Three different systems have been adopted officially by Bulgarian authorities at overlapping times. An older system in the tradition of common Slavic scientific transliteration was adopted by the Council of Orthography and Transcription of Geographical Names in Sofia in 1972 and subsequently by the UN in 1977. It is identical to that codified in the ISO norm ISO/R 9:1968. This system uses diacritic letters (<č, š, ž>) as well as
The second system was a French-oriented transliteration of personal and place names in the documents issued by the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior for travel abroad, used until 1999.
Systems based on a radically different principle, which avoids diacritics and is optimized for compatibility with English sound-letter correspondences, have come into official use in Bulgaria since the mid-1990s. These systems characteristically use
A modification of the system using a diacritic was proposed in the authoritative New Orthographic Dictionary of the Bulgarian Language in 2002, with ъ rendered as ă rather than a. However, that proposal was not adopted for official usage, and failed to become established in popular practice.
An exception rule was introduced by the Bulgarian authorities in 2006, mandating the transliteration of word-final -ия as -ia rather than -iya in given names and geographical names (such as Ilia, Maria and Bulgaria, Sofia, Trakia etc.). In 2009, a law passed by the Bulgarian parliament made this system mandatory for all official use and some types of private publications, expanding also the application of the ia-exception rule to all -ия in word-final position.
The new official Bulgarian system does not allow for unambiguous mapping back into Cyrillic, since unlike most other systems it does not distinguish between ъ and а (both rendered as a). It also does not distinguish between the digraph values of
Systems along similar lines to the new official Bulgarian system, though with differences regarding the letters х, ъ, ь, ю and я, have also been in use in the ALA-LC Romanization scheme of the Library of Congress, and the BGN/PCGN romanization of the United States and British governments.
The ISO 9 standard, in its 1995 version, has introduced another romanization system that works with a consistent one-to-one reversible mapping, resorting to rare diacritic combinations such as <â,û,ŝ>.
The archaic Cyrillic letters ѣ and ѫ, which were part of the pre-1945 orthography of Bulgarian, are variously transcribed as ⟨i͡e, e⟩, as ⟨ya, ě⟩, and as ⟨u̐, ŭǎ⟩, respectively, in the ALA/LC, BGN/PCGN and ISO 9 standards.
Read more about this topic: Streamlined System For The Romanization Of Bulgarian
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