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Learn more about the Bulgarian language
Within the Slavic languages, Bulgarian takes a particular place because of the use of the determined article in the form of a suffix and the loss of infinitive forms.
The current Bulgarian developed from the Old Bulgarian (9th-11th century), through the Middle Bulgarian (12th-14th century) and the New Bulgarian (15th century) to its present form. It was influenced by Turkish, Greek and, of course, Russian. There is also a close relationship with the Macedonian language.
Bulgarian is a South Slavic language with about 12 million speakers mainly in Bulgaria, but also in the Ukraine, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Greece, Romania, Canada, the USA, Australia, Germany and Spain. Bulgarian is mutually intelligible with Macedonian, and is related to Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Slovenian.
Bulgarian was the first written Slavic language. The first writings appeared in the 9th century in glagolitic script, which was gradually replaced by an early version of the Cyrillic alphabet in later centuries.
At the end of the 18th century, the Russian version of Cyrillic, or "civil writing" by Peter the Great (1672-1725), was adapted to write Bulgarian, as a result of the influence from Russian printed books. During the 19th century, several versions of this alphabet were used, containing between 28 and 44 letters. In the 1870s, a 32-letter version of the alphabet, proposed by Marin Drinov, came into use. This version remained in use until the spelling reform of 1945, when the letters yat (Ѣ ѣ) and yus (Ѫ ѫ) were removed from the alphabet.
The modern literary language, based on vernacular Bulgarian, underwent a process of normalization after Bulgaria became independent in 1878. Many Turkish words were passed on to Bulgarian during the long period of Ottoman rule. Latin, Greek, Russian, French, Italian, German and, increasingly, English words have also been borrowed.