicate about broad topics that aren’t too complicated. These topics usually involve hobbies, weather, work, education, details about locations, holidays, etc. You’ll also be able to describe experiences, events, ideas, projects, likes, and dislikes; you could lead conversations with local Bulgarians more freely. 

At the B2 level, you’ll have additional fluency when communicating on a wider range of contexts.

Do any of the following points apply to you? Then it means you’re ready to start studying at the intermediate level. 

  • You have already completed the A2 level.
  • You’re able to lead basic conversations.
  • You require some extra practice in both spoken and written Bulgarian.
  • You would like to get prepared for an upcoming Bulgarian language exam.

How long does it take to become an intermediate-level Bulgarian speaker?

It usually takes 4 months (80-90 hours) to master these intermediate Bulgarian-language skills. This timeframe applies to intensive learners who study every day for about 4 hours. For those who study every other day, it may take 8 or more months to achieve this stage.

Start to Communicate More Freely at the Intermediate Level

How can you reach this level faster?

If this sounds like a long time to you, here are some tricks and tips on how to learn Bulgarian quickly at this stage:

Also make sure to check out our list of 5 Tips to Reach Intermediate Level!

Intermediate-Level Pathways for Bulgarian Learners

After achieving a basic level of Bulgarian, you may find that things become harder to learn. The new information is more complicated and should be gradually added to your existing knowledge. You’ll need to engage in many more practical exercises to start advancing. 

BulgarianPod101 has prepared appropriate lessons for this language level as well, to help intermediate learners accelerate their progress at this stage.

  • All About 

    Our All About course consists of 15 short audio lessons that will help you learn all about the society and culture of Bulgaria. The total duration of this series is 1hr 51min.
  • Conversational Phrases

    This is another short course of 10 audio lessons with a total duration of just 10 minutes. It will get you acquainted with more conversational phrases and teach you common words you’ll need in your conversations.
  • Essential Bulgarian for Emergencies

    This course consists of 8 lessons, and it’s a very practical set that will help you develop intermediate-level skills you can use in a pinch.
  • Level 3 Bulgarian

    As you start to feel more confident with level B1, you can try out our Level 3 Bulgarian pathway. It features 25 lessons for a total duration of 6hrs 21min; there are also 10 assignments to complete. This course is aligned with level B1 of the CEFR scale.

How Long Does it Take to Achieve an Advanced Level?

What language skills are developed at the advanced level?

The advanced level is commonly referred to as C1-C2 and is very close to the native language level. The C2 level is considered to be the highest proficiency possible, and reaching it means you can use Bulgarian fluently in nearly all contexts. 

Upon reaching an advanced level, you’ll be able to… 

  • …talk with native speakers fluently, without needing to grasp for specific words or phrases. 
  • …communicate with others about many different topics (personal experiences, professions, science, etc.).
  • …build a variety of complex sentences in all tenses. 

In addition, native Bulgarian speakers will be able to easily understand your thoughts and opinions when you speak. 

It’s important to note that lessons at this level no longer focus on grammar. Usually, they include reading or listening to media on different subjects in the Bulgarian language, as well as lectures and workshops.

Ready for an Advanced Level of Bulgarian?

You’re ready to start studying advanced Bulgarian if the following points apply to you:

  • You’ve completed the B2 level and you use Bulgarian grammar correctly.
  • You’re planning to work or study in Bulgaria.
  • You’re not satisfied with an average knowledge of Bulgarian and would like to gain fluency.

This level is definitely for those who are ready to double their efforts! 

How long does it take to become an advanced-level Bulgarian speaker?

As we mentioned above, Bulgarian is a Category III language, meaning that it features significant cultural and linguistic differences from English. 

To achieve proficiency in Bulgarian, intensive learners will need at least 1100 hours (44 weeks) of study. This equates to 5 hours per day, 5 days per week. You’ll need almost a full year of study to reach the C1 level of Bulgarian at this pace. If you study 2 hours a day (or less), you’ll need about 2 years to achieve this level.

How can you reach this level faster?

Although achieving the C1 level is not easy and takes a long time, there are some tips you could try in order to reach your goal faster:

  • Find a native Bulgarian friend with whom you can often communicate.
  • Spend a few months in Bulgaria to experience deep immersion into its language and culture.
  • Watch special Bulgarian lessons intended for advanced learners.
  • Continue to read, write, and listen in Bulgarian on a daily basis.

Advanced-Level Pathways for Bulgarian Learners

Are you serious about your studies and want some tips on how to learn Bulgarian faster? BulgarianPod101.com offers our advanced students plenty of fun and effective lessons to help enhance their skills. 

  • Level 5 Bulgarian 

    This advanced lesson pathway features 25 lessons for a total duration of 1hr 21min. This course is aligned with level C1 of the CEFR and covers topics including the top 10 Bulgarian tourist destinations, the top 10 Bulgarian leaders, and the top 10 Bulgarian writers.
  • Listening Comprehension for Advanced Learners

    Another great course is our Listening Comprehension for Advanced Learners series. Each lesson includes dialogues, answers to questions, and a full breakdown. The total duration of these 20 lessons is 1hr 9min.

If you’re looking for even more ways to stay motivated, check out the Innovative Language 101 app for mobile devices. It allows you to learn Bulgarian anywhere, anytime! This innovative app is appropriate for all levels, so don’t miss out.

Download the Free Mobile App to Learn Bulgarian!

How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn the Bulgarian Language

In this article, we talked about how long it takes to learn Bulgarian for each level of proficiency. We also discussed what’s expected of learners at each level and how to reach your learning goals faster with BulgarianPod101.com

There’s still one key feature of our site we haven’t mentioned yet: MyTeacher for Premium PLUS members. With this service, you can get one-on-one tutoring and help from a native Bulgarian teacher. He or she can help you learn Bulgarian faster by guiding you step by step through the language—vocabulary, grammar rules, pronunciation, and more—so you can reach your desired proficiency level with little problem.

Before you go, we’re curious: How likely are you to start learning Bulgarian after reading this article? Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns you still have—we’ll be glad to help!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian