Freedom or Death. The Life of Gotsé Delchev

Mercia MacDermott


Pronunciation and spelling



Most Bulgarian consonants have roughly the same value as in English, but it should be noted that 'g' is always hard as in 'get' (and not soft as in 'angel'); 's' is pronounced as in 'sing' (and not as in 'visit'); final 'v' is pronounced as 'f'; 'zh' is pronounced like 's' in 'measure'; 'dzh' is like 'j' in 'John'; and final 'h' is sounded like the Scottish 'ch' in 'loch'.


Bulgarian vowels resemble those in Italian. Thus, final 'e' is always pronounced; 'i' is like 'ee' in 'meet'; 'u' is like 'oo' in 'proof; 'ai' like 'i' in 'bite'; 'ei' like 'ay' in 'way'. The vowel 'ŭ' has no direct





equivalent in English, but it sounds like that in the final syllable of 'soda' or 'little', or like 'ur' in 'turn'.


To avoid confusing the reader with two systems of spelling and pronounciation, Turkish words which have passed into Bulgarian are given according to the system used for purely Slavonic words. Where there exists a generally accepted form of English spelling, e.g. for place names etc., this has been used in preference to other forms.


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