Talk:Romanization of Bulgarian

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If I'm not mistaken, a more correct title for this article would be "Transliteration of Bulgarian into the Roman Alphabet," since transliteration would not turn written Bulgarian into written English

Being the shiniest of newbies to Wikipedia, though, I'm a bit shy about just changing things. I have two questions: First: Am I correct in my assertion? Second: Can I do this without breaking links all over Wikipedia? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:53, 25 October 2005‎ (UTC)

There are several possibilities for the article title. The transformation from cyrillic to latin alphabet can be called "romanization", "transcription" or "transliteration", see Romanization. You're correct that Bulgarian doesn't suddenly turn into English if you use other characters, but that's not intended here. The choice of transliteration is very much influenced by the "target language". For instance the two given systems for Bulgarian: the UN version is obviously influenced by Croatian or Czech ("č", "š" and "ž"), while the official one is influenced by English ("ch", "sh" and "zh"). Concluding: "Romanization of Bulgarian" seems the right choice to me. If you use the "move" button, you automatically create a redirect from the old title, so the links are not broken. BTW if you plan to stick around, please get a user account and sign your posts. Markussep 11:34, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Cyrillic in Wikipedia[edit]

Please see the new page at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Cyrillic), aimed at

  1. Documenting the use of Cyrillic and its transliteration in Wikipedia
  2. Discussing potential revision of current practices

Michael Z. 2005-12-9 20:43 Z

New article: scientific transliteration. Michael Z. 2006-02-07 06:04 Z

The Schwa[edit]

Many articles in which Bulgarian language is involved use [ɤ] (ram's horns) to transcribe "ъ". I believed that is the one true IPA symbol for this sound, so I put a comment here that "ъ" is neither the letter schwa, nor the sound schwa. Nevertheless, it appears that this a topic of a lengthy discussion.

I listened to the sound samples for both of them. I have no degree in linguistics, but the ram's horns sounds to me much closer to "о" than to "ъ". Or there could be two different types of ram's horns... So, "schwa" looks like a safe bet. --Cameltrader 22:01, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Unofficial Bulgarian[edit]

The Official Bulgarian Rmoanization is all wrong. Some English speaker who didn't know Bulgarian just made up a Romanization system for a Slavic language. The Romanization sounds 100% English. User:CDHgrün —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:55, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

A very bad system indeed[edit]

The anglicised system made "mandatory" (!) by a Bulgarian law in 1995 has to be replaced in the context of the time: in the mid-90es, Bulgaria was in a deep crisis and tried to "go West" by all means. It was the time of "privatisation", and this meant "piratisation" of the economy by the former aparačiki, who wanted to become the best capitalists in Europe and began to anglicize the country in the name of their new ideology, neoliberalism. It was also the time of the "mutri" ("ugly faces"), mafiosi who terrorised the population. The "streamlined system" (why "streamlined" ?) has to be seen in this context and there are many good reasons to boycott it: 1. it is incoherent (the article points out some logical problems, but there are others, e. g. why "i" for и and not "ee"?); 2. it is useless : Bulgaria used formerly a coherent system based on the system of slavic languages using the latin alphabet, the scientific transliteration. There was absolutely no need to make another - the only motivation was a political one (the wish to "go West" as radically as possible). As for the argument of electronical communication which doesn't allow the use of diacritics, it is specious, because nowadays, even the cheapest computer allows this use and for instance, you find all latin characters on the bottom of Wikipedia pages when you edit a text; 3. it is culturally cannibalistic: it is a hypocrite and cultureless contribution to the uniformisation of the world (pretexting modernity, of course) and looses the cultural tights with the other slavic cultural areas of the Balkan, especially the Macedonian, which is very close to the Bulgarian. Mr Ljubomir Ivanov, who is the "author" of this bad system, is not a linguist, but a mathematician, and his sense for cultural questions seems to be very limited indeed. He seems in exchange to have a very developped political sense, because he managed to impose this absurd decision on governmental level. Moreover, he has a a very keen sense of publicity: he wrote his autobiography (Lyubomir Ivanov) and put it in the English Wiki... --Hubertgui (talk) 08:08, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

The new system looses the cultural ties not only with other Slavic languages, but also with other languages that have words of Latin and Greek origin. For example, Jupiter is spelt identically (but pronounced differently) in English, German, French, Spanish (except the accent mark in Spanish) and the old romanization of Bulgarian. "Centre" is spelled with "c" in English, Italian and Bulgarian using the old system, although the pronunciations are again different. But the new system gives "Yupiter" and "tsentar"... Burzuchius (talk) 19:36, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Also, if "c" becomes "ts" than why does "č" become "ch" tather than "tsh"? This "ch" is not the Classical "ch" (Greek "χ"), which corresponds to Bulgarian "х", not "ч". So, the only reason to use "ch" is its presence in English. Burzuchius (talk) 15:07, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Romanization with "q", "4" and "6"?[edit]

is there any system for Bulgarian like the Arabic chat alphabet, where "я" is transcribed as "q" and numbers are used like in this comment: MTV iskaha da ia vzemat za izla4vane, za6toto e neveroiatna, no ne go napraviha zaradi scenite v klipa, jalko:-( from here, with 4 (ч?) and 6 (?) mentions the "q". --androl (talk) 10:47, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

It would have been rather 'Romanization-Arabization' as '4' and '6' are Arabic numerals indeed :-). Well there is no such system, however some people do use '4', '6' and 'q' in e- and sms-messages, while others disapprove of such usage regarding it as a sign of illiteracy. The usage of '4' and '6' for the Cyrillic letters 'ч' and 'ш' derives from the fact that the latter are the initial characters of the Bulgarian words for those numerals, 'четири' and 'шест' respectively. As for 'q', its usage for transliterating the Cyrillic 'я' is prompted by some visual similarity. Apcbg (talk) 15:48, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

I can confirm that the use of q, 4 and 6 is widely spread in Bulgaria in informal communication (as in SMS and e-mails). Only the authors of the official system "disapprove" it, as Apcbg affirms it... --Hubertgui (talk) 09:51, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Constitutionality of the 2009 transliteration law?[edit]

The article erroneously claims, that from the different standards, one "has been chosen and made mandatory for common use by the Bulgarian authorities in a law of 2009". In fact, if you look at the text of the law, you'll see that the obligation concerns private persons too ("юридически и физически лица"), especially writers or editors of dictionaries or other reference works. Chapter 4 of the law provides that transgressors can be fined up to 5000 leva (appr. 2500 euros, a huge sum in Bulgaria). This means that an author or publisher who prefers to use for example the system of the UN could be punished. It's hard to believe (in Bulgaria, law and implementation of law are two different things), but the wording implies it explicitly. Should the law be actually implemented, then Bulgarian or European courts will have to check whether it is compatible with the principles of freedom of speech or academic freedom mentioned by the Bulgarian constitution or by the fundamental laws of the EU. ----Hubertgui (talk) 16:19, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Nice point there. We've discussed it already with a few editors on Wikipedia and we all find it too restrictive. It might as well be against the principles of law as a whole, yes, but we have to leave it to the Strasbourg court to make a decision, at least until this comes into force. --Laveol T 19:40, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Er - I don't think it is yet time to do so, but it is in fact pretty disturbing. The new law seems to be also mandatory for people editing texts in foreign languages in Bulgaria (as I often do, in French), even for foreigners. I don't think this could stand out in a court... Are you a lawyer? ------Hubertgui (talk) 19:47, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

No, no way. I just find freedom of speech one of (if not the) most important freedoms a human being can possibly have and restricting it in such a, I have to say, lame way is disturbing at the least. I don't know what'd happen in court but I sure think it's not really according to the Constitution (article 39 (2) - I have it just in front of me). Making a standard is nice and even thoughtful, but making next to all scientists and writers outlaws with one blow is, well, it sounds like something from the near past. Oh, and sorry if I sound lawyerish or something, but I just had my state exam in European studies and I'm still under its influence :) --Laveol T 22:21, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Have a look at my anlysis in the French version of the article (, point 3. You'll see that had I had exactly the same objections as you as I wrote this. ------Hubertgui (talk) 04:28, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

While I quite agree with the sentiment, I'd just remind you that we here in the English Wikipedia try to interpret the "no original research" and neutrality policies a bit more strictly – we wouldn't want content like your analysis to be inserted in the article here. Fut.Perf. 20:57, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Lieber Future Perfect at Sunrise - ich sehe beim besten Willen keine "original research" in der Behauptung, dass dieses Gesetz, sollte es tatsächlich in die Tat umgesetzt werden, zwangsweise auf seine Verfassungsmässigkeit geprüft werden: das ergibt sich einfach aus den juristischen Tatsachen. Außerdem habe ich nicht darum gebeten, dass der französische Artikel zum Thema ganz oder teilweise in den englischen übernommen wird. Ich schreibe nur für die französische Wiki, und das ist mir schon genug. ----Hubertgui (talk) 10:25, 29 July 2009 (UTC)


There is also GOST 7.79 transliteration standard, it provides the rules for romanization of Bulgarian. Formally the standard is still adopted in nine ex-USSR countries. Is it worth of being published here? — Hellerick (talk) 13:51, 11 September 2009 (UTC)