UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Bulgarian: From the language of Cyril and Methodius to modern times

23 March 2023, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Event poster with a picture of the Bulgarian alphabet

A SSEES PROLang seminar with Dr Yordanka Velkova (UCL SSEES)

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to









Room 347
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
16 Taviton street

You are invited to come along and join us for a talk on the history of the Bulgarian language, woven into the history of the first Slavonic scripts. This will be followed by a discussion on how learning a new language (re)shapes the way we think, in which Dr Velkova will be joined by former and current Bulgarian language students.

The event will conclude with a Q+A session and a performance by The London Bulgarian Choir, BBC Radio 3's Choir of the Year (2006). 

Yordanka Velkova has been a Lecturer of Bulgarian Studies and Old Church Slavonic and Comparative Slavonic Grammar at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London since 2014. She is also a tutor of Bulgarian at the Bulgarian Cultural Institute London and a reviewer at the Journal of Language and Literature Education Bulgarian Language and Literature.

Since 2009 she has also held the position of Senior Lecturer of Linguistics at the Department of Slavonic Studies, The University of Sofia. There, she teaches linguistics and language courses such as General Linguistics, Phonetics and Phonology, Morphology, and Bulgarian as a foreign language at all levels.

Her PhD thesis, completed at Sofia University “St Kliment Ohidski’’, is in the field of morphophonology. It examines the development and modern equivalences of the Old Church Slavonic vowel and consonant alternations with morphological value in the verb inflexion of the Southwestern Bulgarian dialect.

Yordanka’s linguistic interests are broad. She has researched matters related to (morpho)phonology, morphology, sociolinguistics and dialectology, colloquial speech and pragmatics, as well as foreign language pedagogy and mnemonic. She is also interested in comparative Slavonic grammar from the Old Church Slavonic perspective.

Yordanka has published many articles in the field of linguistics and is the co-author of seven books, including the first Bulgarian Grammar of Colloquial Speech. She is also one of the authors of the book Language and Etiquette, in which she explores language means of politeness, accommodation strategies, speech overlap and interruption in various communicative situations. Yordanka also co-authored the textbook Bulgarian as a foreign language: What Is Easy in the Difficult Bulgarian Grammar, as well as a test book for all language levels in Bulgarian (Test Yourself - Bulgarian Language Level A1, A2, B1, B2, C1) and the Bulgarian grammar workbook I speak Bulgarian. She is also one of the authors of the book Texts Plus, which consists of texts followed by reading comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary tasks. In the book Stumbling Blocks in Bulgarian, Yordanka investigates the Bulgarian diminutives with a close focus on the derivation suffixes and the morphophonological changes accompanying them, considering the defining role of age, gender, and social context when using them.

In 2018, Yordanka was awarded the UCL Student Choice Awards for Inspiring Teaching Delivery.