The Bulgarian language is an Indo-European language. The Indo-European language is of the Slavic linguistic group, with the Bulgarian language itself being the first Slavic language to be found in writing.
Historically, Bulgarian has moved through various incarnations of form: Old Bulgarian, Middle Bulgarian and Modern Bulgarian. Old Bulgarian occurred between the 9th and 11th century. This period of the Bulgarian language is also called Old Church Slavonic. This form of the language at this point in history was used primarily by religious people such as monks, for use in translating the Bible from Greek into Slavic, and also for writing their own religious texts. Middle Bulgarian was the next stage of the language, dating from the 12th to the 15th century. This incarnation of the language was the official administrative language of the Second Bulgarian Empire, and was used for many literary endeavors such as the transcription of folk tales.
Modern Bulgarian is the Bulgarian language that is used today. This form of the language has changed very much since the 16th century, with various grammar and syntax changes occurring primarily in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Codex Zographensis is one of the oldest written forms that is written in the Old Bulgarian language, and dates from the late 10th or early 11th century. It is an illuminated (with pictures) Gospel Book from a monastery in Mount Athos.
There are around 10 million people around the world who speak Bulgarian. As well as it being the official language of Bulgaria, it is also recognized as a minority language in Serbia, Romania and the Ukraine. As well as this, it is also spoken in various places around the world such as Greece, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Albania, Kosovo. The Bulgarian language is split primarily into two separate dialects; Eastern and Western. Eastern is not only Eastern, but incorporates Northern areas as well, while Western also incorporates the South. This split occurred at the point in which the language was in the Middle Bulgarian stage of linguistic development.
The Bulgarian language has many similarities to Southwest Balkan languages, instead of having primarily Slavic features as one might imagine. For example, it contains such features as a sharp reduction in noun inflections, suffixed definite articles, and a lack of infinitive verbs. The verbs themselves are considered to be the most complex part of the Bulgarian language, with inflections for person, gender and number. However, there is also a lexical aspect, voice, nine tenses, five moods, and six verbal forms, making this one of the more complicated languages to get to grips with in terms of verb usage.
The nouns for this language have one of three specific grammatical genders: masculine, feminine and neutral, and one of two numbers, singular or plural. Masculine nouns use a separate number form to their feminine and neutral counterparts, and are used whenever the speaker knows the precise amount for the object in question.
There are six cases in the Bulgarian language, three dating back to the Old Bulgarian version of the language. Certain remnants of the language do exist in the modern speech, but are frequently not used as case endings, with only the accusative, dative and nominative lasting from the Old Bulgarian. Word order is relatively free, though does tend to follow a traditional pattern.
Why Learn The Bulgarian Language?
The Bulgarian language is one of the languages that is officially accepted and use by the EU. It has a thriving tourism industry, probably to do with the fact that not only are there coastal resorts but there are also snow resorts with a variety of sports on offer. Lonely Planet recommended Bulgaria as being one of the top ten travel spots for 2011, with nine UNESCO world heritage sites and a rich and varied cuisine.
The capital city Sofia is the 17th largest city in the EU, in terms of population. There is a very cosmopolitan vibe to the city and it is a very green and architecturally interesting place to visit. Learning the Bulgarian language will enable you to enjoy all of these fascinating aspects of Bulgaria to their fullest degree.