Learn Bulgarian!

Bulgarian is spoken by about 9 million people, mostly in Bulgaria, of course, but also in nearby regions such as Moldova and Turkey. It is mutually intelligible with Macedonian and closely related to other South Slavic languages like Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and Slovenian. It is more distantly related to Russian, Polish, Czeck and other Slavic languages.

Old Bulgarian was also known as Old Church Slavonic and was a major literary language of Europe in the Middle Ages. Modern Bulgarian draws mostly on that history (and also from literary Russian) and is written in the Cyrillic alphabet. It has some grammar peculiarities which differentiate it from the other Slavic languages and has a reputation as being a difficult language to learn. Unless you know one of those related languages, you won't find much familiar ground. Bulgarian also borrows from Turkish and some international vocabulary from French, English, Latin and Greek. There aren't many published commercial products to learn Bulgarian.

FSI Language Courses
The single best online resource to learn Bulgarian comes from the old FSI language materials made by the US government. There is a 2 volume set with texts (in pdf format) and audio (in mp3 format) that is rather old but very comprehensive. The best part is the price - you can download this course in its entirety for free!

Both LearnBulgarian.hit.bg and iLearnBulgarian.com are basic sites with vocabulary, basic phrases and some grammar, but no audio. If you're looking for a quick start or just an overview of Bulgarian basics, these sites can give you that.

This is a comprehensive online course for a 3 or 6 month subscription fee. There is lots of dialogues, pronunciation help, vocabulary, audio, a forum and other extras.

Transparent Language offers a free vocabulary trainer to get started learning Bulgarian. Get your Free BYKI™ Lite download by Transparent Language


This inexpensive downloadable software program to learn Bulgarian from Transparent Language is a great tool to have in your arsenal. Lots of vocabulary and phrases, dialogues, audio from native speakers, games and activities and much more to get you started learning Bulgarian.

Book/Audio Combo
Teach Yourself Bulgarian
Teach Yourself Bulgarian comes with a coursebook and two audio cd's. It is mostly based on dialogues and conversation, but there is some grammar. If worked through diligently, this course can provide a great foundation in Bulgarian.

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"Language is the roadmap of a culture. It tells you where its people came from and where they are going."

- Rita Mae Brown

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