LANGUAGE

Here are some links to useful sites to help learning the language.  If you are a complete beginner then I would suggest you start by learning the Cyrillic alphabet and some simple common words: Yes, no, hello, goodbye, numbers 1-10 and so on.  At first I found it hard to pronounce words of more than two syllables and had to listen to them over and over, but as you get accustomed to the sounds you'll find that this gets a LOT easier.  Bulgarian is in fact a very easy language to read, as everything is pronounced exactly as it is spelled. 

If you want to get beyond simple words and phrases, then you will need to have some basic grammar knowledge.  Although I speak English fluently I was unfamiliar with many of the grammatical terms for the sentence constructions I use so easily.  You may need to find out what things like direct object, pronouns, tenses and so on are, if you are to study the language properly.  Fortunately there are literally thousands of sites with information and examples of English grammar to help. 

Books and self-study websites can only take you so far and do have their limitations.  The phrases they teach may be very formal rather than the everyday language Joe Public uses.  I therefore recommend spending a little money on lessons with a qualified Bulgarian tutor. You will have your learning tailor made to meet your needs and will get used to hearing the language spoken at a more realistic pace.  And let's face it, speaking to someone for real is a lot more fun than sitting ploughing through a pile of books.

BASIC WORDS AND PHRASES:

BYKI Flashcards

EasyBulgarian The demo section has a selection of words and phrases

Livemocha Teaches words and phrases with written and oral exercises

Memrise Flashcards. The program monitors your progress. If you get a word wrong, it tests you on it again quite soon. (No audio).  Here are the links to the sets of words I've created although there are lots of other excellent ones on the site:

Driving   At The Shops   Random Bulgarian Words

 

GRAMMAR AND MORE IN DEPTH STUDY:

Elementary Bulgarian Grammar Explains all the most important aspects of grammar with examples. (Book format)

FSI Language Course Book and audio

Учете Български Facebook group with lessons, vocabulary, audio and video clips posted at all levels from learning simple words to indepth grammar.

BulgarianPod101 You can sign up for free and access a huge number of lessons. Each has a video clip using the new vocabulary and explaining its usage. If you pay to join then you can also access printouts, quizzes, flashcards etc.

 

LANGUAGE SCHOOL:

Mastylo School Based in Plovdiv and providing lessons via Skype or in the classroom.  I cannot recommend them highly enough.  Having done a lot of studying from books, CDs and the internet I had reasonable basic vocabulary and some understanding of grammar and yet when in Bulgaria I found it impossible to understand what was being said to me as I just wasn't used to hearing things said at normal speed and probably with a good smattering of slang.  From the beginning my tutor, Boris Angelov, conducted the lessons in Bulgarian as much as possible and gradually encouraged me to speak freely.  This has boosted my confidence as well as developed my knowledge of the language.  And yes, you DO learn that all important slang and the normal everyday way of speaking.

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