Macedonian is a Slavic language closely related to Bulgarian. My untrained ear can’t tell the difference between the two, but my eyes spot differences immediately. In addition to minor variations in spelling and grammar, Macedonian’s Cyrillic alphabet uses a handful of characters not present in Bulgarian’s, for example the beautiful ligatures for “ль” and “нь”: љ and њ, respectively.
What better vessel could there be than an iconic, former-East-German Trabant for navigating a narrative of Bulgaria’s communist era? A few clever young Bulgarians have bought a little blue “Trabi” and are giving free tours of Sofia with the aim of doing just that.
Here’s a bit of trivia for your next cocktail party: there is only one word in the Bulgarian language that begins with er golyam (ъ). Behold ъгъл!
It means “corner” and sounds something like “uh-gul.” Er golyam is otherwise very common and appears in the name of the country itself, for example: България (Bulgaria).