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>> Bulgaria >> Bulgarian alphabet
In 886 AD, Bulgaria adopted the Glagolitic alphabet which was devised by the Byzantine missionaries Saint Cyril and Methodius in the 850s. The Glagolitic alphabet was gradually superseded in later centuries by the Cyrillic alphabet, developed around the Preslav Literary School in the beginning of the 10th century. Most letters in the Cyrillic alphabet were borrowed from the Greek alphabet, but those which had no Greek equivalents represent simplified Glagolitic letters.
Under the influence of printed books from Russia, the Russian "civil script" of Peter I (see Reforms of Russian orthography) replaced the old Middle Bulgarian/Church Slavinic script at the end of the 18th century. Several Cyrillic alphabets with 28 to 44 letters were used in the beginning and the middle of the 19th century during the efforts on the codification of Modern Bulgarian until an alphabet with 32 letters, proposed by Marin Drinov, gained prominence in the 1870s. The alphabet of Marin Drinov was used until the orthographic reform of 1945 when the letters yat (ѣ ѣ, called "double e"), and yus (ѫ ѫ) were removed from the alphabet. The present Bulgarian alphabet has 30 letters.
The following table gives the letters of the Bulgarian alphabet, along with IPA values for the sound of each letter:
1 softens consonants before 'o'
Most letters in the Bulgarian alphabet stand for just one specific sound. Three letters stand for the single expression of combinations of sounds, namely щ (sht), ю(yu), and я(ya). Two sounds do not correspond to separate letters, but are expressed as the combination of two letters, namely дж (like j in Jack) and дз (dz). The letter ь is not pronounced, but it softens (palatalizes) any preceding consonant before the letter о.