Church in Bulgaria
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What language do they speak in Bulgaria?

Fancy a trip to Eastern Europe but wondering what language do they speak in Bulgaria?

To me, Bulgaria is a real gem in Eastern Europe. It’s very interesting and has a rich history and culture. But what language do they speak in Bulgaria?

This country is a feast for the senses, from the glory of the Rila and Pirin mountain ranges to the beautiful beaches along the Black Sea coast.

But I can tell you that Bulgaria is more than what meets the eye. It is a place where words tell stories of a proud past and shape a lively present.

So, what is the main language that holds the people and culture of this country together?

Let’s dive into it together!

What language do they speak in Bulgaria?

There is only one official language in Bulgaria.

The answer is that Bulgarian is the main and only official language in the country.

This is the language that most people understand in the center of the country. As the main language of the country, Bulgarian is more than just a way to talk.

Cyrillic sign in Veliko Tarnovo
Cyrillic sign in Veliko Tarnovo

It’s basically a reflection of the nation’s identity and heritage. It’s used in both public and private places, like schools, government offices, TV shows, and everyday chitchat.

So, when you go to Bulgaria, you’ll hear Bulgarian more than any other language, whether you’re in a busy city area or a quiet part of the country.

Bulgarian Alphabet

The Bulgarian language uses the Cyrillic script, just like some other languages in Eastern Europe. The Cyrillic alphabet in its current state was created during the 19th century.

It has a total of 30 letters: 6 vowels and 24 consonants.

If you’re used to Latin script, which is used in English and many other languages, you may find the Cyrillic script hard to understand at first. But with time and a lot of practice, it becomes quite easy to understand and to use it.

Here is a list of the Bulgarian alphabet and how it sounds in English:

  1. А а – pronounced as “a” in “bar”
  2. Б б – pronounced as “b” in “bet”
  3. В в – pronounced as “v” in “vowel”
  4. Г г – pronounced as “g” in “glow”
  5. Д д – pronounced as “d” in “day”
  6. Е е – pronounced as “e” in “let”
  7. Ж ж – pronounced as “s” in “treasure”
  8. З з – pronounced as “z” in “zoo”
  9. И и – pronounced as “i” in “in”
  10. Й й – pronounced as “y” in “yes”
  11. К к – pronounced as “k” in “kid”
  12. Л л – pronounced as “l” in “live”
  13. М м – pronounced as “m” in “male”
  14. Н н – pronounced as “n” in “not”
  15. О о – pronounced as “o” in “on”
  16. П п – pronounced as “p” in “pet”
  17. Р р – pronounced as “r” in “rush”
  18. С с – pronounced as “s” in “sum”
  19. Т т – pronounced as “t” in “toll”
  20. У у – pronounced as “oo” in “shoot”
  21. Ф ф – pronounced as “f” in “fall”
  22. Х х – pronounced as “h” in “help”
  23. Ц ц – pronounced as “ts” in “bits”
  24. Ч ч – pronounced as “ch” in “chips”
  25. Ш ш – pronounced as “sh” in “shop”
  26. Щ щ – pronounced like “sht” in “fresh tuna” (but it’s like one sound)
  27. Ъ ъ – pronounced as the “u” in “burglar”
  28. Ь ь – not pronounced; makes the previous consonant softer
  29. Ю ю – pronounced as “yu” in “you”
  30. Я я – pronounced as “ya” in “yard”

Soon enough you’ll be able to read this Cyrillic script. It feels like solving a puzzle sometimes. As I studied the Russian language for a couple of years, I can honestly say that it was a very enjoyable process to learn the Cyrillic alphabet.

Is Bulgarian easy to learn?

When it comes to learning a language, the amount of difficulty often depends on how much you already know. If you already know let’s say Russian or another Slavic language, it may be easier for you to learn Bulgarian.

This is mostly because they both use the Cyrillic language and have some similarities in the way they speak.

On the other hand, if you just know English, you might find Bulgarian harder to learn because of its unique alphabet and phonetic system that you really have to get used to.

But just remember this: learning a new language is like setting out on a trip. It takes patience, practice, and a lot of determination!

But the reward, which is getting to know the locals and society of a new place, is well worth your effort! So, don’t give up on learning Bulgarian because it’s pretty hard at first.

How do you say basic words in Bulgarian?

You can take the first step towards learning Bulgarian by learning a few simple words. Even though these words might sound a bit strange to you at first, you can get used to them with a little practice.

  1. Hello: “Здравей” (Zdravey)
  2. Goodbye: “Довиждане” (Dovizhdane)
  3. Please: “Моля” (Molya)
  4. Thank you: “Благодаря” (Blagodarya)
  5. You’re welcome: “Пожелавам ви приятен ден” (Pozhelavam vi priyaten den)
  6. Yes: “Да” (Da)
  7. No: “Не” (Ne)
  8. Excuse me: “Извинете” (Izvinete)
  9. I’m sorry: “Съжалявам” (Sazhalyavam)
  10. I don’t understand: “Не разбирам” (Ne razbiram)
  11. Do you speak English?: “Говорите ли английски?” (Govorite li angliyski?)

It’s a great place to start if you want to have some easy conversations with Bulgarians or get around in everyday situations while you visit this beautiful country. The people in Bulgaria will definitely appreciate your efforts!

Bulgarian Language: FAQs

The information below will give you an even better understanding of the Bulgarian language with related questions to the topic.

What are the top 3 languages spoken in Bulgaria?

Even though Bulgarian is the most common language, it is not the only one you’ll hear in the country. Because there are a lot of Turks living in the country as the largest minority group, Turkish is the second most popular language spoken.

The old town of Plovdiv
The old town of Plovdiv

The Romani people in Bulgaria speak Romani, which is the third most common language. These languages add up to the wide range of languages spoken in the country.

Is Bulgarian similar to Russian?

Bulgarian vs Russian are both in the Slavic language family, so they do have some things in common.

They both use the Cyrillic alphabet, and many of their words and grammar patterns are the same. But they are not exactly the same because of these similarities.

Each language has its own vocabulary, sounds, and ways of putting things together, which makes it unique.

Is Bulgarian similar to Romanian?

Even though both Bulgarian and Romanian are Southeast European languages, there aren’t many connections between the two.

Bulgarian is a Slavic language, like Russian or Serbian. Romanian, on the other hand, is a Roman language, like French, Italian, Dutch or Spanish.

But as neighboring countries, they may share a few words here and there, but their language structures, grammar, and vocabulary are very different from each other.

Is Bulgarian language beautiful?

I know this is very subjective and a matter of personal taste. But I’m really a fan of Slavic languages!

The beauty of language is often in the ear of the person who hears it. The sounds and beats of Bulgarian are very appealing to a lot of people. It’s not monotone and it sounds very melodic to me.

Other people might like Bulgarian because it has a lot of history and because it has profound literature, music, and folklore.

So, the Bulgarian language, with its many different sounds and rich culture, does sound beautiful to me.

How many countries speak Bulgarian?

Bulgarian is the official language of the country of Bulgaria. But there are places all over the world where people speak Bulgarian.

People from Bulgaria or whose families are from Bulgaria can be found in many countries, such as Turkey, Serbia, Greece, Romania, Spain, and even the United States.

Even with all of these foreign connections, Bulgaria is still the only place where Bulgarian is the official language.

Is English spoken in Bulgaria?

Yes, English is widely spoken by a lot of people in Bulgaria, especially younger people and people who live in bigger towns and tourist areas.

English is a popular second language to learn, and schools start teaching it to kids when they are young.

Even though you might struggle in rural areas as some (older) people might not speak English, you as an English-speaking tourist, should be able to get by in Bulgaria quite easily.

Is Bulgaria friendly to foreigners?

If you got excited about visiting Bulgaria and learning the basics of Bulgarian, you might wonder how friendly the Bulgarians are to you as a visitor.

People from other countries often say that Bulgaria is a friendly and open country. People in Bulgaria are known for being friendly and warm, so they are often eager to make guests feel at home.

Belogradchik fortress in what language do they speak in Bulgaria
Belogradchik fortress

They might even teach you some of their language. Remember that learning a few basic phrases in the local language can make your trip much better and show that you care and are interested in the culture.

The Wrap-Up: What language do they speak in Bulgaria?

So, what language do they speak in Bulgaria? The answer is Bulgarian, which is the only official language that shows off the country’s history and culture.

Besides Bulgarian, you’ll also hear some Turkish and Romani while traveling through Bulgaria.

Whether you want to visit the charming Balkan country of Bulgaria, learn a new language, or just learn more about the world, knowing Bulgarian can open the door to many rewarding experiences.

Don’t forget that a language is more than just a bunch of words and sounds. It’s a way to understand and connect with people from different countries, which is a beautiful thing in itself.

In case you’re interested in languages from this region, check out my other posts about the Serbian language and the Greek language related to the Greek people.

And if you love beer, check out my post about Beer in Bulgaria!

Your restless voyager,

Dustin

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