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Bulgarian Beginner Phrases: Converse with Native Speakers

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If you’re a beginner-level learner and have already studied some basic Bulgarian words, it’s now time to start practicing them in real life. For this reason, BulgarianPod101 has created this extensive guide to the most common Bulgarian words and phrases for beginners. We will help you start speaking with native Bulgarians in a variety of common situations, such as at a restaurant, in a shop, during a business meeting, or in your daily conversations with Bulgarian friends. In this practical overview, we have also included Bulgarian beginner phrases you can use to ask for help, just in case.

Before starting, we would like to encourage you.

We understand that it is very difficult for beginners to overcome the language barrier and start speaking a foreign language they’re not confident in. However, don’t be afraid of making mistakes; the more you try, the more speaking experience you will gain. Moreover, the Bulgarians you’re speaking with will probably be forgiving of your mistakes and even try to help you improve your Bulgarian language skills. So, it’s not as hard as it might seem to start speaking Bulgarian, especially when you have this list of Bulgarian beginner phrases with pronunciation at hand.

Two Women Chatting in a Coffee Shop

Start speaking to your Bulgarian friends!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. Greetings and Self-introductions
  2. Courtesy Phrases & Social Expressions
  3. Dining & Shopping Phrases
  4. Asking for Help
  5. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn Bulgarian

1. Greetings and Self-introductions

Let’s begin with some beginner phrases in Bulgarian for greetings and self-introductions. They will help you attract attention, begin conversations with Bulgarians, and make new friends. In addition, your Bulgarian friends, business partners, colleagues, and relatives will appreciate your efforts to start speaking in their own language.

Greetings 

Begin your conversation with one of the following phrases, depending on the time of day!

Bulgarian GreetingPronunciationTranslation
Добро утро!Dobro utro! Good morning!
Добър ден!Dobar den!Good afternoon!
Добър вечер!Dobar vecher!Good evening!

If you’re invited to your Bulgarian friend’s house, you will probably be greeted with the following phrase:

Bulgarian GreetingPronunciationTranslation
Добре дошъл!Dobre doshal!Welcome!

One Couple Greeting and Inviting Another Couple into Their Home

Welcome!

How should you reply in that case? You have two options:

Bulgarian GreetingPronunciationTranslation
Благодаря!Blagodarya!Thank you!
Добре заварил/а/и!*Dobre zavaril/a/i!Well met!
* The form заварил (zavaril) is masculine and is used when speaking to a man.
* The form заварила (zavarila) is feminine and is used when speaking to a woman.
* The form заварили (zavarili) is plural and is used when speaking to more than one person.

When you’re going to bed, you can say goodbye to the person you’re with by saying:

Bulgarian GreetingPronunciationTranslation
Лека нощ!Leka nosht!Good night!

Self-introductions 

It’s easy to introduce yourself in Bulgarian if you know the following patterns:

Bulgarian PronunciationTranslation
Казвам се… Kazvam se…My name is…
Examples: 
  • Казвам се Антонио. (Kazvam se Antonio.) – My name is Antonio.
  • Казвам се Диана. (Kazvam se Diana.) – My name is Diana.
Аз съм… Az sam…I am… 
Examples (name): 
  • Аз съм Антонио. (Az sam Antonio.) – I am Antonio.
  • Аз съм Диана. (Az sam Diana.) – I am Diana.

Examples (nationality): 
  • Аз съм англичанка. (Az sam anglichanka.) – I am English. [woman]
  • Аз съм италианец. (Az sam italianets.) – I am Italian. [man]
  • Аз съм американка. (Az sam amerikanka.) – I am American. [woman]
  • Аз съм българин. (Az sam balgarin.) – I am Bulgarian. [man]

* Learn the names of more nationalities in Bulgarian in this vocabulary list.

Examples (profession): 
  • Аз съм учител. (Az sam uchitel.) – I am a teacher.
  • Аз съм строител. (Az sam stroitel.) – I am a builder.
  • Аз съм художник. (Az sam hudozhnik.) – I am an artist.

A Woman Working on a Painting

I am an artist.


* Learn how to tell people what kind of work you do in Bulgarian by studying our list of the 20 most common professions

Examples (tourist): 
  • Аз съм чужденец. (Az sam chuzhdenets.) – I am a foreigner. [man]
  • Аз съм чужденка. (Az sam chuzhdenka.) – I am a foreigner. [woman]
  • Аз съм турист/ка. (Az sam turist/ka.) – I am a tourist. [man/woman]

A Female Tourist Checking a Map

I am a tourist.

Аз съм от…Az sam ot…I’m from…
Examples: 
  • Аз съм от Япония. (Az sam ot Yaponiya.) – I am from Japan.
  • Аз съм от Кипър. (Az sam ot Kipar.) – I am from Cyprus.
  • Аз съм от Англия. (Az sam ot Angliya.) – I am from England. 

* If your country is not mentioned above, you can search for it on this vocabulary list of world countries from BulgarianPod101. 

After you and the other person have introduced yourselves, you can say: 

Bulgarian PronunciationTranslation
Приятно ми е!Priyatno mi e!Nice to meet you!

How are you? 

There are a couple of simple Bulgarian phrases you could use to inquire after the other person’s well-being during your first conversation. They mean the same thing, so choose whichever one you prefer! 

Bulgarian PronunciationTranslation
Как си?Kak si?How are you? 
Какво правиш?Kakvo pravish?How do you do?

What if the other person asks how you are? You could reply with one of the following phrases:

BulgarianPronunciationTranslation
Добре съм.Dobre sam.I am fine. 
Горе-долу.Gore-dolu.So-so.
Чудесно!Chudesno!I am doing great!

2. Courtesy Phrases & Social Expressions 

Our next set of useful Bulgarian phrases for beginners consists of polite expressions you should apply to your daily interactions whenever appropriate. 

Courtesy Phrases 

Let’s start with some courtesy phrases that will help you be polite when talking with your Bulgarian interlocutor. 


Bulgarian PronunciationTranslation
Много благодаря.Mnogo blagodarya.Thank you so much.
Благодаря за помощта.Blagodarya za pomoshtta.Thanks for the help.
Много сте любезен!Mnogo ste lyubezen!You are very kind!

Basic Apologies 

These basic Bulgarian phrases for beginners will help you make a quick apology or ask to be excused. 

    → As your language skills progress, you might want to learn a few more apology phrases for different contexts—we have you covered.

Bulgarian PronunciationTranslation
Много съжалявам.Mnogo sazhalyavam.I’m very sorry.
Извинете, моля.Izvinete, molya.Excuse me, please. 
And the answer to these apologies could be:
Няма проблем!Nyama problem!No problem!
Всичко е наред.Vsichko e nared.Everything is fine.
Не се притеснявайте!Ne se pritesnyavaiyte!Do not worry!

A Woman Entering a Crowded Elevator

I’m very sorry! 

Saying Goodbye 

Let’s see how to end a conversation and what to say before leaving.

BulgarianPronunciationTranslation
До следващия път.Do sledvashtiya pat.Until next time.
Ще се видим пак.Shte se vidim pak.See you again.
До нови срещи.Do novi sreshti.See you soon.
Приятен ден!Priyaten den!Have a nice day! 

3. Dining & Shopping Phrases 

If you plan to visit Bulgaria, you’ll definitely want to set aside some time in your schedule for dining out and shopping! We have compiled a list of beginner phrases in Bulgarian that you can use to order food, ask about prices, and more. 

Shopping Phrases 

Bulgarian PronunciationTranslation
Може ли…?Mozhe li…?May I have…?
Examples: 
  • Може ли един хляб? (Mozhe li edin hlyab?) – May I have bread?
  • Може ли два сандвича? (Mozhe li dva sandvicha?) – May I have two sandwiches? 

* You can take a look at this lesson to learn how to count in Bulgarian.
Имате ли…?Imate li…?Do you have…?
Examples: 
  • Имате ли кренвирши? (Imate li krenvirshi?) – Do you have hotdogs? 
  • Имате ли торта? (Imate li torta?) – Do you have a cake?

A Young Couple and Their Child Picking Out Food from the Deli

Do you have any sausages?

Колко струва…?Kolko struva…?How much does … cost?
Examples for singular items: 
  • Колко струва сиренето? (Kolko struva sireneto?) – How much does cheese cost?
  • Колко струва кашкавалът? (Kolko struva kashkavalat?) – How much does yellow cheese cost?

Examples for plural items: 
  • Колко струват яйцата? (Kolko struvat yaytsata?) – How much do eggs cost? 
  • Колко струват доматите? (Kolko struvat domatite?) – How much do tomatoes cost?

* Trying to eat right? Then head over to our list of the top 10 foods that will make you live longer, and learn how to say them in Bulgarian. 

Restaurant  Phrases 

Here are several easy Bulgarian phrases for beginners that will help you order food in a Bulgarian restaurant. 

Bulgarian PronunciationTranslation
Може ли менюто?Mozhe li menyuto?May I have the menu?
Менюто, моля!Menyuto, molya!Menu, please.
Ще платя с карта.Shte platya s karta.I will pay with a card. 
Ще платя в брой.Shte platya v broy.I will pay in cash. 
Оставете си рестото.Ostavete si restoto.Take the change.
Много вкусно!Mnogo vkusno!Very tasty! 

Now, let’s look at some phrases that the waiter may use when you enter the restaurant.

A Waiter Holding Three Plates of Food

Bulgarian PronunciationTranslation
Какво ще поръчате?Kakvo shte porachate?What will you order? 
Нещо за пиене?Neshto za piene?Something to drink?
Това е специалитетът на деня.Tova e spetsialitetat na denya.This is the specialty of the day.
Как ще платите?Kak shte platite?How will you pay? 
Искате ли още нещо?Iskate li oshte neshto?Do you want anything else? 

4. Asking for Help 

Especially if you’re not yet comfortable using the Bulgarian language, you might feel nervous about something going wrong during your trip. Luckily, there are several simple Bulgarian phrases you can memorize to more easily resolve different issues. 

Essential Phrases for Tourists 

BulgarianPronunciationTranslation
Извинете, къде се намира…?
Izvinete, kade se namira…?Excuse me, where is … located?
Examples: 
  • Извинете, къде се намира Делфинариумът? (Izvinete, kade se namira Delfinariumat?) – Excuse me, where is the Dolphinarium located? 
  • Извинете, къде се намира театърът? (Izvinete, kade se namira teatarat?) – Excuse me, where is the theater located?

* Study this lesson to learn the names of different places around the city. 
Извинете, как да стигна до…?Izvinete, kak da stigna do…?Excuse me, how do I get to…?  
Examples: 
  • Извинете, как да стигна до Делфинариума? (Izvinete, kak da stigna do Delfinariuma?) – Excuse me, how do I get to the Dolphinarium? 
  • Извинете, как да стигна до театъра? (Izvinete, kak da stigna do teatara?) – Excuse me, how do I get to the theater?

A Female Tourist Holding a Map and Smiling

Excuse me, how do I get to the theater?

Извинете, близо ли е…?Izvinete, blizo li e…?Excuse me, is … close? 
Examples: 
  • Извинете, близо ли е Делфинариумът? (Izvinete, blizo li e Delfinariumat?) – Excuse me, is the Dolphinarium close?
  • Извинете, близо ли е театърът? (Izvinete, blizo li e teatarat?) – Excuse me, is the theater close?
Извинете, има ли наблизо…?Izvinete, ima li nablizo…?Excuse me, is there a … nearby?
Examples: 
  • Извинете, има ли наблизо магазин? (Izvinete, ima li nablizo magazin?) – Excuse me, is there a shop nearby? 
  • Извинете, има ли наблизо ресторант? (Izvinete, ima li nablizo restorant?) – Excuse me, is there a restaurant nearby?
  • Извинете, има ли наблизо аптека? (Izvinete, ima li nablizo apteka?) – Excuse me, is there a pharmacy nearby?

Overcoming Language Barriers 

If you encounter any speaking or comprehension issues during your conversations with native Bulgarians, you can use any of these basic Bulgarian phrases for beginners to smooth things over. 

BulgarianPronunciationTranslation
Може ли да повторите?Mozhe li da povtorite?Can you repeat?
Не ви чух добре.Ne vi chuh dobre.I didn’t hear you well.
Не разбрах, може ли по-бавно?Ne razbrah, mozhe li po-bavno?I didn’t understand; could you speak slower?
Не разбирам добре български.Ne razbiram dobre balgarski.I do not understand Bulgarian well.
Говорите ли английски?Govorite li angliyski?Do you speak English?
Как да кажа … на български?Kak da kazha … na balgarski? How do I say … in Bulgarian?
Examples: 
  • Как да кажа restaurant на български? (Kak da kazha restaurant na balgarski?) – How do I say “restaurant” in Bulgarian? 
  • Как да кажа shop на български? (Kak da kazha shop na balgarski?) – How do I say “shop” in Bulgarian? 
  • Как да кажа pharmacy на български? (Kak da kazha pharmacy na balgarski?) – How do I say “pharmacy” in Bulgarian? 

Phrases for Emergencies 

Before visiting Bulgaria, you should learn how to let others know that you’re feeling unwell and need a doctor. Here are some basic Bulgarian phrases you could use:

Bulgarian PronunciationTranslation
Лошо ми е.Losho mi e.I feel unwell.
Болен съм.Bolen sam.I’m sick.
Повикайте лекар.Povikayte lekar.Call a doctor.
Трябва ми помощ.Tryabva mi pomosht.I need help.
Извикайте линейка.Izvikayte lineyka.Call an ambulance.

5. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn Bulgarian 

BulgarianPod101 has prepared this guide of Bulgarian phrases for beginners to help you start having basic conversations with native speakers. We believe that knowing these Bulgarian beginner phrases will give you more confidence and that having this list at the ready could help you out in a pinch. 

If you enjoyed this lesson and want to continue learning Bulgarian with us, create your free lifetime account on BulgarianPod101.com today. We provide our students with a variety of audio and video lessons, free vocabulary lists, and other useful resources. It’s our goal to teach you Bulgarian in the fastest, easiest, and most fun way possible. 

If you feel that you need personal guidance in these initial steps of your Bulgarian language learning journey, you can upgrade to Premium PLUS and take advantage of our MyTeacher service. This will allow you to choose a private Bulgarian teacher who will help you learn the basics and build a foundation upon which you can accumulate your knowledge.

We would be happy to hear your feedback about this review. Are there any Bulgarian beginner phrases that you think should have been included in this review? Please don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comments below, and we’ll help out the best we can. 

Happy learning!

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