Bulgarian Pronunciation Guide

By Dick Oakes


A a, Â â, B b, C c, Č č, D d, Dž dž, E e, F f, G g,
H h, I i, J j, K k, L l, Lj lj, M m, N n, Nj nj, O o, P p,
R r, S s, Š š, T t, U u, Ŭ ŭ, V v,
Z z, Ž ž,


Bulgarian uses the "Ćirilica" (Cyrillic) alphabet. It is similar enough to Serbo-Croatian that, for our purposes, Ćirilica has been transliterated into "Latinica" (Latin alphabet), the official Slavic phonetical Latin alphabet proclaimed at the La Haye Slavistic Conference in 1955. For the transliteration of Bulgarian, one additional sound is symbolized with diacritical marks.*

Bulgarian is an Indo-European language, a member of the Southern branch of the Slavic language family. The development of the Bulgarian language occurred between the Slavonic migration to eastern Balkans and the mission of Saints Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia in the 860s.

Letters not listed below are pronounced approximately as in English.


A, a  - a as in father; a as in bath
Â, â  - u as in sun (used mostly in map making and dance notation; see Ŭ)*
E, e   - e as in let; also e as in grey
I, i   - i as in pin; also i as in machine
O, o   - o as in note; also o as in gone
U, u   - u as in duke
Ŭ, ŭ   - u as in sun*
 
C, c   - c as in dance
Č, č   - c as in cello
Dž, dž   - dg as in edge
G, g   - g as in go
H, h   - ch (gutteral kh) as in loch
J, j   - y as in yes
Lj, lj   - ly as in halyard
Nj, nj   - ny as in canyon
R, r   - slightly rolled; when used as a vowel as er in pert
Š, š   - s as in sugar
Ž, ž   - z as in azure
 
DIPTHONGS:
 
Aj, aj   - ay as in kayak
Ej, ej   - ey as in grey
Oj, oj   - oy as in toy


Copyright © 2014 by Dick Oakes