Learning the Lingo

A few months ago I wrote a piece for my blog about learning Mandarin, Character Building. Now I am going to write something about learning Bulgarian. I remember that I had a CD and a little book called Easy Peasy Mandarin. It probably is part of a series: Easy Peasy Brain Surgery, Easy Peasy Rocket Science and Easy Peasy Quantum Mechanics. Well, compared to learning Mandarin, learning Bulgarian really is easy, but then again learning just about any language would be easy, compared to Mandarin. So what makes Bulgarian (relatively) easy?

Well, first of all, there is an alphabet. Yes, okay, some of the letters are not the same because an H in Bulgarian is X, whereas an N is an H! The “ya” sound is made by a letter that looks like an R but it is the wrong way round, while the Bulgarian “S” sound is written like a C. While the Bulgarian alphabet is supposed to be based on the Greek letters, some things have been changed a bit over the years. So, yes, the alphabet is a bit of a problem, but it is not a very big problem and a molehill compared to the linguistic Mount Everest of learning all of those different characters in Mandarin.
Secondly, my dear Irisha is Russian and so she already understands a lot of Bulgarian. The two languages are fairly similar and Irena also has quite a good understanding of Ukrainian, which is even closer to Bulgarian. In some cases, the words are more or less the same and it is just one letter extra. Malako is milk in Russian and it is mlako in Bulgarian.

Thirdly, a few years ago I bought two very helpful CDs, produced by a company called Eurotalk. These CDs were a really good way to get me started, with a lot of helpful Bulgarian vocabulary and phrases. Today I also received a helpful and generous e-mail from the company that produced the CDs. They are now Internet-based and have made an app that is even better than the learning programs and language games on the CDs. What is more, the kind customer support lady has given me credit for purchasing the CDs, so now I can use the Bulgarian app for free! Anyway, have a look at the uTalk website: it really is impressive and you will find it at www.utalk.com.
Maybe I would even have made some real progress with my Mandarin if I had used this app.

Now you are probably wondering why I have included this photo of me wearing an apron and doing some cooking. I don’t know why, except that, for some strange reason, ladies love to see silly photos of men in the kitchen, wearing an apron. So here it is for just you, ladies. I hope you like it and no, I am not going to include some photos of me doing flower arranging. (Oh, the things we bloggers have to do, in order to keep our readers happy!)

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