Split from here. Well, to start with: I never meant to vouch that Bulgarian is much easier than the others. I don't know that, as I have never experienced learning Bulgarian as a foreign language - obviously, because I'm a native speaker of it! I just wanted to object to specific claims about its supposed difficulty that had been made and that I felt were a long way off the mark - scaremongering with the Definite Article of Doom and what not. Bulgarian is not hyper-easy, no Slavic language is, and while native command of Bulgarian helps with Russian a lot, I don't know just how useful a beginner's Bulgarian would be. Good luck to JFman00 in any case! The strategy that he has chosen certainly sounds exciting. Disagree. French is the one I know best, so here goes: Imperfect: J'écrivais = Bul. аз пишех (= Rus. я писал) Preterite: J'écrivis = (usually) Bul. аз написах (= Rus. я написал) Aspect is, of course, also relevant for these examples - coming shortly. It's good you pointed out the aspect issue, I was wrong not to mention it in my previous post. I still maintain I was right to say that the use of the tenses shouldn't be a problem, it's largely the same as in Romance. But the way they are formed morphologically is indeed messier than in Romance. Basically, to translate the West European imperfect into Bulgarian, you need to use the imperfect tense and you must pick the imperfective aspect version of the verb (pres. пиша - imperf. пишех). To translate the West European preterite, you need to use the Bulgarian preterite/aorist and you must pick the perfective version of the verb (pres. напиша - aor. написах). So while most Slavic languages only force you to choose between the perfective and the imperfective aspect version of the verb in order to express the imperfect/preterite difference (Rus. писал - написал), but at least the tense morphology is the same (originally a participle), in Bulgarian you have this and you also have to use the correct tense. This means that in Bulgarian both ways of signalling the contrast - aspect and tense - are used redundantly: imperfect tense + imperfective aspect; preterite tense + perfective aspect. Morphologically, this may be disconcerting, but I'm not sure it's much worse than the other Slavic languages. In Bulgarian, you need to memorize the aspect versions of the verb (пиша vs напиша), just like in the other Slavic languages, and in addition you need to remember how the aorist stem is formed (писа-х). But in the other Slavic languages, you also need to memorize the ancient aorist stem to build the participle-turned-past-tense (писа-л). It should also be noted that while the aspect expression in the past is messy, the same distinction in the future is formed in a more consistent way than in most other Slavic languages (compare Bul. ще пиша - ще напиша vs Rus. буду писать - напишу). Of course I'm oversimplifying things when I say that the ancient tense and the new aspect double up completely redundantly in Bulgarian (imperfect tense + imperfective aspect пишех and aorist tense + perfective aspect написах). Still, I think that this is actually true about 90 % of the time. The remaining two logical possibilities (imperfect tense + perfective aspect писах and aorist tense + imperfective aspect напишех) are rare, seldom obligatory, express pretty fine nuances and a foreigner won't need to use them until a very advanced stage of learning. The first one has a meaning that is hard to describe (вчера писах писмо, kinda "I did some letter-writing yesterday"), but it is vague, it's used in relatively few situations and can be replaced with the imperfect or something else without too much harm being done. Also, it tends to coincide completely with other forms, so even native speakers confuse it occasionally without fatal consequences (I regularly confuse aorist говорих and imperfect говорех). As for the other remaining possibility, it can be used as a kind of conjunctive in some subordinate clauses (ако напишех "if I were to write"), but you can always replace it with more ordinary forms such as the present (ако напиша) and the real conjunctive constructions, corresponding to the Czech and Russian ones (ако бих написал).