Is Bulgarian a Difficult Language to Learn?

Is Bulgarian a Difficult Language to Learn?

Taking a ride on the language learning journey is quite a challenge. Think of it as learning a whole new way to think and see the world. That's definitely a lot to take on if you ask me. Yet when you finally reach a level of fluency it's so rewarding.

If you have experience with languages such as Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, or Russian. You've already dabbled in some of the most difficult languages in the world. Props to you which means you can challenge yourself even more.

So you've decided to try out Bulgarian next, huh? Whatever your motivation may be, is Bulgarian a difficult language to learn? Let's find out.

Slavic Language

Bulgarian is one of the lesser-known Slavic languages because people tend to gravitate towards Russian or Polish. There are 14 Slavic languages spoken by around 400 million people. Because Bulgarian is a Slavic language it uses the Cyrillic alphabet. If you aren't familiar with this writing system. I highly suggest you learn it first rather than starting with basic phrases and such. It will make your life easier later on.

Vocabulary

Bulgarian shares loan words with other Slavic languages like Russian and Serbian. If you already have a background in those languages you'll pick up the vocabulary a bit faster. However, for the English speakers, there is a small number of loan words between Bulgarian and English. Picking up the vocabulary will take a bit more effort. The good news is Bulgarian is adopting more English words such as:

  • taxi
  • bekón= bacon

Grammar

Other Slavic languages have a case-based grammar system but Bulgarian got rid of this a long time ago. It makes learning grammar easier than in other languages. The default word order for Bulgarian is subject+verb+object like in English, but it's not always followed. Prepositions and pronouns also function very similarly to English. Adjectives have to agree in number and gender as they do in French or Spanish. The only thing that might throw you off is how to conjugate verbs because there can be up to three different conjugations depending on what tense you are using. Therefore you have to remember A LOT of rules when you form a sentence.

Reading and Writing

There are 30 letters in the Cyrillic alphabet which is only a couple more sounds compared to Spanish, English, or French. At a glance, the Cyrillic alphabet probably looks like hieroglyphics, but it's easier than it looks. The alphabet is mostly phonetic with one sound for each letter so there are no hidden surprises. It's also written romanized so if you can learn to say and write using the romanization you can pick it up rather quickly.

Speaking

Once you have the alphabet mastered then you want to move onto the speaking part. Speaking is something you do every second of every day. That's why it's crucial to exercise this skill. Bulgarian uses the formal and informal as with most other languages. When you're learning the basic phrases be sure to learn both forms unless the person you are speaking to says otherwise. Just remember at the beginning of your Bulgarian journey survival phrases are always key.

I won't sugarcoat it, Bulgarian is among the world's most difficult languages to learn. If you have a background in Slavic languages it won't be as difficult to pick up as it would for an English speaker. That being said, it's definitely not impossible to learn.

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