Република Българиа (Republika Bălgaria) Republic of Bulgaria
Area & Population
|Clickable Map of Bulgaria|
Bulgaria covers an area of 110,000 km² (as big as Virginia, slightly smaller than England).
The population is around 7.5 million * (2003), around the same as Greater London
The population of Serbia is rather mixed. Official figures for Bulgaria are as followed: Almost 84% Bulgarians, 10% Turks, <5% Roma, smaller minorities of Armenians, Tartars, Macedonians etc.*
Not surprisingly, around 84% are Bulgarian-Orthodox, around 12% Muslims, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish minorities.
Eastern European time: GMT +02 hrs, with daylight-saving time (+1 hour) in summer.
*Source: CIA World Factbook
Bulgarian. This language belongs to the South Slavic language group, which is part of the satem branch of the Indo-European language family. Worldwide, only around 8 million people call Bulgarian their mother tongue, which means that it's a minor language. Sooner, this was different: Around the 10th century, Bulgarian was almost identical to Old Church Slavonic, and so it was the third most important written language in medieval Europe. To say it shortly, Bulgarian is quite close to Russian (with Russian deriving from Bulgarian, not vice versa). Bulgarian uses azbuka, better known as Cyrillic letters. However, the letter [ ъ ] marks an important difference. In Russian, it's the so-called hard sign without its own pronunciation. In Bulgarian, it's a mix of [ a ] and the schwa [ ə ]. Or - to say it simplier - it's a very short [ a ]. The first four letters in the country name are [ Бълг ] - b-hard sign-l-g, which is impossible to read in Russian. In Bulgarian, it is pronounced as [ Bəlgaria ], with a very short vowel. It's often written [Bălgaria] as well. Knowing some Russian is of great help in Bulgaria, but there are also some distinctive Bulgarian dialects which are hard to understand. For a table with the most important vocabulary in Bulgarian and other Slavic languages →click here.