Speaking Bulgarian Is A Must Here

Speaking Bulgarian Is a Must HereSpeaking Bulgarian is a must if you intend to live in Bulgaria, not least just out of respect for the country you choose to live in. How would you feel if someone came to your home country and just didn’t bother try and speak your language? Without any knowledge of Bulgarian you will be spending a lot of money for many reasons, including getting conned by Bulgarian who take advantage of you. I’ve seen it happen.

Since coming here I am quite proud of the fact that I can quite easily get by with my Bulgarian, in fact it only took a couple of weeks to be able to manage simple greeting, a little small talk, shopping and getting around. I’m not that intelligent and have dyslexia so if I can do it so can others. I had to try really hard to set aside time to learn by various methods. Labelling all the items in the home, having the Cyrillic alphabet on the wall in my sitting room staring at me all the time. Also, and not successfully, reading language tutorial books, tapes and CDs, all of which I stopped after the first 10 pages because they just didn’t work for me.

The most effective way to learn was to visit neighbours and although in the beginning there was hour just sitting there like a lemon, there is a transition of just picking up a few odd words, then to a few sentences and right now, understanding most of what the conversations are about and contributing to a degree. This has taken three years but then I have had an advantage of working and living with other Bulgarians for a couple of years now. There has not been any formal tuition in all of that time.

Speaking Bulgarian Is a Must HereThe language is difficult, many other try really hard but just can’t get off the ground with it, but at leas they try and can gain respect from other Bulgarian for the effort they make.

It comes to pass that now I speak English on very rare occasions, it can be weeks that pass and no English is spoken, then when it is called for I forget simple English words like air conditioner or wood burner, that is very strange for me. Recently I had family over from England, they had to keep reminding me of English words and found it funny that every so often I would speak in Bulgarian to them without even realising it.

This coming weekend is very different however. We are off to our Skalitsa Farmhouse for the weekend as usually, but I am accompanied with four Bulgarian women. The include Galia of course my partner, Poliya her niece and her two daughter,s Chrissie and Slivia. Chrissie is 18 and Silvia is 9 years old and they both speak English which is a mandatory requirement in taught schools now for all children in schools here. The idea is that I speak English all weekend to them so their language skills can improve. That to me is going to be very difficult for me, as I haven’t done that for over three years. A relaxing weekend it won’t be; I will be mentally exhausted by Sunday evening trying to speak English all the time.

Speaking Bulgarian Is a Must HereThere is one thing for sure, if I hadn't made the effort to learn Bulgarian there would be total isolation from everything in Bulgaria other than other expatriates who don't try to learn. And to all who know me, that would be the last thing I want.