The Bulgarian language is spoken by about 12 million people worldwide with the majority of speakers residing in Bulgaria. Significant populations of Bulgarian speakers also reside in Macedonia, Ukraine, Turkey, Romania, Serbia, Greece, the United States, Canada, Spain and Germany.
While Bulgarian is part of the Slavic language family, it has many unique characteristics that set it apart from the rest. For instance, the lack of a verb infinitive and the elimination of case declension in the language make it distinct from other Slavic languages. In addition, this Indo-European language also uses a suffixed definite article and a developed form of the Proto-Slavic (parent language of Slavic languages) verb system.
There are essentially two major Bulgarian dialect regions: Western dialects and Eastern dialects. Western Bulgarian dialects are informally named “hard speech” (твърд говор/tvurd govor). Eastern Bulgarian dialects are informally named “soft speech” (мек говор/mek govor). The dialect used for literary purposes is primarily based on Eastern dialects.
For English speakers, the Bulgarian language will not look familiar unless you already have some familiarity with other Slavic languages. For this reason, learning Bulgarian can be quite a challenge. However, by using effective learning tools, building a strong foundation in the language can be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time.
For example, modern Bulgarian podcast lessons are ideal for learning how to speak Bulgarian. Instead of just reading words from a text, audio lessons will help you to gain a better understanding of what’s written down on paper so that you can learn proper Bulgarian accents and other essentials of the language.
Perhaps your first step in learning the language will be to learn the Bulgarian alphabet. Many beginners start with these building blocks before moving on to learn Bulgarian words. Every step in the learning process will take you closer to fluency or to reaching your personal goals. As you develop your Bulgarian language skills, you will be able to take on more challenging lessons that are designed for intermediate or advanced speakers.
A great way to get a feel for any language is to learn phrases. Over time, you will become familiar with common Bulgarian phrases. Each one of these phrases will strengthen your grammar and pronunciation skills, as well as your basic understanding of the language. Enhance your Bulgarian lessons with a variety of learning tools in order to make the most progress. Doing so is sure to enrich your learning experience as well as your travels to Bulgarian-speaking areas of the world.