Bulgarian, like a few other Slavic languages, uses the Cyrillic alphabet. There are some slight variations of this alphabet depending on the country. For example, Russian Cyrillic has a few different letters from the Bulgarian one and some letters that are identical but pronounced slightly differently.
Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet
Between brackets are the cursive forms of the characters, when different from the script form.
Don't worry about memorizing all of the letters now, we'll work through them in the exercises.
|А а (а)||a||a as in "cat"|
|Б б||b||b as in "bug"|
|В в (в)||v||v as in "vet"|
|Г г (г)||g||g as in "good"|
|Д д (д, )||d||d as in "dog"|
|Е е||e||e as in "best"|
|Ж ж||zh||s as in "treasure"|
|З з||z||z as in "zoo"|
|И и (и)||i||i as in "machine"|
|Й й (й)||y||y as in "yes" or "way"|
|К к||k||k as in "make"|
|Л л (л)||l||l as in "call" or "lend"|
|М м||m||m as in "man"|
|Н н||n||n as in "normal"|
|О о||o||o as in "order"|
|П п (п)||p||p as in "pet"|
|Р р||r||r as in "restaurant"|
|С с||s||s as in "sound"|
|Т т (т)||t||t as in "top"|
|У у||u||оо as in "tool"|
|Ф ф||f||f as in "food"|
|Х х||h||ch as in Scottish "loch"|
|Ц ц (ц)||ts||ts as in "fits"|
|Ч ч||ch||ch as in "chip"|
|Ш ш (ш)||sh||sh as in "shot"|
|Щ щ (щ)||sht||sht as in "shtick"|
|Ъ ъ||u or a||u as in "turn"|
|Ь ь||y||y as in "canyon" (soft sign)|
|Ю ю||yu||yu as in "youth"|
|Я я||ya||ya as in "yarn"|
In Bulgarian, all letters are pronounced (no silent letters).
Most words have a tonic accent, which will influence the way vowels are pronounced. For example, the o will be pronounced open when accentuated and closed when not. The audio recordings will help you get familiar with this.
At the end of a word, and before a voiceless consonant, the following voiced consonants turn into their voiceless counterparts: б, в, г, д, ж, з are pronounced respectively as п, ф, к, т, ш, с. You are maybe already familiar with this fact, as Slavic last names such as « Borisov » are pronounced « Borisof ».
If you already use Anki, the awesome flashcards app, you can also practice using the Bulgarian Cyrillic Anki Deck that we made for you!