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Bulgarian is one of the languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet. It brought this script into the European Union, where it is one of the official languages and the only one using Cyrillic.
It is part of the South Slavic language family and is spoken by around 10 million people (7 million as the mother tongue in Bulgaria, where it is the official language). There are Bulgarian speaking communities in other European countries, such as Serbia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and North Macedonia. The Bulgarian and Macedonian languages are close to being mutually intelligible.
The history of the Bulgarian language has its roots back in the 9th century, the beginning of its first development phase: Old Bulgarian, a phase that lasted until about 1100. It was followed by Middle Bulgarian. From the 16th century until now (the period called Modern Bulgarian) grammar and syntax further evolved, resulting in the elimination of case declension, the introduction of a suffixed definite article and the lack of a verb infinitive.
As to the alphabet, in the second half of the 9th century two Byzantine brothers, Saints Cyril and Methodius, devised a new writing system to transcribe Old Church Slavonic, and this became the basis for today’s Cyrillic alphabet.
Bulgarian uses many words originating from other Slavic languages, with Russian. French, Latin, Greek and Turkish also contributing. Nowadays more and more English loanwords are becoming part of the Bulgarian vocabulary, mainly in the fields of technology, sports, fashion, art and music.