I'm American, and I've been married to a Bulgarian for 12 years (together for 16). During that time I've picked up little bits and pieces of Bulgarian but have never been able to get a deeper understanding of the language. We live in America and visit Bulgaria frequently and I just wanted to know more, yet found it so hard to learn Bulgarian in America. I tried and failed numerous times to get started with various "Learn Bulgarian" books. Finally I took to Google to see if I could find a teacher. How lucky was I to find such an amazing teacher as Iliyana in a Google search? Iliyana's passion for teaching is evident and she has great command of her subject. She speaks English fluently with an understanding and confidence that makes it easy for her to express Bulgarian concepts in English so that her student has a perfect understanding of the material. She's kept me on a consistent schedule, which I think has helped me as much as the lessons themselves. It also doesn't hurt that she's a fun and engaging person to spend some time studying with. I've seen my abilities and understanding of Bulgarian grow so much since starting and I know it's not something I could have done without her help. I've been taking weekly lessons from my friend Iliyana for 14 months now and look forward to continuing my studies with her. If you are looking for the best instruction in Bulgarian that you can find then look no further, and schedule your first lesson today!
Stephen Fowler, USA
My lessons with Iliyana were a joy. She was focused, kind, and patient with all of my detailed questions! She helped me look up bus schedules to get to some dancing in a nearby town, and helped me to be in touch with other local people. Folks who I interacted with downtown were immediately impressed with my Bulgarian, which was really rewarding.... and, last but not least, we laughed a lot.
Sophia Rog, USA
My wife and I have been taking Bulgarian lessons with Iliyana for just over a year now. We started with only a vague knowledge of the alphabet. Today we are able to navigate the city, order delicious Bulgarian cuisine, and meet new Bulgarian friends. My wife and I have slightly different learning styles, and Iliyana has been able to teach both of us at the same time, while keeping us on the same pace. Iliyana has a gift at teaching Bulgarian as a second language, and she also has a passion at helping foreigners understand the Bulgarian mind and culture. My wife and I have found this combination of learning the language alongside the culture to be invaluable to our work in Bulgaria. Learning a language brings its own fears and challenges, and Iliyana helpfully eliminates many of those fears by providing her students with the confidence and skill needed to learn Bulgarian as a second language. Our only regret is that not everyone has Iliyana as their language teacher.
Justin and Joani Howard, USA
Iliyana Dimitrova is a 1st class Bulgarian teacher, she goes at your own pace, has the patience of a saint, she needs it with me. Lessons in Bulgarian are hard but she has a good way of making sense of a difficult language. Lessons with her are about making yourself understood and understanding local differences. So I would without hesitation recommend Iliyana as a teacher.
Nick Hill, UK
I don’t know how Iliyana copes with teaching my wife and I. My wife is great with languages, and I am not. Iliyana swiches easily between the two of us. She also has to teach me English as we do the Bulgarian lessons. Iliyana is very patient and makes the lessons a pleasure to attend.
Alan Haywood, UK
I've been having lessons with Iliyana for the last year to improve my Bulgarian and it has been very enjoyable. Although I had already learned some of the grammar, it has been much more interesting to go over it again with her because she adds so much to her teaching. For a start, she is very knowledgeable about Bulgarian and Slavic languages, and can always provide so much interesting detail in her explanations. Besides that, I have learned lots of things about Bulgarian culture and history and everyday life in general during our lessons. Iliyana is always positive and encouraging and it makes our lessons a pleasure. She also teaches my husband, who learns quite differently to me and she switches instantly to his different style, because she has so much teaching experience herself. To anyone thinking of learning Bulgarian, I don't think you could find a better teacher in Veliko Tarnovo.
Wanda Brzezinska, UK
I have been working with Iliyana since September 2019. I intend to work with her for a long time. There are several reasons why. Each one alone would be enough of a reason. But combined they are extraordinarily compelling. First, Iliyana is a master of her craft. She is a highly-trained professional. Second, Iliyana is a gifted teacher. To teach is to impart, to share, to enable. Truly great teachers are truly rare. Third, Iliyana is joyful about her work. Bulgarian is her language. In the deepest sense of the possessive. Teaching it is a source of joy for Iliyana. Fourth, Iliyana teaches not only language, but also culture. In fact, the two are inseparable. This is particularly important to me. For I am business consultant. My focus is on the influence of cultural differences on cross-border collaboration. Fifth, Iliyana is very flexible. She does her best to work to my schedule. And I do my best to work to her schedule.
John Magee, USA
Bulgarian is the eighth language I've studied and Iliyana is one of the best teachers I've met anywhere in the world. Before starting classes with Iliyana, I didn't know any Bulgarian. After studying with Iliyana, a big milestone I achieved was reading bedtime stories to my daughter in Bulgarian. Iliyana is passionate about both Bulgarian language and Bulgarian culture. In addition to learning the essentials of reading, writing, speaking, and listening, we also discuss different Bulgarian customs and working practices. We have been studying for over a year now. I'm not sure how long exactly because the time has passed so quickly and enjoyably. Learning Bulgarian is a long-term project and Iliyana is a wonderful teacher and friend to have on the journey.
Solvig Choe, UK
The first thing that struck me as an intermediate student in Bulgarian was Iliyana's ability to accurately determine my level after a short e-mail exchange and one lesson, and to swiftly pick up where my previous teachers left off, as if she had always been my sole teacher. Having worked together for half a year, I can tell Iliyana is a patient, passionate, and engaging teacher, and it is my pleasure to recommend her to you.
In my lessons attention is paid to all aspects of language acquisition with a clear emphasis on speaking skills. Iliyana and I therefore spend a lot of time conversing in a relaxed but focused atmosphere on all possible conversation topics, ranging from everyday life problems to specialised matters. We currently make use of a textbook at B1-B2 level for general guidance on lexical and grammatical aspects. Ilyana provides me with indispensable explanations where the textbook is lacking. Her explanations are always very precise and enlightening.
Moreover, she provides me with useful information about the Bulgarian culture and worldview which helps me to completely immerse in the language. Iliyana is also concerned about varying teachings strategies in order to enhance the language processing. For example, we have lately started using Bulgarian online newspapers in the virtual classroom. While learning the language, I am also having fun taking a deeper look in the current events in Bulgaria!
Overall, I have found that in working with Iliyana, I not only become better at expressing myself in Bulgarian, but also build up more self-confidence in sharing my own views with native speakers, which is of utmost importance to me! Thank you, Iliyana!
Yves Vanpeteghem, Belgium
After several ‘stops and starts’ in my Bulgarian language journey, I finally found Iliyana and for the first time feel like I am actually learning and making genuine progress. Iliyana is a natural teacher and instinctively knows how to pace the lessons and feed students the information and rules they need to move forward. I thoroughly enjoy each and every lesson and have learnt so much, not just about the Bulgarian language, but also about Bulgarian tradition and customs. Iliyana is passionate about her work and it’s infectious. I feel like I’m a good student because I have a good teacher and I owe my newfound confidence in using Bulgarian entirely to Iliyana! Thank you!
Laura Quinn, U.K
Lessons with Iliyana have been a fantastic way to improve my Bulgarian. They are personal and crafted to my needs. She has been very flexible and supportive of my work in Bulgaria, going out of her way to help me expand my knowledge of the language. I cannot recommend her enough!
Theodore Charles, USA
I am an American student who has been taking lessons with Iliyana for about 2 years. 4 of my daughters are Bulgarian, and I have come to love the country and culture deeply, so learning the language properly seems the next natural step. The skype format is perfect for my busy life! I appreciate the depth of the teaching, attention to grammar and pronunciation, and learning the particular nuances of the language which can truly only be conveyed by a native speaker; no translation app will come close! Iliayana's patient style of teaching to true mastery helps me to keep my focus and not drop vocabulary learned previously as I move through the text. She also helps me gain necessary "mom-vocabulary"; a real blessing in my day to day life with my babies! I could not recommend Bulgarian Lessons enough to anyone serious about learning & mastering the Bulgarian language.
Maureen Huizinga, USA
After 8 years of trying (and failing with) every ‘teach yourself’ book, app, website and even another online tutor, I finally and thankfully found Iliyana and bulgarianlessons.eu. Iliyana is the perfect blend of patience, encouragement and when necessary discipline! Our lessons are fun and relaxed but in a short space of time I had learned more than my previous 7 years combined! Since then she has really helped me start to get a grip on what is a very tricky language to learn. The lessons are designed to give a deeper understanding of the grammar and culture which are essential to truly learn the language. Each time I return to Bulgaria the difference in my understanding and ability to communicate is truly incredible and very heartening. I cannot recommend Iliyana highly enough!
Chris Balić, U.K
After receiving my 'Лична Карта' (Bulgarian ID card) this year, I decided it was time for me to return to studying and learning Bulgarian. I was lucky enough to find Iliyana's contact information. I've now had 6 weeks of classes and can happily write that I highly recommend Iliyana to anyone wanting to learn Bulgarian, or strengthen their Bulgarian. She breaks the grammar down in a way that is logical to me. She takes the time to figure out words I'm trying to say in Bulgarian (when I only remember half of the word and context). She helps me translate English phrases I've wanted to know how to say in Bulgarian and she is a delightful conversationalist. Needless to say, I am thoroughly impressed with her teaching.
Tricia T, USA
I am so glad that I found Iliyana! She has been a great teacher for me and I have made a lot of progress in my Bulgarian since I started taking classes with her. She is so patient with me and also so encouraging. I really can’t imagine trying to learn Bulgarian without her!
Jessica Laster, USA
I´m living in Bulgaria for quite a while now and finally I put my self up to take language lessons. I randomly picked out the Bulgarian lessons in Veliko Ternovo from the internet and I don´t regret this choice! I really enjoy the time that I´m spending with Iliyana and since the first meeting on Skype we have a lot of fun together. And the best thing about it is that I´m really making a great progress in my language skills! Very helpful for my learning situation is the fact that Iliyana speaks excellent English. Also she´s is a very patient teacher who knows a lot about Bulgarian language and the culture of her country. So beside learning just the language I also learn a lot more useful thing for living here. Dear Iliyana, thank you for showing me the beauty of your language and your culture. I´m looking forward to may more productive and pleasant lessons together!
Kristina Plähn, Germany
When I started looking for a Bulgarian teacher, I was unsure about how it was going to work out, but almost from my first communication with Iliyana, I felt comfortable. I didn't want to just learn a few Bulgarian phrases to use on holiday, I wanted/want to learn how to have a a proper conversation in Bulgarian, which meant going back to the basics, learning grammar again, which I've not had to do since I was in school, so was/is pretty daunting. Iliyana have shown patience when I can't remember things, and you understand that my insomnia leaves me exhausted most of the time, which sometimes makes me feel that I have "brain fog". You always put me at ease, and even when I'm feeling stressed because I can't remember something, you always take your time and make me feel better about myself. I can see that I am making progress from the lessons, all I need now is to find someone that I can practice with, which would make everything perfect. If someone asked me if I could recommend a Bulgarian Teacher to them, I would not hesitate to give them your details.
Beverley Neville, U.K.
I was 68 years old when I started to learn Bulgarian and the language as well as the Cyrillic alphabet were unfamiliar to me. So learning this language challenged me much. In my way of learning it helps me, when I can understand the correlations and I need an approachable and accepting atmosphere. All this I found when studying with Iliyana and I am deeply grateful. I took a course of about 50 lessons in four weeks and this laid a solid fundament on which I continue studying for myself at home (with a book and audio-CD). But maybe when I decide to get deeper into the language I am sure to meet Iliyana again.
Arnold Dransfeld, Germany
Iliyana is a university teacher of Bulgarian and as a student you notice this: she explains the grammar rules in detail and has a thorough understanding of the structure of Bulgarian (as opposed to some Bulgarian teachers who teach English but have difficulty explaining the reason behind certain Bulgarian rules). She uses textbooks and is structured in her approach, with a small test at the end of every chapter. Her English is excellent. She is a strict teacher but she cares about her students, and once you get to know her- she has a wicked sense of humor! All in all a professional teacher who will help you progress if you are willing to put in the effort.
An De Jonghe, Belgium
In just a few short months, Iliyana was able to explain and help me to understand the Bulgarian Language in the most basic way with even one or two stories to explain the history of the language or some words. My understanding of Bulgarian has improved leaps and bounds under her tutelage. I look forward to continue my work with her in 2019. Hopefully, I will gain more confidence to speak as you can imagine it is very daunting as fear making mistakes. But I know under her guidance those fears will disappear. Thank you Iliyana.
Tiffany Gancheva, U.K
I decided it was time to make a serious effort to learn ‘proper’ Bulgarian and my search brought me to Bulgarianlessons and Iliyana and I haven’t looked back. I can honestly say I look forward to each lesson and love the flexibility of being able to have my lessons either face to face or via Skype which really helps me as I am not always in Veliko Tarnovo. I find Iliyana a natural teacher, her teaching method is excellent, she knows instinctively if you are struggling grasping any of the grammar or any part of the lesson, she is very patient and is very easy to talk to. When I leave my lesson I don’t leave thinking ‘what I have just learned?’, I leave feeling ‘I can not wait to try out my new Bulgarian’! After having approximately 30 lessons I feel by Bulgarian has come on leaps and bounds, gradually you will find yourself reading, writing and talking grammatically correct and I feel it’s all down to the hard work Iliyana puts into the lesson to make it fun and enjoyable. Thank you!
Ruth Vella, UK
To study Bulgarian is the best decision I've ever made,' I wrote in my diary after completing my week of study with Illiana Dimitrova, a professional teacher of Bulgarian language in Veliko Tarnovo. It is amazed me that after just two days of my individual study (we actually were a small group of two, but our teacher made us feel like she's teaching us individually; alongside with her individual approach, she also made sure that we are working as a team, which was helpful in doing our homework and encouraging each other).
I do find it is valuable that Illiana together with teaching her students of speaking, reading and writing, also introducing them to a rich culture of Bulgaria. She does it not just through her lessons, but also through her willingness and readiness to inform us about any cultural events happening locally during that time (September was a blessed time for this reason). The teacher, even, went to such an extend as to ' take a trouble' (or a pleasure, as she said :) to invite us, her students, for lunch, preparing a real (I'd say a royal!) Bulgarian fiesta!
The week of my study passed very quickly and I was feeling sadness, because I won't hear the next Monday Illiana's greeting,: ' Kak cu, Bepa?' I was feeling sadness, because during this week the teacher and her family made me feel like at home. So it is not just the places that attract us. As for me, it is mainly the people, create this attractiveness by their open-heartedness, lowing-kindness and welcoming attitude towards the others (including the strangers). In Veliko Tarnovo, just in a couple of days of my arrival, people would greet me on the streets warmly: ' Zdraveite!' And if I'd answer, they would share their thoughts (even I don't understand :). So ability to communicate is the very reason of why I study Bulgarian.
Yes, I do continue study it on my own. But I am able to do this, because my teacher has given me a very solid foundation of the language. So 'Mnogo blagodaria, ckyna Illiana! And vsuchko xybavo!
Vira Pysarenko, UK
Iliyana is an absolute pleasure to work with. I started off at a different school in Sofia, and it was such a hard experience. After finding Iliyana and „Bulgarianlessons”, my Bulgarian skills have improved exponentially. Iliyana not only has a deep passion and knowledge of the Bulgarian language, but she genuinely cares about her students. She is very professional and takes her job seriously, while being able to still be playful and energetic. One of the best things about working with her is the flexibility. I can be in the classroom with her in Veliko Turnovo, or we can be on Skype, and I learn just the same! I have been going to classes for about 6 months and plan to continue for at least another year. I am so thankful for the opportunity to study with her; it has made my transition to Bulgaria a much better experience.
Eric Armbrust, USA
I had been trying to learn Bulgarian on my own for the past twelve years, and made very little progress in all that time. Once I started with Iliyana, I have learned a tremendous amount in just a few short months. I highly recommend her to anyone who is trying to take their Bulgarian language abilities to the next level. She knows every detail of the Bulgarian language and makes learning fun!
Nicholas Rotunda, USA
I have been having Bulgarian lessons with Iliyana for 5 months now. Iliyana is a fantastic teacher, she is very patient and has a personal approach to each students learning style - for people like myself who find it hard to learn a language this really helps. I am developing a better grasp of Bulgarian with every lesson and this is really improving my life as a Brit living in Bulgaria. I would highly recommend Iliyana to anyone serious about learning Bulgarian!
William Morris, UK
If you want to learn Bulgarian & aren't satisfied just "managing" by using broken phrases, Iliyana Dimitrova is the teacher for you. I find Bulgarian very difficult to learn (I speak English, French & German), but Iliyana keeps me from getting discouraged. She is a lovely person, incredibly enthusiastic about teaching & gives helpful insight into Bulgarian culture. After having had lessons in Veliko Tarnovo, I'm looking forward to continuing our lessons via Skype.
Jane E-M, Switzerland
I have been working with Iliyana for several months now and highly recommend her both as a Bulgarian language scholar as well as an excellent pedagogue. Iliyana`s approach combines a fun and motivating atmosphere with an in depth introduction to the language. What make lessons with Iliyana really special are her always positive attitude and her friendliness. After just a few months, I feel like it is a friend and not just a teacher that introduces me to the Bulgarian language, culture and history. Personally, this renders Bulgarian as a language even more exciting and makes me eager to progress as fast as possible.
Justus Dӓechsel, Germany
I have been having lessons with Iliyana for a couple of months. She is a wonderful teacher who quickly puts you at ease. Lessons with her are fun and interesting. The lessons are conducted at a pace to suit the individual student. Iliyana explains everything clearly and thoroughly. I still have a long way to go before being fluent but thanks to Iliyana I have the confidence to hold a conversation with a complete stranger. I can certainly recommend Iliyana to anybody who is wanting to learn Bulgarian.
Sue Toy, UK
We attended an intensive 5 day course for improving our Bulgarian in Veliko Turnovorun by Iliyana. The course was hard work but also informative and quite good fun. Iliyana is an excellent teacher who creates an enjoyable interactive learning experience and her enthusiasm for helping us to try and understand Bulgarian was infectious. We readily endorse Iliyana as a teacher for anyone wishing to learn Bulgarian.
Mark and Moira Paterson, UK
I wanted to learn the rudiments of the Bulgarian language in preparation for a trip to Bulgaria. I came across Iliyana and her school while searching on the internet and was impressed with the favorable reviews. I signed up for ten lessons over the course of two weeks and was taught by Iliyana via Skype. Although it was only for a short time, I learned enough of the Cyrillic alphabet, as well as Bulgarian vocabulary and grammar, to be comfortable traveling in Bulgaria. I would not have been able to buy my train ticket without being able to speak and write in Bulgarian! I found that many Bulgarians were appreciative of my efforts to converse in their language, especially as an American, and it added immensely to my cultural experience. Learning the Bulgarian language was not easy for me. As a teacher, Iliyana was patient, yet insistent that I pronounce words correctly. It was apparent that her passion was language instruction and that she set high standards. If my travels call for a return to Bulgaria, I would not hesitate to call upon Iliyana for additional instruction.
William Wright, USA
We had a five day intense Bulgarian Course. Our tutor Iliyana made the course very enjoyable, we did learn what we set out to achieve and a few more other things on the way. I would certainly recommend using Iliyana for your Bulgarian lessons.
Terry and Hazel Kilbane, UK
I need to upgrade my rudimentary Bulgarian, but classroom courses are incompatible with my packed and unpredictable work schedule. Iliyana's remote tuition is engaging and high-quality, while allowing for flexibility on scheduling. I could not ask for more.
Iliyana is a very experienced and well qualified language teacher. She always makes lessons fun and interesting and adapts her teaching effortlessly to the needs of the student. I highly recommend her to anyone wanting to learn Bulgarian.
Lucy Jeal, UK
I want to tell you that this is a wonderful language school and Doctor Iliyana Dimitrova is a first class teacher. Iliyana combines a highly professional teaching method with her wonderful passion and love for her country, her culture and above all her language. I enjoy our lessons very much and am thrilled by the progress i am making with the language. I feel as though my competence and confidence grow with each and every lesson. Благодаря много Илияна. Очаквам да те видя за нашия следващ урок.
Nicholas Cotton, UK
I've now been taking 2 lessons a week for the last 8 months. Iliyana is such a great teacher who has made learning very enjoyable and fun. I am a native English speaker so learning Bulgarian for me is very challenging but she makes it interesting and keeps me motivated to keep learning. She is very accommodating and really goes out of her way to help schedule classes around my busy schedule. I am going to Bulgaria for the holidays and I can't wait to put what I've learned into action. If you are looking for the best possible teacher who is great at explaining, who is accommodating and caring yet tough and gives lots of homework :) Iliyana is the teacher for you. I couldn't recommend her enough.
Tobias Gunzinger, USA
The lessons that I took from Iliyana for one week was my first comprehensive start learning Bulgarian. After having lessons in the mornings and trying to communicate with local people of Veliko Tarnovo in the afternoons, I have decided to invest more time in the future. Iliyana was another important factor with her unique way of teaching that encouraged me to keep learning! I would like to thank you Iliyana in order to help me to make a correct start learning everything about Bulgaria and Bulgarian language.
Ibrahim Basoglu, Turkey
This is an excellent program. While only visiting Bulgaria for a long weekend, I wanted to obtain a least a little familiarity with the alphabet and language. In just 5 hours of Skype lessons with Iliyana, I was able to attain a working knowledge of the Bulgarian alphabet and numerous words and phrases relevant to my trip. This information greatly enhanced my experience in Bulgaria and ability to interact with locals.
Jim Hefferan, USA
I have been learning the Bulgarian language with Iliyana since June 2016 and will continue to do so in 2017. Iliyana has proved to be a most reliable and friendly teacher who injects enthusiasm and interest into the lessons. Iliyana knows just when to push you a little bit harder and when to ease back a little in the lessons which makes for a good learning environment. I would without doubt recommend Iliyana to anyone wanting to learn the language either face to face or via Skype.
Andy Christie, UK
Learning Bulgarian with Iliyana is really a pleasure. She managed to help me because I needed something else from that you can find in the course book. She motivated me greatly to prepare to learn to speak the language with little knowledge of it. For me she was a kind of blessing from God, and soon I was able to talk to kind people in Bulgaria. Now I need to concentrate more on grammar and once again she proves to be the best Bulgarian teacher ever.
Joanna Zaniewska, Poland
We have been involved in music, dance and singing with the East European Folklife Center in the United States for many years but have had few chances to visit Bulgaria or to learn the language. We were extraordinarily lucky to have found the bulgarianlessons.eu website and made friends with Iliyana Dimitrova. We spent the first week of our three week Bulgarian visit in Veliko Tarnovo working with Iliyana and receiving a crash course in Bulgarian.
It was a magnificent week.
Iliyana brought us along quickly with daily lessons in basic Bulgarian. Sandy has sung Bulgarian songs and adapts more easily to Bulgarian pronunciation; Mike struggles with pronunciation but grasps language structure quickly. Iliyana was able to encourage both of us, supporting our differing strengths and reassuring us as we faced our differing challenges. We had great fun during the lessons and could not possibly have made better use of our time.
Iliyana has deep knowledge, passion and experience in teaching Bulgarian as a second language to adults. She is a natural teacher and a wonderful, caring human being.
Iliyana went out of her way to advise us on accommodations, travel and how to make the most of our stay in Veliko Tarnovo. Veliko Tarnovo is truly a gem of a city and it was such delight to learn, eat and visit in the city during the week. Iliyana’s lessons and Veliko Tarnovo are among our fondest memories of our brief trip to Bulgaria. We hope to return.
Mike Gage and Sandy Cherin, Rochester, NY, USA
It is a long time since I tried to learn a language and I was apprehensive that, as a busy woman in my fifties, I would struggle. Learning Bulgarian is not easy but Iliyana shows patience and humour whilst keeping me to her syllabus. It has been trial and error as to what is the best frequency of lessons for me and how much practice I need, to retain what I have learned and improve on what I know. Iliyana’s experience and wisdom are invaluable on these points. I certainly feel that our agreed lesson plans are tailored to me and are challenging. When I falter, Iliyana encourages me and supports me and keeps focused on my learning needs and objectives, always knowing where to bring me back to, to regain my confidence and yet learn new language skills in the same session. I wanted to learn excellent calibre Bulgarian (having discovered that chatting to the babas in the villages and learning colloquial versions, just won’t cut it when I want to be taken seriously or when I am dealing with officials, in negotiation etc) and Iliyana’s standards are exemplary. Her own, personal, academic achievements are reflected in her respect for the student and for the subject. I did a lot of research before choosing my Bulgarian teacher and syllabus and it was worth the effort. Like those before me, I do not hesitate to recommend Iliyana to anyone wishing to learn Bulgarian anew or to refresh their knowledge. Whether you want to learn casual, conversational, business, or jurisprudential Bulgarian, I cannot recommend Iliyana highly enough.
Sandy Ellis, UK
I began my journey to learn Bulgarian in July 2013, Iliyana Dimitrova was recommended to me by a good friend. At the start of this teacher/pupil relationship I could only speak the basic: good morning/good evening and relevant words I required to get by in Bulgarian. As for the Cyrillic alphabet I felt anxious even looking at the letters never mind trying to learn them.
Through Iliyana’s unique form of teaching I not only learnt the alphabet within a week, I also began putting the words together to form sentences. My confidence was visibly growing. I was able to read road signs with ease and also pick up a Bulgarian menu and understand what I was ordering, all this in itself was due to Iliyana’s patience and constant praise, mistakes I made were turned around and positives found until I understood the correct phrase/word/grammar.
My Bulgarian lessons were a joy to attend as I learnt something different every week, not only was I learning the Bulgarian language but also I was being educated in Bulgarian custom and culture. Learning what is appropriate and not appropriate when attending Bulgarian family meals was extremely important to me, within a short time my Bulgarian friends began to notice a change in my interaction/communication with them and this pleased both my friends and I tremendously and increased my confidence ten fold.
I would recommend Iliyana Dimitrova to anyone seeking to not only to learn Bulgarian but also the culture all intertwined within the lessons. My experience of Iliyana Dimitrova has been the most positive learning experience of my life. She has given me the skills to live a better quality of life in Bulgaria. Iliyana is a fabulous unique individual with the utmost professionalism in the field she works in. Iliyana also makes the lessons 'Fun' and I believe that to be the key to her success. It’s been a pleasure meeting her.
Pauline O'Sullivan, UK
Iliyana's skill as a teacher and her vibrant positive character are impossible to praise highly enough. She managed to tailor our 10 lessons so specifically to my needs, likes, dislikes, skill level, sense of humour etc that I barely realised I was taking lessons. Iliyana ensures that you feel confident and competent to use the language. There should be more teachers like her.
Linda Sprigg, Australia
Iliyana Dimitrova has been my Bulgarian teacher for 8 months. My background in languages definitely helps me to pick up new languages, but above all helps me to recognise a talent and a passion for teaching. Iliyana combines these two qualities that, in my opinion, are essential to this profession.
In only eight months, with an average of two classes a month, we are now able to have all lessons solely in Bulgarian. After initially studying with two different teachers in two other language schools (one in Sofia and one in Plovdiv) I decided to continue with Iliyana because of her qualifications and her ability to transfer her knowledge to her students. She is a dedicated teacher who values infusing her students with a sound understanding of Bulgarian culture. Her classes are always interesting and enjoyable and each lesson only comes to a close when she is sure that I have understood everything clearly. It is with great pleasure that I write this recommendation of Iliyana to express my gratitude for her hard work.
Thank you Iliyana: my best Bulgarian teacher, and now a dear friend
Luca Pensato, Italy
I found this site quite by chance and it was the start of a wonderful new project to learn a challenging language. Right from the initial contact, by email, Iliyana has been attentive, professional and very helpful. I have benefitted from 2 separate weeks in Veliko Turnovo, "learning in situ" and having daily one-to-one lessons. Also, my weekly lessons by SKYPE have been informative and fun as well as being flexible time-wise.
I have completed 60 hours and I am looking forward to many more! Thank you so much Iliyana!
Alison Macdonald, UK
I love taking lessons from Iliyana Dimitrova! When I first began, I expected to learn a little conversational Bulgarian, but got so much more! One could get vocabulary from a good dictionary, but through Bulgarian Lessons I get insight into a word's structure, history, and the culture surrounding it. I get excellent instruction in language rules, sentence structure, verb conjugation, etc. that is enabling me to understand why a sentence is the way it is and thus, be able to accurately communicate my own thoughts. Working one on one with Iliyana I get opportunity to actually practice speaking and interpreting the language in a non-threatening environment. She makes lessons fun, interesting and informational.
I am always looking forward to the next lesson!
Robin Shaw, USA
Prior to moving to Bulgaria five months ago I began researching where to learn the language. I got a good feeling after reading the website so got in touch. It was the best decision! I instantly liked Iliyana and loved her passion and enthusiasm for the Bulgarian language and culture. I also liked the fact that she has an academic background so understands the learning process. I have now had about 30 lessons and feel that i have a good basic vocabulary and can read and write Cyrillic. This is way more than I ever thought I could achieve. Iliyana is a very good teacher in that she explains everything well, and if I don't understand (which happens regularly!) she has the utmost patience and will explain it in many different ways until I do. Lessons are never dull and she has a great sense of humour.
I would highly recommend Bulgarianlessons.eu
Emma Smith, UK
Iliyana is awesome! She is what you want a teacher to be. She would go at a pace that what was right for me, and tailored the lessons so that I would be able to keep up. My particular needs, like everyone else's, depend very much on circumstances. She was encouraging and willing to make adjustments, which were needed because I am not a fast learner, and my goals were somewhat open-ended, since I did not have a work-related need or a specific time-limit. She became a friend, and was happy to discuss other related, or even only loosely related subjects of language and culture.
So I enjoyed the time tremendously, despite the difficulty of trying to learn a language with a completely different alphabet, pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.
Stephen Rice, USA
I found the Bulgarian lessons with Iliyana to be well planned, interesting and relevant. They were provided in a friendly and easy to understand way, and were of real value in helping me to establish my new life here in Bulgaria. For anyone wanting to get to grips with the local language I can without hesitation recommend Iliyana's teaching methods.
Ralph Ainscough, UK
I had previous lessons with another tutor when we first arrived in Bulgaria, but I found the lessons with Iliyana to be better structured while allowing flexibility to answer questions I asked. I am half way through the course at the moment, about 9 months, and will complete the rest during the winter and next spring. I do find that learning a language is not a 2 minute exercise and in order to grasp the basics and be partially fluent would need around 18 months of learning. Especially as my ageing brain has a poor memory retention! But with repetitive learning at home and practising to speak Bulgarian whenever I can, I hope my vocabulary will improve greatly. Even after just half the course, I have found that I now naturally understand the basics of grammar and even though I struggle to recall words, at least I know how to put sentences together!
I would recommend Iliyana as a tutor because her lessons are interesting, definitely helpful and enjoyable.
Adrian Walker, UK
Searching for a place to study Bulgarian I came across the “Bulgarian Lessons” web page. In retrospect I consider myself very fortunate that I did. Iliyana proved to be an outstanding teacher. What was initially meant to be a short intensive language course in Veliko Tarnovo just to master the basics, turned into a full language programm through Skype. Already from the beginning it was clear to me that this was not an ordinary teacher. Iliyana takes great pride in her culture and heritage, and this reflects in her teaching. To her teaching Bulgarian is an opportunity to share the richness and beauty of her native language with others. It’s a mission and not a job, and these surfaces in every lesson I have with her.
All lessons are thoroughly prepared and full with examples taken from everyday life. Dull lessons do not exist with Iliyana. There is no chance to doze off, she demands your full attention and in return you’ll be taugh Bulgarian with amazing enthusiasm, patience and perseverance. She will constantly adjust to your specific demands and pace.
I have no hesitation whatsoever to recommend this fantastic teacher and beautiful person to anyone who wants to study Bulgarian. I'm convinced that you will not find a better tutor. Please contact me if further information is required. I’m happy to provide it. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed. van Hilten, Netherlands
My name is Anjeza Abazi and I have studied In Bulgaria for one year. I have had the opportunity to be taught by amazing professors and one of them is Iliyana Dimitrova. She was my Bulgarian Professor and the best i have ever had. Having classes with her helped me a lot learning Bulgarian. She taught me to be self confident in everything i did and worked hard with me to improve the Bulgarian language. She is an amazing person and a very capable teacher, with lots of energy, incredible knowledge, nice personality, friendly and passion in what she does. Her classes were not boring because she always had creative topics to discuss about. She taught us techniques, so that we were able to practice everything at home. I had the chance to be her student because i took from her great values that going to help me in the future.
Bulgaria is so lucky that has great people like Prof. Iliyana Dimitrova. She will always be in my mind. Hope to see her soon. It was an honor to meet her.
Anjeza Abazi, Albania
I found learning Bulgarian with Iliyana interesting and a pleasure, the language is not easy especially as I am an older lady, but Iliyana made it simple and would go over anything I was not sure of as many times as was necessary. She is very supportive and encouraging, and I would and have encouraged other people to contact her if they are thinking of learning Bulgarian.
Shirley Sandford, UK
Not only is Iliyana Dimitrova a young and creative person, but also an attentive and caring teacher with an original personal approach to each and every one of her students. I truly learned a lot from her for the past four months and I enjoyed going to all of her classes. Her joyful and innovative way of presenting the new information made it easy to remember, resulting in all of her students' high achievements in the sphere of Bulgarian language. She really is one of the best teachers I have ever had. I will definitely miss having classes with her.
Militsa Mancheva, Bulgaria
I would like to recommend Iliyana Dimitrova for anyone interested in learning the Bulgarian language. She is a wonderful teacher and enjoys what she does. She is currently instructing me in Bulgarian with private lessons. I recently moved to Bulgaria with my wife and 2 year old daughter. My only exposure to Bulgarian language before coming was listening to my wife talk with her friends and family members. I couldn't understand a thing.
Six months ago I met Iliyana and shortly thereafter began lessons to learn Bulgarian. Having never desired to learn a language and with little experience in doing so I didn't know what to expect. Before meeting Iliyana I had purchased textbooks and was trying to explore the language on my own. It was very challenging. At the first lesson, Iliyana broke down the Cyrillic alphabet for me in an easy and concise manner; before an hour was over I was able to read and write Bulgarian.
Iliyana is able to consistently introduce new information in a manner that is relatable and understandable. She answers questions with real life applications and distinguishes between proper grammar for writing and colloquial pronunciation for casual conversations. Her lessons have been presented in a professional yet casual manner, that help me remain calm and focused while learning. Iliyana has an upbeat and positive attitude and I can tell that she genuinely enjoys teaching. I will recommend Iliyana to anyone interested in learning the Bulgarian language. With private lessons she is able to slow down when things are hard to comprehend or move faster when they're understood. She has made the lessons into something I enjoy doing; with Iliyana learning Bulgarian is a hobby rather than a chore.
If you're wanting to learn Bulgarian, Iliyana is the best. An Immensely satisfied student
Chris Henry, USA
Learning Bulgarian with Iliyana is fun and efficient. She is very enthusiastic and communicates her energy to the student, giving the necessary motivation to go though the difficulties of the language.
Joachim Pirard, Belgium
I’ve worked with Iliyana Dimitrova for a semester during my studies in Bulgaria where I had to learn some practical aspects of Bulgarian language. I was fortunate to meet with several interesting professors who had a positive impact in my way of thinking. Iliyana is one of them. She has a wonderful rapport with people of all ages. Her ability to communicate with her students and her talent at teaching multi- dimensional concepts are both truly superior. One of the main characteristics that someone first notices in Iliyana is her unique sense of humor. I was never bored during our lessons as she has the ability to make them interesting and recreative. This is extremely difficult, especially when someone works with people from various cultures.
All these are the most significant aspects of a highly educated person who has the ability to think dialectically. The adjective "cultured" is the best word to describe her. She is a cultured and totally inspiring person. These are the most important characteristics of a teacher and especially a professor.
Because as the American psychiatrist Karl Menninger said: “What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches”.
Marou Karaisaroglou, Greece
The classes in Bulgarian language punctuation and grammar with Ms Iliyana Dimitrova were so challenging and interesting that I was engrossed by her enthusiasm for work and the way she taught us the language. It was pleasure to participate in the classes. As well as I gained knowledge and learned new things, I enjoyed myself, because there was no stress or tension, but a natural and friendly relationship. Her qualities as understanding, responsiveness, kindness, strong motivation, innovation, creativity and social engagement broadened my horizons and made me feel in my element. I also felt encouraged and motivated by her even for my small achievements.
The meetings with Ms Dimitrova will stick in my memory certainly not as lack of time but as an exciting adventure in which you achieve qualitative results in a way that grabs and impresses you. And also makes you feel thankful.
Marina Georgieva, Bulgaria
Iliyana Dimitrova was a teacher in my classroom for the bulgarian language. She is a very organized person who places great importance on students acting exactly as expected and that materials are kept straight and orderly.Her ability to connect with students,by addressing each student's unique talents and specific needs, was absolutely incredible.
Ms. Dimitrova was always prepared for her lessons with detailed lesson plans that tied each activity into the state standards. We were always excited to learn and the activities she planned were interactive and focused on curriculum standards.She has excellent written and verbal communication skills and a huge knowledge! I really enjoyed the lessons with her!
Giouli Kailari, Greece
Iliyana Dimitrova is a full-time PhD Student in a Department of Modern Bulgarian Language at St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo. She takes a broad interest in teaching foreign languages as well as teaching Bulgarian to foreigners. I have known her from the very beginning of my studies at the university and I make bold to say that she is a real professional, who puts heart in her work. Mrs. Dimitrova was my lecturer in Bulgarian (language culture) and her method of teaching is amazing. She has the ability to attract the attention of her students every time and to present a lesson as easy to understand and master as possible. So the classes pass off imperceptibly and at the same time so pleasantly. In my opinion, a lecturer needs to be not only a teacher, but a friend, too. For being a teaching useful and successful, the fellowship between a teacher and a student is one of the most important things. I like very much her quality to be one of us.Time that I have spent with Mrs. Dimitrova gives me a reason to think that she has motivation, sense of responsibility and initiative for realization as a good teacher. I am pretty sure that all these things will bring her a successful professional career
Petya Petkova, Bulgaria
It was a real pleasure for me to be part of Iliyana’s lectures. Not only because I have a strong interest in learning the peculiarities of the Bulgarian language, but because she is a teacher who is truly devoted to her work. She always finds the time, patience and will to answer all of the students’ questions, to explain all of the difficulties. She pays attention to each paragraph, to each sentence, to every single letter of the student’s work. Since she finds each detail important, she motivates the students to appreciate the importance of the right usage of the language and its features. Her lectures do not only include the boring, dull and annoying facts written in the dusty grammar books, which we tend to hide inside the basement. Her lessons exemplify the beauty and elegance of the language, the great diversity of its words and phrases. She herself adores the Bulgarian language, one can easily notice that. What better than being taught by a person who himself worships the subject he deals with?
Iliyana teaches Bulgarian with love and joy. And this joyful spirit turns her work and simultaneously the efforts of the students into a real pleasure. The best teachers are those who find joy in their discipline, those who manage to inspire their students. Iliyana never leaves a problem unsolved, a question unanswered, a statement unclear. As a person who is truly interested in the area of philological studies, I may say that one can only find knowledge, pleasant atmosphere, interesting facts and certainly a lot of nice moments during her lectures. I am really happy that I was one of her students, that I was taught by her and that I met her at all. Because she inspired me to become better, to develop my skills, to develop myself, to appreciate the importance of literacy. She herself exemplifies the beauty of literacy and fluency.
I really appreciate Iliyana as a teacher and as a person. She aims perfection and encourages perfection. She is one of the best teachers I have ever had.
Reni Petkova, Bulgaria
My name is Ann. My mother tongue is Russian and Bulgarian is not so difficult for me to learn because it has a lot of same words. Now it is time I have been staying in Bulgaria for 6 months. I’m very thankful to my lucky stars that gave me the opportunity to live here. Most of all I like Bulgarian breathtaking nature and climate. But it’s another theme to discuss. In this comment I would like to speak about Bulgarian language and its learning. When I came in Bulgaria for the first time it was a little bit shocking for me because of the accent in spite of the fact I’ve been learning it for one year before coming here. So just one week passed and I got used with it. In this case I want to say that learning a language is quicker in its environment. It is natural that you can’t express all your thoughts at once and you shouldn’t be afraid of it and try to speak more and more. I’m studying English Philology in Veliko Tarnovo University and Bulgarian language is an essential part of my studying.
Iliyana Dimitrova is my first Bulgarian teacher in Bulgaria. I’ve been on all her lectures because it was pleasure for me to get a lot of interesting things about Bulgarian culture, traditions and holidays. We have learned even one Bulgarian Easter song. As concerning Iliyana Dimitrova’s teaching I have to say that I think she has planned her lectures very seriously and accurate in spite of the fact that they were very simple. It was exactly that we needed. We didn’t learn just rules and exercise them. We mixed this unpleasant work with discussing everyday situations trying to use only Bulgarian speech I can say that remember almost all the thing that we were talking about in playing form or often using them.
I wish Iliyana was given more lectures with foreign students because I think they need her help. And I think that lectures only one time per week it’s too few to get good knowledge. I hope my wishes will come true.
Ann Bolbot, Moldova
Dear Iliyana, Thank you for all the help that you gave me during my studies. I am proud to say that I was one of your students and prouder to declare that you taught me all these things!! I really appreciate all the advices that you had given me your help was the best thing I could ever had!
Panagiotis Salonikidis, Greece
In my opinion, the curriculum during the term was very well structured and organised that we were able to acquire all the material we were supposed to. Iliyana Dimitrova gave us the chance to give our opinions on the matter by communicating with all of the students. She is very nice and I really had a lot of fun during these lectures.
Viktoria Ivanova, Bulgaria
Iliyana was my teacher in Language culture at university. Grammar and Punctuation classes may seem very boring, but with Iliyana they were the exact opposite. She really involved me in the subject and that was because of her ability and mainly – willingness to explain the material to us, not only make us write endless pages. She would always give us appropriate and comprehensive examples, so that we could really understand what we were being taught. If there was a slight doubt about anything- a word, spelling or where to put a punctuation mark, she would always discuss it with us and provide an explanation. Thanks to her those classes were not a waste of time, but an important and most of all -useful lectures, which helped me gain a deeper insight in Bulgarian language.
There is no doubt that Iliyana is a true professional. But she is also a great teacher, teacher in the full meaning of the word. Her knowledge is accompanied by her dedication to the students and teaching. She is more interested in the results of her students rather than in their grades and really makes efforts to help them gain knowledge without getting bored .She would always talk with us and I remember when she once told us that we should seek chances to show our abilities and never give up.
Iliyana is funny and she really loves what she is doing. She did not treat us like most teachers - she acted as a friend. I can only regret that we will not have more classes together and hope that in future there will be more teachers like her!
Gabriela Yordanova, Bulgaria
In my Bulgarian language linguistic classes with Ms. Iliyana Dimitrova we are mastering rules for spelling, punctuation and syntax, and after we practice them with understandable and not too complicated exercises and tests. The classes are interesting, because through discussion and entertaining examples given often by the students, we acquire complex features and exclusions in Bulgarian language. This type of learning indeed helps the thinking of the young people to remember easier and the learning process becomes lighter, pleasant and acceptable. In my personal opinion our classes are mostly fun, even though I don’t really like to write this much grammar rules, but I guess that can’t be helped. Sometimes I think “Thank God I’m Bulgarian”, because if I had to learn this language as a foreign language it would be even more complicated than German and Chinese. But learning Bulgarian and getting to know more about my country is worth it.
Radostina Goroshevich, Bulgaria
It is great to have a lecturer like Iliyana Dimitrova. It is a real pleasure to be in her class. She can always teach you something new and amuse you at the same time. Few people are capable of doing this.
Neli Trifonova, Bulgaria
Iliyana Dimitrova's classes are always highly educational! The information is always given in a practical manner, easy to understand and acquire. The friendly and communicative atmosphere is of greatest importance.
Vladimir Petkov, Bulgaria
What I have found in my 'two weeks lessons', was just more than a teacher-student relation. What I have learnt was not only the grammatical / vocabulary aspects, but it was very important that I got in touch with the Bulgarian traditions to learn better the language. Iliyana, is not only a good teacher, but even a very solar person: sociable, kind, patient, and she can make you feel comfortable. She also can help you with your problems' life: like:" where I could find a bakery?", or "Where I can buy something?" Iliyana stimulates always a new curiosity about what she's teaching. And I thought it is the best way to learn.
Chiara Rusticali, Italy
Having bought a house in Bulgaria, I felt it was going to be vital to be able to communicate in Bulgarian. It is a tricky language to take on but I have found an excellent teacher in Iliyana. She is guiding me through the process with immense patience, teaching me not only the language but the culture and history, this has made it, easier to understand some of the quirks of the language and much more interesting. She is dedicated and so enthusiastic, you can't help enjoying the process of learning this language. She structures the lessons, to work at a pace that I'm comfortable with and is always on hand to help and advise if I'm struggling with something. I have found that life in Bulgaria is so much better being able to speak and understand a little of the language.
Helena Walker, UK
I started learning Bulgarian with no previous experience in August last year and Iliyana’s fantastic teaching style has been perfect for building up my confidence and enabling the mental tools that have been essential in my continuing path to fluency. Thanks to the way she really gets to know her pupils, directing the lessons to suit each learner’s individual needs; I have never felt as invested in the task of learning a language as I do now. This friendly and supportive tone is interspersed with engaging anecdotes that reflect her passion for Bulgaria, which reminds me why I am learning this language, to become seamlessly immersed in this beautiful country by learning how to communicate with the friendly, kind and interesting people who live here. I would recommend Iliyana to anyone.
Dan Petley, UK