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The Bulgarian Language

Spoken by more than 9 million people worldwide, Bulgarian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, which was crucial in spreading this alphabet to other Slavic countries.

Placed by linguists into the Southern Slavic languages group, Bulgarian is the official language of Bulgaria. Interestingly, some Macedonian linguists believe Bulgarian to be a Macedonian language, while some Bulgarian linguists consider Macedonian to be a dialect of the Bulgarian language. 

However, most linguists throughout the world consider Macedonian and Bulgarian to be two separate languages. After Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, the Cyrillic alphabet became the third official alphabet of the European Union (the first and second being Latin and Greek).

Brief History of Origins:

  • Origins: Bulgarian is an Indo-European language, part of the South Slavic branch.
  • Development: It evolved from Old Bulgarian, also known as Old Church Slavonic, in the 9th century.
  • Script: The Bulgarian alphabet is based on the Cyrillic script. St. Cyril and St. Methodius created the Glagolitic alphabet, a precursor to Cyrillic, to translate religious texts into Old Church Slavonic.
  • Modernisation: A significant shift in the language occurred in the late 19th century, aligning Bulgarian more closely with other European languages.

Number of Speakers:

  • Native Speakers: Around 8 million people speak Bulgarian as their native language.
  • Second Language Speakers: Additionally, several hundred thousand people speak it as a second language.

Where It Is an Official Language:

  • The Bulgarian Language is the official language of Bulgaria.
  • It is also spoken in other countries such as Greece, Moldova and Romania. 
  • European Union: Since Bulgaria’s accession to the EU in 2007, Bulgarian is one of the official languages of the European Union.

Example of Text:

Bulgarian: “Обичам да чета книги.”
English Translation: “I love to read books.”

Where It Is Used and How:

  • Within Bulgaria: It is used in government, education, media, and daily communication.
  • Outside Bulgaria: There are Bulgarian-speaking communities in countries like Turkey, Serbia, Greece, Ukraine, and Moldova, and among emigrant groups in Western Europe and North America.

Examples of English Words Used in Bulgarian:

  • Computer: “компютър”
  • Internet: “интернет”
  • Taxi: “такси”

Bulgarian Words Absorbed into English:

Yoghurt: The English word “yoghurt” comes from the Turkish “yoğurt,” but its origins are often associated with Bulgaria due to its long history of yoghurt production.


The Bulgarian language has a rich history with roots in the South Slavic group of languages. As the official language of Bulgaria and one of the official languages of the European Union, it has a significant presence in Europe. With a unique blend of linguistic traditions, modern influences, and cultural significance, Bulgarian is a vibrant means of communication for millions of people. Its influences can even be traced in English, reflecting the interconnectedness of global languages.

Brightlines offers its clients a wide range of Bulgarian translation services, including copywriting, production services and consultancy.


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Our translation services - FAQ

Do you use native translators?

Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.

How long will the translations take?

The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.

What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?

All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.

Which languages can you translate into?

We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.

I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?

Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.

Does the translation need to be proofread?

Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.

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If you need Bulgarian translations, get in touch with our team, or get a quick quote.