Bulgarian is a South Slavic language with approximately 8 million native speakers in Bulgaria and another million worldwide. Bulgarian has been an official EU language since 2007.
In addition to their own country, groups of Bulgarian speakers can be found in Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine, as well as Greece, Montenegro, Israel, Turkey, Moldova, Canada and the USA.
The development of the Bulgarian language can be traced back to the 9th century, making it one of the oldest documented Slavic languages. The Bulgarians were the first of the Slavic people to adopt the Cyrillic alphabet, and with the admission of Bulgaria to the EU in 2007, Cyrillic became the third official script of the European Union, following the Latin and Greek scripts.
The modern Bulgarian language started to emerge in the 16th century and is similar to other Slavic languages, particularly Macedonian. Bulgarian vocabulary is heavily influenced by Greek and Turkish, and in recent years, the language has started to adopt more Russian, French and German words.