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Spoken Languages In Bulgaria: 8 Authentic Examples

July 9, 2022
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Welcome to what is the first of our new Bulgarian blog. We want to kick things off by describing the spoken languages in Bulgaria. Although the Ling platform teaches standard Bulgarian, which is native to 85% of the population, some other languages are spoken, such as Turkish and Romani.

Have you heard about Ling? It's the trending language learning app that is doing for lesser spoken languages what Duolingo did for the likes of English and Spanish. Ling has a Bulgarian course that you won't find on any other platform, particularly the bigger ones like Rosetta Stone and the aforementioned Duolingo.

Stick around till the end to find out more.

Spoken Languages In Bulgaria- A list From The 2011 Census

LanguageSpeakersPercentage Of Population
Bulgarian5,659,02485.2
Turkish605,8029.12
Romani281,2174.23
Russian15,8080.24
Armenian5,6150.08
Romanian5,5230.08
Greek3,2240.05
Vlach1,8260.03
Ukrainian1,7550.03

Facts About The Bulgarian Language

Bulgarian is a South Slavic language spoken by most people in Bulgaria and is recognized as the official language.

It is estimated worldwide that there are 8 million Bulgarian speakers. They would probably argue that languages that aren't standard Bulgarian should be classed as 'foreign languages' although the government recognizes them.

That's the basics, but here are some things that you might not know.

  • The pronunciation can be very confusing if you've never spoken it before. For example, B is pronounced like V.
  • There are 30 letters. Twenty-four consonants and six vowels.
  • The Cyrillic alphabet, which is what Bulgarian is written in, was developed by two brothers 1200 years ago!
  • There are nine tenses.

What Is The Ethnic Make-Up Of Bulgaria?

As you'd expect when looking at the languages spoken statistics, most Bulgarians see themselves as ethnically Bulgarian.

Bulgarians can trace their roots back to the First Bulgarian Empire, created in 681. They are the overwhelming majority everywhere in the country, including the capital Sofia.

Turks are the second biggest ethnicity in Bulgaria, which is not surprising when you see the geographical closeness of Turkey and Bulgaria. Most of these Turks found themselves in Bulgaria due to the Ottoman invasion in the 15th century. The most populous Turkish province is Kardzhali province, where they outnumber even the Bulgarian population. Interestingly, a lot the Bulgarian Turks identify as Muslim.

It is a little more difficult to categorize the Roma people. Even though they make up 5% of the population, they speak several different languages that aren't standard Bulgarian. There are, in fact, an estimated 30 Romani dialects. The Roma stronghold in the country is in Dobruja in the Northeast of the country, and here you will find many versions of the Romani language.

spoken languages in Bulgaria

Facts About The Turkish Language

Although this is a Bulgarian Blog primarily focused on the Bulgarian language, it would be remiss of us not to mention Turkish, both because it's widely spoken in Bulgaria and because (guiltily) we haven't got around to creating a Turkish blog yet.

Turkish is a much bigger language than Bulgarian(which explains why it's spoken in Bulgaria); however, it is also a commonly spoken minority language in Bulgaria. This language is the mother tongue of 75 million people worldwide and is defined as a Turkic language. That makes it the 13th biggest language in the world.

Turkish is so widely spoken because it was the language of the Ottoman Empire that once upon a time came very close to dominating Eurasia.

Here are some extra facts about Turkish

  • Turkish is believed to stem from the Mongolian language
  • Turkish was written using a form of Arabic until 1928 when it became Latin thanks to the reforms of Attaturk- a wildly popular Turkish leader
  • We actually use some Turkish words in English, such as kayak, kebab, and yogurt
  • Turks love titles. You wouldn't just address someone by their first name but would instead prefix it with uncle, aunt, sir, etc.
  • The alphabet has 29 letters, most of which you'd recognize from English but some which will be new to you.
Bulgaria landscape

Learn Bulgarian With Ling

So there you have it! Our first ever Bulgarian blog all about spoken languages in Bulgaria. I hope that was as fun to read as it was to write.

I hope we've also established that Bulgarian is a fun and practical language to learn.

Ling is perfect whether you're going to Bulgaria on holiday(it has a fantastic coastline in the summer) or whether you've landed yourself a job opportunity in the thriving country.

Ling does not put demands on you because the creators of Ling remember how terrible learning a language was in high school. Our team of software engineers and teachers recommend you study for 7 minutes a day. It doesn't sound like much, but the time does begin to add up. That's almost an hour a week and 4 hours a month. You won't become fluent, but you'll have enough to get by in the country.

My personal favorite thing about Ling is that I can easily track my progress. It shows me how many days I've completed, as well as words, lessons learned, and units studied. I'm a little lazy and absent-minded so need to be kept accountable.

I won't keep going on and on about different features because this isn't 2008, and you've probably already used an app such as Duolingo and Rosetta Stone. Let's just say that with Ling, you can practice reading, writing, speaking, and listening, as well as vocabulary with our SRS flashcards.

This is the first of an ongoing Bulgarian blog that will be posted weekly. We don't have any other examples of Bulgarian blogs, but why not check out these blogs reviewing other language learning apps such as Lingodeer vs. Duolingo. We also have blogs discussing other Slavic languages such as Serbian.

Come over and speak Bulgarian now!

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