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Bulgarian Tenses Overview: Make the Hardest Part Easier

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Even if you have a solid vocabulary base, your communication is going to be quite limited unless you know how to use tenses. While they may seem intimidating, studying the Bulgarian tenses will open up a whole new world to you and fill your life with so many different possibilities. 

Just imagine: Being able to talk about the present, past, and future will allow you to tell your Bulgarian friend what you’re up to at the moment, what happened yesterday, or what your plans are for the future. 

In this detailed guide, BulgarianPod101 will cover all nine verb tenses in Bulgarian grammar and provide you with examples of how to use them. We know that tenses are probably the hardest part of learning a foreign language, so we’ve tried to make our guide as simple and useful as possible. 

Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. Bulgarian Language Specifics
  2. Present Tense
  3. Past Tenses
  4. Future Tenses
  5. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn Bulgarian Tenses

1. Bulgarian Language Specifics

Before we delve into verb tenses in the Bulgarian language, let’s take a look at three of the essential specifics that distinguish Bulgarian from most other languages.

No infinitive form

Instead of infinitive verb forms like those found in English, Russian, and many other languages, the Bulgarian language has a basic verb form that is first person singular, present tense. This means that when you look for specific verbs in the dictionary, you’ll find their forms for first person:

  • говоря (govorya) – to talk / I talk
  • чета (cheta) – to read / I read
  • питам (pitam) – to ask / I ask
  • отговарям (otgovariam) – to answer / I answer
  • мисля (mislya) – to think / I think

Bulgarian verb conjugations

There are three verb conjugations in Bulgarian, categorized based on the stem form in third person singular, present tense. 

ConjugationStem vowelStem form (3rd pers., sing., present tense)Base form (1st pers., sing., present tense)
1st четечета
2ndговори, мислиговоря, мисля
3rd-а, -япита, отговаряпитам, отговарям

He Reads an Interesting Book

Examples:

1st Conjugation

  • Той чете интересна книга, а аз чета вестник.
    Toy chete interesna kniga, a az cheta vestnik.
    He reads an interesting book and I read a newspaper.

3rd Conjugation

  • Аз питам, а той отговаря.
    As pitam, a toy otgovarya.
    I ask, and he answers.

    Practical Exercise No. 1 – Conjugations

Determine the conjugation of the following words, placed in third person singular, present tense:

разбира (razbira), understands – Conjugation No. ____
знае (znae), knows – Conjugation No. ____
учи (uchi), studies – Conjugation No. ____
играе (razbira), plays – Conjugation No. ____
вярва (vyarva), believes – Conjugation No. ____
работи (raboti), works – Conjugation No. ____
мечтае (mechtae), dreams – Conjugation No. ____


    Practical Exercise No. 2 – Conjugations

Using the table from Bulgarian Verb Conjugations, try to translate the following sentence into Bulgarian:

                   She doesn’t speak, because she thinks a lot.

Bulgarian:

Bulgarian auxiliary verbs

The Bulgarian language features two auxiliary verbs: съм (sam) and ща (shta). Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

  • съм (sam) – to be

    This verb is widely used in constructing complex verb forms. съм and its derivatives (for the past and future tenses) play an important role in forming different tenses.

  • ща (shta) – to want

    This verb is used only for future tense forms. To form verbs in the future tense and the future perfect tense, its derivative ще (shtе), or “will,” should be used. Over time, this word has lost its meaning of “want to” and is now considered to be a particle meaning “will.”

    To form the other future tenses (Future in the Past & Future Perfect in the Past), which will be discussed below in detail, we need to use the aorist form of ща, which is щял (shtyal), meaning “would.”

Examples: 

    ➢ Аз съм учител.
        Az sam uchitel.
        I am a teacher. – Present Tense

    ➢ Като порасна, ще съм смел като татко.
        Kato porasna, shte sam smel kato tatko.
        When I grow up, I will be as brave as my daddy. – Future Tense

    ➢ Вчера бях у дома.
        Vchera byah u doma.
        Yesterday, I was at home. – Past Tense

I Am a Teacher.
    → BulgarianPod101 covers more important points related to Bulgarian grammar on our website!

2. Present Tense

It’s important to note that there is only one present tense in Bulgarian, which makes things easier. However, don’t forget that there are three conjugations in the Bulgarian language, so you’ll have to learn them in order to use the correct forms in the present tense. 

Here’s a comparison table with endings for all three Bulgarian present tense conjugations.

Personal pronouns1st Conjugation (the verb read)2nd Conjugation(the verb speak)3rd Conjugation(the verb ask)
азчета
(cheta)
говоря
(govorya)
питам
(pitam)
тичетеш
(chetesh)
говориш
(govorish)
питаш
(pitash)
той/тя/точете
(chete)
говори
(govori)
пита
(pita)
ние четем
(chetem)
говорим
(govorim)
питаме
(pitame)
виечетете
(chetete)
говорите
(govorite)
питате
(pitate)
течетат
(chetat)
говорят
(govoryat)
питат
(pitat)

    Practical Exercise No. 3 – Present Tense

Fill in all the forms of the following verbs in the present tense, based on their conjugation:

Personal pronounsразбирамзнаяучамечтаявярвамиграя
аз
ти
той/тя/то
ние 
вие
те

Helpful Tip: Refer to Practical Exercise No. 1 for the correct conjugations. Then, use the endings of the correct conjugation to make the missing forms. You can find the correct answers at the end of this guide.  

Uses of the Bulgarian Present Tense

Here are a few things to keep in mind when studying the Bulgarian present tense and its uses.

1. The present tense in Bulgarian is equivalent to the English present simple tense

Examples:

    ➢ Аз говоря български език.
        Az govorya balgarski ezik.
        I speak the Bulgarian language.

    ➢ Обичам да чета книги.
        Obicham da cheta knigi.
        I love reading books.

    ➢ Често си мисля за теб!
        Chesto si mislya za teb!
        I often think about you!

2. The Bulgarian present tense, just like the English present simple tense, can be used to express habitual activities.

Examples:

    ➢ Всеки ден уча български език.
        Vseki den ucha balgarski ezik.
        I study Bulgarian every day.

    Чета по една българска книга всяка седмица.
        Cheta po edna balgarska kniga vsyaka sedmitsa.
        I read one Bulgarian book every week.

3. The Bulgarian present tense can also express the English present continuous tense.

Examples:

    ➢ Не ме безпокой, защото в момента чета интересна книга.
        Ne me bezpokoy, zashtoto v momenta cheta interesna kniga.
        Don’t bother me, because I’m reading an interesting book right now.

    ➢ Не ме прекъсвай, докато говоря с други хора.
        Ne me prekasvay, dokato govorya s drugi hora.
        Don’t interrupt me while I’m talking to other people.

4. Just like the English present continuous tense, the Bulgarian present tense can also be used to tell others about future activities we have planned.

Examples:

    ➢ Вечерта пътувам за София.
        Vecherta patuvam za Sofiya.
        I am traveling to Sofia tonight.

    ➢ Утре пристигам в Бургас.
        Utre pristigam v Burgas.
        I am arriving in Burgas tomorrow.

5. The Bulgarian present tense can act as an equivalent to the English present perfect continuous tense to express habitual activities, when the specific activities began in the past and continue to the present moment.

Examples:

    ➢ От три години уча този език.
        Ot tri godini ucha tozi ezik.
        I have been studying this language for three years.

    ➢ От месец чета тази книга, но още не съм я завършил.
        Ot mesets cheta tazi kniga, no oshte ne sam ya zavarshil.
        I have been reading this book for a month, but I have not finished it yet.

6. The Bulgarian present tense can be used to express historical events. In this case, it is equivalent to the past simple tense in English.

    ➢ Кирил и Методий създават славянската азбука през IX век.
        Kiril i Metodiy sazdavat slavyanskata azbuka prez IX vek.
        In the IX century, Cyril and Methodius created the Slavic alphabet.

    ➢ След смъртта на цар Симеон Велики, на престола се качва синът му Петър.
        Sled smartta na tsar Simeon Veliki, na prestola se kachva sinat mu Petar.
        After the death of King Simeon the Great, his son Peter ascended the throne.

Learn Bulgarian Tenses to Sit on the Throne of Knowledge!

3. Past Tenses

There are four Bulgarian past tenses: 

1. the past simple tense (also called aorist)
2. the past continuous tense
3. минало неопределено време (minalo neopredeleno vreme), equivalent to the present perfect tense
4. минало предварително време (minalo predvaritelno vreme), equivalent to the past perfect tense

Past Simple Tense (Aorist)

Aorist describes actions that happened at a definite moment in the past, and it corresponds to the English past simple tense. It’s formed with the stem vowel , , , or (if it follows the consonant ж, ч, or ш). The specific verb endings for this tense are given in the table below:

Personal pronounsEndings for past simple tense
аз– х
ти
той/тя/то
ние -хме
вие-хте
те-ха

There’s no ending in the second or third person singular, which means that these forms will end in the stem vowel. 

Let’s make the past form of the verbs we already studied above:

  • говоря (govorya) – to talk / I talk
  • чета (cheta) – to read / I read
  • питам (pitam) – to ask / I ask
  • отговарям (otgovariam) – to answer / I answer
  • мисля (mislya) – to think / I think

Personal pronounsVerb with stem vowel * Verb with stem vowel Verb with stem vowel
азговорихчетохпитах
тиговоричетепита
той/тя/тоговоричетепита
ние говорихмечетохмепитахме
виеговорихтечетохтепитахте
теговорихачетохапитаха

* Note that the word чета (четох) belongs to a special class of 23 verbs. Their stems end in д, т, з, с, or к and their stem vowel could be or -e in the second and third persons singular. 

Examples:

    ➢ Вчера цял ден четох интересна книга.
        Vchera tsyal den chetoh interesna kniga.
        Yesterday, I read an interesting book all day.

    ➢ Те ни питаха какво да ни купят за подарък.
        Te ni pitaha kakvo da ni kupyat za podarak.
        They asked us what to buy us as a gift.

    ★ Practical Exercise No. 4 – Past Simple Tense

Fill in all the forms of the following verbs in the past simple tense, based on their stem vowel:

Personal pronounsVerb with stem vowel Verb with stem vowel Verb with stem vowel Verb with stem vowel
азмислихучихмечтахиграх
ти
той/тя/то
ние 
вие
те

Bonus exercise:

Try to form the past simple tense of the following verb, knowing that its stem vowel is :

  •  успях (uspyah) – I succeeded
Personal pronounsVerb with stem vowel
азуспях
ти
той/тя/то
ние 
вие
те
    ➢ Here’s an intriguing lesson from BulgarianPod101 about the past simple tense—check it out if you’d like to further explore this topic!

Past Imperfect Tense

The past imperfect tense describes a specific action, which was either in progress or incomplete at a definite moment in the past. It can be recognized when the following time phrases are used in the sentence:

  • тогава (togava) – then
  • по това време (po tova vreme) – at that time
  • в този момент (v tozi moment) – in this moment

    По това време учениците седяха на масата и учеха.
        Po tova vreme uchenitsite sedyaha na masata i ucheha.
        At that time, the students were sitting at the table and studying.

Another usage of this tense is to express that the action is repeated in the past.

    ➢ Всеки вторник ходех в библиотеката и четях.
        Vseki vtornik hodeh v bibliotekata i chetyah.
        Every Tuesday, I was going to the library and reading.

Here are the endings for the past continuous tense:

Personal pronounsEndings for past continuous tense
аз
ти-ше
той/тя/то-ше
ние -хме
вие-хте
те-ха

If you recall the endings for the past simple tense, you’ll notice that the only change comes in the second and third persons singular, where the ending -ше is added after the stem vowel

There are three stem vowels (, , ) that can be used to form the past continuous tense. Let’s see how they’re formed using the verbs we saw above.

  • говоря (govorya) – to talk / I talk
  • чета (cheta) – to read / I read
  • питам (pitam) – to ask / I ask
  • отговарям (otgovariam) – to answer / I answer
  • мисля (mislya) – to think / I think

Personal pronounsVerb with stem vowel Verb with stem vowel Verb with stem vowel
азпитахчетяхмислeх
типиташечетешемислеше
той/тя/топиташечетешемислеше
ние питахмечетяхмемислeхме
виепитахтечетяхтемислeхте
тепитахачетяхамислeха

Examples:

    ➢ Дълго време четях тази голяма книга.
        Dalgo vreme chetyah tazi golyama kniga.
        I was reading this big book for a long time.

    ➢ За какво си мислеше, когато ти се обадих? 
        Za kakvo si misleshe, kogato ti se obadih?
        What were you thinking about when I called you?
What Were You Thinking about When I Called You?

    ★ Practical Exercise No. 5 – Past Continuous Tense

Fill in all the forms of the following verbs in the past continuous tense, based on their stem vowel:

Personal pronounsVerb with stem vowel Verb with stem vowel Verb with stem vowel
азотговаряхучехлежах
ти*
той/тя/то*
ние 
вие
те

We added one new verb: 

  • лежах (lezhah) – I was lying

* Note: The stem vowel for this verb is changed to -e in the second and third persons singular.

Минало неопределено време (minalo neopredeleno vreme) – Present Perfect Tense

This tense is used to describe an action that has taken place in the past, but its result continues in the present. Just like the English present perfect tense, the Bulgarian минало неопределено време tense uses a compound form of the verb съм (to be) in the present tense and the past active participle of the completed form. 

Examples:

    ➢ Гостите са дошли у нас.
        Gostite sa doshli u nas.
        The guests have come to us.

        [meaning that they are still in our house]

    ➢ Някой е взел учебника ми.
        Nyakoy e vzel uchebnika mi.
        Somebody has taken my textbook.

        [meaning that the textbook is still missing]

Let’s see in the table how it’s formed:

Personal pronounsEndings for present perfect tense (Минало неопределено време)
азсъм   -л (-а, -о)*
тиси    -л (-а, -о)*
той
тя
то
е      -л
е      -ла
е      -ло
ние сме   -ли 
виесте   -ли 
теса    -ли 

* For the first and second persons, the ending will depend on the gender:

  •  Without vowel – for masculine gender
  • – for feminine gender 
  • – for neuter gender

Let’s see how to form a few of our verbs into минало неопределено време. You can try the rest of them yourself in the Practical Exercise below.

  • говоря (govorya) – to talk / I talk
  • чета (cheta) – to read / I read
  • питам (pitam) – to ask / I ask
  • отговарям (otgovariam) – to answer / I answer
  • мисля (mislya) – to think / I think

Personal pronounsчетаговоря
азсъм чел/а/осъм говорил/а/о
тиси чел/а/оси говорил/а/о
той
тя
то
е     чел 
е     
чела 
е     
чело
е     говорил 
е     
говорила 
е     
говорило
ние сме челисме говорили
виесте челисте говорили
теса челиса говорили

    ★ Practical Exercise No. 6 – Present Perfect Tense (минало неопределено време)

Fill in all the forms of the following verbs in the present perfect tense (минало неопределено време), based on their stem vowel:

Personal pronounsпитамотговаряммисля
азсъм питал/а/осъм отговорил/а/осъм мислил/а/о
ти
тойтято
ние 
вие
те

Минало предварително време (minalo predvaritelno vreme) – Past Perfect Tense

This tense is formed using the forms of the past continuous tense of the verb съм (to be) and the past active participle of the completed form. So the verb forms remain the same as those described above for the Bulgarian минало неопределено време. The only change is in the verb съм, which is used in its past continuous tense: бях (byah).

It’s used to show that an action was completed before another action or moment in the past, which is mentioned or implied. The result of the action affects that past moment.

Examples:

    ➢ Когато влязох, тя вече беше чела писмото.
        Kogato vlyazoh, tya veche beshe chela pismoto.
        When I entered, she had already read the letter.

    ➢ Преди да дойда, той вече беше купил билети за киното.
        Predi da doyda, toy veche beshe kupil bileti za kinoto.
        Before I came, he had already bought tickets for the movie.

When I Entered, She Had Already Read the Letter.

Let’s see how it’s formed:

Personal pronounsEndings for past perfect tense (Минало предварително време)
азбях  -л (-а, -о)*
тибеше   -л (-а, -о)*
той
тя
то
беше      -л   
беше      -ла   
беше      -ло
ние бяхме  -ли 
виебяхте  -ли 
тебяха   -ли 

* For the first and second persons, the ending will depend on the gender:

  •  Without vowel – for masculine gender
  • – for feminine gender 
  • for neuter gender

Let’s see how to form a few of our verbs into минало предварително време. You can try the rest of them yourself in the Practical Exercise below.

  • говоря (govorya) – to talk / I talk
  • чета (cheta) – to read / I read
  • питам (pitam) – to ask / I ask
  • отговарям (otgovariam) – to answer / I answer
  • мисля (mislya) – to think / I think

Personal pronounsчетаговоря
азбях чел/а/обях говорил/а/о
тибеше чел/а/обеше говорил/а/о
той
тя
то
беше     чел 
беше     
чела 
беше     чело
беше     говорил 
беше     
говорила 
беше     
говорило
ние бяхме челибяхме говорили
виебяхте челибяхте говорили
тебяха челибяха говорили

    ★ Practical Exercise No. 7 – Past Perfect Tense (минало предварително време)

Fill in all the forms of the following verbs in the past perfect tense (минало предварително време), based on their stem vowel:

Personal pronounsпитамотговаряммисля
азбях питал/а/обях отговорил/а/обях мислил/а/о
ти
той
тя
то
ние 
вие
те

4. Future Tenses

There are four Bulgarian future tenses: 

  • Future Tense
  • Future Perfect Tense
  • Future in the Past Tense
  • бъдеще предварително време в миналото (badeshte predvaritelno vreme v minaloto) – Future Preliminary Tense in the Past

That last one can be described as past future perfect or future perfect in the past.

Future Tense

The Bulgarian future tense is very easy to form. Just take the present simple tense of the verb and place the particle ще (shte), meaning “will,” before the verb form.

Examples:

    ➢ Утре ще отида на кино.
        Utre shte otida na kino.
        Tomorrow, I will go to the cinema.

    ➢ Вечерта ще уча български език.
        Vecherta shte ucha balgarski ezik.
        In the evening, I will study the Bulgarian language.

When negating a verb in the future tense, the impersonal verb няма and the particle да are placed before the present tense verb.

Examples:

    ➢ Аз няма да дойда.
        Az nyama da doyda.
        I will not come.

    ➢ Те няма да четат от книгата днес.
        Te nyama da chetat ot knigata dnes.
        They will not read from the book today.

The Bulgarian future tense corresponds to both the future and future progressive tenses in English.

Let’s see how to form a few of our verbs in the future tense. You can try the rest of them for yourself in the Practical Exercise below.

  • говоря (govorya) – to talk / I talk
  • чета (cheta) – to read / I read
  • питам (pitam) – to ask / I ask
  • отговарям (otgovariam) – to answer / I answer
  • мисля (mislya) – to think / I think

Personal pronouns1st  Conjugation2nd Conjugation3rd Conjugation
азще четаще говоряще питам
тище четешще говоришще питаш
той/тя/тоще четеще говорище пита
ние ще четемще говоримще питаме
виеще чететеще говоритеще питате
теще четатще говорятще питат

    ★ Practical Exercise No. 8 – Future Tense

If you’ve already filled this table for the present tense exercise, it will be very easy for you to form the future tense:

Personal pronounsразбирамзнаяучамечтаявярвамиграя
аз
ти
той/тя/то
ние 
вие
те

Future Perfect Tense

In Bulgarian, the future perfect tense is called бъдеще предварително време (badeshte predvaritelno vreme). It’s formed using the particle for future tense (ще), the verb съм (to be), and the past active completed participle of the main verb. 

It expresses a future action, which will have been completed by a given future moment. The result of the action affects that future moment. This tense corresponds to the English future perfect tense. 

Examples:

    ➢ До утре вечер ще съм прочел цялата книга.
        Do utre vecher shte sam prochel tsyalata kniga.
        I will have read the whole book by tomorrow night.

    ➢ До тогава хората ще са променили природата.
        Do togava horata shte sa promenili prirodata.
        Until then, people will have changed nature.

Until Then, People Will Have Changed Nature.

It’s easy to form this tense, assuming you’ve already learned how to form минало предварително време. The only difference is that we add the particle ще to the forms.

Personal pronounsчетаговоря
азще съм чел/а/още съм говорил/а/о
тище си чел/а/още си говорил/а/о
той
тя
то
ще е     чел
ще е     чела
ще е     чело
ще е     говорил 
ще е     говорила 
ще е     говорило
ние ще сме челище сме говорили
виеще сте челище сте говорили
теще са челище са говорили

    ★ Practical Exercise No. 9 – Future Perfect Tense (бъдеще предварително време)

Fill in all the forms of the following verbs in the future perfect tense (бъдеще предварително време), based on their stem vowel:

Personal pronounsпитамотговаряммисля
азще съм питал/а/още съм отговорил/а/още съм мислил/а/о
ти
тойтято
ние 
вие
те

Future in the Past Tense

Бъдеще време в миналото (Badeshte vreme v minaloto) is expressed using compound forms. It’s formed using the auxiliary verb ща in the past continuous tense (щях), the particle да, and the main verb in the present simple tense. 

Examples:

    Щях да чета.
        Shtyah da cheta.
        I would (was going to) read.

    Щях да пея.
        Shtyah da peya.
        I would (was going to) sing.

The negative form is expressed using нямаше (nyamashe), which is not conjugated for the person or number, plus the particle да and the main verb in the present simple tense. 

Examples:

    Нямаше да чета.
        Niamashe da cheta.
        I would not (was not going to) read.

    Нямаше да пея.
        Niamashe da peya.
        I would not (was not going to) sing.

This tense expresses an action in the past, which has taken place after another moment in the past. It corresponds to the English future in the past tense. 

Examples:

    ➢ Те щяха да прекарат лятото на това място.
        Te shtyaha da prekarat lyatoto na tova myastо.
        They were going to spend the summer in this place.

    ➢ Влакът щеше да тръгне след 5 минути.
        Vlakat shteshe da tragne sled 5 minuti.
        The train was going to leave in 5 minutes.

Let’s see how to form a few of our verbs in the future in the past tense. You can try the rest of them for yourself in the Practical Exercise below.

  • говоря (govorya) – to talk / I talk
  • чета (cheta) – to read / I read
  • питам (pitam) – to ask / I ask
  • отговарям (otgovariam) – to answer / I answer
  • мисля (mislya) – to think / I think

Personal pronouns1st  Conjugation2nd Conjugation3rd Conjugation
азщях да четащях да говорящях да питам
тищеше да четешщеше да говоришщеше да питаш
той/тя/тощеше да четещеше да говорищеше да пита
ние щяхме да четемщяхме да говоримщяхме да питаме
виещяхте да чететещяхте да говоритещяхте да питате
тещяха да четатщяха да говорятщяха да питат
    ★ Practical Exercise No. 10 – Future in the Past Tense

If you’ve already filled in this table for the present tense, use the table above to form the future in the past tense:

Personal pronounsразбирамзнаявярвамиграя
аз
ти
той/тя/то
ние 
вие
те

Past Future Perfect

Бъдеще предварително време в миналото (badeshte predvaritelno vreme v minaloto), or future preliminary tense in the past, can be described as “past future perfect” or “future perfect in the past.” This is the most complex compound tense.

It represents an action in its relation to a past moment the same way that the simple future tense presents it in relation to the moment of speaking. In other words, these forms mean that the action has passed in relation to a certain past moment, which in turn is forthcoming (future) for the past moment in question.

Let’s give an example:

    ➢ Ако не беше закъснял толкова, досега щяхме да сме излезли.
        Ako ne beshe zakasnyal tolkova, dosega shtyahme da sme izlezli.
        If he hadn’t been so late, we would have been out by now.

It’s formed using the auxiliary verb ща in the past continuous tense (щях), the particle да, the verb съм in the present tense, and the main verb in the present simple tense. This tense is rarely used because of its complex compound form, but to make this guide complete, we’ll show you how to form it just in case:

Personal pronounsчетаговоря
азщях да съм чел/а/ощях да съм говорил/а/о
тищеше да си чел/а/ощеше да си говорил/а/о
той
тя
то
щеше да е     чел
щеше да е     чела
щеше да е     чело
щеше да е     говорил 
щеше да е     говорила 
щеше да е     говорило
ние щяхме да сме челищяхме да сме говорили
виещяхте да сте челищяхте да сте говорили
тещяха да са челищяха да са говорили

    ★ Practical Exercise No. 11 – Past Future Perfect Tense

Try to create the forms of the following verbs in the past future perfect tense:

Personal pronounsпитамотговаряммисля
азщях да съм питал/а/ощях да съм отговорил/а/ощях да съм мислил/а/о
ти
тойтято
ние 
вие
те

5. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn Bulgarian Tenses

We hope you found our overview of Bulgarian verb tenses useful and practical for your study needs. At BulgarianPod101, we always strive to help our students learn Bulgarian in the fastest, easiest, and most effective way possible. 

We provide our students with plenty of lessons in both audio and video formats, in addition to our themed vocabulary lists, Bulgarian-English dictionary, and other free resources. But if you feel like you need a personal coach who can explain the Bulgarian tenses to you in greater detail and practice them with you, consider creating a Premium PLUS account to utilize our MyTeacher service. This service gives you your own personal tutor, who can help you learn and practice at your own pace! 

Before you go: Did you find the practical exercises throughout this article easy, or were they a bit difficult? Remember that you can find the answers for each exercise below. 

Happy learning!

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How Long Does it Take to Learn Bulgarian?

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The Bulgarian language is not an easy one for English speakers to learn. Being part of the Slavic language family, it differs quite a bit from the Germanic and Romance languages. Not only do learners have to get used to the Cyrillic alphabet, but they must also learn all the noun and adjective endings for different genders, the verb conjugations for different tenses, and so on. 

Feeling intimidated already? 

Don’t worry! BulgarianPod101 is here to encourage you. 

Although it might take some time, learning Bulgarian is possible. In this article, we’ll teach you how to learn Bulgarian faster and more effectively for the best results. 

There are three things you’ll need if you want to master the language: 

  • Motivation. In order to succeed, you need to maintain a high level of motivation during the entire learning process. One way you can do this is to stick to a schedule. Of course, in order to make a good plan, you’ll need to know how long it would take to learn Bulgarian to reach a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level. Don’t worry: Our guide will give you practical information regarding what kind of time commitment you’re looking at.
  • Persistence. You’ll come across some difficult topics and subjects throughout the course of your studies, but it’s important to continue your learning in order to advance. Each challenge you overcome will make you a more successful language learner.
  • Achievement. When you see your first marks of progress, you’ll be motivated to continue your studies. The more achievements you see, the more motivated you’ll be to learn the Bulgarian language in full.
Your Progress Depends on Your Motivation, Persistence, and Achievements!
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. 3 Factors That Play a Huge Role in Bulgarian Language Learning
  2. Comparison Between Bulgarian and Other Languages
  3. How Long Does it Take to Achieve aBeginner Level?
  4. How Long Does it Take to Achieve an Intermediate Level?
  5. How Long Does it Take to Achieve an Advanced Level?
  6. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn the Bulgarian Language

3 Factors That Play a Huge Role in Bulgarian Language Learning

There are three main factors that determine how long it takes to learn Bulgarian:

  • Attitude. Having a positive attitude toward learning will make the process much easier and more enjoyable for you. Try to be as dedicated as possible, and view this as an opportunity to broaden your horizons. 
  • Time. The more time you study and practice the language, the less time it will take to get used to it.
  • Attentiveness. Some people have a talent for learning foreign languages quickly. If you’re among them, consider yourself lucky! The learning process will require less effort from you compared to other learners. But regardless of your natural inclinations toward language learning, you should always strive to be attentive in your studies!
Attitude, Time, Attentiveness

Comparison Between Bulgarian and Other Languages

The time it will take you to learn Bulgarian depends, to some extent, on your first language. If you’re a native English speaker, then you might find the Bulgarian language more difficult to learn than other languages (like French, Spanish, or Italian). 

One of the reasons for this is the existence of a third gender (neuter) in Bulgarian, compared to the two genders (masculine and feminine) used in the Romance languages mentioned above. This means that Bulgarian learners have to learn more noun and adjective forms, as well as how to identify the three different genders. 

In addition, Bulgarian belongs to the group of Slavic languages, which are more challenging to learn compared to the other European languages. There are many irregular forms of verbs, noun cases, exceptions to the rules, etc. that make studying more difficult.

However, learning the Bulgarian language is not Mission Impossible as long as you dedicate your time and efforts to achieving this goal. Below, we’ll discuss how long it takes to master each of the Bulgarian language levels based on research by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI).

How the Foreign Service Institute Ranks Bulgarian

The FSI has divided foreign languages into four categories. Category I languages are the most similar to English (and thus easier to learn), while Category IV languages are the least similar (and most difficult to learn). 

Category I languages include Spanish, French, and Italian, for instance. These take an English speaker roughly 24 weeks (600 hours) of intensive study to reach speaking and reading proficiency. 

On the other end of the scale are Category IV languages, which include Arabic, Korean, and Japanese, for example. These languages take about 88 weeks (2200 hours) to fully master. 

So where exactly does Bulgarian fall? 

Category 1 Languages

The FSI classifies Bulgarian as a Category III language. Other languages in this category include Czech, Polish, Turkish, and Greek. These languages take about 44 weeks (1100 hours) of study to master. 

So if you would like to learn Bulgarian, you may need almost a full year of studying to gain fluency in speaking, reading, and writing, and to communicate freely with Bulgarians. Although this might seem like a long time, you can succeed if you’re persistent in your efforts and accumulate knowledge slowly but surely. 

That said, you can start speaking Bulgarian way sooner! If you follow the lessons prepared by BulgarianPod101, you’ll be able to start communicating with native speakers within a few weeks. Don’t you think it’ll be worth the effort? 

Additional Note: Keep in mind that Bulgarian learners who already know Russian or another Slavic language will have a much easier time picking up the language. This is because Bulgarian and other Slavic languages have many things in common.

How Long Does it Take to Achieve a Beginner Level?

Start to Communicate at the Beginner Level

What language skills are developed at the beginner level?

The beginner level encompasses levels A1 and A2

It involves comprehension of everyday expressions and simple conversations. For example, you’ll be able to greet someone, introduce yourself, and ask questions to maintain a conversation at a simple level, if your interlocutor speaks slowly enough. You’ll also be able to express your needs to others. 

How do you know whether you’re at the A1 or A2 level? If any of these things apply to you, you’re probably still at the A1 level: 

  • The Bulgarian language is completely new to you
  • You may have lived for a short time in Bulgaria, but you know only a few words and phrases
  • You may have started to study this language on your own, but without sufficient practice

How long does it take to become a beginner-level Bulgarian speaker?

It usually takes 2 months (50 hours) to master these basic Bulgarian language skills.

How can you reach this level faster?

If you would like to accelerate your progress, you can watch YouTube channels that teach the Bulgarian language to beginners. A good place to start is Learn Bulgarian with BulgarianPod101.com, where you can find hundreds of free lessons to help you advance much more quickly.

Using flashcards to remember new words is also very useful at this level of language study. Wondering how to learn Bulgarian faster using mobile flashcards? You can learn more about this method on our website!

Absolute Beginner Pathways for Bulgarian Learners

Here are some tips on how to learn Bulgarian online using BulgarianPod101.com! 

  • Start with the Bulgarian alphabet. 

    The Bulgarian alphabet is the foundation upon which you’ll build the rest of your language skills. Do not skip or postpone this step! We recommend starting with our free alphabet guide for absolute beginners, which will help you quickly become familiar with the Bulgarian alphabet. It might take you up to a week to feel completely comfortable with it, but it’s well worth the effort.
  • Go through some well-structured audio lessons.

    Becoming comfortable with audio material right from the start will really help speed up your progress. You can check out our 3-Minute Bulgarian series, which consists of 25 three-minute lessons suitable for beginners. You’ll get acquainted with topics such as self-introductions, greetings, manners, asking questions, making apologies, and much more. It might take you a couple of weeks to get through the series, depending on how many lessons you do each day.
  • Study longer, more complicated beginner lessons. 

    Next, you might want to go through our Absolute Beginner pathway. It features 25 lessons (about 10 minutes each) that will help you better assimilate the information from the previous course and learn new vocabulary/skills. By the end of this series, you’ll be able to express your thoughts, needs, and questions more effectively. It might take 2-3 weeks of study and practice to feel confident speaking with your Bulgarian interlocutors.

Bonus: How much Bulgarian can you learn in 60 minutes? To find out, try out our 60-minute course Lessons for Your Flight to Bulgaria! If you’re an A2-level learner, you’ll find this easy to complete—but it’s still a great way to reinforce your vocabulary knowledge. 

How much time will it take to reach beginner-level Bulgarian with BulgarianPod101.com?

Mastering the Bulgarian AlphabetUp to 1 week
3-Minute Bulgarian SeriesUp to 2 weeks
Absolute Beginner PathwayUp to 3 weeks

It takes a maximum of 6 weeks to reach the beginner Bulgarian level with our platform. Not that bad, right?

  • We’ve also prepared a bunch of interesting 1-minute animated series videos that are well-suited for absolute beginners.

How Long Does it Take to Achieve an Intermediate Level?

What language skills are developed at the intermediate level?

The intermediate level (B1 and B2), can be summed up in just one word: communication

At this stage, you have the ability to communicate about broad topics that aren’t too complicated. These topics usually involve hobbies, weather, work, education, details about locations, holidays, etc. You’ll also be able to describe experiences, events, ideas, projects, likes, and dislikes; you could lead conversations with local Bulgarians more freely. 

At the B2 level, you’ll have additional fluency when communicating on a wider range of contexts.

Do any of the following points apply to you? Then it means you’re ready to start studying at the intermediate level. 

  • You have already completed the A2 level.
  • You’re able to lead basic conversations.
  • You require some extra practice in both spoken and written Bulgarian.
  • You would like to get prepared for an upcoming Bulgarian language exam.

How long does it take to become an intermediate-level Bulgarian speaker?

It usually takes 4 months (80-90 hours) to master these intermediate Bulgarian-language skills. This timeframe applies to intensive learners who study every day for about 4 hours. For those who study every other day, it may take 8 or more months to achieve this stage.

Start to Communicate More Freely at the Intermediate Level

How can you reach this level faster?

If this sounds like a long time to you, here are some tricks and tips on how to learn Bulgarian quickly at this stage:

Also make sure to check out our list of 5 Tips to Reach Intermediate Level!

Intermediate-Level Pathways for Bulgarian Learners

After achieving a basic level of Bulgarian, you may find that things become harder to learn. The new information is more complicated and should be gradually added to your existing knowledge. You’ll need to engage in many more practical exercises to start advancing. 

BulgarianPod101 has prepared appropriate lessons for this language level as well, to help intermediate learners accelerate their progress at this stage.

  • All About 

    Our All About course consists of 15 short audio lessons that will help you learn all about the society and culture of Bulgaria. The total duration of this series is 1hr 51min.
  • Conversational Phrases

    This is another short course of 10 audio lessons with a total duration of just 10 minutes. It will get you acquainted with more conversational phrases and teach you common words you’ll need in your conversations.
  • Essential Bulgarian for Emergencies

    This course consists of 8 lessons, and it’s a very practical set that will help you develop intermediate-level skills you can use in a pinch.
  • Level 3 Bulgarian

    As you start to feel more confident with level B1, you can try out our Level 3 Bulgarian pathway. It features 25 lessons for a total duration of 6hrs 21min; there are also 10 assignments to complete. This course is aligned with level B1 of the CEFR scale.

How Long Does it Take to Achieve an Advanced Level?

What language skills are developed at the advanced level?

The advanced level is commonly referred to as C1-C2 and is very close to the native language level. The C2 level is considered to be the highest proficiency possible, and reaching it means you can use Bulgarian fluently in nearly all contexts. 

Upon reaching an advanced level, you’ll be able to… 

  • …talk with native speakers fluently, without needing to grasp for specific words or phrases. 
  • …communicate with others about many different topics (personal experiences, professions, science, etc.).
  • …build a variety of complex sentences in all tenses. 

In addition, native Bulgarian speakers will be able to easily understand your thoughts and opinions when you speak. 

It’s important to note that lessons at this level no longer focus on grammar. Usually, they include reading or listening to media on different subjects in the Bulgarian language, as well as lectures and workshops.

Ready for an Advanced Level of Bulgarian?

You’re ready to start studying advanced Bulgarian if the following points apply to you:

  • You’ve completed the B2 level and you use Bulgarian grammar correctly.
  • You’re planning to work or study in Bulgaria.
  • You’re not satisfied with an average knowledge of Bulgarian and would like to gain fluency.

This level is definitely for those who are ready to double their efforts! 

How long does it take to become an advanced-level Bulgarian speaker?

As we mentioned above, Bulgarian is a Category III language, meaning that it features significant cultural and linguistic differences from English. 

To achieve proficiency in Bulgarian, intensive learners will need at least 1100 hours (44 weeks) of study. This equates to 5 hours per day, 5 days per week. You’ll need almost a full year of study to reach the C1 level of Bulgarian at this pace. If you study 2 hours a day (or less), you’ll need about 2 years to achieve this level.

How can you reach this level faster?

Although achieving the C1 level is not easy and takes a long time, there are some tips you could try in order to reach your goal faster:

  • Find a native Bulgarian friend with whom you can often communicate.
  • Spend a few months in Bulgaria to experience deep immersion into its language and culture.
  • Watch special Bulgarian lessons intended for advanced learners.
  • Continue to read, write, and listen in Bulgarian on a daily basis.

Advanced-Level Pathways for Bulgarian Learners

Are you serious about your studies and want some tips on how to learn Bulgarian faster? BulgarianPod101.com offers our advanced students plenty of fun and effective lessons to help enhance their skills. 

  • Level 5 Bulgarian 

    This advanced lesson pathway features 25 lessons for a total duration of 1hr 21min. This course is aligned with level C1 of the CEFR and covers topics including the top 10 Bulgarian tourist destinations, the top 10 Bulgarian leaders, and the top 10 Bulgarian writers.
  • Listening Comprehension for Advanced Learners

    Another great course is our Listening Comprehension for Advanced Learners series. Each lesson includes dialogues, answers to questions, and a full breakdown. The total duration of these 20 lessons is 1hr 9min.

If you’re looking for even more ways to stay motivated, check out the Innovative Language 101 app for mobile devices. It allows you to learn Bulgarian anywhere, anytime! This innovative app is appropriate for all levels, so don’t miss out.

Download the Free Mobile App to Learn Bulgarian!

How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn the Bulgarian Language

In this article, we talked about how long it takes to learn Bulgarian for each level of proficiency. We also discussed what’s expected of learners at each level and how to reach your learning goals faster with BulgarianPod101.com

There’s still one key feature of our site we haven’t mentioned yet: MyTeacher for Premium PLUS members. With this service, you can get one-on-one tutoring and help from a native Bulgarian teacher. He or she can help you learn Bulgarian faster by guiding you step by step through the language—vocabulary, grammar rules, pronunciation, and more—so you can reach your desired proficiency level with little problem.

Before you go, we’re curious: How likely are you to start learning Bulgarian after reading this article? Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns you still have—we’ll be glad to help!

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Bulgarian Proverbs Guide: Learn 30 Wise Bulgarian Sayings

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Proverbs are short and straightforward sayings that express valuable life advice. Studying Bulgarian proverbs means digging deeper into the local culture—it also means that you’re an advanced Bulgarian language learner who’s ready to take their knowledge to the next level. And while proverbs can be quite valuable to language learners, they also teach people how to be wiser in different life situations.

It’s always a fascinating adventure to explore the proverbs and sayings of other cultures, so BulgarianPod101 has compiled this list of thirty proverbs in Bulgarian along with their English translations. We think you’ll step away from this article a little wiser than before…

Are You Ready to Start This Journey to Wisdom?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. Bulgarian Proverbs About Success
  2. Bulgarian Proverbs About Wisdom
  3. Bulgarian Proverbs About Love
  4. Bulgarian Proverbs About Friendship
  5. Bulgarian Proverbs About Food
  6. Bulgarian Proverbs About Health
  7. Bulgarian Proverbs About Work and Language Learning Efforts
  8. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn Bulgarian

1. Bulgarian Proverbs About Success

We all strive to be successful in life, whatever that means to us. So what essential features must one develop to achieve success in life? Here are a few Bulgarian proverbs and sayings to offer you some cultural perspective on the topic. 

#1 

BulgarianКапка по капка, вир става.
PronunciationKapka po kapka, vir stava.
LiteralDrop by drop turns into a pool.
EquivalentDrop by drop is the water pot filled.
This Bulgarian saying means that diligence and persistence lead to success. Even a few drops of water, if collected instead of being wasted, can add up over time so that you have enough to fill an entire pot. The same concept applies to money, experience, and any life skill that requires endurance. If you want to be successful, you have to be patient.

Fill Your Cup of Success Drop by Drop

#2 

BulgarianКойто се учи, той ще сполучи.
PronunciationKoyto se uchi, toy shte spoluchi.
LiteralA person who learns will succeed.
EquivalentKnowledge is power and power is success.
If you want to be successful, then learn, learn, learn. The more knowledge you gain, the more confidence you’ll have while meeting different challenges in your work. Although knowledge alone is not enough, it’s an important part of achieving success. 

Now, let’s apply this proverb to Bulgarian language learning. In order to become a fluent Bulgarian speaker, you must learn more and more Bulgarian words. Add new words to your vocabulary every single day and you’ll succeed.

#3 

BulgarianКапката дълбае камъка не със сила, а с постоянство.
PronunciationKapkata dalbae kamaka ne sas sila, a s postoyanstvo.
LiteralA drop carves a stone not with force, but with perseverance.
EquivalentIf you want a well, dig only in one place.
This Bulgarian saying means that people who would like to become real experts in something should work hard in their field until they’ve perfected their skills. There are many people out there who try hard in the beginning, only to give up once they get tired or discouraged, which prevents them from becoming successful. Everyone is able to be successful if he or she is persistent enough to continue even in the face of challenges.

#4 

BulgarianАко не кърпиш вехтото, ново няма да носиш.
PronunciationAko ne karpish vehtoto, novo nyama da nosish.
LiteralIf you don’t patch your old cloth, you will not wear a new one.
EquivalentSpending is quick, earning is slow.
Older Bulgarians in particular tend to prefer saving money over spending it on unnecessary things. Years of stringency made them frugal, and they respect people who know how to save money in order to spend it when a real need arises.

The Way to Success

2. Bulgarian Proverbs About Wisdom

Bulgarians have many proverbs about wisdom. In fact, they even have a national folklore character named Хитър Петър (Hitar Petar), who is a symbol of cunning, wisdom, and wit. That said, let’s go over a few inspirational Bulgarian proverbs related to wisdom! 

#5

BulgarianУтрото е по-мъдро от вечерта.
PronunciationUtroto e po-madro ot vecherta.
LiteralThe morning is wiser than the evening.
EquivalentAn hour in the morning is worth two in the evening.
On the one hand, this Bulgarian proverb suggests that the morning hours are the most productive ones. On the other hand, people in Bulgaria say this proverb when they have an important decision to make and it’s already late in the evening. They believe that making the decision should be postponed until the next morning, as the brain is tired in the evening and cannot think clearly. In the morning, when a person wakes up, he or she can consider problems much more efficiently and are more likely to make the right decision. That is why the morning is wiser than the evening.

#6

BulgarianДокато мъдрите се намъдруват, лудите се налудуват.
PronunciationDokato madrite se namadruvat, ludite se naluduvat.
LiteralWhile the wise people philosophize, the mad people go crazy.
This Bulgarian proverb means that if the rulers are weak, the whole nation will suffer at the hands of offenders. In this case, the word “wise” is used in an ironic sense, because these “wise people” only philosophize instead of taking real actions to stop the criminals.

#7

BulgarianУм царува, ум робува, ум патки пасе.
PronunciationUm tsaruva, um robuva, um patki pase.
LiteralThe mind reigns, the mind is enslaved, the mind grazes ducks.
EquivalentSome are wise and some are otherwise.
This Bulgarian saying means a few different things:
  • A person can become engaged in various activities, whether it’s science, management, or anything else. It depends on his motivation, what kind of work he is going to choose, and what future he will have.

  • Everyone is capable of being a shepherd, a hotel manager, a policeman, a builder, etc.

  • The decisions you make can take you down from the position of a ruler to that of a slave.

Some Are Wise and Some Are Otherwise.

#8

BulgarianПо дрехите посрещат, по ума изпращат.
PronunciationPo drehite posreshtat, po uma izprashtat.
EquivalentFirst impression is from your dress, last impression from your brains/wits.
The first thing people notice about you is your clothes, so they might initially be impressed by your appearance. But after talking with you, they’ll get an impression of your brain or wits. Wiser people don’t talk too much, and Bulgarians usually don’t welcome those who are too talkative. They like balanced conversations, so be aware of this if you’re ever invited to a Bulgarian’s home.

How Much Better to Get Wisdom than Gold...

3. Bulgarian Proverbs About Love

As a popular song states, “All you need is love.” In that vein, let’s explore some of the most popular Bulgarian love proverbs

#9

BulgarianЛюбов хубост не гледа.
PronunciationLyubov hubost ne gleda.
LiteralLove does not look for beautiful appearance.
EquivalentBeauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.
When one person loves another, he or she doesn’t notice any defects in the appearance or character of the one they love. A Bible proverb written by Solomon says that “love covers over all wrongs.”

#10

BulgarianСтарата любов ръжда не хваща.
PronunciationStarata lyubov razhda ne hvashta.
EquivalentOld love does not rust.
This saying means that old feelings do not fade away. Metal may rust over time and waste away, but feelings of love typically don’t and can even stay as strong as they were in the very beginning!

It’s interesting to note that Bulgarians have another proverb which states exactly the opposite: 

#11

BulgarianОчи, които дълго не се виждат, се забравят.
PronunciationOchi, koito dalgo ne se vizhdat, se zabravyat.
LiteralEyes that have not seen each other for a long time can be forgotten.
EquivalentOut of sight, out of mind.
If two lovers are separated for a long time, they might forget each other—especially if their love is not well-rooted.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind.

#12

BulgarianМладост без любов — пролет без цвете.
PronunciationMladost bez lyubov — prolet bez tsvete.
LiteralYouth without love is spring without a flower.
EquivalentWithout love, everything is in vain.
One cannot be happy without loving and being loved. This Bulgarian proverb states that love is the essence of life, making everything around it beautiful—just like flowers make springtime the most beautiful season.

Love


4. Bulgarian Proverbs About Friendship

Bulgarians value true friendship, so it should come as no surprise that we have many proverbs on the topic. Who knows? Maybe they’ll help you understand who your true friends are! 

#13

BulgarianПриятел в нужда се познава.
PronunciationPriyatel v nuzhda se poznava.
LiteralA friend is recognized in need.
EquivalentA friend in need is a friend indeed.
A true friend will always help out in times of need, and will never leave his or her friend to suffer alone. They’ll dedicate their time, money, and efforts to help you, doing everything they can to make you feel better. A false friend, on the other hand, will hide from you as soon as you run into troubles.

#14

BulgarianКажи ми какви са приятелите ти, за да ти кажа какъв си.
PronunciationKazhi mi kakvi sa priyatelite ti, za da ti kazha kakav si.
EquivalentTell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.
This Bulgarian saying means that the friends you hang out with can define you. This makes sense, as friends tend to share personality and behavioral traits. As such, you can tell a lot about a person based on who their friends are. 

What Friendship Looks Like

#15

BulgarianЛют човек приятел не държи.
PronunciationLyut chovek priyatel ne darzhi.
LiteralA furious man does not keep any friends around.
It’s difficult for some people to find friends. They might think that the problem lies with other people, but often the problem is hidden within themselves. No one wants to hang around or be associated with an angry person.

Hey, You!!! Why Don’t You Become My Friend?!

#16

BulgarianПриятелството си е приятелство, но сиренето е с пари.
PronunciationPriyatelstvoto si e priyatelstvo, no sireneto e s pari.
LiteralFriendship is friendship, but cheese costs money.
Although a friend in need is a friend indeed, a true friend will not take advantage of a friend’s generosity. Just because your friend sells cheese doesn’t mean you should expect to get any for free!


5. Bulgarian Proverbs About Food

Food is an important detail of one’s life, so here are a few wise Bulgarian sayings related to food.

#17

BulgarianНикой не е по-голям от хляба.
PronunciationNikoy ne e po-golyam ot hlyaba.
LiteralNo one is larger than bread.
This saying reveals the attitude that Bulgarians have toward bread and how important it is to them. In Bulgaria, bread plays an important role and it’s always present on the table. It’s also considered the most holy of foods.

The Importance of Bread for Bulgarians

#18

BulgarianУмният навсякъде си изкарва хляба.
PronunciationUmniyat navsyakade si izkarva hlyaba.
LiteralA smart man earns his bread anywhere.
EquivalentA smart man can earn a living anywhere.
The saying “to earn your own bread” in Bulgarian means to earn a living, which again underlines the importance of bread in Bulgarian culture. This saying means that the wise can overcome all challenges so that they always have enough to live on wherever they are. 

#19

BulgarianГладна кокошка просо сънува.
PronunciationGladna kokoshka proso sanuva.
LiteralA hungry hen dreams of millet.
This proverb relates to wishful thinking. It means that some people dream of things greater than what they have, but they take no action to make it happen in reality.

A Hungry Hen Dreams of Millet

#20

BulgarianДен година храни.
PronunciationDen godina hrani.
TranslationA single day helps you get food for the whole year.
In the past, this saying meant that every day of the year was equally important for earning a living. But nowadays, it’s mostly associated with unfair traders who make their prices unrealistically high in order to make lots of money quickly and remain idle the rest of the year. 


6. Bulgarian Proverbs About Health

Health is among the most valuable acquisitions a person can have, so let’s see what Bulgarian proverbs have to say about it. 

#21

BulgarianЗдрав дух – здраво тяло.
PronunciationZdrav duh – zdravo tyalo.
EquivalentA healthy mind, a healthy body.
This Bulgarian proverb expresses the importance of inner peace, forgiveness, trust, etc., for people’s wellbeing. We should keep our spirit healthy in order to have a healthy body, as stress, anxiety, suspicion, and other negative feelings can increase our chances of getting sick. 

#22

BulgarianНикой не може да бъде по-добър лекар от верния приятел.
PronunciationNikoy ne mozhe da bade po-dobar lekar ot verniya priyatel.
EquivalentNo one is a better doctor than a faithful friend.
This Bulgarian saying is a continuation of the previous one. A faithful friend is able to bear our griefs, so we won’t feel alone in our sorrow. 

A similar proverb goes: 

Споделената мъка е половин мъка, а споделената радост е двойна радост. 
Spodelenata maka e polovin maka, a spodelenata radost e dvoyna radost.
“Shared sorrow is half the sorrow; shared joy is double the joy.”

No One Is a Better Doctor than a Faithful Friend

#23

BulgarianЖивот, здраве и добри помисли като има човек, пари не му трябват.
PronunciationZhivot, zdrave i dobri pomisli kato ima chovek, pari ne mu tryabvat.
TranslationWhen a person has a good life, good health, and good thoughts, he does not need money.
Мoney can’t buy happiness! This saying is as old as money, but it’s true. You can find poor people barely earning a living who are constantly smiling and happy, as well as millionaires who are so miserable and depressed that they take their own lives. This Bulgarian proverb states that there are three factors involved in being happy: life, health, and good thoughts.

#24

BulgarianЗдравето е най-големият имот.
PronunciationZdraveto e nay-golemiyat imot.
TranslationOur health is our largest property.
No matter how many properties we have, and no matter how luxurious and large they are, we cannot enjoy them (or our lives) if we aren’t healthy. That’s why health is considered one of the most valuable and precious things in this world!

Do you have health problems you would like to share with your Bulgarian friends in their own language? BulgarianPod101 can help! Just head over to our vocabulary list of Bulgarian Vocabulary for Common Health Problems

7. Bulgarian Proverbs About Work and Language Learning Efforts

Those who are diligent and persistent in their language learning efforts will soon see progress and advance quickly. For extra motivation, let’s see what Bulgarian proverbs say about work and learning

#25

BulgarianЧовек се учи, докато е жив.
PronunciationChovek se uchi, dokato e zhiv.
LiteralA person learns while he is alive.
EquivalentYou are never too old to learn.
This popular Bulgarian proverb means that we never stop learning, as knowledge itself is endless and our life is too short to comprehend it all.

On the other hand, this saying could also be applied to your Bulgarian language studies. The more you learn, the more successful you’ll be over time. 

Learn to succeed

#26

BulgarianБез труд почивката не е сладка.
PronunciationBez trud pochivkata ne e sladka.
LiteralWithout work, rest is not sweet.
This saying encourages diligence. It suggests that those who don’t work cannot feel the sweetness of rest. They probably cannot sleep as well as those who work hard all day.

#27

BulgarianРаботата на ум учи.
PronunciationRabotata na um uchi.
LiteralThe work teaches the mind.
One only gains practical skills and experience through working, and the same concept applies to language learning. Once you gain minimal knowledge of a language, you should start practicing it in real life to expand upon your skills and gain new ones. Passive learning is often in vain.  

#28

BulgarianЛозето не ще молитва, а мотика.
PronunciationLozeto ne shte molitva, a motika.
LiteralThe vineyard does not need a prayer, but a hoe.
EquivalentGod helps those who help themselves.
This saying is quite popular in Bulgaria, and it conveys the importance of hard work in being successful. If you want your vineyard to give fruit, don’t just sit beside it and pray; take the hoe and start working. No matter how many prayers you say, you won’t receive a good crop unless you work for it. 

The Discerning Heart Seeks Knowledge

8. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn Bulgarian

In this Bulgarian proverbs guide, you’ve picked up some useful phrases and gained some valuable insight into the beauty of Bulgarian culture. Learning these proverbs will make it easier for you to communicate with the local people and help you better fit in during your stay in Bulgaria. 

If you would like to learn even more Bulgarian proverbs or dig deeper into Bulgarian grammar, we recommend you try our MyTeacher service for Premium PLUS members. You can choose a private teacher from our team of experienced Bulgarian language experts, who will give you additional information on any topics of your choosing and provide you with practical assignments to hone your skills. 

We hope you enjoyed today’s lesson on Bulgarian proverbs, and that you feel a little bit wiser now. 😉 Before you go, let us know in the comments which of these proverbs you can relate to the most right now. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Travel Guide: The Best Places to Visit in Sofia, Bulgaria

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Bulgaria is an amazing country that has many adventures to offer foreigners. There are so many points of interest that the options can be overwhelming! 

In this Sofia travel guide, we’ll get you acquainted with some of the most interesting places to visit in Sofia and provide you with travel tips to give you more confidence during your very first visit to the Bulgarian capital.

BulgarianPod101 invites you on this intriguing virtual tour before you travel to Sofia, so you can feel the atmosphere of this big city before you even arrive.

Join Our Virtual Tour of the Best Places to Visit in Sofia!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. Before You Go
  2. Sofia Travel Tips
  3. 7 Must-See Places in Sofia for a 1-3 Day Trip
  4. Highly Recommended Places for a 4-7 Day Trip (or Longer)
  5. Bulgarian Survival Phrases for Travelers
  6. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Master Bulgarian

Before You Go

Before you go on this exciting journey, you may want to learn more about the city you’ll be visiting. In the following sections, you’ll find some basic information about Sofia’s past, population, and climate.

History

Sofia is the capital city of Bulgaria. It’s an ancient city with a long history dating back to 7000 BC when Thracian tribes settled here. Over the following centuries, the Thracians were occupied by the Romans and the Ottomans. The city’s location at the foot of Vitosha Mountain has been considered strategic, thus very attractive for various conquerors. As this land has been inhabited by many tribes and cultures, the remnants of them can still be seen in Sofia. There are Roman ruins, an amphitheater, old churches, and many other sights in this large city.

The city’s name has also been changed many times by new conquerors. During the Roman reign, the city was known as Serdica. In those times, it was an important center that had influence over the whole region. Today, you can still see the Roman ruins around the Saint Sofia Church. There are glass windows in the church, through which you can see the old Roman theater. You can also see the big amphitheater’s ruins nearby, testifying that this lively cultural center was once located here, under modern Sofia. 

Before the city of Sofia received its modern name following its liberation from the Ottoman yoke in 1878 by the Russian Empire, the city was also called Sredets and Triaditsa. 

The Saint Sofia Church

Population

Sofia was heavily populated in the late eighteenth century, home to about 70,000 people. In 1878, the population shrank to only 11,649 people (down from the 19,000 residents eight years prior). However, once Sofia became the new capital of Bulgaria, the number of residents started to increase. Today, the population of Sofia is about 1.23 million—almost 20% of the country’s total population.

Climate

You’ll find this information helpful if you would like to know the best time to visit Sofia. Let’s see what the weather is like in Sofia throughout the year.

The winter months in Sofia are December, January, and February. If you plan to visit Sofia in winter, be prepared for cold temperatures and snowy weather, especially in January and February which are considered the coldest months. The temperature can drop to below -15 °C (5 °F), but is usually about 0 – 5 °C (32 –  41 °F). The snow cover in Sofia lasts about sixty days.

Summers in Sofia (June through August) are sunny and hot. The temperature can exceed 35 °C (95 °F) near the end of July and the beginning of August. This is the time of year when the city receives the most tourists.

Spring and autumn have relatively mild weather, though the weather is more variable and dynamic during these seasons and there could be thunderstorms. There could be fog in Sofia, especially at the beginning of spring and winter, when the weather is subject to drastic changes.

Sofia Travel Tips

If you’re planning to travel to Sofia for the first time, these Sofia travel tips will be very helpful. In the following sections, we’ll discuss currency, accomodation prices, visa rules, food, and transportation.

Sofia Travel Tips

Currency in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian lev is the national currency. 1 euro is pegged to 1.96 leva, which means that 2 Bulgarian leva make roughly 1 euro. So when you’re trying to figure out how much something in Bulgaria costs in euros, the easiest way is to divide the amount by two.

Accomodation Prices in Sofia

The price of your accommodation will depend on the level of luxury you prefer:

  • Luxury: There are many five-star and four-star hotels that typically cost $100 or more per night.
  • Mid-range: The mid-range price for accommodation, depending on the conditions, ranges from $40 to $80 per night.
  • Budget: If you prefer to stay in a hostel, a bed in a dormitory will cost between $5 and $12 per night. If you would like to rent a double bed room, it may cost up to $40. 

You can learn some basic words and phrases for talking about accommodation in our lesson What Are Your Accommodation Options in Bulgaria? 

Visa Rules

Visa rules in Bulgaria differ based on the nationality of the traveler. If you’re an American, you’ll be allowed to stay for up to ninety days and renew your stay every six months. Bulgaria is not part of Schengen yet, but it is part of the EU. If you hold a valid Schengen visa, you’ll be able to take advantage of a visa-free regime and stay in Bulgaria for up to three months within any six-month period. The same conditions apply to residents of Romania, Cyprus, and Croatia.

There are three types of visas to Bulgaria:

  • Visa A for airport transit, which costs $71
  • Visa C for a short stay (up to ninety days), for transit or a planned stay, which costs about $71; however, the exact price may vary based on the international agreements
  • Visa D for a long stay, which costs $118 when you’re planning a stay of six months, and $236 for a one-year stay

Bulgarian Visa Rules

Food in Sofia

Vegetarians will find Bulgaria a great place to dine due to the numerous fruits, vegetables, and dairy products available in the stores and markets. Even vegans can find food here in every season, and there are some restaurants that offer solely vegan food (such as Edgy Veggy, Soul Kitchen, Loving Hut, and Colibri Kitchen).

Keep in mind that Bulgarians are obsessed with dairy foods like yogurt and cheese, which always have to be present on their tables (alongside bread). In vegetarian restaurants, you can order the national Shopska salad with cheese, stuffed peppers, banitsa, cold soup tarator, breaded cheese, guvech, etc.

Like most Balkan nations, the majority of Bulgarians are meat-lovers. If you prefer meat, there are so many dishes to choose from. We recommend you try the kapama, a traditional dish prepared with different types of layered meat and stuffed cabbage leaves. Kebapche (a minced meat stick with spices grilled on a barbeque) and shkembe chorba (tripe soup) are also great choices.


Banitsa, Nadenitsa, and Guvech

Transportation in Sofia

If you would like to use the cheapest possible transportation in Sofia, then use the Sofia metro. It can be a little bit confusing, but it will take you from the airport to the downtown area for less than 1 euro. This trip will take about thirty minutes. Always have your ticket within easy reach, as the ticket control might show up at any stop to check it.

The other options for transportation include taking a bus or a tram. In these cases, you’ll be able to buy tickets directly from the driver. Make sure to punch your ticket inside the yellow punchers located on the poles of the bus or tram, as this will validate it. Those who don’t have a valid ticket upon control check will be fined 30 leva.

First-time Sofia Travelers

7 Must-See Places in Sofia for a 1-3 Day Trip

It’s time to start our virtual journey of Sofia. To start, let’s look at seven places you must visit in Sofia if you’re short on time! 

#1: Boyana Church

In Bulgarian: Боянска църква музей (Boyanska tsarkva muzey)

This medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church is located at the base of Vitosha Mountain, in a region that is also called Boyana.

It was built in three stages, from the tenth century to the middle of the nineteenth century. There are 240 human images and 89 scenes depicted on its walls. UNESCO describes Boyana Church as “one of the most complete and perfectly preserved monuments of east European medieval art,” so it’s definitely worth visiting if you’re interested in medieval culture, architecture, and art. As this church is located in the outskirts of Sofia, it’s good to plan your visit ahead of time.

Boyana Church

#2: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral 

In Bulgarian: Катедрала “Свети Александър Невски” (Katedrala “Sveti Aleksandar Nevski”)

This Orthodox cathedral was built in a neo-Byzantine style in the nineteenth century and is named after Alexander Nevsky, a Russian saint. It displays the relics of the saint to the left of the altar. 

This church is located in the very center of Sofia, just behind the Bulgarian parliament and adjacent to St. Sofia Church. There are many other notable landmarks nearby, so you can plan to visit them all in a single day. Some of these locations include: 

  • The National Art Academy
  • The Sofia Opera and Ballet Hall
  • The National Gallery of Foreign Art
  • The Monument of the Unknown Soldier
  • A park with a small flea market in it

Bulgarian Parliament and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

#3: Rotunda of St. George 

In Bulgarian: Храм-ротонда “Св. Георги” (Hram-rotonda “Sveti Georgi”)

This small, round church was initially built as a Roman bath in the fourth century when the city of Serdica belonged to the Roman Empire, and was later transformed into an Orthodox church. Located in the city’s center, this is part of a larger archeological complex and is the oldest building in the Bulgarian capital. You’ll be able to see medieval frescoes inside and Roman streets outside.

Rotunda of St. George

#4: Earth and Man Natural Museum 

In Bulgarian: Национален музей “Земята и хората” (Natsionalen muzey “Zemyata i horata”)

This sight would definitely be attractive for geology-lovers as well as children who are interested in science, as it features collections of huge minerals and their derivatives. This museum is located in the neighborhood of Lozenets and is one of the largest mineralogical museums in the world.

The Earth and Man Natural Museum

#5: Kuklite (The Dolls) Art House 

In Bulgarian: Арт къща куклите (Art kashta kuklite)

This is a fascinating place for kids, containing more than 3,000 dolls from all over the world. It also offers weekly workshops explaining how to make a doll, though you’ll need to book in advance to attend one. If you’re traveling to Sofia with children, a visit here would be a great opportunity for them to see porcelain, ritual, modern, vintage, and antique dolls as well as marionettes. Young and old alike will be delighted by these whimsical doll displays! 

The museum is located in the center of Sofia, not too far from the Rotunda of St. George. You can add it into your schedule while you visit different landmarks located in this area. 

#6: Muzeiko 

In Bulgarian: Музейко (Muzeyko)

Muzeiko is a museum for children dedicated to science and the arts. The project cost twenty million dollars to get started, and today features over 130 games and activities that will help your little ones easily learn interesting science facts. There’s also a planetarium that has a show, so you can secure some time for this as well. This kids’ museum is located in the Students’ City neighborhood in Sofia.

#7: National Archaeological Museum 

In Bulgarian: Национален археологически музей (Natsionalen arheologicheski muzey)

The National Archaeological Museum is located in the center of Sofia, at the Atanas Burov Square.

This museum housed a mosque in the fifteenth century, but opened as a museum in 1905. It includes ancient Thracian, Greek, and Roman artifacts, as well as medieval books and collections. It’s appropriate for people of all ages who are interested in Bulgarian culture and history. A 3D virtual tour is available online.

Highly Recommended Places for a 4-7 Day Trip (or Longer)

Are you planning a longer stay? Great! This will give you ample time to see even more of the best places to visit in Sofia, Bulgaria. Here are a few that we recommend! 

#8: Eagles’ Bridge 

In Bulgarian: Орлов мост (Orlov most)

This bridge is located just below the Monument to the Soviet Army in the heart of Sofia. It’s called Eagles’ Bridge because of the four majestic iron eagles located on top of the pillars. Beneath the bridge, there’s a small river flowing. This bridge, together with the Lions’ Bridge, is among the most popular tourist destinations. Don’t miss it if you’re nearby!

#9: Lions’ Bridge 

In Bulgarian: Лъвов мост (Lavov most)

This gorgeous bridge is called Lions’ Bridge because of the four metal lions located on each of its pillars. The bridge goes over the Vladaya River, and it’s located on Maria Luiza Boulevard only a few meters from the Ladies Market (in Bulgarian: Женския пазар [Zhenskiya pazar]).

Lions’ Bridge

#10: Ivan Vazov National Theater 

In Bulgarian: Народен театър Иван Вазов (Naroden teatar Ivan Vazov)

This National Theater is built in a Viennese style and is located in the central City Garden. It’s decorated with statues of Apollo among the muses, which have golden instruments. The first play performed here was Vazov’s The Outcasts. The theater was damaged during World War II, but was later renovated to maintain the architecture and original appearance of the building. This landmark is one of the symbols of Bulgarian culture.

Ivan Vazov National Theater

#11: Roman Wall 

In Bulgarian: Римска стена (Rimska stena)

The actual Roman ruins can be found inside the hotel lobbies and in the metro. Strangely enough, although it’s called the Roman Wall, this wall was built by the Ottomans in the sixteenth century. It was part of a religious complex, from which only this stone gate remains. It’s located in the Lozenets region near the Saturday “Roman Wall” farmers’ market.

Roman Wall

#12: Sofia Opera and Ballet Hall 

In Bulgarian: Софийска опера и балет (Sofiyska opera i balet)

This hall has been occupied by the Sofia Opera since 1957. Tickets here are more affordable than those of halls in many other European cities. The building is decorated with multiple figures of performers, namely orchestra musicians and singers. It’s located in the city center.

#13: The Snail House 

In Bulgarian: Къща Охлюв (Kashta Ohlyuf)

The Snail House is the most extravagant building in Sofia, located in the district of Simeonovo. This colorful five-story building is built in the form of a giant snail, and its non-standard shape fits well with the surrounding environment. There are small butterflies and ladybugs on the roof, along with some other smaller snails. It was built in 2008 using entirely eco-friendly materials. It features no edges or corners, and no bricks were used in its construction.

#14: Sofia Graffiti Tour

In Bulgarian: София Графити Тур (Sofiya Grafiti Tur)

If you’re a graffiti-lover, this two-hour evening tour (Saturdays and Sundays only) would be an exciting experience. It takes you to the best urban art streets in Sofia with thriving graffiti scenes, and the best part is that you choose how much to pay for the tour!

#15: Borisova Gradina Park 

In Bulgarian: Княз-Борисова градина (Knyaz-Borisova Gradina)

This park is named after Bulgarian Tsar Boris III. It’s the most popular, the largest, and the oldest park in Sofia. Among the landmarks located in this park are: 

  • Lake Ariana
  • The national stadium “Vasil Levski”
  • The Bulgarian Army Stadium
  • The Lake with the Lilies
  • Many monuments of prominent Bulgarians
  • The Astronomical Observatory of Sofia University
  • The Maria-Louisa Swimming Complex
  • The Sofia TV Tower
  • The Mound of Brotherhood
  • The Japanese Corner

#16: Cherni Vrah 

In Bulgarian: Черни връх (Cherni vrah)

This is the highest peak of Vitosha Mountain, rising to 2290 meters (about 7513 feet). The best time for hiking this summit is in the summer, and there’s a guided hike offered for inexperienced climbers. Many locals enjoy spending a weekend on Vitosha Mountain while in the capital. This unforgettable hike will reveal amazing views over the city and other mountains.

Cherni Vrah

Bulgarian Survival Phrases for Travelers

To conclude our Sofia travel guide, let’s look at the most important Bulgarian phrases you’ll need to know before you travel to Sofia. You could write these phrases down in your diary or notebook and look them up whenever you need to speak with a Bulgarian, though memorizing them may give you the best experience.

  • Hello. – Здравейте (Zdraveyte)
  • Thank you. – Благодаря (Blagodarya)
  • Goodbye. – Довиждане (Dovizhdane)
  • Sorry. – Извинете (Izvinete)
  • Very good. (Perfect.) – Много добре (Mnogo dobre)
  • I don’t/can’t understand. – Не разбирам (Ne razbiram)
  • Where is the restroom? – Къде е тоалетната (Kade e toaletnata)
  • How much is it? – Колко струва (Kolko struva)
  • I want this. – Искам това (Iskam tova)
  • Help! – Помощ (Pomosht)

You can learn more practical phrases in our Survival Phrases lesson series!

How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Master Bulgarian

BulgarianPod101 is excited to share with you this travel guide containing the best places to visit in Sofia, Bulgaria. Hopefully, this virtual tour around Sofia has given you the motivation and inspiration you need to make plans and visit Sofia yourself

If you need to learn some more survival phrases or conversational Bulgarian, our MyTeacher service would be of great help to you. You can choose your own private Bulgarian teacher, who will reveal to you the beauty of the language and make it easier for you to start understanding and speaking it.

Before you go, which of these Sofia attractions do you most want to see, and why? We look forward to hearing from you!

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Give Your Vocab a Boost: English Words in Bulgarian

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If you’ve just started studying the Bulgarian language, you might need additional motivation to cope with the initial shock that this language usually provokes in foreigners. To give you more confidence for your Bulgarian language learning journey, we have prepared this overview of Bulgarian words in English (and vice-versa).

You’ll definitely be surprised to learn how many words are the same in English and Bulgarian. But this is great news for all learners of the Bulgarian language! Why? Because it means you already know all of these words, their meanings, and how to use them in different situations. That’s a great start, isn’t it?

BulgarianPod101 has prepared this guide to help you quickly recognize these well-known words in Bulgarian so that you can easily enrich your vocabulary and have more effective communication with Bulgarians.


Overcome Your Initial Foreign Language Shock with This Overview of English Words in Bulgarian!

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Table of Contents
  1. Why is it Important to Study English Words Used in the Bulgarian Language?
  2. Why Are There So Many English Words in Bulgarian?
  3. The Use of Foreign Words in Bulgarian
  4. English Words Used in Bulgarian Business Culture
  5. English Words Used in the Bulgarian IT Sector
  6. English Words Used in Professional Terminology
  7. World-Famous Celebrity Names Translated to Bulgarian
  8. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn More Bulgarian

Why is it Important to Study English Words Used in the Bulgarian Language?

Let’s start with a quote by the great Bulgarian writer, Yordan Yovkov:

“The word is a scary thing. It contains the means of expression of all the arts: colors, lines, shapes, sounds, movements—everything, as long as you can handle these riches.”

View the Bulgarian language as a treasure trove and each new word you learn as a golden coin you have discovered. In this sense, BulgarianPod101.com will help you become rich with scores of golden coins—we’ll even show you how best to use them. 

This form of treasure hunting can be intimidating, but picking up a few English loanwords in Bulgarian is a great place to start. Because you’re already familiar with the meaning of these words, you can begin applying them to your Bulgarian conversations right away. 

So let’s get to it!

Each New Bulgarian Word You Learn Is a Golden Coin that You Discover!

Why Are There So Many English Words in Bulgarian?

Globalization is the main reason there are so many English words in the Bulgarian language. Recent technologies such as the World Wide Web, social media, and global trading mediums facilitate the global spread of English words. Virtual communication encourages the use of many English words, which have become widely used in both spoken and written Bulgarian. 

As a result, many English words are used in the Bulgarian political, social, cultural, and economic spheres and people use them to describe services, products, and business information. There are also many professional terms in Bulgarian that originate from English vocabulary.

The Globalization and Modernization of Today’s World Promotes the Exchange of Languages and Cultures

The Use of Foreign Words in Bulgarian

Like most other languages, Bulgarian adopts many foreign words for regular use in the language. When a foreign word is used often enough for a long enough period of time, it’s common for Bulgarians to perceive that word as being native to Bulgarian. For example, there are many Turkish words that are so widely used by Bulgarians that many of them don’t even realize they’re foreign. 

Such Turkish words include:

  • чешма (cheshma) – faucet
  • памук (pamuk) – cotton
  • зехтин (zehtin) – olive oil

There are so many Turkish words in Bulgarian because Bulgarians were under the Turkish yoke for five centuries. The Russian, French, and German languages later influenced Bulgarian as well. 

Here are some examples of Russian words in the Bulgarian language:

  • дружба (druzhba) – friendship
  • хазяин (hazyain) – house owner
  • болшинство (bolshinstvo) – majority
  • съблюдавам (sablyudavam) – observe
  • милосърдие (milosardie) – mercy

Here are examples of French words in the Bulgarian language. You’ll notice that these words are also used in English.

  • трофей (trofey) – trophy
  • меню (menyu) – menu
  • майонеза (mayoneza) – mayonnaise
  • бюро (byuro) – buro
  • булевард (bulevard) – boulevard

Here are examples of German words in the Bulgarian language:

  • вафла (vafla) – waffle
  • курорт (kurort) – resort
  • табела (tabela) – signboard
  • ауспух  (auspuh) – muffler

Because of the common history between Bulgaria and Greece, there are many Greek words in the Bulgarian language, as well. Here are some of them:

  • евтин (eftin) – cheap
  • пирон (piron) – nail
  • ангел (angel) – angel
  • килер (kiler) – closet
  • стомах (stomah) – stomach
  • тиган (tigan) – frying pan
  • тетрадка (tetradka) – notebook

After communism fell in 1990, Bulgaria opened up to the Western world—its food, music, culture, markets, and language. Naturally, more and more English words entered the Bulgarian language and even began to replace some Bulgarian words. Here are some examples:

Original Bulgarian Word/PhraseEnglish Replacement Meaning
търсене в глобалната мрежа
(tarsene v globalnata mrezha)
сърфиране в нета
(sarfirane v neta)
surfing the Net
разговори
(razgovori)
чатове
(chatove)
chats
сприятеляване
(spriyatelyavane)
aдване на френдове
(advane na frendove)
to add friends
опит
(оpit)
eкспириънс
(ekspirians)
experience
публикувам информация във Фейсбук
(publikuvam informatsiya vav Feysbuk)
поствам
(postvam)
to post
изключвам от приятелите си
(izklyuchvam ot priyatelite si)
ънфрендвам
(аnfrendvam)
to unfriend

English Words Used in Bulgarian Business Culture

Each year, thousands of new foreign words enter the Bulgarian language. Some of them may not be well-accepted by people and will be forgotten over time. Others are widely used and end up becoming a part of the daily or business language. Over time, some of them can even take the place of existing Bulgarian words. 

Below is a list of twenty Bulgarian words replaced by English words in the business world. People who know English will find this information very useful when speaking with their Bulgarian business partners.

Learn Which English Words Would be Understood by Your Bulgarian Business Partners!
Original Bulgarian Word/PhraseEnglish ReplacementMeaning
започвам
(zapochvam)
стартирам
(startiram)
I start
в брой
(v broy)
в кеш
(v kesh)
in cash
връзка
(vrazka)
контакт
(kontakt)
contact
положение
(polozhenie)
ситуация
(situatsiya)
situation
място
(myasto)
локация
(lokatsiya)
location
среща с журналисти
(sreshta s zhurnalisti)
брифинг
(brifing)
briefing
финансова проверка
(finansova proverka)
одит
(odit)
audit
наблюдение
(nablyudenie)
мониторинг
(monitoring)
monitoring
майстор-готвач
(maystor-gotvach)
мастър-шеф
(mastar-shef)
chef
курс
(kurs)
мастър-клас
(mastar-klas)
master class
изложба
(izlozhba)
експозиция
(ekspozitsiya)
exposition
събитие
(sabitie)
евент
(event)
event
представяне
(predstavyane)
презентация
(prezentatsiya)
presentation
осъществявам
(osashtestvyavam)
реализирам
(realiziram)
I realize / I achieve
представление
(predstavlenie)
шоу
(shou)
show
съдържание
(sadarzhanie)
контент
(kontent)
content
желание
(zhelaniye)
мотивация
(motivatsiya)
motivation



English Words Used in the Bulgarian IT Sector

The Bulgarian IT sector is probably the field that’s most influenced by English terminology. This is understandable, since computer science borrows heavily from the English language. As a result, foreigners will be able to quickly recognize these famous English words in Bulgarian. Take a look at these examples, keeping in mind that the Bulgarian versions are pronounced almost identically to the original English words. 

English WordBulgarian Equivalent 
organizerорганайзер (organayzer)
timerтаймер (taymer)
scannerскенер (skener)
printerпринтер (printer)
routerрутер (ruter)
monitorмонитор (monitor)
sensitiveсензитивен (senzitiven)
cancelingканселиране (kanselirane)
to clickкликам (clikam)
developerдивелъпър (diveloper)
digitalдигитален (digitalen)
headerхедър (heder)
fontфонт (font)
userюзър (user)


Computer Terminology in Bulgaria Draws Heavily from English

English Words Used in Professional Terminology

There are many newly coined words and phrases related to professional terminology that originate from the English language. Here is a list of some of the most popular English words in Bulgarian that may sound very familiar to you.


English Words Are Often Used in Professional Terminology

English WordBulgarian Equivalent 
voucherваучер (vaucher)
actionекшън (ekshan)
integrationинтеграция (integratsiya)
globalizationглобализация (globalizatsiya)
anti-globalismантиглобализъм (antiglobalizam)
Euroscepticismевроскептицизъм (evroskeptitsizam)
dollarizationдоларизация (dolarizatsiya)
sponsorспонсор (sponsor)
imageимидж (imidzh)
logoлого (logo)
trainingтренинг (trening)
trendтренд (trend)
mediaмедия (mediya)
weekendуикенд (uikend)


World-Famous Celebrity Names Translated to Bulgarian

Have you ever wondered how Bulgarians pronounce the names of world-famous celebrities? Then you’re going to enjoy this section! 

Celebrity names are most often transliterated into Bulgarian instead of receiving a brand-new translation. We’ll provide you with some examples of how this works, using the names of several popular celebrities. 

    ★ Before proceeding, we would like to give you a task: Cover the right side of the screen with a sheet of paper in order to hide the English translation of the names, and read them in Bulgarian on the left side. Try to guess who they are and then check the answers in the right column. Good luck!

World-famous Celebrities

Bulgarian Names of CelebritiesEnglish Names of Celebrities
БийонсеBeyoncé 
Дуейн ДжонсънDwayne Johnson
Тейлър Суифт Taylor Swift
Дженифър АнистънJennifer Aniston
Анджелина ДжолиAngelina Jolie
Том Ханкс Tom Hanks
Брад ПитBrad Pitt
РианаRihanna
Уил СмитWill Smith
Леонардо ди КаприоLeonardo DiCaprio
Ким КардашянKim Kardashian
Джони ДепJohnny Depp
Джъстин БийбърJustin Bieber
Бен АфлекBen Affleck
Мадона Madonna 
Джулия РобъртсJulia Roberts

How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn More Bulgarian

BulgarianPod101 was created with one goal in mind: to help people learn Bulgarian more easily. We know how tough a foreign language can seem, but we believe that the process of learning can be fun and simple. In fact, that’s why we put together this overview of English words in the Bulgarian language—this way you can start adding words you already know to your Bulgarian vocabulary arsenal. And as you can see, they are not few!

If you believe that at this stage of your learning, you need a professional native Bulgarian teacher to give you individualized assignments and guidance, then you might be interested in our MyTeacher service for Premium PLUS members.

We hope that you were able to successfully complete the task about celebrity names. If not, don’t get discouraged—just head over to our Alphabet lesson where you’ll find our Free Guide to Beginner Bulgarian. 

Before you go, please share with us whether you found this article useful and how you did guessing the celebrity names. We’re always happy to read your comments and help out the best we can!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian

A Detailed Overview of Bulgarian Culture and Traditions

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Just like every other country in the world, Bulgaria has a very specific culture influenced by its past and origins. The history of Bulgaria is fascinating and sheds some light on the various aspects of Bulgarian culture and customs, from the way Bulgarians live to their mindset and common character traits. Learners of the Bulgarian language can greatly benefit from knowing more about this country, which some consider to be “The Cradle of Civilization.”

BulgarianPod101 invites you to join us on this intriguing adventure through the culture of Bulgaria. Who knows, maybe this special overview of Bulgarian culture will prompt you to come and experience everything for yourself!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. How Bulgarian History Has Influenced Our Culture
  2. Philosophies and Religions
  3. Family & Work
  4. Art
  5. The Hospitality of Bulgarian People
  6. Traditional Bulgarian Holidays
  7. Cultural Taboos
  8. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn Bulgarian

1. How Bulgarian History Has Influenced Our Culture

Bulgaria boasts a long history that has influenced its folklore and ancient rituals, some of which are still preserved to this day. The nation’s religious background has also shaped the character, traditions, and cuisine of the Bulgarian people. Let’s explore the relationship between Bulgarian history and culture in more detail.

What makes Bulgaria special?

Bulgaria is a country located on the Black Sea’s western shore. This land is full of riches and has a very diverse landscape. Here you will find fruitful plains, valleys, and lowlands where lush rivers flow, as well as multiple seaside summer resorts, rural villages, ancient settlements, and high mountains and mountain ranges. The territory of Bulgaria includes all types of relief, and the diversity of its natural resources attracts millions of tourists every year.

Bulgaria is definitely a place worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. Just imagine: spending a nice summer vacation at the beach or by a swimming pool…taking advantage of healing thermal springs and mud baths…exploring artifacts left by the ancient Thracians, Romans, Greeks, and Proto-Bulgarians…or even enjoying mountain resorts that are open to tourists year-round. Yes, please!

A Bulgarian Flag Blowing in the Wind with a Mountain in the Background

History of Bulgaria

According to ancient historical reports, Bulgarian territory was once inhabited by different tribes who built settlements here as early as 500 BC. They were united by the Odrysian King Teres and later conquered by Alexander the Great. Then, in 46 AD, the Roman Empire took possession of the land, followed by the Byzantine Empire in the fifth century.

The First Bulgarian Empire began in 681 when a treaty with Byzantium was concluded. The first Bulgarian capital was the city of Pliska, and the country was ruled by Khans, who expanded the nation’s territory and strength.

A noble moment in early Bulgarian history was the Bulgarian people’s baptism in the Christian faith. Prior to this, Bulgarians believed in various pagan gods. The Christianization of Bulgaria began in 864, thanks to Khan Boris (who then received the title Knyaz). During the reign of his son Simeon the Great, Bulgaria entered its Golden Age and expanded its territory to reach three seas: the Aegean Sea, the Adriatic Sea, and the Black Sea.

The First Bulgarian Empire ended in 1018 when the Byzantine conquered the entire territory. However, in 1185 the Asen dynasty built the Second Bulgarian Empire after a successful revolt. Unfortunately, this empire also fell, being conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the fourteenth century.

The Ottoman Yoke continued for five centuries, during which there were many unsuccessful revolts. The most popular of them was the 1876 April Uprising, which was severely suppressed by the Ottomans; this resulted in thousands of victims from the Bulgarian population. One year later, in 1877, Russia declared a war against the Ottomans and helped Bulgarians liberate their land. This is how the Third Bulgarian State was established in 1878.

In 1946, Bulgaria became a communist republic. The communist regime remained until late 1989 and was followed by a democracy. This was when Bulgaria opened to the entire world. In the thirty years that followed, Bulgarian culture, customs, art, and heritage were promoted and gained worldwide fame. In 2004, Bulgaria joined NATO; in 2007, it became a European Union member.

    → To gain even more insight into Bulgarian history and culture, you can head over to our lesson on Historical Figures!

Influence on Bulgarian culture

Bulgarian culture and traditions have been greatly influenced by those of the Thracians, Slavs, and Bulgars. After Bulgaria’s Christianization, the Eastern Orthodox Church also began to shape the culture, though numerous ancient customs were preserved and are now recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Examples include the Thracian barefoot ember dancing known as Nestinarstvo, the dance of the Kukeri, Bulgarian Folklore, and Martenitsa

The Bulgarian folkloric tradition is so strong that it has influenced many fields, including art, music, literature, celebrations, and even the daily lives of Bulgarians in certain territories of the country.

Bulgarian Martenitsa
    → Are you interested in learning more about the History of the Bulgarian Language? Then make sure you check out our relevant lesson to gain more insight on the topic.

2. Philosophies and Religions

Religion plays an important role in society, which makes it a key component in understanding Bulgarian culture. In this section, we’ll look at the different ethnic groups in Bulgaria, the prominent religions of the past, and what religion looks like in modern Bulgaria.

Ethnic groups in Bulgaria

Obviously, the majority of Bulgaria’s population consists of Bulgarians, who make up 76.9% of the total population. Turkish people make up another 8% and Romani 4.4%. These are the main ethnic groups in the country. However, you can find many other ethnic groups in different parts of the country, which amount in total to more than 10% of the population. These include Greeks, Russians, Armenians, Ukrainians, Vlachs, etc.

It is interesting to note that in recent years, morе and more foreigners from Western Europe are settling in the rural areas of Bulgaria. They prefer to live in this country, or to spend long summer vacations here.

Before moving on, let’s look at the population’s age demographics:

Age%
<1414.6%
15 to 249.43%
25 to 4043.12%
55 to 6413.3%
65+19.54%

Religions in the past

As we mentioned earlier, ancient Bulgars practiced paganism. They believed in the pagan god Tangra, which is why their religion was called Tengrism. The Slavs and the Thracians who also inhabited this land worshipped different pagan gods, which created a sort of separation between the groups. This separation made them unable to withstand attacks from their surrounding enemies in the face of Byzantium. 

One of the main reasons Khan Boris I decided to introduce Christianity into the state was to unite these different tribes into one strong nation. And he succeeded. The unity created by this new religion caused the Byzantine Empire and other great nations to recognize Bulgaria as a kingdom.

Bulgaria Converts to Christianity

Religions in Bulgaria today

The main religion in Bulgaria is still Eastern Orthodox Christianity, to which about 60% of the population adheres. Some of the minorities in the country, such as Russians, Romanians, Greeks, Ukrainians, and Armenians also practice this religion. The Bulgarian Calendar is rich in Orthodox holidays, some of which we’ll discuss later in this lesson.

Islam is Bulgaria’s second largest religion with about 8% of the total population identifying as Muslim. This portion of the population mainly consists of Turkish people, Pomaks, and Roma. There are many villages and cities in Bulgaria with mosques.

Only 0.8% of the Bulgarian population identifies as Catholic; 0.9% (and the number is growing) are Protestants. It is interesting to note that after communism ended, the membership of various Protestant churches in Bulgaria tripled in a matter of ten years. This was due to the foreign missionaries who converted many atheists and Muslims to Christianity. Today, about 10% of Bulgarians are declared atheists or agnostics.

3. Family & Work

In any country, work and family life play significant roles in society. Let’s explore the different facets of work and family in Bulgaria!

Family Values

The most popular family structure in Bulgaria is the nuclear family. Couples normally have one or two children, and it’s rare to see a Bulgarian family with more than three children (with the exception of Roma families). 

During the years of communism, family was among the most important values in Bulgaria. In those times, 95% of women believed that a full and satisfying life could be obtained only by having a family. Before democracy was declared in 1989, there were almost no divorces in the country; the few that did happen were looked upon with resentment by society. Things have changed since the start of our democracy and the number of divorces has reached about 10,000 per year. 

Western culture has significantly influenced Bulgarian society. According to some sociologists, this has led to the degradation of family values and has made cohabitation a popular choice. In 2011, about 82% of young people aged between 20 and 30 preferred to stay unmarried.

Another change in society is reflected in the relationship between younger and older generations. In the past, elders were widely respected and their children took care of them. Nowadays, the intense speed of our daily routines, as well as the deviation from our traditional family values, have made more and more people rely on hospices and homes to take care of their elderly parents.

Elderly People in Bulgaria

Working in Bulgaria

There has been a recent increase in the number of working people over 45 years of age in Bulgaria, which is a logical consequence of the nation’s aging demographics. Another interesting fact about Bulgarian work culture is that more and more Bulgarians who emigrated to work in foreign countries are returning to Bulgaria. While Bulgaria still has a low salary standard compared to other European countries, the salary is gradually increasing in some sectors, such as IT and outsourcing. This is a motivating factor for job seekers. 

The bigger the city, the more jobs there are available. This means that it is more difficult for people who live in the countryside to find a job. Usually, they cultivate the land and raise livestock to produce and sell food.

Rural Areas in Bulgaria

Bulgaria as an agricultural country

Agriculture is well-developed in Bulgaria and the country is an exporter of many kinds of agricultural products. These include different kinds of cereals, technical crops, vegetables, fruits, viticulture, herbs, honey, and even edible mushrooms. The most common cereals include wheat, barley, oats, and rye. Other popular crops include beans, rice, corn, lentils, and alfalfa. 

Bulgaria is one of the biggest producers of rose oil and lavender oil in the world. The country is also famous for its tasty and quality dessert and wine grapes. The country’s climate is favorable for an abundance of vegetables and fruits, such as: 

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Cherries
  • Sour cherries
  • Watermelons
  • Melons 
  • All kinds of berries

As for livestock, Bulgarians grow sheep, goats, cattle, buffalo, turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, horses, and so on. As a consequence, over 250 thousand tons of milk, 211 thousand tons of meat, and 1.2 million eggs are produced yearly.

4. Art

Bulgarians have contributed to the world’s art development through their great athletes, musicians, opera singers, writers, actors, artists, sculptors, and other personalities who have dedicated their lives to art. Let’s look at three areas of Bulgarian art for which the country is especially famous.

Traditional Bulgarian music

Bulgarian folk music is unique not only because of the special folk instruments used to perform it, but also because of its irregular rhythms, complex harmonies, and the difficulty of the performance. In previous centuries, Bulgarians lived mainly in rural areas, where this was the most popular type of music they created and listened to. Many of the songs and melodies have been passed down from generation to generation until today. 

Among the most common musical instruments used in Bulgarian folk music are: 

  • the gaida (a goatling- or lamb-skin bagpipe)
  • the kaval (an end-blown flute)
  • the gadulka (a bowed stringed instrument)
  • the tupan (а large double-headed drum)
  • the tambura (similar to the mandolin)

There are some Bulgarian villages and small towns that have special schools or clubs to teach children and young people how to play these instruments.

One of the most famous Bulgarian folk singers is Valya Balkanska, who was awarded with the highest Bulgarian award “Orden Stara Planina” in 2002. The song Izlel ye Delyo Haydutin, which she performed in 1977, was selected as part of the Golden Record located aboard the two identical spacecraft Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. It is a part of a sound message that the Earth is sending to potential civilizations in the universe. You can hear this popular song here.

Popular sports

Many Bulgarians have gained worldwide fame thanks to their incredible achievements in the world of sports.

Let’s start with Hristo Stoichkov, who is the best-known Bulgarian soccer player of all time. His achievements were so great that many foreigners started to associate Bulgaria with his name. Other popular soccer players of Bulgaria are Dimitar Berbatov and the deceased Georgi Asparuhov, known as Gundi.

Soccer

Among the most popular Bulgarian boxers are Kubrat Pulev and the late Dan Kolov. Kolov was the first European freestyle wrestling champion from Bulgaria and a mixed martial artist who lived most of his life in the USA.

Another famous name is that of the Bulgarian grandmaster Veselin Topalov, who won the World Chess Championship in 2005 and 2006. Fans of tennis will also be familiar with the name Grigor Dimitrov. Finally, we should mention Stefka Kostadinova, whose World Record of a 209-centimeter high jump in 1987 still remains unbeaten.

Bulgarian literature

There are many notable Bulgarian writers. We’ll start by mentioning Paisiy Hilendarski, who wrote Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya in 1762, which was the first written report of Bulgarian history up to that time. Some of the more popular writers include Ivan Vazov with his famous novel Under The Yoke, Emiliyan Stanev with The Peach Thief, and Nikolay Haytov, whose book Wild Stories is included in the Historical Collection of UNESCO.

5. The Hospitality of Bulgarian People

Bulgaria, among other Balkan nations, is famous for its hospitality. Sometimes, Bulgarians еven invite strangers and random visitors for lunch or dinner. However, this kind of hospitality is seen less in the cities and more in rural villages like Ribaritsa (the longest Bulgarian village in Stara Planina), Delchevo (a beautiful village in Pirin, where instead of “Hello,” old people greet with “God bless you”), Leshten (with its nineteenth-century architectural style), Kovachevitsa, and Ognyanovo (where a popular thermal spring is located).

A Bulgarian Countryside Village

People who offer you hospitality might be offended if you don’t accept their invitation, so it is polite to accept it. Once you enter their home, you are considered a friend. Bulgarians can be very curious about how foreigners live, so be prepared to answer their multiple questions about your country. You can also expect them to reciprocate: most Bulgarians are very garrulous, so you’ll be able to learn many things about Bulgaria in your conversation with them.

Bulgarians who invite foreigners are usually happy to prepare traditional Bulgarian food for them to sample. Common dishes include tarator, banitsa, guvech, and shkembe chorba. This would be a great chance to try authentic Bulgarian dishes cooked by a skilled homemaker who would probably be happy to share the recipes with you—and even give you tips on how to cook them properly.


6. Traditional Bulgarian Holidays

Knowing about the most popular Bulgarian holidays will allow you to plan your visit for a period when the most important cultural events in Bulgaria are happening. Taking part in the festive atmosphere will help you experience the culture, personality, and history of this country better. However, be aware that some restaurants and shops, and most public institutions, are closed during the official holidays.

Liberation Day (March 3)

This day celebrates the Liberation of Bulgaria in 1878 from the Ottoman Rule. This took place after the Russian Empire won the last Russian-Turkish War. From that day on, Bulgaria was a free country again.

St. George’s Day (May 6)

May 6 is associated with the Christian martyr St. George, who killed the dragon. In Bulgaria, it is also celebrated as the day of the Bulgarian Army and bravery. To celebrate, Bulgarians usually prepare a whole lamb as a traditional meal for the entire family. Moreover, the name George (Георги) is very common in Bulgaria and those with this name celebrate their name day on May 6 as well.

Day of the Bulgarian Alphabet (May 24)

The alphabet created by the Slavonic brothers Cyril and Methodius is called Glagolitsa. It was later simplified by their students, who named the new alphabet after Cyril: Cyrillic alphabet. On May 24, all students and teachers in Bulgaria have a special celebration.

Easter

This is among the most important religious holidays in Bulgaria, celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. If you are in the country during this period, your Bulgarian friends will probably give you a painted hard-boiled egg and a special sweet Easter bread called kozunak.

Kozunak and  Painted Eggs
    → In this article, you can learn more about another Bulgarian holiday related to Easter: Tsvetnitsa.

Christmas Eve (December 24)

This is another religious holiday in Bulgaria, celebrating the birth of Christ on Earth. According to Bulgarian traditions for this holiday, we only eat lean dishes on Christmas Eve, and there should be a specific number of dishes: 7, 9, or 11/12 different kinds. A festive bread or banitsa should be made with a coin hidden inside; whoever finds the coin in his piece is considered lucky and will have prosperity and health in the next year.

7. Cultural Taboos

Bulgarians accept people of different countries, social levels, professions, etc. They are generally open to foreigners, which is why the country is home to so many minorities from many different countries. But there are still a couple of things to consider in order to be polite while visiting someone’s house.

When you’re invited to be a guest in someone’s house, it is considered impolite to enter without taking off your shoes. Even Bulgarians take off their shoes when entering the home, even if the housewife insists that they don’t have to do that. This is a sign of respect toward the housewife’s work. She will probably offer you slippers, but some Bulgarians prefer to take their own slippers from home when visiting friends, so you could opt to do the same. It is also impolite to refuse any food or drink offered to you by the host.

8. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn Bulgarian

There are certainly many fascinating aspects of Bulgarian culture, and we hope that our brief overview has inspired you to continue learning. There is so much more for you to discover, and the more you know Bulgaria, the more effective and immersive your language studies will be.

If you would like to continue studying the Bulgarian language with a personal teacher, you can choose one from MyTeacher by creating a Premium PLUS account. Native Bulgarian linguists will not only lead you through the grammar points, but will also share with you more interesting facts about Bulgarian history and culture. 

Before you go, let us know in the comments if there’s anything we missed in this lesson. Is there anything you still want to know about Bulgarian culture? We’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

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Bulgarian Food Guide: Try the Best of Bulgarian Cuisine

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To truly learn a foreign language, you must also become familiar with that country’s culture. And its national cuisine is a great place to start! 

Traditional Bulgarian food offers a glimpse of the country’s cultural background and will help you learn more about the people there. As a language learner, you’ll benefit from exploring Bulgarian cuisine and tasting many of the traditional dishes yourself.

Today, BulgarianPod101 will lead you through the sweetest part of language learning. We’ll introduce you to the best Bulgarian foods, go over some essential food-related vocabulary, and even give you a couple of simple Bulgarian recipes you can make at home. 

Let’s begin our delicious journey into Bulgarian cuisine!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Let's Cook in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. Five Must-Try Dishes in Bulgarian Restaurants
  2. Authentic Bulgarian Food vs. Overseas Food
  3. Unique Bulgarian Foods
  4. Food-Related Vocabulary
  5. Bonus: Simple Recipes to Make Authentic Bulgarian Food at Home
  6. Final Thoughts

Bulgarian Vita Banitsa

1. Five Must-Try Dishes in Bulgarian Restaurants

If you’re planning a trip to Bulgaria, the most important consideration—after your accommodation and sightseeing agenda—is what you’ll eat during your visit. To help you make the most of your stay in Bulgaria, we’ll start with a list of traditional Bulgarian food you must try while you’re here. 

Banitsa

The Bulgarian food banitsa is one of the most popular traditional dishes. Its ingredients include eggs, Bulgarian cheese, Bulgarian yogurt, and “filo dough,” or кори за баница (kori za batnitsa). Filo dough refers to very thin sheets of pastry, which are used specifically for preparing banitsa. You can find them at any Bulgarian food market. 

There are many types of banitsa, differing in the arrangement of the filo dough as well as the fillings used. Besides the yogurt, cheese, and eggs, one could also add spinach, leek, or even minced meat.

One thing is for sure: You need to try banitsa! We guarantee you’ll fall in love with it, especially if you have the chance to taste a homemade one.

Bulgarian Banitsa
Photo by Borzo, under CC BY-SA 3.0

Banitsa is often eaten as a breakfast item with one of the following drinks:

  • айрян (ayrian), which is a Turkish beverage made of yogurt, water, and salt. You can easily prepare this beverage at home with the recipe at the end of this article.
Ayrian
Photo by Mavigogun, under CC BY-SA 3.0
  • боза (boza), which is an unfermented or lightly fermented beverage prepared by boiling cereal porridge and then diluting it with water. People also add sugar to make it sweet.
Boza
Photo by Ikonact, under CC BY-SA 3.0

Tarator

This is a very popular cold Bulgarian summer soup, so no boiling is needed! It’s made of yogurt, water, finely chopped or grated cucumbers, chopped walnuts, and some spices like salt and dill.

The good news is that tarator is so simple and convenient to prepare. You can make it yourself in just ten to twenty minutes using the recipe at the end of this article. But if you’re having lunch in a Bulgarian restaurant during a hot summer day, you can order tarator made with organic ingredients for a refreshing meal.

Tarator
Photo by Ikonact, under CC BY-SA 3.0

Shopska Salata

Шопска салата (Shopska salata) is a Bulgarian salad made with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted peppers, onions, fresh parsley, and grated white cheese. It tastes wonderful with a dressing of olive oil and vinegar. This salad makes a perfect side dish to tarator, so your vegetarian lunch in a restaurant could consist of tarator and shopska salata.

Bulgarians love to drink rakiya, a traditional strong alcoholic beverage, with this salad.

Shopska Salata

Patatnik

As the name suggests, the main ingredient of patatnik is potatoes. This is a delicious dish that’s commonly prepared by people who live in the Rhodope Mountains, and its recipe is transferred from generation to generation. 

Patatnik is made from grated potatoes, onions, cheese, eggs, and sometimes meat. These ingredients are baked in the oven at a low temperature for the perfect taste and texture. 

This is a must-try Bulgarian dish that makes a great dinner in any season!

Gyuvech

Гювеч (gyuvech) is a traditional Bulgarian dish that’s prepared in a refractory clay pot with a clay lid, also called gyuvech in Bulgarian. It’s prepared with different vegetables, such as potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, eggplants, carrots, and onions, and meat can also be added.

This traditional Bulgarian food is worth trying because of its unique taste, achieved through cooking slowly in the clay pot. It’s a great lunch or dinner item in Bulgarian restaurants.

Guvech
Photo by Seraphim System, under CC BY-SA 4.0

2. Authentic Bulgarian Food vs. Overseas Food

Bread is a staple of authentic Bulgarian cuisine, present at the table for every meal. The nation’s history and culture play a huge role in this phenomenon. Even centuries ago, Bulgarians ate a lot of bread while under the Turkish yoke; during the years of hunger after the World Wars, many people ate хляб и лук (hlyab i luk), or “bread and onion.”

Bread Is Revered in Every Bulgarian Home
Photo by 3268zauber, under CC BY-SA 3.0

Over the past few decades, foreign restaurants have introduced Bulgarians to cuisines from many other cultures: Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Moroccan, and the list goes on. In particular, restaurants offering Mediterranean cuisine have become more and more popular because of their tasty and healthy food. 

But there are still some popular international dishes that are unfamiliar to Bulgarians, which means you’re unlikely to find them in restaurants during your visit. For example, if you were to ask a Bulgarian about gingerbread, goulash, or pot-au-feu, they probably wouldn’t have heard of them. These foods just aren’t typical for Bulgarian culture.

3. Unique Bulgarian Foods

Now, let’s take a closer look at some unique Bulgarian food classics that can really only be found in-country. You’ve probably heard of these already, so don’t miss out on tasting them during your visit.

Bulgarian Yogurt

Bulgarian yogurt is milk that’s been fermented with the microorganisms Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. These two bacteria are in a symbiotic relationship that produces Bulgarian кисело мляко (kiselo mlyako), which is famous for its health benefits and slightly sour (yet pleasant) taste. 

Unfortunately, these bacteria cannot survive naturally on other places on earth, which makes this Bulgarian milk product unique.

Bulgarian Yogurt
Photo by Ned Jelyazkov, under CC BY-SA 3.0

Bulgarian Strawberry Jam

One of the most popular and delicious jams made in Bulgaria is сладко от ягоди (sladko ot yagodi), or strawberry jam made from whole fruit wild strawberries. Our strawberry jam has no artificial ingredients, colorants, or preservatives—not to mention it tastes fantastic! Bulgarians usually eat this jam with палачинки (palachinki), or “pancakes,” for breakfast.

Bulgarian Strawberry Jam
Photo by VI, under CC BY-SA 3.0

Bulgarian Lyutenitsa

Another unique Bulgarian food to try is definitely лютеница (lyutenitsa). This is a chutney made of roasted vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers) and seasoned with spices. The vegetables are made into a thick paste with a rich red color and an amazing flavor. Bulgarians love lyutenitsa, and they usually eat it on a slice of bread with white cheese.

Bulgarian lutenitsa
Photo by Чакаровска, under CC BY-SA 4.0

Kozunak – Easter Bread

It’s impossible to celebrate Easter in Bulgaria without this Bulgarian Easter food called козунак (kozunak) on the festive table. This sweet bread is traditionally made on the Saturday morning just before Easter, and no one is allowed to eat it before Sunday. If you happen to visit Bulgaria during the Easter celebrations, don’t miss out on trying this special bread, which typically contains raisins and Turkish delight.

Bulgarian Kozunak
Photo by Voyager, under CC BY-SA 3.0

4. Food-Related Vocabulary

Now that you’re good and hungry for traditional Bulgarian cuisine, let’s go over some useful food-related words and phrases! We’ll start with a brief review of all the dishes we’ve already mentioned.

  • баница (banitsa) – cheese pastry
  • кори за баница (kori za banitsa) – filo dough
  • айрян (ayrian) – beverage made of yogurt and water
  • боза (boza) – sweet fermented grain beverage
  • таратор (tarator) – a cold Bulgarian summer soup made of yogurt and cucumbers
  • шопска салата (shopska salata) – Bulgarian salad
  • ракия (rakiya) – traditional strong alcoholic beverage
  • пататник (patatnik) – traditional Rhodope Mountain dish made of potatoes
  • гювеч (gyuvech) – traditional Bulgarian dish made in a refractory clay pot
  • хляб (hlyab) – bread
  • лук (luk) – onion
  • кисело мляко (kiselo mlyako) – Bulgarian yogurt
  • сладко от ягоди (sladko ot yagodi) – strawberry jam
  • палачинки (palachinki) – pancakes
  • лютеница (lyutenitsa) – a thick paste made of roasted vegetables
  • козунак (kozunak) – sweet Easter bread

What’s your favorite Bulgarian food? Learn its name on our free vocabulary list!

Now, let’s suppose that you’re in a Bulgarian restaurant. Here are a few practical words and phrases you can use with your waiter.

How to Order in a Bulgarian Restaurant?

  • келнер (kelner) – waiter
  • Менюто, моля! (menyuto, molya!) – The menu, please.
  • Пържени яйца (parzheni yaitsa) – fried eggs
  • Варени яйца (vareni yaitsa) – boiled eggs
  • Пица (pitsa) – pizza
  • Пържени картофи (parzheni kartofi) – french fries
  • Кашкавал пане (kashkaval pane) – fried breaded yellow cheese
  • Запеканка (zapekanka) – casserole
  • Какво ще ми препоръчате за основно ястие? (Kakvo shte mi preporachate za osnovno yastie?) – What would you recommend for a main course?
  • Какво предлагате за пиене? (Kakvo predlagate za piene?) – What do you offer to drink?
  • Какви видове супи имате? (Kakvi vidove supi imate?) – What types of soups do you have?
  • Какво предлагате за десерт? (Kakvo predlagate za desert?) – What do you offer for dessert?

If you would like to learn some more useful phrases you could use in a restaurant, BulgarianPod101 offers a list of the most Useful Phrases for Ordering Food.

5. Bonus: Simple Recipes to Make Authentic Bulgarian Food at Home

If you like to cook, you might enjoy making some traditional Bulgarian dishes. You could certainly impress your family, friends, or guests with your Bulgarian cooking! Here are three easy-to-follow Bulgarian food recipes you can try.

How to Make Mekitsi

Mekitsi, also known in English as Bulgarian Fried Dough, is one of the favorite breakfast foods among Bulgarians—both young and old!

How to Make Bulgarian Mekitsi?
Photo by Biser Todorov, under CC BY-SA 3.0

The recipe is easy to follow and you’ll definitely want to make these fried mekitsi again and again after you try them once. 

Ingredients:

  • 14  cup of warm water
  • 12  teaspoon of dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • about 2 cups of flour
  • 12  cup of yogurt
  • a pinch of salt
  • oil (for frying)

Instructions:

1. Dilute the dry yeast in the warm water. To help it activate faster, you can also add a pinch of sugar to the water. 

2. Then, add the yogurt and egg to the water and stir the mixture well. Now add the salt and flour, and mix. Make sure your dough is soft and not too thick. Then, let it stay for an hour. 

3. After that period, it’s ready for frying. Heat the oil in a pot. Meanwhile, roll the dough into circles. Once the oil is heated, drop them in the pot. When they turn golden in color, turn them over to fry the other side. 

4. When ready, mekitsi are usually sprinkled with powdered sugar. Bon appetit!

How to Make Tarator

This simple Bulgarian cold soup will take a maximum of twenty minutes to prepare. 

Ingredients:

  • 500g of Bulgarian yogurt (kiselo mlyako)
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 500g of water
  • 2 tablespoons of crushed walnuts
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil 
  • Salt
  • Dill

Instructions:

1. Cut the cucumbers into tiny cubes or use a grater to grate them. 

2. Beat the yogurt to give it an even consistency and add it together with the cucumbers, crushed garlic, and walnuts in a big bowl. The dill is an obligatory spice for this soup, so add a generous amount of it. Add salt and olive oil to taste, add the water, and stir. 

3. Your tarator is ready. If you would like to chill it, you can add a few ice cubes or put it in the refrigerator for thirty minutes.

How to Make Ayran

This beverage is quite popular in Bulgaria, especially during the hot summer days. To make it, you need only three ingredients. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Bulgarian yogurt (kiselo mlyako)
  • 1 cup of water
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

Just mix all the ingredients together using your blender (or you can stir them together by hand). Your cool summer beverage is ready!

6. Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed our little guide to Bulgarian meals and other popular food items! Which of these Bulgarian foods would you most like to try? Have you already tried any of them? 

Are you new here? BulgarianPod101 is a Bulgarian language learning platform where you can learn Bulgarian in a different and innovative way. We offer tons of fun and effective lessons for learners at every level, as well as free vocabulary lists and other learning resources. We hope to see you around!

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A Comprehensive Bulgarian Grammar Overview

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Many foreign language learners give up as soon as they reach the grammar. Learning grammar seems like Mission: Impossible to them!

But guess what? Thanks to BulgarianPod101, you can now learn all of the Bulgarian grammar basics in a fun and easy-to-understand way. We think that the most challenging part of your language learning journey should also be the most fun and intriguing! 

On this page, you’ll find a breakdown of the most important Bulgarian grammar rules. We’ll cover topics ranging from word order to tenses, providing you with insight and examples to make your learning experience as painless as possible. Make sure to complete each of the Bulgarian grammar exercises we’ve included, as they will help you better understand the rules and how to apply them.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. General Rules
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Special Grammar Point 1: Gender
  4. Special Grammar Point 2: Number
  5. Special Grammar Point 3: Definite Articles
  6. Special Grammar Point 4: Case
  7. Special Grammar Point 5: Tenses
  8. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn More Bulgarian
  9. Answers to the Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises

1. General Rules

Before we move on to the heavy stuff, let’s go over a couple of basic Bulgarian grammar points every learner should be familiar with: word order and vocabulary.

Word Order

Let’s start with word order and how to properly build Bulgarian sentences. We have good news for you: Bulgarian word order is flexible, so you have fewer chances to make a mistake! The rather free word order of Bulgarian is possible thanks to subject-verb agreement. Take the following example:

  • Той (S) видя (V) момичето (O) в далечината (A).
    Toy vidya momicheto v dalechinata.
    “He saw the girl in the distance.”

So the pattern of this sentence is:

S (Subject) + V (Verb) + O (Object) + A (Adjunct)

Now, let’s try to change the word order of the same sentence and see what the possible options are.

  • В далечината той видя момичето.
    V dalechinata toy vidya momicheto.
    “In the distance, he saw the girl.”
    A + S + V + O
  • Момичето той видя в далечината.
    Momicheto toy vidya v dalechinata.
    “The girl he saw in the distance.”
    O + S + V + A
  • Той видя в далечината момичето.
    Toy vidya v dalechinata momicheto.
    “He saw in the distance the girl.”
    S + V + A + O

    You can find more insight on this topic in our Bulgarian word order article!

Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Word Order

Bulgarian Word Order Exercises Can be as Fun as Puzzle Games

Do you like puzzle games? The following word order task is very similar to completing a puzzle, so why not try it? 

We’ll give you a sentence with its pattern explanation. Your task is to change the order of the words in that sentence according to the patterns we list. 

If you can’t wait till the end to check whether your answers are correct, you can scroll directly to the bottom of this page and find the answers under the appropriate heading.

Here’s your exercise:

  • Ана (S) занесе (V) цветя (O) на майка си (A).
    Ana zanese tsvetya na mayka si.
    “Anna brought flowers to her mother.”

The pattern of the sentence above is:

S + V + O + A

Now, try to change the order of the sentence to follow each of these patterns:

S + V + A + O
O + V + S + A 
A + S + V + O

Done? Great!

Now, try to translate the following sentence into Bulgarian:

  • I study the Bulgarian language from a textbook.

After you’re done, change the word order to match these English equivalents:

  1. From a textbook I study the Bulgarian language.
  2. The Bulgarian language I study from a textbook.
  3. I study from a textbook the Bulgarian language.

When you’re ready, try to make a scheme for each Bulgarian sentence, the same way they’re done above. The answers can be found at the very end of this article.

2. Vocabulary

Another crucial element of Bulgarian grammar for beginners to learn early is the vocabulary. Here, we’ll briefly look at the different parts of speech.

Parts of SpeechBulgarianEnglish
Nouns жена (zhena)woman
Adjectives красив (krasiv)beautiful
Verbs вървя (varvya)to go
Adverbs бавно (bavno)slowly
Pronouns: Personalаз, ти, той, тя, то, ние, вие, те
(az, ti, toy, tya, to, nie, vie, te)
I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they
Pronouns: Demonstrativeтова
(tova)
this
Pronouns: Possessiveмой, твой, негов, неин, негов, наш, ваш, техен
(moy, tvoy, negov, nein, nash, vash, tehen)
my, yours, his, her, its, our, yours, theirs
Conjunctions и, но 
(i, no)
and, but
Prepositionsв, над, зад, пред, под, между
(v, nad, zad, pred, pod, mezhdu)
in, over, behind, before, under, between

Now, let’s try to make Bulgarian sentences using the words from the table above.

Beautiful Woman

Adjective + Noun
красива жена
krasiva zhena
“beautiful woman”

Noun + Verb + Adjective
Жената е красива.
Zhenata e krasiva.
“The woman is beautiful.”

Noun + Verb + Adverb 
Жената върви бавно.
Zhenata varvi bavno.
“The woman walks slowly.”

Adjective + Noun + Verb + Adverb 
Красивата жена върви бавно.
Krasivata zhena varvi bavno.
“The beautiful woman walks slowly.”

Demonstrative Pronoun + Verb + Possessive Pronoun + Noun
Това е моята жена.
Tova e moyata zhena.
“This is my wife.”

Personal Pronoun + Verb + Adjective + Noun
Аз съм красива жена.
Az sam krasiva zhena.
“I am a beautiful woman.”

Adjective + Noun + Verb + Adverb + Preposition + Noun
Красивата жена върви бавно в парка.
Krasivata zhena varvi bavno v parka.
“The beautiful woman walks slowly in the park.”


Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Vocabulary

Now, it’s your turn to practice. First, study this table.

Parts of SpeechBulgarianEnglish
Nouns мъж (mazh)man
Adjectives умен (umen)smart
Verbs работя (rabotya)to work
Adverbs бързо (barzo)quickly
Pronouns: Personalаз, ти, той, тя, то, ние, вие, те
(az, ti, toy, tya, to, nie, vie, te)
I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they
Pronouns: Demonstrativeтози [for masculine]
(tozi)
this
Pronouns: Possessiveмой, твой, негов, неин, негов, наш, ваш, техен
(moy, tvoy, negov, nein, nash, vash, tehen)
mine, yours, his, her, its, ours, yours, theirs
Conjunctions и, но
(i, no)
and, but
Prepositionsв, над, зад, пред, под, между
(v, nad, zad, pred, pod, mezhdu)
in, over, behind, before, under, between

Now, write the following phrases and sentences in Bulgarian:

Adjective + Noun  
smart man

Noun + Verb + Adjective
The man is smart.

Noun + Verb + Adverb 
The man works quickly.

Adjective + Noun + Verb + Adverb 
The smart man works quickly.

Demonstrative Pronoun + Noun + Verb + Possessive Pronoun
This man is mine.

Personal Pronouns + Verb + Adjective + Noun
You are a smart man.

3. Special Grammar Point 1: Gender

Like many languages, Bulgarian has three grammatical genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. A word’s gender can often be determined by its ending. 

1. Nouns of masculine gender typically end in a consonant

Examples:

    ➢ мъж (mаzh) – man
    ➢ син (sin) – son
    ➢ стол (stol) – chair
    ➢ кон (kon) – horse

2. Nouns of feminine gender typically have the endings -а/-я

Examples:

    ➢ жена (zhena) – woman
    ➢ ябълка (yabalka) – apple
    ➢ кола (kola) – car
    ➢ чиния (chiniya) – plate

3. Nouns of neuter gender typically have the endings -е/-о

Examples:

    ➢ море (more) – sea
    ➢ поле (pole) – field
    ➢ месо (meso) – meat
    ➢ село (selo) – village

There are some exceptions for each grammatical gender that you should take into account. These are:

Exceptions for the masculine gender

Some common nouns of masculine gender may have the endings -а or -я.

    ➢ баща (bashta) – father
    ➢ старшина (starshina) – sergeant-major
    ➢ съдия (sadiya) – judge

Other nouns of masculine gender may have the ending -о (when they refer to close relatives) or -и (when they refer to months of the year).

    ➢ чичо (chicho) – uncle
    ➢ дядо (dyado) – grandpa
    ➢ януари (yanuari) – January
    ➢ февруари (fevruari) – February

You can learn more of these words in our article on How To Talk About Family in Bulgarian and our vocabulary list for Talking About Months in Bulgarian!

Exceptions for the feminine gender

Some common nouns of feminine gender may have the endings -ст or -есен.

    ➢ младост (mladost) – youth
    ➢ радост (radost) – joy
    ➢ песен (pesen) – song
    есен (esen) – autumn

Some common nouns of feminine gender may end in a consonant.

    ➢ любов (lyubov) – love
    ➢ нощ (nosht) – night
    ➢ смрад (smrad) – stink

Exceptions for the neuter gender

Some common nouns of neuter gender may end in -и, -у, or -ю. Usually, these words have a foreign origin.

    ➢ такси (taksi) – taxi
    ➢ жури (zhuri) – jury
    ➢ бижу (bizhu) – jewel

Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Genders

Now, try to categorize the following words into the table below based on their gender:

крак, младост, воля, корен, море, селище, колело, кожа, кино, мрак, мравка, такси, март, нощ, чичо, корона, слънце, януари, бижу, корен, майка, баща, обица, бюро

Masculine genderFeminine gender Neuter gender 
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .

4. Special Grammar Point 2: Number

Bulgarian language grammar recognizes nouns as being either singular or plural. 

It’s interesting to note that Old Bulgarian also had the so-called dual number, which ended in -a. It was used for referring to a pair of things. Today, it’s still used for countable nouns of masculine gender, but only for inanimate objects. Animated objects end in -и when in their countable forms. Here are a few examples:

SingularCountable Noun FormPlural
стол
 stol
“a chair”
пет стола 
pet stola
“five chairs”
много столове 
mnogo stolove
“many chairs”
домат
 domat
“a tomato”
два домата 
dva domata
“two tomatoes”
много домати 
mnogo domati
“many tomatoes”

Let’s now look at the endings for plural and singular nouns for each gender:

SingularPlural
Masculine gender

Samples:
-consonant

студент (student) – student
кон (kon) – horse
стол (stol) – chair
-и, -е, ове

студенти (studenti) – student
sконе (kone) – horses
столове (stolove) – chairs
Feminine gender

Samples:
-а, -я, -ст, -есен

вода (voda) – water
чиния (chiniya) – plate
радост (radost) – joy
песен (pesen) – song


води (vodi) – waters
чинии (chiniyi) – plates
радости (radosti) – joys
песни (pesni) – songs
Neuter gender

Samples:
-о, -е, -и, -у, -ю

село (selo) – village
море (more) – sea
такси (taxi) – taxi
бижу (bizhu) – jewel
-а, -та

села (sela) – villages
морета (moreta) – seas
таксита (taxita) – taxies
бижута (bizhuta) – jewelry

Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Number

Plural Form of the Nouns

Try to make the plural form of the following nouns:

майка –
баща –
кино –
такси –
мравка –
обица –
слънце –
корен –
кожа –
море –

*Tip: If you find it difficult, you can refer to the previous exercise to see the gender of these nouns first. You can also check the correct answers at the end of this page.

5. Special Grammar Point 3: Definite Articles

In contrast to English and other languages where the definite article is written in front of the word, the definite article in Bulgarian is postfixed and looks like this:

IndefiniteDefinite
Masculine gender

Samples:


студент (student) – student
кон (kon) – horse
Definite article: ът, -ят

студентът (studentat) – the student
конят (konyat) – the horse
Feminine gender

Samples:


вода (voda) – water
чиния (chiniya) – plate
радост (radost) – joy
Definite article: та

водата (vodata) – the water
чинията (chiniyata) – the plate
радостта (radostta) – the joy
Neuter gender

Samples:


село (selo) – village
море (more) – sea
такси (taxi) – taxi
-тo

селото (sela) – the village
морето (moreta) – the sea
таксито (taxita) – the taxi

Note that the definite article for plural nouns is -те for masculine and feminine, and -та for neuter gender.

Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Definite Articles

Let’s return to our list from the previous section and try to add a definite article to each word. Please note that although баща (bashta), or “father,” is masculine, we add the feminine definite article to it because of its -a ending.

майка –
баща –
кино –
такси –
мравка –
обица –
слънце –
корен –
кожа –
море –

Once you complete the task above, make a summary of what you’ve learned so far by filling in the following table. The first row is filled out for you as an example.

*Tip: Determine the correct definite articles by looking at your answers from Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Number where you made the list of singular words plural.

SingularSingular- DefinitePluralPlural – Definite
майка майкатамайкимайките
баща 
кино 
такси 
мравка 
обица 
слънце 
корен 
кожа 
море 

6. Special Grammar Point 4: Case

In Bulgarian grammar, cases are used only for personal nouns. There are three cases:

  • Nominative – аз, ти, той, тя, то, ние, вие, те
  • Accusative – ме, те, го, я, го, ни, ми, ги
  • Dative – ми, ти, му, й, му, ни, ви, им

Here’s a table with translations to make things clearer:

Nominative Accusative Dative 
аз – Iме – meми – to me
ти – youтe – youти – to you
той – heго – himму – to him
тя – sheя – herй – to her
то – itго – itму – to it
ние – weни – usни – to us
вие – youви – youви – to you
те – theyги – themим – to them

Examples:

  • Аз го попитах как се чувства. (го – Accusative)
    Az go popitah kak se chuvstva.
    “I asked him how he was feeling.”
  • Аз му дадох моята книга. (му – Dative)
    Az mu dadoh moyata kniga.
    “I gave my book to him.”

Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Case

Use the table and examples above to translate the following sentences into Bulgarian:

  • He asked her how he was feeling. (Accusative)
  • She gave my book to me. (Dative)
  • We asked them how they were feeling. (Accusative)
  • They gave the book to us. (Dative)

7. Special Grammar Point 5: Tenses

The toughest part of Bulgarian grammar is related to the tenses. There are nine main tenses, but the most used ones are present tense, future tense, past aorist tense, and past imperfect tense. 

Let’s see all nine tenses in a table:

Bulgarian TensesExampleTranslation
Present tenseАз уча български.
Az ucha balgarski.
“I study Bulgarian.”
Future tenseАз ще уча български.
Az shte ucha balgarski.
“I will study Bulgarian.”
Past aorist tenseАз учих български.
Az uchih balgarski.
“I studied Bulgarian.”
Past imperfect tenseАз учех български.
Az ucheh balgarski.
“I was studying Bulgarian.”
Past future tenseАз щях да уча български.
Az shtyah da ucha balgarski.
“I was going to study Bulgarian.”
Present perfect tenseАз съм учил български.
Az sam uchil balgarski.
“I have studied Bulgarian.”
Past perfect tenseАз бях учил български.
Az byah uchil balgarski.
“I had studied Bulgarian.”
Future perfect tenseАз ще съм учил български.
Az shte sam uchil balgarski.
“I will have studied Bulgarian.”
Past future perfect tenseАз щях да съм учил български.
Az shtyah da sam uchil balgarski.
“I would have studied Bulgarian.”

I Study Bulgarian

Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Tenses

Now, let’s practice tenses! Think of it as a game. Just take the table above and change the verb уча (ucha), or “study,” with ходя (hodya), meaning “go.” 

Bulgarian TensesExampleTranslation
Present tenseАз ходя в парка.
Az hodya в parka.
“I walk in the park.”
Future tense“I will walk in the park.”
Past aorist tense“I walked in the park.”
Past imperfect tense“I was walking in the park.”
Past future tense“I was going to walk in the park.”
Present perfect tense“I have walked in the park.”
Past perfect tense“I had walked in the park.”
Future perfect tense“I will have walked in the park.”
Past future perfect tense“I would have walked in the park.”

8. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn More Bulgarian

BulgarianPod101 prepared this extensive guide to the basic Bulgarian grammar rules to help you more easily get used to this foreign language. We hope that you found our overview helpful and have successfully completed all of the practical exercises. However, if you still have any questions or concerns about a topic we covered, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible! 

Do you feel ready to learn Bulgarian grammar in more detail? 

We provide a range of learning tools and materials for learners at every level. From free vocabulary lists to audio and video lessons, there’s something for everyone on BulgarianPod101.com. 

You can also choose your own Bulgarian teacher from MyTeacher when you sign up for a Premium PLUS account. Your teacher will help you successfully overcome all the grammar challenges you might encounter. 

And now, let’s check your answers!

9. Answers to the Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises

Check Your Answers

Answers to: Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Word Order

  • Ана занесе цветя на майка си.
    Ana zanese tsvetya na mayka si.
    “Anna brought flowers to her mother.”
    S + V + O + A

Answers

S + V + A + O
Ана занесе на майка си цветя.
Ana zanese na mayka si tsvetya.
“Anna brought to her mother flowers.”

O + V + S + A 
Цветя занесе Ана на майка си.
Tsvetya zanese Ana na mayka si.
“Flowers brought Anna to her mother.”

A + S + V + O
На майка си Ана занесе цветя.
Na mayka si Ana zanese tsvetya.
“To her mother Anna brought flowers.”

I study the Bulgarian language from a textbook.
Аз уча български език от учебник.
Az ucha balgarski ezik ot uchebnik.
S + V + O + A

From a textbook study I the Bulgarian language.
От учебник аз уча български език.
Ot uchebnik az ucha balgarski ezik.
A + S + V + O

The Bulgarian language I study from a textbook.
Български език аз уча от учебник.
Balgarski ezik az ucha ot uchebnik.
O + S + V + A

I study from a textbook the Bulgarian language.
Аз уча от учебник български език.
Az ucha ot uchebnik balgarski ezik.
S + V + A O

Answers to: Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Vocabulary

Adjective + Noun  
smart man
умен мъж
umen mazh

Noun + Verb + Adjective
The man is smart.
Мъжът е умен.
Mazhat e umen.

Noun + Verb + Adverb 
The man works quickly.
Мъжът работи бързо.
Mazhat raboti barzo.

Adjective + Noun + Verb + Adverb 
The smart man works quickly.
Умният мъж работи бързо.
Umniyat mаzh raboti barzo.

Demonstrative Pronoun + Noun + Verb + Possessive Pronoun
This man is mine.
Този мъж е мой.
Tozi mazh e moy.

Personal Pronouns + Verb + Adjective + Noun 
You are a smart man.
Ти си умен мъж.
Ti si umen mazh.

Answers to: Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Genders

Masculine genderFeminine gender Neuter gender 
кракмладосткино
коренволяморе
мраккожаселище
мартмравкаколело
чичонощтакси
януарикоронабижу
коренмайкабюро
бащаобицаслънце

Answers to: Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Number

майка – майки 
баща – бащи
кино – кина
такси – таксита
мравка – мравки
обица – обици
слънце – слънца
корен – корени
кожа – кожи море – морета

Answers to: Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Definite Articles

майка – майката 
баща – бащата
кино – кинотo
такси – такситo
мравка – мравката 
обица – обицата 
воля – волята 
слънце – слънцетo
корен – коренът
кожа – кожата
море – моретo

SingularSingular- DefinitePluralPlural – Definite
майка майкатамайкимайките
баща бащата бащи бащите 
кино киното кина кината 
такси таксито таксита такситата 
мравка мравкатамравки мравките 
обица обицата обици обиците 
слънце слънцето слънца слънцата 
корен коренът корени корените 
кожа кожата кожаи кожите 
море морето морета моретата 

Answers to: Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Cases

  • He asked her how he was feeling. (Accusative)
    Той я попита как се чувства. (я – Accusative)
    (Toy ya popita kak se chuvstva)
  • She gave my book to me. (Dative)
    Тя ми даде моята книга. (ми – Dative)
    Tya mi dade moyata kniga.
  • We asked them how they were feeling. (Accusative)
    Ние ги попитахме как се чувстват. (ги – Accusative)
    Nie gi popitahme kak se chuvstvat.
  • They gave the book to us. (Dative)
    Тe ни дадоха книгата. (ни – Dative)
    Te ni dadoha knigata.

Answers to: Practical Bulgarian Grammar Exercises: Tenses

Bulgarian TensesExampleTranslation
Present tenseАз ходя в парка.
Az hodya v parka.
“I walk in the park.”
Future tenseАз ще ходя в парка.
Az she hodya v parka.
“I will walk in the park.”
Past aorist tenseАз ходих в парка.
Az hodih v parka.
“I walked in the park.”
Past imperfect tenseАз ходех в парка.
Az hodeh v parka.
“I was walking in the park.”
Past future tenseАз щях да ходя в парка.
Az shtyah da hodya v parka.
“I was going to walk in the park.”
Present perfect tenseАз съм ходил в парка.
Az sam hodil v parka.
“I have walked in the park.”
Past perfect tenseАз бях ходил в парка.
Az byah hodil в parka.
“I had walked in the park.”
Future perfect tenseАз ще съм ходил в парка.
Az she sam hodil в parka.
“I will have walked in the park.”
Past future perfect tenseАз щях да съм ходил в парка
Az shtyah da sam hodil в parka.
“I would have walked in the park.”
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What Do Bulgarian Quotes Say About Life & Love?

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Sometimes, life is not easy! Everyone has gone through many challenges in life. In such moments, it is helpful to know that other people have gone through the same things and overcame them successfully. 

In this article, we’ll show you Bulgarian quotes from some of the most popular Bulgarian heroes, poets, writers, and fighters for Bulgarian liberty who lost their lives without seeing their most cherished dream coming true. Their lives weren’t easy either, and their wisdom inspires the Bulgarian people to this day. 

The quotes in this article are from well-known Bulgarians who loved their country. One thing is for sure: after reading these inspirational Bulgarian quotes, you’ll definitely walk away with a better understanding of Bulgarian history and culture, which will help you a lot in your language studies. You’ll also get better acquainted with the authors of these amazing quotes and learn more about their life and works.

BulgarianPod101 has decided to divide the Bulgarian quotes in this comprehensive guide into different categories, from success to friendship and everything in-between. This will make it easier for you to find your favorite ones. Each of these Bulgarian expressions and quotes has been translated into English, which gives you the opportunity to learn more Bulgarian words and add them to your daily practice. So let the inspiration begin now!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. Quotes About Bulgaria
  2. Quotes About Life
  3. Quotes About Love
  4. Quotes About Family
  5. Quotes About Friendship
  6. Quotes About Work
  7. Quotes About Success
  8. Quotes About Language Learning
  9. How Can BulgarianPod101 Help You Learn Bulgarian?

1. Quotes About Bulgaria

We’ll start with quotes about Bulgaria simply because all of the legendary Bulgarians loved their country. Most of them died fighting to see it free from the Ottoman yoke. Some of their sayings reveal that their love for Bulgaria surpassed their love for their own families. Many of them were killed before they reached forty years of age. Let’s see how their deep love for Bulgaria is reflected in these quotes.

#1

BulgarianОпознай Родината, за да я обикнеш!(Opoznay Rodinata, za da ya obiknesh!)
AuthorAleko Konstantinov
Meaning“Get to know your motherland and you will fall in love with it!”
Aleko Konstantinov is a popular Bulgarian writer who lived in the nineteenth century and whose pseudonym was Щастливеца (Shtastlivetsa), meaning “The Lucky Man.” His most popular books are Бай Ганьо (Bai Ganyo) and the travelogue До Чикаго и назад (To Chicago and Back). 

Interestingly, the Lucky Man was not so lucky, as he was mistakenly killed by assassins at the age of 34, having swapped seats with a politician friend while on a journey. This quote of his is so popular that it can even be seen on some road signs while you travel across Bulgaria.

Bulgaria boasts a beautiful and diverse natural environment, which looks like a piece of paradise. It’s worth traveling across the mountains, the rural areas, and the ancient cities to watch the wildlife and admire the crystal-clear rivers, the Black Sea resorts, and the majestic natural scenery. There are also great fields of wheat, corn, sunflowers, lavender, and vines. If you get to know Bulgaria, you’ll definitely fall in love with it!

Medieval Stronghold Tsarevets

#2

BulgarianАко спечеля, печеля за цял народ—ако загубя, губя само мене си.(Ako spechelya, pechelya za tsyal narod—ako zagubya, gubya samo mene si.)
AuthorVasil Levski
Meaning“If I win, I win for the whole nation—if I lose, I only lose myself.”
Vasil Levski is a national hero, also known as the Apostle of Freedom. He was a founder of the Internal Revolutionary Organization, whose goal was to unite all Bulgarians in the fight against the Ottoman Empire

This quote reveals his belief that his death would not affect the nation, but that his victory would give Bulgaria its long sought-after freedom. He was killed before seeing his dreams come true, but his death was a loss for the whole nation. Levski remains one of Bulgaria’s most-loved national heroes.

#3

BulgarianПредателите на Отечеството не заслужават милост.(Predatelite na Otechestvoto ne zasluzhavat milost.)
AuthorStefan Stambolov
Meaning“The Fatherland’s traitors deserve no mercy.”
Stefan Stambolov is probably one of the most popular Bulgarian politicians of the past, and he was also a poet, a journalist, and a revolutionist. After the liberation of Bulgaria, he was nominated a Prime Minister and regent. He, too, was killed by a group of assassins.

His quote shows that he placed Bulgaria ahead of everything else and had no tolerance for traitors of the country. That’s probably why he was so loved by some people and hated by others.

#4

BulgarianГлавата ми да отсекат, пак ще викам: “Да живее България!(Glavata mi da otsekat, pak shte vikam: “Da zhivee Balgariya!”)
AuthorNikolay Haytov
Meaning“Even if they cut off my head, I will still shout: ‘Long live Bulgaria!’”
Nikolay Haytov was a popular fiction writer who lived in the twentieth century. This quote reveals his patriotism. Apart from his popular books, he wrote ten plays, 800 articles, and reviews. He also saw success as a screenplay writer, with his films and TV series being very popular. 

It might be interesting for you to watch some of the most popular ones, among which are: The Goat Horn (1972)—which is considered one of the outstanding achievements of Bulgarian cinema—Manly Times (1977), and the Captain Petko Voivode series. 

2. Quotes About Life

For most popular Bulgarian heroes, life meant Bulgaria and Bulgaria meant life. Still, there’s no shortage of Bulgarian quotes about life that touch on the various experiences and lessons we learn as we live.

#5

BulgarianЧовек е дълго изречение, написано с много любов и вдъхновение, ала пълно с правописни грешки.(Chovek e dalgo izrechenie, napisano s mnogo lyubov i vdahnovenie, ala palno s pravopisni greshki.)
AuthorJordan Radichkov
Meaning“A man is a long sentence, written with much love and inspiration, but full of spelling errors.”
Jordan Radichkov was another great Bulgarian writer of the twentieth century. He was also a dramatist, a screenwriter, and a representative of magical realism. This satirical quote reveals the essence of life in one short but wise saying.

The Man Is a Long Sentence, Written with Much Love and Inspiration, but Full of Spelling Errors!

#6

BulgarianЧовек е роб на свойта воля, но господар на своето дело.(Chovek e rob na svoyta volya, no gospodar na svoeto delo.)
AuthorColonel Boris Drangov
Meaning“The man is a slave of his own will, but a master of his own work.”
Colonel Boris Drangov was a Bulgarian officer, a military educator, and a prolific writer who lived during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This amazing quote was written by him to his fiancée instead of a love letter. Later, he became a faithful husband and a loving father, as well as a talented writer. He participated in both Balkan wars and was a commander during World War I. He was killed in the war at the age of 45.

#7

BulgarianИдеалът на земното щастие е в труда, в здравето и в природата.(Idealat na zemnoto shtastie e v truda, v zdraveto i v prirodata.)
AuthorIvan Vazov
Meaning“The ideal of earthly happiness is in work, in health, and in nature.”
Ivan Vazov is also known as the Patriarch of Bulgarian Literature. He lived from the middle of the nineteenth century to the first quarter of the twentieth century, so his poems reflect two historical epochs: the Renaissance and post-liberation Bulgaria. 

This awarded author reveals what happiness is for him. It’s interesting to note that he lists not only health and nature as being important for people, but also work; he considered work to be a blessing leading to happiness.

#8

BulgarianТакава е човеческата натура! Хората забравят всичко, даже и угризението на своята собствена съвест.(Takava e chovecheskata natura! Horata zabravyat vsichko, dazhe i ugrizenieto na svoyata sobstvena savest.)
AuthorLyuben Karavelov
Meaning“Such is human nature! People forget everything, even the remorse of their own conscience.”
Lyuben Karavelov, who lived in the nineteenth century, is a national hero and was a fighter for the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman rule. He was also a poet, ethnographer, writer, encyclopedist, and journalist. This popular quote is from his short novel Old Time’s Bulgarians, where it serves as the conclusion of the long narrative.

Fun fact: The best character in this novel is an old man named Liben, who says: “Nothing is better in this world than doing good.”

3. Quotes About Love

All of us need to love and be loved. Learn what some famous Bulgarians thought about this topic through these Bulgarian quotes about love.

Bulgarian Love Quotes

#9

BulgarianДа обича, това е работа на душата. Не се бъркайте в нейните работи.(Da obicha, tova e rabota na dushata. Ne se barkayte v neynite raboti.)
AuthorPetar Deunov
Meaning“To love is the work of the soul. Don’t interfere in its work.”
Peter Deunov, who lived 100 years ago, founded the White Brotherhood religious doctrine and was called the “Master” by his followers. He was also a popular Bulgarian philosopher. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church declared his doctrine to be heretical because of its connection to occultism.

Some of his teachings include the belief that light is alive and has consciousness; he believed that atoms have consciousness, as well. Knowing these facts, it’s easier to understand his quote about love.

#10

BulgarianНай-силна е онази любов, която може да проявява слабости.(Nay-silna e onazi lyubov, koyato mozhe da proyavyava slabosti.)
AuthorElin Pelin
Meaning“The strongest is the love that can show weakness.”
The author’s real name is Dimitar Stoyanov, but all Bulgarians know him by his pen-name Elin Pelin. He was a Bulgarian writer, also known as the Singer of the Bulgarian village. This is because the Bulgarian village takes the central place in his works.

Along with this quote, there is one more famous love quote from his short novel Geratsite, where Elin Pelin wrote words that apply to today: Любовта бяга от човешките сърца, хората не са вече братя. (Lyubovta byaga ot choveshkite sartsa, horata ne sa veche bratya.) This means: “Love runs away from the human hearts, people are no longer brothers.”

#11

BulgarianНа любовта трябва да се наложи карантина, както на холерата и чумата, от които Тя прави по-големи опустошения.(Na lyubovta tryabva da se nalozhi karantina, kakto na holerata i chumata, ot koito Tya pravi po-golemi opustosheniya.)
AuthorIvan Vazov
Meaning“Love must be quarantined, as cholera and plague, from which the Love makes greater devastation.”
This quote from the great writer Ivan Vazov is found in the narration of Kardashev on the Hunt. In it, a man named Kardashev says the following: 

“To you poets, love in the world may be much needed as the main building block in your creations; but humanity doesn’t need it. A person doesn’t need love but reason and bills to be happy. Love is an enemy of peace and human virtue.”

These words are then followed by our featured quote. These are the words of Vazov’s character who denies the necessity of love; Vazov himself doesn’t agree with this philosophy. Ivan Vazov wrote many love poems, one of which is named Love is Needed.

#12

BulgarianНикога не ги карай да те обичат, дете мое. Настоявай да те оставят. И знай, че този, който устои и остане, те обича истински.(Nikoga ne gi karay da te obichat, dete moe. Nastoyavay da te ostavyat. I znay, che tozi, koyto ustoi i ostane, te obicha istinski.
AuthorDimitar Talev
Meaning“Never make them love you, my child. Insist that they leave you. And know that he, who endures and stays, really loves you.”
The life of the famous Bulgarian writer Dimitar Talev was not easy. His father died when he was only nine; after that, Talev survived three wars, including World War I. Then, because of his patriotic views, the communists arrested him and sent him to the labor camps. The grief and hunger of these years are reflected in his works.

This unique love quote is from his historical novel Железният светилник (Zhelezniyat svetilnik), or The Iron Candlestick, which is part of a tetralogy that also includes The Bells of Prespa, Ilinden (St. Ilia’s Day), and Your Voices I Hear.


4. Quotes About Family

Not all Bulgarian national heroes were able to have their own families, as they were killed very young in the fight for Bulgaria’s liberation. However, all of them respected and deeply loved their parents, as seen in the following Bulgarian quotes about family. Maybe we can take something from these wise words.

#13

BulgarianТози, който не обича майка си, баща си, жена си и децата си, то той не обича и своето Отечество!(Tozi, koyto ne obicha mayka si, bashta si, zhena si i detsata si, to toy ne obicha i svoeto Otechestvo!)
AuthorHristo Botev
Meaning“He who does not love his mother, his father, his wife, and his children, does not love his Fatherland either!”
Hristo Botev was a Bulgarian national hero, as well as a poet, a publicist, and a revolutionary killed by the Ottoman Army at the age of 28. Although Botev wasn’t able to write many poems during his short life, his works are considered the best of Bulgarian Renaissance literature. 

He was a patriot who was very closely attached to his family. This is reflected not only in this quote, but also in some of his poems: To My Mother, To My Brother, To My First Love.

#14

BulgarianСтари обичаи не презирай! Бащино огнище не забравяй!(Stari obichai ne preziray! Bashtino ognishte ne zabravyay!)
AuthorGeorgi Sava Rakovski
Meaning“Do not despise old customs! Don’t forget your father’s fireplace!”
Georgi Sava Rakovski is mostly known as the founder of the organized national revolutionary struggle for the liberation of Bulgaria, but he was also an historian, ethnologist, ethnographer, journalist, publicist, writer, and poet. He was one of the few patriots not killed during the wars, but instead died at the age of 46 from tuberculosis.

His wisdom can be seen in this short quote that reminds us to keep the customs and beliefs of our parents, as this will help us survive as a nation.


5. Quotes About Friendship

Vasil Levski had a lot to say about friendship during those uncertain times when people weren’t sure who was a friend and who was a traitor or enemy. 

#15

BulgarianВсичко се състои в нашите задружни сили.(Vsichko se sastoi v nashite zadruzhni sili.)
AuthorVasil Levski
Meaning“Everything is in our joint forces.”
Levski’s goal of winning Bulgaria’s liberation would have been impossible to accomplish without the joint forces of the entire nation. That’s why he went from village to village and from city to city all across the country to organize secret committees. He believed that the entire nation must be united to win its liberation.

This quote can also apply, in a broader sense, to faithful friends.

#16

BulgarianВреме за помагане е сега—закъснелите не ще бъдат наши приятели.(Vreme za pomagane e sega—zakasnelite ne shte badat nashi priyateli.)
AuthorVasil Levski
Meaning“The time to help is nowthose who are late will not be our friends!”
This is another quote related to the fight for liberation. It means that Levski’s so-called friends, should they fail to support the fight at its most difficult, would no longer be considered friends. There’s an English saying that describes this quote well: False friends are worse than open enemies.

#17

BulgarianТрябва изпит за всеки. Защото има примери: Днес е човек, а утре – магаре.(Tryabva izpit za vseki. Zashtoto ima primeri: Dnes e chovek, a utre – magare.)
AuthorVasil Levski
Meaning“There should be a test for everyone. Because there are examples: Today he is a human and tomorrow he is a donkey.”
The biggest advantage of a true friendship is that you can count on your friend in difficult moments. False friends who won’t encourage or support you during those times are like donkeys, as Vasil Levski said in this quote.

True Friend or a Donkey?

6. Quotes About Work

To make sure we offered you the best Bulgarian quotes concerning work, we chose two from the great Bulgarian Colonel Boris Drangov—who knew how to work and do his duty faithfully—and one quote from the philosopher Petar Deunov.

#18

BulgarianРаботи спокойно, отчетливо, разумно и толкова по-спокойно, колкото опасността е по-близо.(Raboti spokoyno, otchetlivo, razumno i tolkova po-spokoyno, kolkoto opasnostta e po-blizo.)
AuthorColonel Boris Drangov
Meaning“Work calmly, clearly, reasonably, and calmer as the danger is getting closer.”
What a great thought! When the danger is closer, there should be less panic and stress. In order to overcome the danger, just work calmer than ever!

#19

BulgarianЗа да служиш достойно и полезно, отречи се от себе си.(Za da sluzhish dostoyno i polezno, otrechi se ot sebe si.)
AuthorColonel Boris Drangov
Meaning“To serve worthily and usefully, renounce yourself.”
This thought is undoubtedly a reference to Christianity and the sacrifice of Christ. According to the Bible, God, in the face of Christ, has renounced Himself for the good of man and calls us to do so. Colonel Boris Drangov followed this Christian principle during his life, and maybe this is why he became a great man!

#20

BulgarianЕдинственото нещо, което повдига човека, е работата. За да се проявите в каквото и да е направление, трябва да работите. Работата е свещено нещо. Работа, вършена с любов, е щастие.(Edinstvenoto neshto, koeto povdiga choveka, e rabotata. Za da se proyavite v kakvoto i da e napravlenie, tryabva da rabotite. Rabotata e sveshteno neshto. Rabota, varshena s lyubov, e shtastie.)
AuthorPetar Deunov
Meaning“The only thing that elevates the person is work. You need to work in order to succeed in any direction. Work is a sacred thing. Work done with love is happiness.”
According to this Bulgarian philosopher, work is needed to prevent people’s destruction. If you would like to find your happiness in work, do what you love to do. Indeed, if you love your work, it won’t be a burden to you. For this reason, many people at some stage in their lives change their professions, seeking the work they love most, which brings them true satisfaction!

7. Quotes About Success

The following success quotes represent the strategies of young Bulgarians who achieved success in different business spheres in Bulgaria. These words could serve as a great motivation to other young people who have not yet entered the workforce.

Successful Young People

#21

BulgarianАко спрем за момент да се оплакваме и вземем живота в свои ръце, всичко ще стане по-лесно и по-ясно!(Ako sprem za moment da se oplakvame i vzemem zhivota v svoi ratse, vsichko shte stane po-lesno i po-yasno!)
AuthorKaterina Arsova
Meaning“If we stop complaining for a moment and take our lives in our own hands, everything will become easier and clearer!”
Complaining makes things harder than they actually are. People who don’t want to assume an active role in their own lives tend to complain, but this is a surefire way to fail.

#22

BulgarianСмисълът на израстването е моята мотивация за успех.(Smisalat na izrastvaneto e moyata motivatsiya za uspeh.)
AuthorAleksandra Zhekova
Meaning“The meaning behind growth itself is my motivation for success.”
Motivation to be successful is a great power that should be used during your journey toward a successful career. 

#23

BulgarianНикога не изневерявайте на специфичния си талант.(Nikoga ne izneveryavayte na spetsifichniya si talant.)
AuthorRadoslav Gizgindzhiev
Meaning“Never betray your specific talent.”
Every person has a specific talent (or talents) that can lead them to success if he or she develops that talent.

#24

BulgarianВъзрастта не е определящ фактор, а духът!(Vazrastta ne e opredelyasht faktor, a duhat!)
AuthorEvgeniya Peeva
Meaning“Age is not the determining factor, but the spirit is!”
There’s a wise saying that goes: A person learns while he or she is alive. Whatever your age, never stop developing your skills and knowledge, and your spirit will stay forever young!

#25

BulgarianПросперитетът не е функция на местоположението, а начин на мислене.(Prosperitetat ne e funktsiya na mestopolozhenieto, a nachin na mislene.)
AuthorNeli Georgieva
Meaning“Prosperity is not a function of location, but a way of thinking.”
No matter where you live, if you believe in your strength, you will succeed! Just consider yourself a winner before the end of the battle and you will become a winner regardless of the circumstances.

8. Quotes About Language Learning

BulgarianPod101 has compiled a few quotes about language learning from popular Bulgarians. We hope that these words motivate you to proceed in your Bulgarian studies, regardless of your age or skill level. Let these quotes shine along your path to a deeper understanding of the Bulgarian language and culture.

#26

BulgarianНауката е светилото на един народ, литературата е животът му.(Naukata e svetiloto na edin narod, literaturata e zhivotat mu.)
AuthorIvan Vazov
Meaning“Science is the luminary of a nation, and its literature is its life.”
You’ll never be able to fully understand Bulgarian literature if you read the translated versions. To really extend your knowledge and learn more about the Bulgarian culture and view of life, start reading Bulgarian books in the original language. It could be hard at first, and there will be many unknown words that you’ll have to search for in a dictionary, but it will be a rewarding exercise that will greatly accelerate your language knowledge. 

#27

BulgarianИ ний сме дали нещо на света, на славяни книга да четат.(I niy sme dali neshto na sveta, na slavyani kniga da chetat.)
AuthorIvan Vazov
Meaning“We have also given something to the world, to the Slavic people to read books.”
With this quote, Ivan Vazov says that the early Cyrillic alphabet was developed during the First Bulgarian Kingdom; later, Cyril’s and Methodius’ disciples Kliment and Naum finalized and spread it among the Slavic nations. These nations now have a script thanks to these self-sacrificing Bulgarians.

#28

BulgarianБъди строг, но най-първо и най-много към себе си!(Badi strog, no nay-parvo i nay-mnogo kam sebe si!)
AuthorColonel Boris Drangov
Meaning“Be strict, but firstly and mostly toward yourself!”
Self-discipline—that is what, according to Colonel Boris Drangov, leads to success in whatever you do, including your language learning. Be a very strict language teacher to yourself and you’ll soon notice your improvement.  


9. How Can BulgarianPod101 Help You Learn Bulgarian?

We hope you enjoyed this overview of some of the most fascinating Bulgarian quotes. We believe that they can motivate you to start reading Bulgarian books on your own to obtain even deeper knowledge of Bulgarian culture, history, customs, and characteristics.

If you would like to have a teacher by your side, you can choose one through our MyTeacher feature, which allows you to take advantage of the professional guidance of experienced native Bulgarian teachers.

BulgarianPod101 is always here for you! We want to help you learn more intriguing and motivating facts about the Bulgarian language. 

Before you go, please share your favorite quote with us in the comments. We eagerly look forward to hearing from you!

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A Stepping Stone to Freedom: Liberation Day in Bulgaria

Independence did not come easily for Bulgaria. The nation only gained its freedom after hundreds of years of oppression, and the process was a lengthy and trying one. One event in particular helped propel the nation toward its goal: the nation’s liberation from the Ottoman Empire in 1878. 

In this article, you’ll learn all about Bulgarian Liberation Day (also known as Bulgaria’s Day of Liberation from Ottoman Domination) and how it’s celebrated today. Let’s get started!

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1. What is Liberation Day?

The Bulgarian Flag Waving Against a White Background

Bulgaria’s struggle for independence goes way back, beginning in the fourteenth century when the Ottomans began organizing attacks on various cities within the country. The Ottomans eventually gained control of the Bulgarian territory, forming what is now referred to as the Ottoman Yoke. Beginning in 1762, the Bulgarian Revival fought back against the Ottoman Rule. Still, the Ottoman Yoke lasted for roughly 500 years—until one of Bulgaria’s most defining moments occurred on March 3, 1878. 

This was the date when the Liberation of Bulgaria took effect, following the signing of the Treaty of San Stefano, or Санстефански мирен договор (Sanstefanski miren dogovor). The treaty was signed in order to end the Russian-Turkish war. However, even after this momentous occasion, Bulgaria was considered a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire and thus did not have full freedom as a nation. The signing of this treaty is celebrated, however, because it marked the beginning of Bulgaria’s eventual rise to complete freedom and autonomy. 

A few months later, on July 13, 1878, another treaty was signed: the Берлински договор (Berlinski dogovor), or Treaty of Berlin. This treaty gave Bulgaria further autonomy, though the nation would not gain full independence until 1908. 

In Bulgaria, Liberation Day is viewed as one of the most important holidays, marking a key event in the nation’s history. The holiday has been celebrated unofficially since 1880 (when it was called Day of the Emperor Alexander II’s Assassination and the Conclusion of the San Stefano Peace Treaty—yes, it’s a mouthful). In 1888, it was shortened to Liberation Day of Bulgaria, and two years later was given official holiday status.


2. Traditions for Bulgarian Liberation Day

A Sketch of the Bulgarian Liberation Day Ceremony

On National Liberation Day, Bulgarian workers can look forward to a full day off work. Due to the significance of the holiday, there’s an array of activities and celebrations throughout the nation, many of which vary by city. For example, in cities where historical battles were held, there may be larger observances or activities that are more focused on that specific battle. Wherever you go, the Bulgarian flag will be hoisted high!

There are several speeches, parades, concerts, and other cultural celebrations put on by the government, some of which are attended by the Bulgarian President and city mayors, as well as other government officials. One of the most popular events is the nighttime fireworks show at the National Assembly Square. 

Numerous lives were lost in Bulgaria’s long fight for freedom, so there are wreath layings at various memorials throughout the nation. People may also leave flowers or cards to show respect for those who gave their lives. Because other nations aided in Bulgaria’s liberation, the focus is not only on Bulgarian heroes, but on those of Russia, Finland, and Romania. (In fact, the Russian President often takes part in the Liberation Day observances.)

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church hosts a liturgy and prayer event, commemorating the events leading up to the nation’s liberation. There are also masses that take place. 

Two key locations for this holiday are the Shipka Monument and Shipka Pass. The latter is where a major battle took place, and people gather there in large groups in memory of it. 

To conclude, here’s a rather unique tradition: On the Day of Liberation, Bulgarian men swim across the Danube River to Romania’s coast. This is because Svishtov (located near the Romanian border) was the first city to be liberated.

3. Another Key Event in Bulgarian History

While the liberation of Bulgaria in 1878 was a major turning point in the right direction, there was another event that occurred a few years later that aided Bulgaria on its road to freedom.

This event was the joining of Източна Румелия (Iztochna Rumeliya), or Eastern Rumelia (one of the three parts into which Bulgaria was divided), with liberated Bulgaria. It occurred in 1885, and created yet another stepping stone toward the nation’s independence. To commemorate this event, Bulgarians celebrate Unification Day each year. 

4. Key Bulgarian Vocabulary for Liberation Day

Several Old Papers with a Red Wax Stamp

Ready to stretch your Bulgarian vocabulary skills and expand your mental word bank? Then study up on these useful phrases and be sure to practice their pronunciation on our Liberation Day vocabulary list! 

Ден на Освобождението на България от турско робство / noun, masculine
Den na Osvobojdenieto na Bylgariya ot tursko robstvo
Liberation Day

Източна Румелия / noun, feminine
Iztochna Rumeliya
Eastern Rumelia

Санстефански мирен договор / noun, masculine
Sanstefanski miren dogovor
Treaty of San Stefano

Берлински договор / noun, masculine
Berlinski dogovor
Treaty of Berlin

Подписвам договор / phrase
Podpisvam dogovor
Sign a treaty

Възстановяване на българската държавност / phrase, neutral
Vazstanovyavane na balgarskata darzhavnost
Recovery of the Bulgarian state

Княжество България / noun, neutral
Knyazhestvo Balgariya
Principality of Bulgaria

Национален празник / noun, masculine
Natsionalen praznik
National holiday

Церемония / noun, feminine
Tseremoniya
Ceremony

Празнуване / noun, neutral
Praznuvane
Celebration

Final Thoughts 

Bulgaria’s Day of Liberation marks one of a few key events in the nation’s centuries-long struggle for autonomy and independence. We hope that learning about this holiday and its background has given you a craving for even more knowledge on Bulgarian culture and holidays! 

To continue your Bulgarian studies, we recommend you check out the following pages on BulgarianPod101.com: 

If you sample our content and like what you find, remember that you can create your free lifetime account at any time! This will give you access to tons of lessons for learners at every level, our flagship podcast, spaced repetition flashcards, and much more! 

It’s our goal to make learning Bulgarian both fun and effective, so what are you waiting for? 

Before you go: Does your nation have a holiday similar to Liberation Day? If so, how do you celebrate?

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