Monday, 12 October 2009

Learning the language

Anyone who tells you that learning another language in adulthood is easy is either lying or super intelligent.

Learning Bulgarian is not one of the easiest things I've done and I'm still trying to get to grips with the language after almost 2 years here. We started off with one of those teach yourself Bulgarian discs.......ok if you are just coming for a holiday but nowhere near comprehensive enough if you're coming here to live. Then we tried the downloadable Bulgarian language course, again not too bad but not really the kind of thing we wanted or indeed needed.

So we spoke to the locals, started slowly with "Hello" and "My name is..." and wrote down anything they tried to teach us. Words for things we could see like tree or horse. Of course Bulgaria uses the cyrillic alphabet and every letter has a sound so in theory once you learn the alphabet you should be able to read and write words. I've not got round to finding out about that yet. My grasp of written Bulgarian isn't great, I can read road signs and some of the subtitles on the TV but have yet to really get into writing and reading Bulgarian.

I can speak some Bulgarian and the locals tell me I'm quite good at it, maybe I just have a knack of bluffing my way through a conversation though! I find that if I can understand at least half of the sentence I can figure out what they're saying to some degree. Our neighbours tend to slow down a little to help us.

Sometimes though I really do get mixed up or my interpretation of what's being said get's a little skewed.......that's how we ended up with 19 chicks a couple of weeks ago lol. Oh well another day another lesson learned.

I've also been asked a few times by local ex-pats to translate for them, I do point out that my language skills are limited and not always correct but it does give us some laughs along the way. Hopefully I'll continue to improve and maybe over the winter borrow the kid's school books and give the alphabet a try. One thing I am glad of is that the kids picked the language up very quickly and are attending Bulgarian school. I'm so proud of them and hope they realise that I know it hasn't been easy for them to adjust either.

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