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Schools/Education

How hard is it to learn Bulgarian

If you've got kids of school age, or you're considering studying in Bulgaria yourself, this is where to post.

How hard is it to learn Bulgarian

Postby alexd » Tue 4 Jul 2006 10:38 GMT

So much stuff on the internet if to be belived you can be fluent in three days !!! lose weight and grow taller for an extra $10`s.

I a work in IT sales so I belive it would be usefull to learn. I will over in september. Alex
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Postby Katastrofee » Tue 4 Jul 2006 14:53 GMT

The best way to learn a language is to go to the place, make a fool out of yourself, stumble over your words and learn from experience!! The locals love it when you make an effort, and they love to help you out and correct you in an unpatronising way - e.g saying thanks to waitresses or 'good day' to people in the street really helps you to get a grasp on pronunciation.

When I went over, I manage to learn the CYrillic alphabet, which is what you need to do before anything else. It's not as diffucult as it first looks, honest.

Once that's learnt, you can start reading street signs and Bulgarian text to get used to the sound and style. AFter that, the only real way to learn is just drill it into your head by sticking phrases on your fridge, going over it in your head, and trying to learn a bit each night.

I got TalkNow off Amazon. It's ok, but they speak a bit fast and the variety is limited. If anyone else has better software or learning CDs I would love to know about them
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Postby Yeti » Mon 24 Jul 2006 01:36 GMT

I recommend the CD and book ' Teach Yourself Bulgarian' by Michael Holman and Mira Kovatcheva - published by Hodder and Staughton.

the hardest bit is learning the alphabet. Once you've learned it - read EVERYTHING you can find in Bulgarian, and if you have a helpful Bulgarian around, they like nothing better I've found than to hear you speak it, they'll correct you when you're wrong too (I found despite learning through 3 chapters in 8 months before speaking to a Bulgarian, the only thing I got wrong was not making the word for Beautiful feminine before tryng to tell a Bulgarian girl I know she was.... she was still flattered)

It's actually easier to learn than English! No strange spellings or exceptions to rules mostly.

I can email you a copy of the alphabet and the guide I made up of numbers from 0 to 100.
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Postby Kay » Tue 8 Aug 2006 20:51 GMT

I can email you a copy of the alphabet and the guide I made up of numbers from 0 to 100.


This sounds useful, Yeti. Why not post it here or send it to me so I can publish it on the BE website for all to share?
Not Delia - Foodie blog with lots of reviews and recipes.
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Learning Bulgarian

Postby knowitall » Fri 18 Aug 2006 13:50 GMT

I teach both English and Bulgarian, and so feel qualified to say that learning Bulgarian is very difficult. It is also kind of frustrating to both teacher and student, as quick results cannot be achieved even if one spends hours every day.

Here is why:

1. Some letters in Cyrilic look just like what you are used to in English, but are pronounced in a different way.
Example:
"В" is pronounced /v/ in Bulgarian
"E" is pronounced /eh/ in Bulgarian
"P" is pronounced /r/ in Bulgarian

2. There is a number of Bulgarian letters that look like nothing you have seen before.
Example:
Ж Я Ь Ю Й Щ Ш Ч

3. Bulgarian handwriting styles vary to a great degree and some handwritten symbols can really put the fear of God into you as they are difficult to trace back to the original type-written ones

4. Every Bulgarian verb has at least two forms for each of the tenses (one simple and one continuous) formed in a variety of ways, and an unspecified number of other derivative forms (with prefixes, suffixes - you name it) each with a subtle change of meaning.
Example:
да чета = to be reading (viewed as an action in progress)
да прочета = to read in whole a single text/book/etc (viewed as fact, that is the duration of the action does not interest us)
да изчета = to read every book there is on the subject (viewed as fact, that is the duration of the action does not interest us)
да дочета = to finfish reading something (viewed as fact, that is the duration of the action does not interest us)
да изпоизчета = to read every book/article/etc there is on the subject (humorous) - (viewed as fact, that is the duration of the action does not interest us)

... and on the other hand:
да прочитам - to read in whole a single text/book/etc (viewed as an action in progress)
да изчитам = to read every book there is on the subject (viewed as an action in progress)
etc

5. On the bright side: Bulgarian is a very rich language which can be used for expressing a multitude of varieties in meaning; it is strong, masculine and beautiful, and when you learn it you will be one of less than 8 million people who are currently fluent in it.

:D
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Postby Charlie06 » Mon 9 Oct 2006 19:30 GMT

I can recommend Bulgarian 4 Brits. I bought it and made a fool of myself on the bus (in the UK), listening to it and totally forgot where I was when I started repeating the CD! Very embarassing. It's good because the words and sentences are in the English alphabet as well as cyrillic, much easier to do. It's hard learning the language and having to learn how to read at the same time.

Do try and learn a few sentences and try them out in the shop. I was lacking courage but I am slowly getting there. And the Bulgarians love you trying to speak, but then they want to practice their English on you!!

Charlie
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learning Bulgarian

Postby CR » Sat 15 Sep 2007 14:33 GMT

This is a subject close to my heart, as we have just bought a house over there, we live in France at the moment, so having learned french enough to get by, I was hoping that Bulgarian wouldnt be too difficult, and after reading all posts (accept Knowitalls) I felt confident, Thanks guys, I will be trying some on the recommended courses.
Knowitall: I just hope you dont teach confidence building in your spare time, and if your post is what you start your students off with, I suspect they will find it hard going.
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Postby Charlie06 » Sat 15 Sep 2007 15:28 GMT

Hi CR

There are quite a few people living in France and buying in BG. Just been with a couple today who are here for another few weeks before returning to France. Their friends live in a village not far away, they too came here from France.

Some of the CD courses I got in the UK were very hard and I got frustrated, but the one I recommended was very easy to use. I know there are more and more lessons for Bulgarian in the UK now, but not sure about France.

Good luck with the learning, I'm still trying and am going to start having 1 lesson a week to help out.

Best of luck

Charlie
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Re: Learning Bulgarian

Postby mastylo » Tue 26 Feb 2008 13:42 GMT

knowitall wrote:4. Every Bulgarian verb has at least two forms for each of the tenses (one simple and one continuous)
It`s a quite inadequate way to explain the imperfective and the terminative aspect of the verb. And also, not every verb has aspectual pair. For example, имам/to have, обичам/to love etc.

да изпоизчета = to read every book/article/etc there is on the subject (humorous) - (viewed as fact, that is the duration of the action does not interest us)

This verb is a neologism in fact, it doesn`t exist according to the dictionary.
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