There are approximately 12 million Bulgarian speakers in the world; due to the wide spread Bulgarian diaspora post collapse of the Soviet Union, the Bulgarian language can be heard in many countries across the world.
Bulgarian is an Indo-European language and it was the first Slavic language to be recorded in written documents as early as the 9th century. Although books published in early Bulgarian exist, the language was not standardised until 1878 when Bulgaria gained independence.
Interestingly, many Turkish words have found their way into Bulgarian vernacular during the Ottoman rule. There are also influences from Latin, Greek, Russian, French, Italian, German and increasingly from the English language.
Bulgarian became one of the official languages of the European Union after the country joined January 1, 2007.
Why Are There So Many Bulgarian Speakers in London?
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991 into 15 separate countries, much of the western world rejoiced for the victory of democracy over the totalitarian state. Within Eastern Europe, 8 countries were freed from the communist rule, these included Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Albania, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria.
In the period following the collapse, over an estimated one million Bulgarians left their homeland in pursuit of better education and job prospects. A large number moved to the United Kingdom.
As a result there are now many Bulgarians working within the higher echelons of various professions, including engineering, medicine, computer science and chemistry. Many of whom are bilingual in both English and Bulgarian and for this reason, there has been an influx in the need for Bulgarian speakers across many industries in London.
Where Can I Learn Bulgarian?
You need to invest a certain amount of time into learning a language. Sometimes the easiest way to do it is to find an evening course near your home or work so you can fit it into your busy schedule.
If you want to study at the leading institution for Eastern European studies and courses in Slavic languages, UCL offers the course for you. The school offers a range of courses which are taught by experts in their field.
The Bulgarian Cultural Institute
The Bulgarian Cultural Institute offers a huge range of different workshops for non-Bulgarian speakers to learn the language, as well as English lessons tailored to the needs of Bulgarian native speakers in London.
As well as language courses, the institute also offers a range of workshops for a taster of Bulgarian culture: