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Lesson Transcript

Yuri: In this lesson, we have a great list of tools to help your Bulgarian studies.
Iva: Yes, we do.
Yuri: These are tools that, when put together, are going to do wonders for your Bulgarian.
Iva: And all of them will save you a lot of time.
Yuri: Which brings us to our first tool, entertainment.
Iva: Exactly. We should always remember that language is not just an academic pursuit.
Yuri: The purpose of any language is to communicate with others, and that is more often done through stories and video than through academic papers. Besides, entertainment provides excellent examples of how the language is actually used by native speakers, something no textbook can copy.

Lesson focus

Iva: Some great sources for Bulgarian learners of all levels are YouTube and Google Images. Just type the Bulgarian word for whatever you want to learn and start studying.
Yuri: I know several people who have used movies and TV shows as their primary means of contact with the culture.
Iva: Just remember, you are what you watch.
Yuri: Exactly! Watching a professionally produced feature film will yield better results faster than watching people stupidly doing dumb stuff.
Iva: Our next tool is a dictionary.
Yuri: Using bilingual dictionaries used to be a bit of a Catch-22. Only the larger-size dictionaries were complete enough to be useful, but were too large to actually carry around.
Iva: Nowadays, though, web-based and electronic dictionaries are rapidly bridging that gap. They are complete enough to help you with your composition assignments, faster than paper-bound dictionaries, and available on any web browser or smartphone.
Yuri: Currently, no online Bulgarian dictionary is a one-stop shop, but the English-Bulgarian dictionary at SAdictionary is about as close as you can get. It gives you the correct matches of the words in Bulgarian.
Iva: Very useful. Just make sure you're using a web-based dictionary and not an online translator.
Yuri: That's right. Web-based dictionaries will give you the dictionary entry of the word you're looking for. And online translator will offer you a machine translation that is rarely accurate.
Iva: Our next tool is...
Yuri: Bulgarian-speaking friends and loved ones.
Iva: Those are tools?
Yuri: Of course! Potentially the most efficient and most rewarding source for learning Bulgarian. Friends and loved ones who speak to you in Bulgarian can give you more insight, understanding, and help you feel the heart of Bulgarian.
Iva: That's true. Bulgarian is always changing and the only way you can keep up is if you can feel the language the way they do. With their help, you'll learn to express yourself in Bulgarian and understand others in ways that none of the tools previously mentioned can ever approach.
Yuri: The more time you spend negotiating meaning from natural native speech, the better.
Yuri: What's our next tool?
Iva: Social networking websites.
Yuri: Ah, yes. If you are like I was when I started learning Bulgarian, then talking with Bulgarian-speaking friends and family isn't really an option. I didn't know anyone who spoke Bulgarian, and I didn't feel comfortable randomly calling people in Bulgaria to practice speaking.
Iva: Many people, probably most people, are in a similar situation. That's why social networking sites can be so useful when you are learning a language.
Yuri: If you want to meet even more Bulgarians, the best place is Facebook.
Iva: I love Facebook, and so do many Bulgarians.
Yuri: Some two million Bulgarians are on it.
Iva: Millions and millions of Bulgarians access it every day and post messages about their lives.
Yuri: You can create an account, search for, and get to know new people, and practice your Bulgarian all for free on Facebook.
Iva: Then you can use Skype to practice your speaking with your new friends.
Yuri: All for free!
Yuri: Our last tool is pen and paper.
Iva: Are you serious? You work on the internet all day. You have more digital stuff in your office than I even know English words for. For that matter, people barely use paper anymore. It's all digital now.
Yuri: That may be true, but I have my reasons. Shall we go through some of them?
Iva: Be my guest.
Yuri: First, no digital anything is as cheap as a notebook.
Iva: Well, you're right there. In Bulgaria, you can get 100-page, pocket-sized notebooks for less than a dollar.
Yuri: Second, no one will mug you for a notebook.
Iva: That's also true. In Bulgaria, you always need to be safety conscious. Smart phones or other flashy gadgets are very expensive in Bulgaria, and thieves are always trying to steal them.
Yuri: Third, it doesn't matter if it gets wet. You can throw it out and get a new one at any bookstore. No need to sync with a computer or a service provider.
Iva: That's important as it rains often in Bulgaria and most tourists who come to Bulgaria go to the beach at least once.
Yuri: Fourth, it's faster.
Iva: What? Paper is faster than a computer? Now you're just making stuff up.
Yuri: Paper is faster. That's why journalists use paper notebooks in interviews. It's just sheer practicality. Paper is faster.
Iva: I'm not sure if I believe you.
Yuri: Don't get me wrong, computers are great, and it's on a computer that I do all my heavy lifting as far as writing articles, emails, and so forth, but at least in 2012, paper is still king for speed and flexibility.
Iva: So how should we use our pen and paper?
Yuri: Well, for example, you're at a store, and you have a good idea about something to study, but you can't remember what it was when you finally have the time to study. Has this happened to you?
Iva: Many times.
Yuri: Instead, write down all your ideas and then choose what you want to study from your list. That way, you study what you want, when you want, and you aren't wasting time trying to remember your great ideas.
Iva: Hm.
Yuri: I remember when I had just started learning Bulgarian. I had been in Bulgaria for about three months and had a pretty firm grasp of the basics, but I went to a meeting and this guy got up and started talking, and I flat out couldn't understand anything he said. It was very strange because I could understand everyone else in the room, just not him.
Iva: He must have been from a different part of the country or something.
Yuri: Something. Well, instead of wasting my time just sitting there, I took out my pen and paper and wrote down the words that I couldn't pick out. To this day, I don't know what he was talking about, but I wrote down about three pages worth of vocabulary. I then showed this list to one of my friends, and we studied it together. I learned about 75 vocabulary words in 30 minutes.
Iva: Interesting.
Yuri: All because of pen and paper. I couldn't have done that on a smartphone or even on a laptop.


Iva: Me neither.
Yuri: Alright. So we hope you'll take advantage of these great tools and all they have to offer.
Iva: We've tried them and we know how good they are, so that's why we are passing them on to you.


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BulgarianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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BulgarianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 05:34 PM
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Hi Stephen,

only one specific link was mentioned in the audio which is to an online Bulgarian-English dictionary - it is SA Dictionary. You can easily search for it. Otherwise, social media were mentioned, which are generally popular. The lesson itself focuses on the tools or methods for learning Bulgarian, rather than on online resources. The Lesson Notes for your reference are accessible at the Download PDFs section above the title line.

All the best,


BulgarianPod101.com Team

Saturday at 10:30 AM
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The lesson mentioned

that there are links listed here, but where?