Bulgarian language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

български език
bǎlgarski ezik
Native toBulgaria, Turkey, Serbia, Greece, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Albania, Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia and among emigrant communities worldwide
RegionThe Balkans
Native speakers
6.8 million  (2011 census)[1]
Cyrillic (Bulgarian alphabet)
Bulgarian Braille
Official status
Official language in
 European Union
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byInstitute for the Bulgarian language at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Институт за български език към Българската академия на науките (БАН))
Language codes
ISO 639-1bg
ISO 639-2bul
ISO 639-3bul
Linguasphere53-AAA-hb < 53-AAA-h
The Bulgarian-speaking world:
  regions where Bulgarian is the language of the majority
  regions where Bulgarian is the language of a significant minority
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Bulgar language.
български език
bǎlgarski ezik
Native toBulgaria, Turkey, Serbia, Greece, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Albania, Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia and among emigrant communities worldwide
RegionThe Balkans
Native speakers
6.8 million  (2011 census)[1]
Cyrillic (Bulgarian alphabet)
Bulgarian Braille
Official status
Official language in
 European Union
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byInstitute for the Bulgarian language at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Институт за български език към Българската академия на науките (БАН))
Language codes
ISO 639-1bg
ISO 639-2bul
ISO 639-3bul
Linguasphere53-AAA-hb < 53-AAA-h
The Bulgarian-speaking world:
  regions where Bulgarian is the language of the majority
  regions where Bulgarian is the language of a significant minority
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Bulgarian Listeni/bʌlˈɡɛəriən/ (български език, pronounced [ˈbɤ̞ɫɡɐrski ɛˈzik]) is an Indo-European language, a member of the Southern branch of the Slavic language family.

Bulgarian, along with the closely related Macedonian language (collectively forming the East South Slavic languages), has several characteristics that set it apart from all other Slavic languages: changes include the elimination of case declension, the development of a suffixed definite article (see Balkan language area), and the lack of a verb infinitive, but it retains and has further developed the Proto-Slavic verb system. Various evidential verb forms exist to express unwitnessed, retold, and doubtful action.

Based on the 2011 census, Ethnologue estimates that Bulgarian is spoken as a native language by 6.8 million.[1] In 1999, the World Almanac had estimated 9 million.[3]

With the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union on 1 January 2007, Bulgarian became one of the official languages of the European Union.[4][5]


Main article: History of Bulgarian

The development of the Bulgarian language may be divided into several periods.

Early Cyrillic Alphabet (Old Bulgarian)
The Codex Zographensis is one of the oldest manuscripts in the Old Bulgarian language dated from the late 10th or early 11th century

Bulgarian was the first "Slavic" language attested in writing. As Slavic linguistic unity lasted into late antiquity, in the oldest manuscripts this language was initially referred to as языкъ словяньскъ, "the Slavic language". In the Middle Bulgarian period this name was gradually replaced by the name языкъ блъгарьскъ, the "Bulgarian language". In some cases, the name языкъ блъгарьскъ was used not only with regard to the contemporary Middle Bulgarian language of the copyist but also to the period of Old Bulgarian. A most notable example of anachronism is the Service of St. Cyril from Skopje (Скопски миней), a 13th-century Middle Bulgarian manuscript from northern Macedonia according to which St. Cyril preached with "Bulgarian" books among the Moravian Slavs. The first mention of the language as the "Bulgarian language" instead of the "Slavonic language" comes in the work of the Greek clergy of the Bulgarian Archbishopric of Ohrid in the 11th century, for example in the Greek hagiography of Saint Clement of Ohrid by Theophylact of Ohrid (late 11th century).

During the Middle Bulgarian period, the language underwent dramatic changes, losing the Slavonic case system, but preserving the rich verb system (while the development was exactly the opposite in other Slavic languages) and developing a definite article. It was influenced by its non-Slavic neighbors in the Balkan language area (mostly grammatically) and later also by Turkish, which was the official language of the Ottoman Empire, in the form of the Ottoman Turkish language, mostly lexically. As a national revival occurred toward the end of the period of Ottoman rule (mostly during the 19th century), a modern Bulgarian literary language gradually emerged that drew heavily on Church Slavonic/Old Bulgarian (and to some extent on literary Russian, which had preserved many lexical items from Church Slavonic) and later reduced the number of Turkish and other Balkan loans. Today one difference between Bulgarian dialects in the country and literary spoken Bulgarian is the significant presence of Old Bulgarian words and even word forms in the latter. Russian loans are distinguished from Old Bulgarian ones on the basis of the presence of specifically Russian phonetic changes, as in оборот (turnover, rev), непонятен (incomprehensible), ядро (nucleus) and others. As usual in such cases, many other loans from French, English and the classical languages have subsequently entered the language as well.

Modern Bulgarian was based essentially on the Eastern dialects of the language, but its pronunciation is in many respects a compromise between East and West Bulgarian (see especially the phonetic sections below). Following the efforts of some figures of the National awakening of Bulgaria (the most notable among them being Neofit Rilski and Ivan Bogorov),[6] there had been many attempts to codify a standard Bulgarian language; however, there was much argument surrounding the choice of norms. Between 1835–1878 more than 25 proposals were put forward and "linguistic chaos" ensued.[7] Eventually the eastern dialects prevailed,[8] and in 1899 the Ministry of Education officially codified[7] a standard Bulgarian language based on the Drinov-Ivanchev orthography.[8]


Main article: Bulgarian dialects
Map of the Bulgarian dialects within Bulgaria

The language is mainly split into two broad dialect areas, based on the different reflexes of the Common Slavic yat vowel (Ѣ). This split, which occurred at some point during the Middle Ages, led to the development of Bulgaria's:

The literary language norm, which is generally based on the Eastern dialects, also has the Eastern alternating reflex of yat. However, it has not incorporated the general Eastern umlaut of all synchronic or even historic "ya" sounds into "e" before front vowels – e.g. поляна (polyana) vs. полени (poleni) "meadow – meadows" or even жаба (zhaba) vs. жеби (zhebi) "frog – frogs", even though it co-occurs with the yat alternation in almost all Eastern dialects that have it (except a few dialects along the yat border, e.g. in the Pleven region).[10]

More examples of the yat umlaut in the literary language are:

Until 1945, Bulgarian orthography did not reveal this alternation and used the original Old Slavic Cyrillic letter yat (Ѣ), which was commonly called двойно е (dvoyno e) at the time, to express the historical yat vowel or at least root vowels displaying the ya – e alternation. The letter was used in each occurrence of such a root, regardless of the actual pronunciation of the vowel: thus, both mlyako and mlekar were spelled with (Ѣ). Among other things, this was seen as a way to "reconcile" the Western and the Eastern dialects and maintain language unity at a time when much of Bulgaria's Western dialect area was controlled by Serbia and Greece, but there were still hopes and occasional attempts to recover it. With the 1945 orthographic reform, this letter was abolished and the present spelling was introduced, reflecting the alternation in pronunciation.

This had implications for some grammatical constructions:

Sometimes, with the changes, words began to be spelled as other words with different meanings, e.g.:

In spite of the literary norm regarding the yat vowel, many people living in Western Bulgaria, including the capital Sofia, will fail to observe its rules. While the norm requires the realizations vidyal vs. videli (he has seen; they have seen), some natives of Western Bulgaria will preserve their local dialect pronunciation with "e" for all instances of "yat" (e.g. videl, videli). Others, attempting to adhere to the norm, will actually use the "ya" sound even in cases where the standard language has "e" (e.g. vidyal, vidyali). The latter hypercorrection is called свръхякане (svrah-yakane ≈"over-softening").

Shift from /jɛ/ to /ɛ/

Bulgarian is the only Slavic language whose literary standard does not naturally contain the iotated sound /jɛ/ (or its palatalized variant /ʲɛ/, except in non-Slavic foreign-loaned words). The sound is common in all modern Slavic languages (e.g. Czech medvěd /mɛdvʲɛd/ "bear", Polish pć /pʲɛɲtɕ/ "five", Serbo-Croatian jelen /jɛlɛn/ "deer", Ukrainian немає /nemajɛ/ "there is not...", Macedonian пишување /piʃuvaɲʲɛ/ "writing", etc.), as well as some Western Bulgarian dialectal forms – e.g. орàн’е /oraɲʲɛ/ (standard Bulgarian: орaне /oranɛ/, "ploughing"),[11] however it is not represented in standard Bulgarian speech or writing. Even where /jɛ/ occurs in other Slavic words, in Standard Bulgarian it is usually transcribed and pronounced as pure /ɛ/ – e.g. Boris Yeltsin is "Eltsin" (Борис Елцин), Yekaterinburg is "Ekaterinburg" (Екатеринбург) and Sarajevo is "Saraevo" (Сараево), although Jelena Janković is "Yelena" – Йелена Янкович.

Relationship to Macedonian[edit]

Until the period immediately following the Second World War, all Bulgarian and the majority of foreign linguists referred to the South Slavic dialect continuum spanning the area of modern Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia and parts of Northern Greece as a group of Bulgarian dialects.[12][13][14][15][16][17] In contrast, Serbian sources tended to label them "south Serbian" dialects.[18][19] Some local naming conventions included bolgarski, bugarski and so forth.[20] The codifiers of the standard Bulgarian language, however, did not wish to make any allowances for a pluricentric "Bulgaro-Macedonian" compromise.[21] After 1944 the People's Republic of Bulgaria and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia began a policy of making Macedonia into the connecting link for the establishment of new Balkan Federative Republic and stimulating here a development of distinct Slav Macedonian consciousness.[22] With the proclamation of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia as part of the Yugoslav federation, the new authorities also started measures that would overcome the pro-Bulgarian feeling among parts of its population and in 1945 a separate Macedonian language was codified.[23] After 1958, when the pressure from Moscow decreased, Sofia reverted to the view that the Macedonian language did not exist as a separate language. Nowadays, Bulgarian and Greek linguists as well as some linguists from other countries still consider Macedonian dialects as Bulgarian.[24][25] Outside Bulgaria and Greece, Macedonian is generally considered an autonomous language within the South Slavic dialect continuum.[26] Sociolinguists agree that the question whether Macedonian is a dialect of Bulgarian or a language is a political one and cannot be resolved on a purely linguistic basis, because dialect continua do not allow for either-or judgments.[27][28]


"We are cleaning, please keep off" sign in Bulgarian.

In 886 AD, the Bulgarian Empire introduced the Glagolitic alphabet which was devised by the Saints Cyril and Methodius in the 850s. The Glagolitic alphabet was gradually superseded in later centuries by the Cyrillic script, developed around the Preslav Literary School, Bulgaria in the beginning of the 10th century.

Several Cyrillic alphabets with 28 to 44 letters were used in the beginning and the middle of the 19th century during the efforts on the codification of Modern Bulgarian until an alphabet with 32 letters, proposed by Marin Drinov, gained prominence in the 1870s. The alphabet of Marin Drinov was used until the orthographic reform of 1945 when the letters Ѣ, ѣ, called ят 'yat' or двойно е (or yet е-двойно) 'double e', and Ѫ, ѫ, called Голям юс 'big yus', голяма носовка 'big nasal sign', ъ кръстато 'crossed yer' or широко ъ 'long yer', were removed from the alphabet, reducing the number of letters to 30.

Bulgarian alphabet

With the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union on 1 January 2007, Cyrillic became the third official script of the European Union, following the Latin and Greek scripts.[29]

The following table gives the letters of the Bulgarian alphabet, along with the IPA values for the sound of each letter:

Bulgarian alphabetISO 9Official transliterationIPA*Name of LetterEnglish equivalent
А аA aA a/a/ or /ɐ/aa as in "palm"
Б бB bB b/b/ or /p/бъb as in "bug"
В вV vV v/v/ or /f/въv as in "vet"
Г гG gG g/ɡ/ or /k/гъg as in "good"
Д дD dD d/d/ or /t/дъd as in "dog"
Е еE eE e/ɛ/еe as in "best"
Ж жŽ žZh zh/ʒ/ or /ʃ/жъs as in "treasure"
З зZ zZ z/z/ or /s/зъz as in "zoo"
И иI iI i/i/иi as in "machine"
Й йJ jY y/j/и краткоy as in "yes" or "yoyo"
К кK kK k/k/ or /ɡ/къ

k as in "make"

Л лL lL l/l/ or /ɫ/лъ

l as in "call" or "lend"

М мM mM m/m/мъm as in "man"
Н нN nN n/n/нъn as in "normal"
О оO oO o/ɔ/ or /o/оo as in "order"
П пP pP p/p/пъp as in "pet"
Р рR rR r/r/ръr as in "restaurant"
С сS sS s/s/ or /z/съs as in "sound"
Т тT tT t/t/ or /d/тъt as in "top"
У уU uU u/u/, /o/ or /w/yоо as in "tool"
Ф фF fF f/f/фъf as in "food"
Х хH hH h/x/хъch as in Scottish "loch"
Ц цC cTs ts/t͡s/цъts as in "fits"
Ч чČ čCh ch/t͡ʃ/чъch as in "chip"
Ш шŠ šSh sh/ʃ/шъsh as in "shot"
Щ щŠt št1Sht sht/ʃt/щъsht as in "shtick"
Ъ ъǍ ǎ1A a/ɤ/ or /ɐ/ер голямu as in "turn"
Ь ь' 1Y y/j/ or not pronouncedер малъкsoft sign: y as in canyon
Ю юJu ju1Yu yu/ju/, /jo/, /u/ or /o/юu as in "menu"
Я яJa ja1Ya ya/ja/, /jɐ/, /a/ or /ɐ/яya as in "yarn"

* See Wikipedia:IPA for Bulgarian and Macedonian for details.
1 The romanizations of these characters differ from the current version, ISO 9:1995, as it was never officially adopted as a Bulgarian standard.

Most letters in the Bulgarian alphabet stand for just one specific sound. Three letters stand for the single expression of combinations of sounds, namely щ (sht), ю (yu), and я (ya). Two sounds do not correspond to separate letters, but are expressed as the combination of two letters, namely дж (/dʒ/) and дз (/dz/). The letter ь marks the softening (palatalization) of any consonant (besides ж, ч, and ш) before the letter о, while ю and я after consonants mark the palatalization of the preceding consonant in addition to representing the vowels /u/ and /a/.[30] A letter that represents a voiced consonant can represent its voiceless counterpart and vice versa when adjacent to a voiceless or voiced consonant, respectively, or when a voiced consonant is syllable final, for example – вторник /ftornik/ – Tuesday, нож /nɔʃ/ – knife, сграда /zgradɐ/ – building, сватба /svadbɐ/ – wedding.

The names of most letters are simple representations of their phonetic values, with consonants being followed by /ɤ/ – thus the alphabet goes: /a//bɤ//vɤ/, etc. However, the name of the letter Й is "и-kratko" (short /i/), the name of Ъ is "er-golyam" (large Er), and the name of Ь is "er-malak" (small Er). People often refer to Ъ simply as /ɤ/.


The accented letter Ѝ is used to distinguish the conjunction 'и' (and) from the pronoun 'ѝ' (her). It is not considered a separate letter but rather a special form of И.


Bulgarian is usually described as having a phonemic orthography, meaning that words are spelt the way they are pronounced. This is largely true, but does have exceptions. Three of the most cited examples are:

Modern developments[edit]

Main article: Bulgarian lexis

Since the time of Bulgaria's liberation in the late 19th century, the Bulgarian language has taken on a large number of words from Western European languages. All of these are transcribed phonetically into Cyrillic, e.g.:

Notable is the transliteration of many English names through German, e.g.:

In the years since the end of communism and the rise of technology, the tendency for borrowing has shifted mainly to English, where much computer-related terminology has entered and been inflected accordingly – again, in a wholly phonetic way. Examples include:

The computer-related neologisms are often used interchangeably with traditional Bulgarian words, e.g. "download" and "upload" can be simply свалям and качвам ("svalyam" & "kachvam" – "to bring down" & "to put up").

Use of Roman script in Bulgarian[edit]

The insertion of English words directly into a Cyrillic Bulgarian sentence, while frowned upon, has been increasingly used in the media. This is done for several reasons, including –

Янките против още US войски в Афганистан [31]
The Yanks oppose more US troops in Afghanistan
Ние не сме видели края на SOPA, PIPA и ACTA [33]
We have not seen the end of SOPA, PIPA and ACTA


Main article: Bulgarian phonology

Bulgarian possesses a phonology similar to that of the rest of the South Slavic languages, notably lacking Serbo-Croatian's phonemic vowel length and tones and alveo-palatal affricates. Macedonian on the other side exhibits a phonology very similar to that of Bulgarian, which has spurred controversial debates regarding its status as a separate language. An interesting geographic pattern of dialectal distribution shows a tendency of western dialects to approach Serbo-Croatian's "hard" sound in contrast to the eastern dialect's "soft" sound due to pre-palatalization and rising of /ɛ/ (similar to Russian) and ikanye (a merger of the two front vowels /ɛ/ and /i/).

Bulgarian is typically analyzed as having six vowels, but at least two more reduced vowels can be encountered in everyday speech.


Main article: Bulgarian grammar

The parts of speech in Bulgarian are divided in 10 different types, which are categorized in two broad classes: mutable and immutable. The difference is that mutable parts of speech vary grammatically, whereas the immutable ones do not change, regardless of their use. The five classes of mutables are: nouns, adjectives, numerals, pronouns and verbs. Syntactically, the first four of these form the group of the noun or the nominal group. The immutables are: adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, particles and interjections. Verbs and adverbs form the group of the verb or the verbal group.

Nominal morphology[edit]

Main article: Bulgarian nouns

Nouns and adjectives have the categories grammatical gender, number, case (only vocative) and definiteness in Bulgarian. Adjectives and adjectival pronouns agree with nouns in number and gender. Pronouns have gender and number and retain (as in nearly all Indo-European languages) a more significant part of the case system.

Nominal inflection[edit]


There are three grammatical genders in Bulgarian: masculine, feminine and neuter. The gender of the noun can largely be inferred from its ending: nouns ending in a consonant ("zero ending") are generally masculine (for example, град /ɡrat/ 'city', син /sin/ 'son', мъж /mɤʃ/ 'man'; those ending in –а/–я (-a/-ya) (жена /ʒɛˈna/ 'woman', дъщеря /dɐʃtɛrˈja/ 'daughter', улица /ˈulitsɐ/ 'street') are normally feminine; and nouns ending in –е, –о are almost always neuter (дете /dɛtɛ/ 'child', езеро /ˈɛzɛro/ 'lake'), as are those rare words (usually loanwords) that end in –и, –у, and –ю (цунами /tsoˈnami/ 'tsunami', табу /tɐˈbu/ 'taboo', меню /mɛˈnju/ 'menu'). Perhaps the most significant exception from the above are the relatively numerous nouns that end in a consonant and yet are feminine: these comprise, firstly, a large group of nouns with zero ending expressing quality, degree or an abstraction, including all nouns ending on –ост/–ест -{ost/est} (мъдрост /ˈmɤdrost/ 'wisdom', низост /ˈnizost/ 'vileness', прелест /ˈprɛlɛst/ 'loveliness', болест /ˈbɔlɛst/ 'sickness', любов /ljoˈbɔf/ 'love'), and secondly, a much smaller group of irregular nouns with zero ending which define tangible objects or concepts (кръв /krɤf/ 'blood', кост /kɔst/ 'bone', вечер /ˈvɛtʃɛr/ 'evening', нoщ /nɔʃt/ 'night'). There are also some commonly used words that end in a vowel and yet are masculine: баща 'father', дядо 'grandfather', чичо / вуйчо 'uncle', and others.

The plural forms of the nouns do not express their gender as clearly as the singular ones, but may also provide some clues to it: the ending –и (-i) is more likely to be used with a masculine or feminine noun (факти /ˈfakti/ 'facts', болести /ˈbɔlɛsti/ 'sicknesses'), while one in –а/–я belongs more often to a neuter noun (езера /ɛzɛˈra/ 'lakes'). Also, the plural ending –ове /-ovɛ/ occurs only in masculine nouns.


Two numbers are distinguished in Bulgarian – singular and plural. A variety of plural suffixes is used, and the choice between them is partly determined by their ending in singular and partly influenced by gender; in addition, irregular declension and alternative plural forms are common. Words ending in –а/–я (which are usually feminine) generally have the plural ending –и, upon dropping of the singular ending. Of nouns ending in a consonant, the feminine ones also use –и, whereas the masculine ones usually have –и for polysyllables and –ове for monosyllables (however, exceptions are especially common in this group). Nouns ending in –о/–е (most of which are neuter) mostly use the suffixes –а, –я (both of which require the dropping of the singular endings) and –та.

With cardinal numbers and related words such as няколко ('several'), masculine nouns use a special count form in –а/–я, which stems from the Proto-Slavonic dual: два/три стола ('two/three chairs') versus тези столове ('these chairs'); cf. feminine две/три/тези книги ('two/three/these books') and neuter две/три/тези легла ('two/three/these beds'). However, a recently developed language norm requires that count forms should only be used with masculine nouns that do not denote persons. Thus, двама/трима ученици ('two/three students') is perceived as more correct than двама/трима ученика, while the distinction is retained in cases such as два/три молива ('two/three pencils') versus тези моливи ('these pencils').


Cases exist only in the personal pronouns (as they do in many other modern Indo-European languages), with nominative, accusative, dative and vocative forms. Vestiges are present in the masculine personal interrogative pronoun кой ("who" as in formal English, "whom")) and in a number of phraseological units and sayings. The major exception are vocative forms, which are still in use for masculine (with the endings -e, -o and -ю) and feminine nouns (-[ь/й]o and -e) in the singular. However, there is a tendency to avoid them in many personal names, as the use of feminine name forms in -[ь/й]o[34] and of the potential vocative forms of foreign names has come to be considered rude or rustic. Thus, Иване means 'hey, Ivan', while the corresponding feminine forms Елено ('hey, Elena'), Маргарито ('hey, Margarita') are today seen as rude[34] or, at best, unceremonious, and declining foreign names as in *Джоне ('hey, John') or *Саймъне ('hey, Simon') could only be considered humorous. Interestingly, the prohibition on constructing vocative forms for foreign names does not apply to names from Classical Antiquity, with the source languages having the vocative case as well: cf Цезаре' ('Oh Caesar'), Перикле ('Oh Pericles'), Зевсе ('Oh Zeus'), etc.

Case remnants
Some key words do retain their cases, which today are no longer considered nominative, accusative and dative, but rather as being subject, direct object and indirect object parts of speech:

Definiteness (article)[edit]

In modern Bulgarian, definiteness is expressed by a definite article which is postfixed to the noun, much like in the Scandinavian languages or Romanian (indefinite: човек, 'person'; definite: човекът, "the person") or to the first nominal constituent of definite noun phrases (indefinite: добър човек, 'a good person'; definite: добрият човек, "the good person"). There are four singular definite articles. Again, the choice between them is largely determined by the noun's ending in the singular.[35] Nouns that end in a consonant and are masculine use –ът/–ят, when they are grammatical subjects, and –а/–я elsewhere. Nouns that end in a consonant and are feminine, as well as nouns that end in –а/–я (most of which are feminine, too) use –та. Nouns that end in –е/–о use –то.

The plural definite article is –те for all nouns except for those, whose plural form ends in –а/–я; these get –тa instead. When postfixed to adjectives the definite articles are –ят/–я for masculine gender (again, with the longer form being reserved for grammatical subjects), –та for feminine gender, –то for neuter gender, and –те for plural.

Modern developments

In Bulgarian adjective-noun phrases, only the adjective takes a definite article ending –

Many of the English loanwords which have been adopted into the language since the end of communism, however, do not readily lend themselves to taking adjectival endings. This has caused an unprecedented shift in the language whereby, in certain cases, the adjective remains uninflected while the noun following it takes the grammatical ending. Examples include –

This type of combination is sometimes favoured even when the possibility of a traditional phrase structure exists, e.g. –

as opposed to novinite po btv ("the news on btv")

In this case, the brand name "btv" cannot be inflected and, being a brand, remains in Roman script within the sentence.[38]

See Use of Roman script in Bulgarian

Adjective and numeral inflection[edit]

Both groups agree in gender and number with the noun they are appended to. They may also take the definite article as explained above.


Main article: Bulgarian pronouns

Pronouns may vary in gender, number, definiteness and are the only parts of speech that have retained case inflections. Three cases are exhibited by some groups of pronouns – nominative, accusative and dative. The distinguishable types of pronouns include the following: personal, relative, reflexive, interrogative, negative, indefinitive, summative and possessive.

Verbal morphology and grammar[edit]

Main article: Bulgarian verbs

The Bulgarian verb can take up to 3,000[39][dubious ] distinct forms, as it varies in person, number, voice, aspect, mood, tense and even gender.

Finite verbal forms[edit]

Finite verbal forms are simple or compound and agree with subjects in person (first, second and third) and number (singular, plural) in Bulgarian. In addition to that, past compound forms using participles vary in gender (masculine, feminine, neuter) and voice (active and passive) as well as aspect (perfective/aorist and imperfective).


Bulgarian verbs express lexical aspect: perfective verbs signify the completion of the action of the verb and form past perfective (aorist) forms; imperfective ones are neutral with regard to it and form past imperfective forms. Most Bulgarian verbs can be grouped in perfective-imperfective pairs (imperfective/perfective: идвам/дойда "come", пристигам/пристигна “arrive”). Perfective verbs can be usually formed from imperfective ones by suffixation or prefixation, but the resultant verb often deviates in meaning from the original. In the pair examples above, aspect is stem-specific and therefore there is no difference in meaning.

In Bulgarian, there is also grammatical aspect. Three grammatical aspects are distinguishable: neutral, perfect and pluperfect. The neutral aspect comprises the three simple tenses and the future tense. The pluperfect is manifest in tenses that use double or triple auxiliary "be" participles like the past pluperfect subjunctive. Perfect constructions use a single auxiliary "be".


The traditional interpretation is that in addition to the four moods (наклонения /nəkloˈnɛnijɐ/) shared by most other European languages – indicative (изявително, /izʲəˈvitɛɫno/) imperative (повелително /povelitelno/), subjunctive (подчинително /podtʃiˈnitɛɫno/) and conditional (условно, /osˈɫɔvno/) – in Bulgarian there is one more to describe a general category of unwitnessed events – the inferential (преизказно /prɛˈizkɐzno/) mood.


There are three grammatically distinctive positions in time – present, past and future – which combine with aspect and mood to produce a number of formations. Normally, in grammar books these formations are viewed as separate tenses – i. e. "past imperfect" would mean that the verb is in past tense, in the imperfective aspect, and in the indicative mood (since no other mood is shown). There are more than 40 different tenses across Bulgarian's two aspects and five moods.

In the indicative mood, there are three simple tenses:

In the indicative there are also the following compound tenses:

The four perfect constructions above can vary in aspect depending on the aspect of the main-verb participle; they are in fact pairs of imperfective and perfective aspects. Verbs in forms using past participles also vary in voice and gender.

There is only one simple tense in the imperative mood, the present, and there are simple forms only for the second-person singular, -и/-й (-i, -y/i), and plural, -ете/-йте (-ete, -yte), e.g. уча /ˈutʃɐ/ ('to study'): учи /otʃˈi/, sg., учете /otʃˈɛtɛ/, pl.; играя /ˈiɡrajɐ/ 'to play': играй /iɡˈraj/, играйте /iɡrajtɛ/. There are compound imperative forms for all persons and numbers in the present compound imperative (да играе, da iɡrae/), the present perfect compound imperative (да е играл, /dɐ ɛ iɡˈraɫ/) and the rarely used present pluperfect compound imperative (да е бил играл, /dɐ ɛ bil iɡˈraɫ/).

The conditional mood consists of five compound tenses, most of which are not grammatically distinguishable. The present, future and past conditional use a special past form of the stem би- (bi – "be") and the past participle (бих учил, /bix ˈutʃiɫ/, 'I would study'). The past future conditional and the past future perfect conditional coincide in form with the respective indicative tenses.

The subjunctive mood is rarely documented as a separate verb form in Bulgarian, (being, morphologically, a sub-instance of the quasi-infinitive construction with the particle да and a normal finite verb form), but nevertheless it is used regularly. The most common form, often mistaken for the present tense, is the present subjunctive ([пo-добре] да отидa (pɔ-dobˈrɛ) dɐ oˈtidɐ/, 'I had better go'). The difference between the present indicative and the present subjunctive tense is that the subjunctive can be formed by both perfective and imperfective verbs. It has completely replaced the infinitive and the supine from complex expressions (see below). It is also employed to express opinion about possible future events. The past perfect subjunctive ([пo-добре] да бях отишъл (pɔ-dobˈrɛ) dɐ bʲax oˈtiʃɐl/, 'I'd had better be gone') refers to possible events in the past, which did not take place, and the present pluperfect subjunctive (да съм бил отишъл /dɐ sɐm bil oˈtiʃɐl/), which may be used about both past and future events arousing feelings of incontinence, suspicion, etc. and has no perfect to English translation.

The inferential mood has five pure tenses. Two of them are simple – past aorist inferential and past imperfect inferential – and are formed by the past participles of perfective and imperfective verbs, respectively. There are also three compound tenses – past future inferential, past future perfect inferential and past perfect inferential. All these tenses' forms are gender-specific in the singular. There are also conditional and compound-imperative crossovers. The existence of inferential forms has been attributed to Turkic influences by most Bulgarian linguists. Morphologically, they are derived from the perfect.

Non-finite verbal forms[edit]

Bulgarian has the following participles:

The participles are inflected by gender, number, and definiteness, and are coordinated with the subject when forming compound tenses (see tenses above). When used in attributive role the inflection attributes are coordinated with the noun that is being attributed.

Reflexive verbs[edit]

Bulgarian uses reflexive verbal forms (i.e. actions which are performed by the agent onto him- or herself) which behave in a similar way as they do in many other Indo-European languages, such as French and Spanish. It uses the invariable particle se in order to indicate all actions performed onto oneself, both in the singular and plural.[40] Thus –

When the action is performed onto others, other particles are used, just like in any normal verb, e.g. –

Sometimes, the reflexive verb form has a similar but not necessarily identical meaning to the non-reflexive verb –

In other cases, the reflexive verb has a completely different meaning from its non-reflexive counterpart –

Indirect actions

When the action is performed on an indirect object, the particles change to si and its derivatives –

In some cases, the particle si has the double meaning of a possessive –

The difference between transitive and intransitive verbs can lead to significant differences in meaning with minimal change, e.g. –

The particle si is often used to indicate a more personal relationship to the action, e.g. –


The most productive way to form adverbs is to derive them from the neuter singular form of the corresponding adjective—e.g. бързо (fast), силно (hard), странно (strange)—but adjectives ending in -ки use the masculine singular form (i.e. ending in -ки), instead—e.g. юнашки (heroically), мъжки (bravely, like a man), майсторски (skillfully). The same pattern is used to form adverbs from the (adjective-like) ordinal numerals, e.g. първо (firstly), второ (secondly), трето (thirdly), and in some cases from (adjective-like) cardinal numerals, e.g. двойно (twice as/double), тройно (three times as), петорно (five times as).

The remaining adverbs are formed in ways that are no longer productive in the language. A small number are original (not derived from other words), for example: тук (here), там (there), вътре (inside), вън (outside), много (very/much) etc. The rest are mostly fossilized case forms, such as:

Adverbs can sometimes be reduplicated to emphasize the qualitative or quantitative properties of actions, moods or relations as performed by the subject of the sentence: "бавно-бавно" ("rather slowly"), "едва-едва" ("with great difficulty"), "съвсем-съвсем" ("quite", "thoroughly").


Bulgarian employs clitic doubling, mostly for emphatic purposes. For example, the following constructions are common in colloquial Bulgarian:

Аз (го) дадох подаръка на Мария.
(lit. "I gave it the present to Maria.")
Аз (ѝ го) дадох подаръка на Мария.
(lit. "I gave her it the present to Maria.")

The phenomenon is practically obligatory in the spoken language in the case of inversion signalling information structure (in writing, clitic doubling may be skipped in such instances, with a somewhat bookish effect):

Подаръка (ѝ) го дадох на Мария.
(lit. "The present [to her] it I-gave to Maria.")
На Мария ѝ (го) дадох подаръка.
(lit. "To Maria to her [it] I-gave the present.")

Sometimes, the doubling signals syntactic relations, thus:

Петър и Иван ги изядоха вълците.
(lit. "Petar and Ivan them ate the wolves.")
Transl.: "Petar and Ivan were eaten by the wolves".

This is contrasted with:

Петър и Иван изядоха вълците.
(lit. "Petar and Ivan ate the wolves")
Transl.: "Petar and Ivan ate the wolves".

In this case, clitic doubling can be a colloquial alternative of the more formal or bookish passive voice, which would be constructed as follows:

Петър и Иван бяха изядени от вълците.
(lit. "Petar and Ivan were eaten by the wolves.")

Clitic doubling is also fully obligatory, both in the spoken and in the written norm, in clauses including several special expressions that use the short accusative and dative pronouns such as играе ми се (I feel like playing), студено ми е (I am cold), and боли ме ръката (my arm hurts):

На мен ми се спи, а на Иван му се играе.
(lit. "To me to me it-feels-like-sleeping, and to Ivan to him it-feels-like-playing")
Transl.: "I feel like sleeping, and Ivan feels like playing."
На нас ни е студено, а на вас ви е топло.
(lit. "To us to us it-is cold, and to you-plur. to you-plur. it-is warm")
Transl.: "We are cold, and you are warm."
Иван го боли гърлото, а мене ме боли главата.
(lit. Ivan him aches the throat, and me me aches the head)
Transl.: Ivan has sore throat, and I have a headache.

Except the above examples, clitic doubling is considered inappropriate in a formal context. Bulgarian grammars usually do not treat this phenomenon extensively.

Other features[edit]


Questions in Bulgarian which do not use a question word (such as who? what? etc.) are formed with the particle ли after the verb; a subject is not necessary, as the verbal conjugation suggests who is performing the action:

While the particle ли generally goes after the verb, it can go after a noun or adjective if a contrast is needed:

A verb is not always necessary, e.g. when presenting a choice:

Rhetorical questions can be formed by adding ли to a question word, thus forming a "double interrogative" –

The same construction +не ('no') is an emphasised positive –

Significant verbs[edit]


The verb съм /sɤm/[note 4] – 'to be' is also used as an auxiliary for forming the perfect, the passive and the conditional:

Two alternate forms of съм exist:


The impersonal verb щe (lit. 'it wants')[note 6] is used to for forming the (positive) future tense:

The negative future is formed with the invariable construction няма да /ˈɲamɐ dɐ/ (see няма below):[note 7]

The past tense of this verb – щях /ʃtʲax/ is conjugated to form the past conditional ('would have' – again, with да, since it is irrealis):

Имам and нямам

The verbs имам /ˈimɐm/ ('to have') and нямам /ˈɲamɐm/ ('to not have'):

Diminutives and augmentatives[edit]


Usually done by adding -че, -це or -(ч)ка. The gender of the word is thus changed, usually to the neuter:

Affectionate Form

Sometimes proper nouns and words referring to friends or family members can have a diminutive ending added to show affection. These constructions are all referred to as "na galeno" (lit. "caressing" form):

Such words can be used both from parent to child, and vice versa, as can:

Personal names are shortened and made neuter:

There is an interesting trend (which is comparatively modern, although it might well have deeper, dormant roots) where the feminine ending "-ka" and the definite article suffix "-ta" ("the") are added to male names – note that this is affectionate and not at all insulting (in fact, the endings are not even really considered as being "feminine"):

The female equivalent would be to add the neuter ending "-to" to the diminutive form:


This is to present words to sound larger – usually by adding "-shte":

Some words only exist in an augmentative form – e.g.

Conjunctions and particles[edit]


In Bulgarian, there are several conjunctions all translating into English as "but", which are all used in distinct situations. They are но (no), ама (amà), а (a), ами (amì), and ала (alà) (and обаче (obache) – "however", identical in use to но).

While there is some overlapping between their uses, in many cases they are specific. For example, ami is used for a choice – ne tova, ami onova – "not this one, but that one" (comp. Spanish sino), while ama is often used to provide extra information or an opinion – kazah go, ama sgreshih – "I said it, but I was wrong". Meanwhile, a provides contrast between two situations, and in some sentences can even be translated as "although", "while" or even "and" – az rabotya, a toy blee – "I'm working, and he's daydreaming".

Very often, different words can be used to alter the emphasis of a sentence – e.g. while "pusha, no ne tryabva" and "pusha, a ne tryabva" both mean "I smoke, but I shouldn't", the first sounds more like a statement of fact ("...but I mustn't"), while the second feels more like a judgement ("...but I oughtn't"). Similarly, az ne iskam, ama toy iska and az ne iskam, a toy iska both mean "I don't want to, but he does", however the first emphasises the fact that he wants to, while the second emphasises the wanting rather than the person.

Ala is interesting in that, while it feels archaic, it is often used in poetry and frequently in children's stories, since it has quite a moral/ominous feel to it.

Some common expressions use these words, and some can be used alone as interjections:

Vocative particles

Bulgarian has several abstract particles which are used to strengthen a statement. These have no precise translation in English.[note 9] The particles are strictly informal and can even be considered rude by some people and in some situations. They are mostly used at the end of questions or instructions.

Modal Particles

These are "tagged" on to the beginning or end of a sentence to express the mood of the speaker in relation to the situation. They are mostly interrogative or slightly imperative in nature. There is no change in the grammatical mood when these are used (although they may be expressed through different grammatical moods in other languages).

Intentional particles

These express intent or desire, perhaps even pleading. They can be seen as a sort of cohortative side to the language. (Since they can be used by themselves, they could even be considered as verbs in their own right.) They are also highly informal.

These particles can be combined with the vocative particles for greater effect, e.g. ya da vidya, be (let me see), or even exclusively in combinations with them, with no other elements, e.g. haide, de! (come on!); nedey, de! (I told you not to!).

Pronouns of Quality[edit]

Bulgarian has several pronouns of quality which have no direct parallels in English – kakuv (what sort of); takuv (this sort of); onakuv (that sort of – colloq.); nyakakuv (some sort of); nikakuv (no sort of); vsyakakuv (every sort of); and the relative pronoun kakuvto (the sort of...that...). The adjective ednakuv ("the same") derives from the same radical.[note 10]

Example phrases include:

An interesting phenomenon is that these can be strung along one after another in quite long constructions, e.g.

wordliteral meaningsentencemeaning of sentence as a whole
edna kolaa car
takavathis sort ofedna takava kola...this car (that I'm trying to describe)
nikakvano sort ofedna takava nikakva kolathis worthless car (that I'm trying to describe)
nyakakvasome sort ofedna takava nyakakva nikakva kolathis sort of worthless car (that I'm trying to describe)

An extreme (colloquial) sentence, with almost no physical meaning in it whatsoever – yet which does have perfect meaning to the Bulgarian ear – would be :

—Note: the subject of the sentence is simply the pronoun "taya" (lit. "this one here"; colloq. "she").

Similar "meaningless" expressions are extremely common in spoken Bulgarian, especially when the speaker is finding it difficult to describe something.


Although not considered an agglutinative language, Bulgarian does have agglutinative features.[citation needed] In the simplest terms, this can be seen in the way that most nouns and verbs are formed – namely by adding prefixes and suffixes to a rather limited number of roots, which creates almost a dozen new words, along with a couple of dozen derivatives thereof. Here are some examples using the root word klyuch (ключ) "key/switch":


klyucha key
klyuch–atthe key
klyuch–alkaa lock
klyuch–ara locksmith
klyuch–ar–i–tethe locksmiths


klyuch–ar–skiof a locksmith
klyuch–ar–ski–yatof the locksmith
klyuch–ovkey (e.g. "a key point")
v–klyuch–enswitched on


v–klyuch-ato switch on
pre–v–klyuch-ato switch over (e.g. TV channel)
iz–klyuch-ato switch off
ot–klyuch-ato unlock
za–klyuch-ato lock
pri–klyuch-ato complete

An extreme example using this root might be:

pre–v–klyuch–en–i–te — the ones that have been switched over ("превключените")[41]

Adjectives can also take up to three endings, including infixes, that are added to the masculine root, for example:

chervenred (masc.)
cherven–ared (fem.)
cherven–a–tathe red one
cherven–ikav–a–tathe reddish one

Verbs can take several prefixes, thus expressing increasingly complex ideas. For example, the –bol– root, which has to do with ailments (bol-ka – pain; bol-est – illness; bol-i – it hurts, etc.), can be used to express various different stages of falling ill:

raz–bol-yahme sewe fell ill
po–raz–bol-yahme sewe fell slightly ill
iz–po–raz–bol-yahme sewe all fell very ill

Similarly, the root –kri–, referring to hiding/discovery:

raz–kri-ha sethey showed themselves
s–kri-ha sethey hid
iz–po–kri-ha sethey hid all over the place



Main article: Bulgarian lexis

Most of the vocabulary of modern Bulgarian consists of derivations of some 2,000 words inherited from proto-Slavic through the mediation of Old and Middle Bulgarian. Thus, the native lexical terms in Bulgarian account for 70% to 75% of the lexicon.

The remaining 25% to 30% are loanwords from a number of languages, as well as derivations of such words. The languages which have contributed most to Bulgarian are Russian, French and to a lesser extent Turkish and English. Also Latin and Greek are the source of many words, used mostly in international terminology. Many of the numerous loanwords from Turkish (and, via Turkish, from Arabic and Persian) which were adopted into Bulgarian during the long period of Ottoman rule, have been replaced with native terms. In addition, both specialized (usually coming from the field of science) and commonplace English words (notably abstract, commodity/service-related or technical terms) have also penetrated Bulgarian since the second half of the 20th century, especially since 1989. A noteworthy portion of this English-derived terminology has attained some unique features in the process of its introduction to native speakers, and this has resulted in peculiar derivations that slightly set the newly formed loanwords apart from the original words (mainly in pronunciation), although many loanwords are completely identical to the source words. A growing number of international neologisms are also being widely adopted.

Comparison with other Slavic languages[edit]

BulgarianMacedonianSerbian, CroatianRussianPolishEnglish
картоф/компир/барабойкомпиркромпир - krumpirкартофельziemniak, kartofelpotato
куче, пескуче, песпас/pas, pesсобака, пёсpiesdog
къща, домкуќа, домкућа, дом / kuća, domдомdomhouse, home
масамасасто - stolстолstółtable (furniture)
мляко/млекомлекомлеко - mlijeko, mliko, mlekoмолокоmlekomilk
столстолстолица - stolac, stolicaстулkrzesłochair
BulgarianMacedonianSerbian, CroatianRussianPolishEnglish
имамимамимам/imam, imademимеюmamI have
искам, желая, сакамсакамжелим, хоћу/želim, hoćuхочу, желаюchcęI want
правя, вършаправам, вршамвршим/vršim, radimделаюrobięI do
ходя, вървя, одя, одимодам, врвамходам/hodamхожуchodzęI walk
говоря, думам, приказвам, казвамзборувам, говорамговорим/govorimговорюmówięI talk
намирамнаоѓамналазим/nalazimнахожуznajdujęI find
ям, ручамјадам, ручамједем/jedemемjemI eat
пияпијампијем/pijemпьюpijęI drink


Some very frequent expressions have been borrowed from other languages. Most of them are somewhat informal.

Common expressions[edit]

(In the above two examples, the formal expression uses a plural verb but a singular pronoun, which allows speakers to distinguish the two grammatical forms.)

…английски (anglíyski) – English
…български (bə́lgarski) – Bulgarian
…немски (némski) – German
…полски (polski) – Polish
…руски (ruski) – Russian
…холандски (holándski) – Dutch
…гръцки (grə́tski) – Greek
…сръбски (srə́bski) – Serbian
…италиански (italiánski) – Italian
…испански (ispánski) – Spanish
…френски (frénski) – French
…японски (yapónski) – Japanese
…китайски (kitáyski) – Chinese
…корейски (koréyski) – Korean
…арабски (arabski) – Arabic

See also[edit]


  1. ^ These last two are similar to their opposites не го, /nɛ ˈɡo/ and не му, /nɛ ˈmu/ ('not...(to) him'). The issue is similar with the feminine forms: нея, /ˈnɛjɐ/ ('to her') vs. не я /nɛ ˈja/ ('not...her')
  2. ^ All of these are becoming ever rarer in modern Bulgarian, especially кому and its derivatives. Instead of this, people often say на кого /nɐ koˈɡɔ/ or even на кой /nɐ kɔj/; the latter even beginning to replace the former, although this usage is currently frowned upon.
  3. ^ The word или ('either') has a similar etymological root: и + ли ('and') – e.g. (или) Жълтият или червеният – '(either) the yellow one or the red one.' wiktionary
  4. ^ съм is pronounced similar to English "sum".
  5. ^ It is a common reply to the question Kak e? 'How are things?' (lit. 'how is it?') – /ˈbivɐ/ 'alright' (lit. 'it [repetitively] is') or /kak si/ 'How are you?' -/ˈbivɐm/ 'I'm OK'.
  6. ^ ще – from the verb щa – 'to want.' The present tense of this verb in the sense of 'to want' is archaic and only used colloquially. Instead, искам /iskɐm/ is used.
  7. ^ Formed from the impersonal verb няма (lit. 'it does not have') and the subjunctive particle да /dɐ/ ('that')
  8. ^ They can also be used on their own as a reply, with no object following: има – 'there are some'; /ˈɲamɐ/ – 'there aren't any' – compare German keine.
  9. ^ Perhaps most similar in use is the tag "man", but the Bulgarian particles are more abstract still.
  10. ^ Like the demonstratives, these take the same form as pronouns as they do as adjectives – ie. takuv means both "this kind of..." (adj.) and this kind of person/thing (pron., depending on the context).
  11. ^ This is a more informal form of Здравей In polite conversation, the "Vi" form is used by both parties: zdraveyte.


  1. ^ a b Bulgarian at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Bulgarian". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ "UCLA Language Materials Project: Language Profile". 
  4. ^ EUR-Lex (12 December 2006). "Council Regulation (EC) No 1791/2006 of 20 November 2006". Official Journal of the European Union. Europa web portal. Retrieved 2 February 2007. 
  5. ^ "Languages in Europe – Official EU Languages". EUROPA web portal. Retrieved 12 October 2009. 
  6. ^ Michal Kopeček. Discourses of collective identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1770–1945): texts and commentaries, Volume 1 (Central European University Press, 2006), p. 248
  7. ^ a b Glanville Price. Encyclopedia of the languages of Europe (Wiley-Blackwell, 2000), p.45
  8. ^ a b Victor Roudometof. Collective memory, national identity, and ethnic conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian question (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002), p. 92
  9. ^ "Стойков, Стойко. 2002 (1962) Българска диалектология. Стр. 101". Promacedonia.org. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  10. ^ "Стойков, Стойко. 2002 (1962) Българска диалектология. Стр. 99". Promacedonia.org. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  11. ^ Bulgarian Dialectology: Western Dialects, Stoyko Stoykov, 1962 (p.144). Retrieved May 2013.
  12. ^ Mazon, Andre. Contes Slaves de la Macédoine Sud-Occidentale: Etude linguistique; textes et traduction; Notes de Folklore, Paris 1923, p. 4.
  13. ^ Селищев, Афанасий. Избранные труды, Москва 1968.
  14. ^ Die Slaven in Griechenland von Max Vasmer. Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1941. Kap. VI: Allgemeines und sprachliche Stellung der Slaven Griechenlands.
  15. ^ K. Sandfeld, Balkanfilologien (København, 1926, MCMXXVI).
  16. ^ Konstantin Josef Jireček, Die Balkanvölker und ihre kulturellen und politischen Bestrebungen, Urania, II, Jg. 13, 27. März 1909, p. 195.
  17. ^ Stefan Verković, Описание быта македонских болгар; Топографическо-этнографический очерк Македонии (Петербург, 1889).
  18. ^ James Minahan. One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups, p.438 (Greenwood Press, 2000)
  19. ^ Bernard Comrie. The Slavonic Languages, p.251 (Routledge, 1993).
  20. ^ Шклифов, Благой and Екатерина Шклифова, Български деалектни текстове от Егейска Македония, София 2003, с. 28–36 (Shklifov, Blagoy and Ekaterina Shklifova. Bulgarian dialect texts from Aegean Macedonia Sofia 2003, p. 28–33)
  21. ^ Clyne, Michael (1992). Pluricentric Languages: The Codification of Macedonian. Walter de Gruyter. p. 440. ISBN 3110128551. 
  22. ^ Europe since 1945. Encyclopedia by Bernard Anthony Cook. ISBN 0-8153-4058-3, pg. 808.[1]
  23. ^ Djokić, Dejan (2003). Yugoslavism: Histories of a Failed Idea, 1918–1992. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 122. ISBN 1-85065-663-0. 
  24. ^ Language profile Macedonian, UCLA International Institute
  25. ^ Who are the Macedonians?, Hugh Poulton, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2000, ISBN 1-85065-534-0,p. 116.
  26. ^ Trudgill, Peter (1992). "Ausbau sociolinguistics and the perception of language status in contemporary Europe". International Journal of Applied Linguistics 2 (2): 167–177. However, outside Greece, where the name of the language has been objected to (see Trudgill forthcoming), and Bulgaria, Macedonian’s status as a language is generally accepted. 
  27. ^ Chambers, Jack; Trudgill, Peter (1998). Dialectology (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 7. Similarly, Bulgarian politicians often argue that Macedonian is simply a dialect of Bulgarian – which is really a way of saying, of course, that they feel Macedonia ought to be part of Bulgaria. From a purely linguistic point of view, however, such arguments are not resolvable, since dialect continua admit of more-or-less but not either-or judgements. 
  28. ^ Danforth, Loring M. (1997). The Macedonian conflict: ethnic nationalism in a transnational world. Princeton University Press. p. 67. ISBN 0691043566. Sociolinguists agree that in such situations the decision as to whether a particular variety of speech constitutes a language or a dialect is always based on political, rather than linguistic criteria (Trudgill 1974:15). A language, in other words, can be defined “as a dialect with an army and a navy” (Nash 1989:6). 
  29. ^ Leonard Orban (24 May 2007). "Cyrillic, the third official alphabet of the EU, was created by a truly multilingual European". europe.eu. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  30. ^ pg. 11–12 of Правопис и пунктуация на българския език. (Orthography and punctuation of the Bulgarian language). Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. 2011.
  31. ^ The Yanks oppose more US troops in Afghanistan (in Bulgarian) Monitor.bg, 13 Nov 2009. Retrieved 16 Sept 2012.
  32. ^ This is especially true in the case of brand names:
    Wikileaks, YouTube, Skype – as opposed to Уикилийкс, Ю-Тюб, Скайп
    However, this is not always the case –
    Фейсбук vs. Гугъл (Standart News) (literal transliteration: Feysbuk vs. Gugal)
    Note the inconsistency here – despite the insistence on Cyrillic, the "vs" has been retained in Roman script.
  33. ^ Wikipedia: We are aware that we have not seen the end of SOPA, PIPA and ACTA (in Bulgarian) Darik News, 23 Feb 2012. Retrieved 16 Sept 2012.
  34. ^ a b Кръстев, Боримир, 1992. Граматика за всички. Стр.61.
  35. ^ Пашов, Петър (1999) Българска граматика. Стр.73–74.
  36. ^ 89% of internet users refuse to reveal personal details online (in Bulgarian) Dnevnik, 10 July 2012. Retrieved 16 Sept 2012
  37. ^ Deletion of web page chronologies (in Bulgarian) Microsoft (help pages). Retrieved 16 Sept 2012
  38. ^ btv Репортерите "btv Reporters". Retrieved 16 Sept 2012.
  39. ^ The Bulgarian Verb Elementary On-Line Bulgarian Grammar by Katina Bontcheva, retrieved in 08/21/2011
  40. ^ Unlike in French and Spanish, where se is only used for the 3rd person, and other particles, such as me and te, are used for the 1st and 2nd persons singular, e.g. je me lave/me lavo – I wash myself.
  41. ^ Opel are challenging their market competition (in Bulgarian) Dnevnik, 1 Jul 2000. Retrieved 17 Sept 2012.


External links[edit]

Linguistic reports