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Buy Property in Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria and learn the Bulgarian Language
Learn a few words of the language before buying property in Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria. In Bulgarian villages it will help you with everyday life.
The Bulgarian Language and the Cyrillic alphabet (българска азбука)
One of the most common questions that the staff at Yantra Homes are asked by people that are thinking of buying a property for the first time in Bulgaria is “how do you cope with the Bulgarian language”? People often ask us if they will be able to read anything in Bulgaria because of the Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet. At first sight, the Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet looks very complicated and different from the Latin, but once you become familiar with it, you will realise that it is not that different and there is nothing to be scared of.
Bulgarian is a southern Slavic language and about 12 million people speak it, mostly in Bulgaria. Bulgarian is also closely related
to Bosnian, Croatian, Macedonian, Serbian and Slovenian. There are many Turkish words in Bulgarian as a result of the long period
of occupation by the Ottoman Empire and there are also many words in the language that originate from Latin, Greek and Russian.
Nowadays many new words are formed from the English.
To help shed some light on the subject, Yantra Homes has written a basic guide to the Bulgarian Cyrilic alphabet and we hope that you will find it useful.
Common LettersSome letters from the Latin alphabet can be easily associated with Latin letters because the pronunciation is the same or very similar: Bulgarian ‘В’ sounds like English ‘V’ as in the word value. ‘С¡’ is like ‘S’ in smoke. Other letters are the same in both alphabets: ‘А’ is ’A’, ‘O’ is ‘O’, ‘T’ is ‘T’. The pronunciation is not very different, for example ‘T’ in ‘Tarnovo’ (Veliko Tarnovo) sounds like the ‘T’ in the English word ‘town’, ‘A’ is the same as ‘A’ in angry, for example.
Some of the letters that do not exist in the Latin alphabet can be more difficult to pronounce, but the Bulgarian people know this
and are usually very helpful and understanding. The letter ‘Ч’ is pronounced as ‘ch’; ‘Ц’ is
pronounced ‘ts’; ‘Ш’ is ‘sh’; ‘Щ’ is ‘sht’ and ‘Ж’ is ‘zh’ which
with a little practice, will become familiar. The easiest way to learn them is to associate them with English words. ‘Ч’ is like in
the beginning of ‘China, chair or chat’; ‘Ц’ is like in beginning of ‘Tsunami or tsar’; ‘Ш’ like
in the beginning of ‘she or short’ and ‘Ж’ is easily associated to the middle sound in ‘vision or illusion’. ‘Щ’ can
be more difficult for some, but sounds very similar to the middle sound of ‘ashtray or fishtail’. Other letters unique to Cyrillic are ‘Я’, which
is ‘ya’ which sounds like ‘young or yard’ and ‘Ю’, which is ‘yu’ like in ‘unique or you’.
Another letter, which does not exist in Latin is ‘Ъ’ and sounds like the beginning of ‘ugly’ or the end of ‘letter’. A few years ago the standards for translation were not so clear and this letter could have been written like A or U. For example, the road signs said Veliko Turnovo 3 years ago, but now say Veliko Tarnovo. The lack of standards and the fact that Cyrillic is not so popular in the western world led to different ways of writing and spelling the name of the town: Some foreign people used Veliko Tirnovo, some Veliko Tarnuvo, especially in the very early years of post communist democracy before Latin was accepted as a parallel alphabet, with clear rules for translation.
Reading maps or road signs in Bulgaria, can be difficult if you haven’t practiced the Cyrillic
alphabet, however, in the region around Veliko Tarnovo many road signs are now in both Cyrillic and Latin
letters; Yantra Homes in Bulgaria ‘Veliko Tarnovo’ would like to introduce you to the Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet and the method of transliteration chosen in 2009 by the
Bulgarian authorities that has been the standard since then, remember a little practice will go a long way:
|Cyrillic alphabet||Pronunciation||English sound|
|Ь||Y||No English equivalent|