Probably my biggest challenge here in Bulgaria has been learning the language. I admit I haven’t studied as much as I should have, but it’s always been hard to find an enjoyable course that I can fit into my busy schedule.
Recently, I heard about Bulgaro.io and I decided to give it a try ….
It’s a really nice online course with some simple exercises to get you started which are all accompanied with helpful lesson notes. You can try the first 4 levels for free, and then to continue, the subscription is less than 5 EUR a month!
The format is really easy to follow and I love the fact that when you make a mistake in a lesson you are required to answer the question over and over until you get it right. The other great thing is that if you make a simple typo, it doesn’t mark your answer incorrect, it simply points out your typo and allows you to move on.
I was so impressed with the course that I reached out to the founder of Bulgaro to ask a little bit more about how it came about. This is what Xavier told me, and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s amazing to see a foreigner here in Bulgaria who’s so keen to help us learn the language! Thank you Xavier!
I’m originally from France and I was living in Australia between 2009 and 2013. During that time I had an employee job as a software engineer, and after a while, I decided to start my own business. I co-founded a company in France with a childhood friend and a couple of other people. I started and ran this business for a couple of years while living in Australia. That meant I worked remotely (from home) and despite the big time difference with France, it was no problem. At that point, I realized that I could really be working from anywhere and decided to start travelling full time and work on the move. I thought I would be doing this for maybe a year and then settle down, but I’m still mostly travelling after 5 years. However, after about a year of living out of my suitcase, I missed not having a home and decided to make a base somewhere. That’s when I decided on Sofia, Bulgaria. It was perfect for me: it’s a very enjoyable city, it’s “centrally” located (good for travelling), the low cost of living means I can have an apartment all year even if I’m away a lot, and the tax rates are the best in Europe. As a European, I also didn’t need a visa, which was a huge plus. Nowadays, I spend about half the year in Sofia and travel for the rest of the time, mostly to escape winter. After spending quite a bit of time in Bulgaria, I discovered some other perks: the mountains are nearby and beautiful, great for skiing in winter and hiking in summer. The Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea are both less than a 4-hour drive away. And I’ve made great Bulgarian friends so I’m always happy to come back and catch up with them.
I started learning Bulgarian shortly after arriving in Sofia. Unfortunately, I discovered that there weren’t any good online methods to do so. Resources were scarce and it was hard to even find a decent Bulgarian-English dictionary. But after a couple of years, I had made enough progress that I thought I could start working on an online course. Of course, I would need the help of native speakers but I could bring in my experience of learning Bulgarian as a foreigner. Inspired by existing methods that were good but didn’t offer a Bulgarian course, I created Bulgaro. Since I’m a developer, the making of the platform was no problem, and I hired a couple of people online to help me with the content of the course. Everyone works remotely, and we have no office. Our course is a work in progress but the initial feedback has been very positive. It’s great to hear that we’re helping so many foreigners learn Bulgarian. Some of them had been trying to learn it for years but never made any progress until they started with our course. So, it’s very rewarding work! We’re working on finishing the course now, and later I hope we can develop other useful resources for Bulgarian learners.
Check out Bulgaro and let us know how you get on!