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Archive for the 'Bulgarian Phrases' Category

Your Guide to Bulgarian Sentence Structure & Word Order

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The first step of studying a foreign language is learning some common words, so you can start communicating at the most basic level. But you can’t stop at that level, right? To be able to communicate with native Bulgarians, you need to learn more about the Bulgarian sentence word order. 

How do Bulgarians build their sentences? What’s the difference between Bulgarian and English sentence structure? 
BulgarianPod101 will take you to the next level of your Bulgarian language-learning journey by helping you learn Bulgarian sentence structure in this step-by-step guide. After carefully studying it, you should be more confident in your Bulgarian conversations, and you’ll effectively untie your tongue.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. Overview of Bulgarian language word order
  2. Basic Word Order with Subject, Verb and Object
  3. Building Complex Bulgarian Sentences
  4. How to change sentence into a yes-or-no question?
  5. Bulgarian sentence structure
  6. Translation Exercises
  7. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Untie Your Tongue

1. Overview of Bulgarian Language Word Order

Improve Pronunciation

1- What is the basic Bulgarian sentence structure?

Bulgarian is one of many languages that uses the SVO sentence structure, which is typical for about one-third of all languages in the world. The SVO word order stands for Subject-Verb-Object. Other languages in the same category include English, Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian, and Chinese. This means that English speakers shouldn’t find the basic sentence structure in Bulgarian too complicated.

However, when comparing the Bulgarian sentence structure vs. English sentence structure, Bulgarian is richer in sentence structure options. Indeed, about eighty percent of all Bulgarian sentences follow the SVO structure, but in certain situations, Bulgarian speakers can deviate from the typical word order. This is done when they want to underline the importance of a specific word. Here are some examples.

2- Bulgarian sentence structures list

  1. SVO (SubjectVerbObject):
  • Аз говоря български език.
    As govorya balgarski ezik.
    “I speak the Bulgarian language.”

As stated above, this is a typical Bulgarian sentence structure, so you’re always on the safe side if you use it.

  1. OVS (ObjectVerbSubject):
  • Български език говоря аз.
    Balgarski ezik govorya as.
    “The Bulgarian language speak I.”

Although it’s not typical for English word order, OVS in Bulgarian language sentences is considered correct and it’s commonly used in poems. The same applies for two of the other Bulgarian word orders below: SOV and VOS. These sentence structures aren’t used in everyday speech, but you can see them often in Bulgarian books, so it’s worth knowing about them.

  1. SOV (SubjectObjectVerb):
  • Аз България обичам.
    As Bulgaria obicham.
    “I Bulgaria love.” = “I love Bulgaria.”

In Bulgarian word order, SOV is commonly used in situations like the one above.

  1. VSO (VerbSubjectObject):
  • Обичам аз България.
    Obicham as Bulgaria.
    “Love I Bulgaria.” = “I love Bulgaria.”

Here, the speaker emphasizes his love for Bulgaria. The Bulgarian sentence pattern below can have a similar effect.

  1. VOS (VerbObjectSubject):
  • Обичам България аз.
    Obicham Bulgaria as.
    “Love Bulgaria I.” = “I love Bulgaria.”
I love Bulgaria!

This flexible word order in Bulgarian is possible thanks to agreement between the subject and the verb. Thе verb ending in Bulgarian changes based on the subject’s person and number, which allows the speaker to change the word order while retaining the same meaning.

2. Basic Word Order with Subject, Verb, and Object

1- Practice Time

A- SVO Structure Exercise

Now, it’s time to practice how to build simple Bulgarian sentences correctly. Let’s start with the most basic Bulgarian word order, which is SVO. It’s easy because it’s the same as the English word order.

How would you say “I study Bulgarian language,” in Bulgarian? As long as you know the words in Bulgarian, you shouldn’t have a problem with ordering them properly.

  • “I” — аз (as)
  • “Study” — уча (oocha)
  • “Bulgarian language” — български език (balgarski ezik

Now, try to combine them yourself in a sentence.

Great job!

Let’s try another basic sentence: “He eats an apple.”

  • “He” — той (toy)
  • “Eats” — яде (yade)
  • “An apple” — ябълка (yabalka

We recommend that you write these two Bulgarian sentences down. Now you know how to make the most basic Bulgarian sentences using the SVO structure.

Practice is important!

B- OVS Structure Exercise

Let’s try to make things a little bit more complicated. Make both of these Bulgarian sentences using the OVS structure and write them down, too. If you’re not sure how to do it, just follow this English structure: 

“Bulgarian language study I.”

“An apple eats he.”

C- SOV Structure Exercise

And now, let’s try a different Bulgarian sentence structure by placing the object between the subject and verb. In English, the literal translations will sound like:

“I Bulgarian language study.”

“He an apple eats.”

You did a great job practicing Bulgarian sentence structure!

2- Dropping the pronouns in Bulgarian sentences

Unlike English, Bulgarian is a pro-drop language (meaning  “pronoun-dropping”). It features a specific verb ending in all of the forms for singular and plural (i.e. the verbs are conjugated). This gives Bulgarians “the right” to drop the subject in sentences when the subject is a pronoun. This is simply because the subject is implied by the verb ending. Here are some examples:

  • Instead of Аз обичам България. (As obicham Bulgaria.), Bulgarians would say: Обичам България. (Obicham Bulgaria.). The verb ending is applied only for first person singular, so the listener knows that the meaning is: “I love Bulgaria.”
  • Instead of Ние обичаме България. (Nie obichame Bulgaria.), Bulgarians would say: Обичаме България. (Obichame Bulgaria.) as the verb ending is specific to the first person plural. The listener knows that the meaning is: “We love Bulgaria.”

To make it a bit more complicated, let’s study the following example:

  • Ти учиш български език. Често повтаряш нови фрази.
    Ti ucheesh balgarski ezik. Chesto povtaryash novi frazi.
    “You study the Bulgarian language. You often repeat new phrases.”

In Bulgarian, there’s no need for a pronoun in the second sentence; it’s implied by the verb ending. So, in English, it will sound like: “You study Bulgarian language. Often repeat new phrases.”

One exception to this rule is the pronoun in the third person singular. This should be kept in the sentence, as the verb ending for the third person singular is the same for “he” / “she” / “it.” 

3. Building Long but Simple Bulgarian Sentences

If you learn the basics of Bulgarian word order, you’ll find it easier to build your Bulgarian sentences. Here, we’ll learn some Bulgarian sentence structure patterns by adding different parts of speech to the simple Bulgarian sentence structure.

1- Sentences with prepositions

Usually, prepositions in short sentences go after the subject and verb, and before the object

  • Examples with one preposition:

Аз работя в училище.
As rabotya v uchilishte.
“I work in a school.”

Аз работя като адвокат.
As rabotya kato advokat.
“I work as a lawyer.”

Sometimes, the preposition may appear near a second object, like this:

Ти учиш български език в училище
Ti uchish balgarski ezik v uchilishte.
“You study Bulgarian language at school.”.

In longer sentences, there can be more than one preposition. You can use two, three, or even more prepositions in one sentence to form your thoughts completely.

  • Examples with two prepositions:

Аз работя като адвокат в съда.
As rabotya kato advokat v sada.
“I work as a lawyer in a court.”

Аз работя като преподавател в училище.
As rabotya kato prepodavatel v uchilishte.
“I work as a teacher at school.”

  • Examples with three prepositions:

С помощта на BulgarianPod101 уча български език у дома.
S pomoshta na BulgarianPod101 ucha balgarski ezik u doma.
“With the help of BulgarianPod101, I study the Bulgarian language at home.”

Maybe you’ve noticed that there’s no subject in the sentence above. We just drop the pronoun аз (as), meaning “I,” because it’s implied by the verb ending уча, which is used for first person singular.

2- Sentences with adjectives

In Bulgarian word order, it’s simple to add adjectives. This is done the same way it is in English (i.e. before the subject or object, or before both). What might be difficult for a foreigner is that the ending of an adjective changes based on the gender of the noun it describes.

  • Adjective before the subject:

Умното дете чете книга.

Umnoto dete chete kniga.

“The clever child reads a book.”

  • Adjective before the object:

Детето чете интересна книга.

Deteto chete interesna kniga.

“The child reads an interesting book.”

  • Adjectives before the subject and object:

 Умното дете чете интересна книга.

Umnoto dete chete interesna kniga.

“The clever child reads an interesting book.”

Sometimes, the adjective might be separated from the subject by the verb “to be.” Yet, it still has to agree with the gender and the number of the noun it relates to.

  • Книгата е интересна

Knigata e interesna.

“The book is interesting.”

  • Детето е умно и добро.

Deteto e umno i dobro.

“The child is clever and good.”

3- Sentences with adverbs

Hooray! Bulgarian adverbs don’t change like adjectives do. In fact, they modify the adjectives, verbs, and even other adverbs. Here are examples:

  • Adverbs as adjective modifiers:

Българският език е много труден.

Balgarskiyat ezik e mnogo truden.

“The Bulgarian language is very difficult.”

  • Adverbs as verb modifiers:

Много искам да науча български език.

Mnogo iskam da naucha balgarski ezik.

“I really want to learn the Bulgarian language.”

  • Adverbs as adverb modifiers:

Искам да науча български език много бързо.

Iskam da naucha balgarski ezik mnogo barzo.

“I want to learn the Bulgarian language very fast.”

4. How to Change Sentences into Yes-or-No Questions

Change the Sentences into Questions

It’s easy to turn both declarative and negative Bulgarian sentences into yes-or-no questions. You just need to add the particle ли after the verb. Let’s see the examples.

Declarative sentences:

  • Ти учиш български език в училище.

Ti uchish balgarski ezik v uchilishte.

“You study the Bulgarian language at school.”

  • Детето чете интересна книга.

Deteto chete interesna kniga.

“The child reads an interesting book.”

Interrogative sentences made from the above declarative sentences:

  • Ти учиш ли български език в училище?

Ti uchish li balgarski ezik v uchilishte?

“Do you study the Bulgarian language at school?”

  • Детето чете ли интересна книга?

Deteto chete li interesna kniga?

“Does the child read an interesting book?”

Negative sentences:

  • Ти не учиш български език в училище.

Ti ne uchish balgarski ezik v uchilishte.

“You don’t study the Bulgarian language at school.”

  • Детето не чете интересна книга.

Deteto ne chete interesna kniga.

“The child doesn’t read an interesting book.”

Interrogative sentences made from the above negative sentences:

  • Ти не учиш ли български език в училище?

Ti ne uchish li balgarski ezik v uchilishte?

“Don’t you study the Bulgarian language at school?”

  • Детето не чете ли интересна книга?

Deteto ne chete li interesna kniga?

“Doesn’t the child read an interesting book?”

5. Bulgarian Sentence Structure

Different Types of Bulgarian Sentences

1- Four types of sentences

Now, it’s time to learn the four types of Bulgarian sentence structures. We’ve already mentioned some of them, but here’s a list of all of them together with examples:

Declarative Sentence

  • Ти учиш български език.

Ti uchish balgarski ezik.

“You study the Bulgarian language.”

Interrogative Sentence

  • Ти учиш ли български език?

Ti uchish li balgarski ezik.

“Do you study the Bulgarian language?”

Еxclamatory Sentence

  • Колко хубаво, че учиш български език!

Kolko huvabo che uchish balgarski ezik!

“How nice that you study the Bulgarian language!”

Imperative Sentence

  • Учи български език!

Uchi balgarski ezik!

“Study the Bulgarian language!”

2- Simple Bulgarian sentences

Building a Simple Sentence Structure

It’s easy to recognize the simple sentence, as it expresses one thought and consists of only one subject and one verb. Simple sentences could be short or long:

Short simple sentence (SV)

  • Аз уча.

As ucha.

“I study.”

The longer simple sentences still contain one subject and one verb, but other parts of the sentence are also included:

Long simple sentence (SVO)

  • Аз уча български език в училище.

Az ucha balgarski ezik v uchilishte.

“I study the Bulgarian language at school.”

    BulgarianPod101 can help you learn many more simple Bulgarian sentences that are used in daily life, so you can start practicing your Bulgarian right away! 

3- Complex Bulgarian sentences

Building a Complex Sentence Structure

The complex sentence has more than one verb and contains two or more thoughts united in a single sentence. Complex sentences could be with two, three, or more verbs. Here are some examples:

Complex sentence with two verbs:

  • Аз преподавам английски език, а ти учиш български език.

As prepodavam angliyski ezik, a ti uchish balgarski ezik.

“I teach the English language and you study the Bulgarian language.”

Complex sentence with three verbs

  • Аз преподавам английски език, а ти учиш български език и се упражняваш.

As prepodavam angliyski ezik, a ti uchish balgarski ezik i se uprazhnyavash.

“I teach the English language, and you study the Bulgarian language and practice.”

6. Translation Exercises

It’s time to practice! You’re just a few steps from being able to build your own Bulgarian sentences, so take your pen and try to do the exercises below by yourself. Alfred Adler has a great thought:

Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!

Don’t worry, we’ll give you the answers at the end of this article.

Step 1.

Translate the following sentence into Bulgarian, following the SVO structure:

You read a book.

Step 2.

Now, try to make your Bulgarian sentence using the OVS structure:

A book read you.

Step 3.

One more structure to practice is the OSV structure. Try it now:

A book you read.

Step 4.

Now, turn the SVO sentence into a question. A tip: just add the particle ли.

Do you read a book?

Step 5.

Now, let’s add some other parts to the sentence to make it longer. Translate the following:

You read an interesting book.

You read a new book in the library.

You often read an interesting book at home.

Step 6.

Now, let’s make a question from the last sentence:

Do you read an interesting book at home?

Step 7.

The last exercise is to make a complex sentence. Are you ready?

You read a new book in the library and I study the Bulgarian language at home.

Bonus exercise: 

Let’s add BulgarianPod101 into the picture. It should sound like this:

You read a new book in the library and I study the Bulgarian language at home with BulgarianPod101. 

7. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Untie Your Tongue

Improve Listening

BulgarianPod101 prepared this Bulgarian sentence word order guide for you to help you start combining Bulgarian words you’ve learned so far into sentences. We believe that you’re now much more confident in building Bulgarian sentences than before. However, practice is the best teacher. Practice with your Bulgarian friends, while you shop in the market, while you’re reading a book, or while listening to a Bulgarian song.

However, if you need personal guidance to help you perfect your conversational Bulgarian, BulgarianPod101 is also here to help. You can take advantage of a Bulgarian language expert with our MyTeacher program by upgrading to Premium PLUS. Your coach will lead you step-by-step through the Bulgarian grammar and help you successfully overcome all the challenges you now have.

Now, you can check your answers below and let us know in the comments how you did and if you found it difficult. Also let us know how you feel about Bulgarian sentence structure now. Are you still struggling with it or do you find it easier now? We look forward to hearing from you, and we’ll help out the best we can! 

Answers to the translation exercises

Step 1. SVO

“You read a book.”

Ти четеш книга.

Ti chetesh kniga.

Step 2. OVS 

“A book read you.”

Книга четеш ти.

Kniga chetesh ti.

Step 3. OSV 

“A book you read.”

Книга ти четеш.

Kniga ti chetesh.

Step 4. SVO into a question

“Do you read a book?”

Ти четеш ли книга?

Ti chetesh li kniga.

Step 5. Simple long sentences

“You read an interesting book.”

Ти четеш интересна книга.

Ti chetesh interesna kniga.

“You read a new book in the library.”

Ти четеш нова книга в библиотеката.

Ti chetesh nova kniga v bibliotekata.

“You often read an interesting book at home.”

Ти често четеш интересна книга у дома.

Ti chyesto chyetyesh intyeryesna knigua oo doma.

Step 6. Long question

“Do you read an interesting book at home?”

Ти четеш ли интересна книга у дома?

Ti chesto chetesh interesna kniga u doma.

Step 7. Complex sentence

“You read a new book in the library and I study the Bulgarian language at home.”

Ти четеш нова книга в библиотеката, а аз уча български език у дома.
Ti chetesh nova kniga v bibliotekata, a az ucha balgarski ezik u doma.

Bonus exercise: 

“You read a new book in the library and I study the Bulgarian language at home with BulgarianPod101.”

Ти четеш нова книга в библиотеката, а аз уча български език у дома с BulgarianPod101.

Ti chetesh nova kniga v bibliotekata, a az ucha balgarski ezik u doma s BulgarianPod101.

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

Telling Time in Bulgarian – Everything You Need to Know

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What’s your relationship with the clock like? Does it run your day from a morning alarm to a cut-off chime for bed, or are you more of a go-with-the-flow type, letting your mood and emotions decide how much you fall in line with time?

Understanding time in Bulgarian is an important part of your studies. As humans, our lives are filled with habits and schedules. From waking up and going to work or gym, to missing rush hour traffic on our way home, we’re always aware of time. We have routines around coffee breaks, meetings, soccer games and vacations. In fact, time can seem rather capricious – going slowly, going fast, sometimes against us, other times on our side – like a force that has a life of its own.

In science, time is often referred to as a fourth dimension and many physicists and philosophers think that if we understood the physics of the universe, we would see that time is an illusion. We sense an ‘arrow’ or direction of time because we have memories, but really time is just a construct that humans have created to help make sense of the world. 

On the other hand, poets through the ages have written impassioned thoughts about time, depicting it as both a relentless thief and an immensely precious resource, not to be wasted at any cost.

Well, poets and scientists may have their views, but in our everyday lives there’s the question of practicality, isn’t there? I mean, if you have plans and want things to happen your way, there’s a certain amount of conforming to the human rules of time that you can’t avoid. 

In ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the prince has a rose that he falls in love with, and he tenderly protects it with a windscreen and places it under a glass dome on his tiny planet.  I love this quote from the book:  “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”  If we truly love something, we spend time with it and not a second of that time could ever be seen as wasted. I feel that way about horses, my children, travel and learning languages

With that in mind, I’d like to take you on a journey into ‘time’ from a Bulgarian perspective. It’s fun, it’s informative and it’s a basic necessity if you’re learning the language – especially if you plan to travel. BulgarianPod101 has all the vocab you need to fall in love with telling time in Bulgarian, and not a minute will be wasted.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. Talking about Time in Bulgarian
  2. How to Tell the Time in Bulgarian
  3. Conclusion

1. Talking about Time in Bulgarian

As a traveler, your primary need for knowing how to read the hour in Bulgarian will be for transportation schedules: the bus, train, airplane, ferry, taxi… whatever you plan to use to get from A to B, it won’t wait for you! Fortunately, it’s really not complicated. You already have a firm grasp of time in English and you know you’ll need to reset your watch and phone to the local time. Great – that means you’ll have the correct time on your person. 

We’re so used to just looking at our phones for the time, that it’s easy to take this convenience for granted and forget some travel basics: in a foreign country, times won’t always be written digitally. If you see the time written in words, it’ll be the same challenge to you as hearing it spoken: you’ll need to be familiar with the language. 

You may be surprised at how often ‘time’ comes into conversation. Learning the Bulgarian terms for time will help you when you have to call a taxi, ask about opening and closing times of events and tourist attractions, restaurants and bars and even late-night food cafes.

My biggest annoyance when traveling is not being able to get coffee and amazingly, even at nice hotels this has happened more times than I care to think about. I’ll be up late planning something, writing my blog or chatting and when I go looking for coffee downstairs, I’m told the kitchen is closed or the ‘coffee lady’ has gone to sleep. Frustrating!

If you’re doing a homestay or at a youth hostel or backpackers, there will probably also be a limited timeframe for when you can grab dinner. Do you know how to ask when it’s time to eat in Bulgarian? I’ve learned that it’s vital to know how to make my queries clearly understood to accommodation staff and for me to clearly understand their answers. Perfect your ‘time in Bulgarian’ translations early on – you’ll thank me. 

At BulgarianPod101, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of Bulgarian time words and phrases to get you going. 

Pedestrians in a city

1- Morning – сутрин (sutrin)

Morning is the time when we wake up from our dreamworld, hopefully fully rested and restored; we brew the first delicious cup of coffee for the day and watch the sunrise as we prepare for another glorious twelve hours of life. No matter what happened the day before, a new morning is a chance to make everything right. 

I like these quiet hours for language practice, as my mind is clear and receptive to learning new things. I start by writing the Bulgarian time, date and word of the day on my whiteboard, then get back under the covers for an engrossing lesson.

Time in the morning is written as AM or A.M., which stands for ante meridiem – meaning ‘before midday’ in Latin.

Person typing with coffee next to them

2- Evening – вечер (vecher)

Evening is the part of night when we’re still awake and doing things, winding down from the day. Whether you enjoy a tasty international dinner with friends, go out to see a show, or curl up on the couch with a Bulgarian snack and your favorite TV series, evening is a good time to forget your worries and do something that relaxes you. If you’re checking in with your Facebook friends, say hi to us, too!  

Evening is also an ideal time to catch up on your Bulgarian studies. The neighbourhood outside is likely to be quieter and time is yours, so grab a glass of wine or a delicious local tea, and see what’s new on your Mac App or Kindle

3- Daytime – денем (denem)

Daytime is defined as the period from early morning to early evening when the sun is visible outside. In other words: from sunrise to sunset.  Where you are in the world, as well as the season, will determine how many daylight hours you get. 

Interestingly, in locations north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle, in summertime the sun does not sink below the horizon within a 24-hour period, bringing the natural phenomenon of the midnight sun.  You could only experience this in the north, though, because there aren’t any permanent human settlements south of the Antarctic Circle.

4- Nighttime – нощно време (noshtno vreme)

Nighttime is all the hours from sunset to sunrise and depending on where in the country you are, people may be partying all night, or asleep from full-dark. 

In the same northernmost and southernmost regions where you can experience a midnight sun, winter brings the opposite phenomenon: the polar night. Can you imagine a night that lasts for more than 24 hours? 

Girl sleeping; moon and starry sky

5- Hour – час (chas)

An hour is a unit of time made up of 60 minutes and is a variable measure of one-24th of a day – also defined by geeks as 3 600 atomic seconds. Of all the ‘time’ words we use on a daily basis, the hour is the most important, as time of day is typically expressed in terms of hours. 

One of the interesting methods of keeping time that people have come up with is the hourglass. Although the origins are unclear, there’s evidence pointing to the hourglass being invented around 1000 – 1100 AD and one of the ways we know this, is from hourglasses being depicted in very old murals. These days, with clocks and watches in every direction we look, they’re really only used symbolically to represent the passage of time. Still – a powerful reminder of our mortality and to seize the day. In his private journal, the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, wrote: “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”

An hourglass with falling sand

6- Minute – минута (minuta)

Use this word when you want to say a more precise time and express minutes in Bulgarian. A minute is a unit of time equal to one sixtieth of an hour, or 60 seconds. A lot can happen in the next 60 seconds. For example, your blood will circulate three times through your entire vascular system and your heart will pump about 2.273 litres of blood. 

7- O’clock – часа (chasa)

We use “o’clock” when there are no minutes and we’re saying the exact hour, as in “It’s two o’clock.”

The term “o’clock” is a contraction of the term “of the clock”. It comes from 15th-century references to medieval mechanical clocks. At the time, sundials were also common timekeepers. Therefore, to make clear one was referencing a clock’s time, they would say something like, “It is six of the clock” – now shortened to “six o’clock”.

We only use this term when talking about the 12 hour clock, though, not the 24 hour clock (more on that later!) The 12-hour clock can be traced back as far as Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. Both an Egyptian sundial for daytime use and an Egyptian water clock for nighttime use were found in the tomb of Pharaoh Amenhotep I. Dating to c.1500 BC, these clocks divided their respective times of use into 12 hours each. The Romans also used a 12-hour clock. Daylight was divided into 12 equal hours and the night was divided into four watches. 

These days, the internet has made it very easy to know what the time is in any part of the world.  Speaking of which, why not add the Bulgarian time zone clock to your laptop?

Many different clocks

8- Half past – и половина (i polovina)

When the time is thirty minutes past the hour, in English we say “half past”. Just like the hour, the half-hour is universally used as an orientation point; some languages speak of 30 minutes before the hour (subtraction), whereas others speak of 30 minutes after the hour (addition). 

9- AM – преди обед (predi obed)

As mentioned earlier, AM is the abbreviation of the Latin ante meridiem and means before midday. Using ‘AM’ as a tag on your time simply tells people you’re speaking about a time in the morning. In some countries, morning is abbreviated to “AM” and you’ll see this on shop signs everywhere, announcing the opening hour. A typical shop sign might read something like this:

“Business hours are from 7AM to 6PM.” 

Woman in a shop, adjusting the shop sign

10- PM – следобед (sledobed)

PM is the abbreviation of the Latin post meridiem and means after midday. Along with ‘AM’, you’ll usually find ‘PM’ on store signs and businesses, indicating the closing hours. It’s advisable to learn the difference between the two, since some establishments might only have one or the other on the sign. For example, a night club sign might say: 

“Open from 10 PM until late.” 

11- What time is it now? – Колко е часът сега? (Kolko e chasat sega?)

Here’s a very handy question you should memorize, as you can use it in any situation where you don’t have your watch or phone on you. This could be on the beach, in a club, or if you’re stuck anywhere with a flat phone battery. It happens at home, so it can happen when you’re traveling! 

Woman on the phone, looking at her watch

12- One o’clock – 1 часа (edin chasà)

One o’clock, or 1 PM, is the average lunch time for many people around the world – at least, we try to get a meal in at some point between midday and 2 PM.  In terms of duration, the nations vary: Brazililans reportedly take the longest lunch breaks, averaging 48 minutes, whereas Greece reports an average break of only 19 minutes. Historically, Greeks were known for their very leisurely lunch breaks, so it just goes to show how fast the world is changing. If you’re curious about what to expect in Bulgaria, try asking our online community about lunch time in Bulgarian.

13- Two o’clock – два часá (dva chasá)

In his last days, Napoleon Bonaparte famously spoke of “Two o’clock in the morning courage” – meaning unprepared, spontaneous  courage. He was talking about soldiers who are brave enough to tumble out of bed in an instant, straight into action, without time to think or strategize. Do you think you have what it takes? I’m pretty sure all mothers know this feeling!

14- Three o’clock – три часá (tri chasá)

3 AM can be perceived as the coldest time of day and is not an hour we want to wake up, but meteorologists will tell you that the coldest time is actually half an hour after sunrise. Even though the sun is peeking over the horizon, the solar radiation is still weaker than the earth’s infrared cooling to space.

Clock pointing to 3 o'clock

15- Four o’clock – четири часá (chetiri chasá)

Do you know anyone who purposely gets up at 4 o’clock in the morning? As crazy as it sounds, there is something to be said for rising at 4 AM while the rest of the world sleeps. If you live on a farm, it might even be normal for you. I know that whenever I’m staying in the countryside, rising early is a lot easier, because there’s a satisfying reason to do so: watching a sunrise from a rooftop, with uninterrupted views, can’t be beat! It’s also likely that you’ll be woken by a cock crowing, or other animals waking to graze in the fresh pre-dawn air. 

In the world of business, you’ll find a small group of ambitious individuals – many entrepreneurs – who swear by the 4 o’clock in the morning rise. I’m not sure I like that idea, but I’d wake up at 4 AM if it was summer and I had my car packed for a vacation!

16- Five o’clock – пет часá (pet chasá)

What better way to signal the transition between work and play than the clock hands striking 5 o’clock? It’s the hour most working people look forward to each day – at least, those who get to stop working at 5 PM.  Meanwhile, millions of retired folks are taking out the wine glasses, as 5 PM is widely accepted as an appropriate time to pour the first glass. I don’t know how traditional your families are, but for as long as I’ve been alive, my grandparents have counted down the milliseconds to five o’clock, and the hour is announced with glee.

A sunset

17- Six o’clock – шест часá (shest chasá)

This is the time many working people and school kids wake up in the morning. In many parts of the world, 6 o’clock is also a good time to watch the sunrise, go for a run or hit the hiking trails. 

18- Seven o’clock – седем часа (sedem chasà)

Health gurus will tell you that 7 o’clock in the morning is the best time to eat your first meal of the day, and 7 o’clock in the evening is the time you should eat your last meal. I’ve tried that and I agree, but it’s not always easy!

19- Eight o’clock – осем часá (osem chasà)

8 o’clock in the morning is the time that most businesses open around the world, and the time most kids are in their first lesson at school – still full of energy and willing to participate. Interestingly, it’s also the time most babies are born in the world!  In the evening, 8 o’clock is many young children’s bedtime and the time for parents to watch the evening news. 

Smiling boy in school with his hand up

20- Nine o’clock – девет часа (devet chasà)

It’s good to occasionally sleep late on a weekend and for me, this means waking up at 9 AM. If you’re traveling in Bulgaria and staying at a hotel, planning to sleep late means politely requesting to not be woken up by room service.

21- Ten o’clock – десет часá (deset chasà)

10 o’clock in the morning is a popular time to conduct business meetings, and for first break time at schools. We’re usually wide awake and well into our day by then.  But what about the same hour at night? Modern people are often still awake and watching TV at 10 PM, but this isn’t exactly good for us. Experts say that the deepest and most regenerative sleep occurs between 10 PM and 2 AM, so we should already be sound asleep by ten o’clock. 

In advertising, have you ever noticed that the hands of the clock usually point to 10:10? Have a look next time you see a watch on a billboard or magazine. The reason? Aesthetics. Somehow, the human brain finds the symmetry pleasing. When the clock hands are at ten and two, they create a ‘smiley’ face and don’t cover any key details, like a logo, on the clock face. 

22- Eleven o’clock – единадесет часа (edinadeset chasà)

When I see this time written in words, it makes me think of the hilarious Academy Award-winning very short film, “The Eleven O’Clock”, in which the delusional patient of a psychiatrist believes that he is actually the doctor. 

Then there’s the tradition of ‘elevenses’ – tea time at eleven o’clock in the morning. Strongly ingrained in British culture, elevenses is typically a serving of hot tea or coffee with scones or pastries on the side. It’s a great way to stave off hunger pangs before lunch time arrives. In fact, if you were a hobbit, ‘Elevenses’ would be your third meal of the day!

23- Twelve o’clock – дванайсет часá (dvanadeset chasà)

Twelve o’clock in the daytime is considered midday, when the sun is at its zenith and the temperature reaches its highest for that day; it’s written as 12 noon or 12 PM. In most parts of the world, though, this doesn’t happen at precisely 12 PM. ‘Solar noon’ is the time when the sun is actually at its highest point in the sky. The local or clock time of solar noon depends on the longitude and date. If it’s summertime, it’s advisable to stay in the shade during this hour – or at least wear good quality sunblock.

Midnight is the other ‘twelve o’clock’, of course. Midnight is written as 12 AM and is technically the first minute of the morning. On the 24-hour clock, midnight is written as 00:00. 

Sun at noon in a blue cloudy sky

2. How to Tell the Time in Bulgarian

Telling the time

Using a clock to read the time in Bulgaria is going to be the same as in your own country, since you’re dealing with numbers and not words. You’ll know the time in your head and be able to say it in English, but will you be able to say it out loud in Bulgarian? 

The first step to saying the time in Bulgarian is knowing your numbers. How are you doing with that? If you can count to twelve in Bulgarian, you’re halfway there! We’ve already covered the phrases you’ll need to say the exact hour, as in “five o’clock”, as well as how to say “half past”. What remains is the more specific phrases to describe what the minute hand is doing.

In everyday speech, it’s common to say the minutes past or before the hour. Often we round the minutes off to the nearest five. 

Then, there’s the 24-hour clock. Also known as ‘military time’, the 24-hour clock is used in most countries and, as such, is useful to understand. You’ll find that even in places where the 12-hour clock is standard, certain people will speak in military time or use a combination of the two.  No doubt you’ve also noticed that in written time, the 24-hour clock is commonly used.  One of the most prominent places you’ll have seen this is on airport flight schedules.

Airport flight schedule

Knowing how to tell military time in Bulgarian is really not complicated if you know your numbers up to twenty-four. One advantage of using the 24-hour clock in Bulgarian, is there’s no chance of confusing AM and PM.

Once you know how to say the time, it will be pretty easy to also write the time in Bulgarian. You’re already learning what the different hours and minutes look and sound like, so give yourself some writing practice of the same. 

3. Conclusion

Now that you understand the vocabulary for telling time in Bulgarian, the best thing you can do to really lock it down is to just practice saying Bulgarian time daily. Start by replacing English with Bulgarian whenever you need to say the time; in fact, do this whenever you look at your watch. Say the time to yourself in Bulgarian and it will become a habit. When learning a new language, the phrases you use habitually are the ones your brain will acquire. It feels amazing when that turning point comes!

To help yourself gain confidence, why don’t you make use of our various apps, downloadable for iPhone and iPad, as well as Android? Choose what works best for you. In addition, we have so many free resources available to supplement your learning, that you simply can’t go wrong. Some of these are:

If you prefer watching your lessons on video, check out our YouTube channel – there are hundreds of videos to browse. For those of you with Roku, we also have a TV channel you can watch.

Well, it’s time for me to say goodbye and for you to practice saying the time in Bulgarian. Look at the nearest clock and try to say the exact time, down to the seconds. See you again soon at BulgarianPod101!

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Essential Vocabulary for Directions in Bulgarian

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Do you know your left from your right in Bulgarian? Asking for directions can mean the difference between a heavenly day on the beach and a horrible day on your feet, hot and bothered and wondering how to even get back to the hotel. Believe me – I know! On my earlier travels, I didn’t even know simple terms like ‘go straight ahead’ or ‘go west,’ and I was always too shy to ask locals for directions. It wasn’t my ego, but rather the language barrier that held me back. I’ve ended up in some pretty dodgy situations for my lack of directional word skills.

This never needs to happen! When traveling in Bulgaria, you should step out in confidence, ready to work your Bulgarian magic and have a full day of exploring. It’s about knowing a few basic phrases and then tailoring them with the right directional words for each situation. Do you need to be pointed south in Bulgarian? Just ask! Believe me, people are more willing to help than you might think. It’s when you ask in English that locals might feel too uncertain to answer you. After all, they don’t want to get you lost. For this reason, it also makes sense that you learn how to understand people’s responses. 

Asking directions in Bulgaria is inevitable. So, learn to love it! Our job here at BulgarianPod101 is to give you the confidence you need to fully immerse and be the intrepid adventurer you are.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. Talking about position and direction in Bulgarian
  2. Getting directions in Bulgarian
  3. Conclusion

1. Talking about position and direction in Bulgarian

Have you ever tried saying the compass directions of north, south, east and west in Bulgarian? These words are good to know, being the most natural and ancient method of finding direction. In the days before GPS – before the invention of the compass, even – knowing the cardinal directions was critical to finding the way. Certainly, if you were lost somewhere in the mountain regions now and using a map to navigate, you’d find them useful. Even more so if you and a Bulgarian friend were adrift at sea, following the stars!

In most situations, though, we rely on body relative directions – your basic up, down, left and right, forward and backwards. Most cultures use relative directions for reference and Bulgarian is no exception. Interestingly, in a few old languages there are no words for left and right and people still rely on cardinal directions every day. Can you imagine having such a compass brain?

A black compass on a colored map

Well, scientists say that all mammals have an innate sense of direction, so getting good at finding your way is just a matter of practice. It’s pretty cool to think that we were born already pre-wired to grasp directions; the descriptive words we invented are mere labels to communicate these directions to others! Thus, the need to learn some Bulgarian positional vocabulary. So, without further ado… let’s dive in.

1- Top – връх (vrah)

If planting a flag at the top of the highest mountain in Bulgaria is a goal you’d rather leave for  adrenaline junkies, how about making it to the top of the highest building? Your view of the city will be one you’ll never forget, and you can take a selfie  for Twitter with your head in the clouds. 

man on the top rung of a ladder in the sky, about to topple off

2- Bottom – основа (osnova)

The ‘bottom’ can refer to the lower end of a road, the foot of a mountain, or the ground floor of a building. It’s the place you head for after you’ve been to the top!

What are your favorite ‘bottoms’? I love the first rung of a ladder, the base of a huge tree or the bottom of a jungle-covered hill. What can I say? I’m a climber. Divers like the bottom of the ocean and foxes like the bottom of a hole. Since you’re learning Bulgarian, hopefully you’ll travel from the top to the bottom of Bulgaria.

3- Up – нагоре (nagore)

This is a very common and useful word to know when seeking directions. You can go up the street, up an elevator, up a cableway, up a mountain… even up into the sky in a hot air balloon. It all depends on how far up you like to be!

Hot air balloons in a blue cloudy sky

4- Down – надолу (nadolu)

What goes up, must surely come down. This is true of airplanes, flaming arrows and grasshoppers – either aeronautics or gravity will take care of that. In the case of traveling humans who don’t wish to go down at terminal velocity, it’s useful to know phrases such as, “Excuse me, where is the path leading back down this mountain?”

5- Middle – среда (sreda)

In Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s characters live in Middle-earth, which is just an ancient word for the inhabited world of men; it referred to the physical world, as opposed to the unseen worlds above and below it. The ancients also thought of the human world as vaguely in the middle of the encircling seas.

When we talk about the ‘middle’, we’re referring to a point that’s roughly between two horizontal lines – like the middle of the road or the middle of a river. While you’re unlikely to ask for directions to the ‘middle’ of anything, you might hear it as a response. For example, “You’re looking for the castle ruins? But they’re in the middle of the forest!”

Castle ruins in a forest

6- Center – център (tsentar)

Although similar in meaning to ‘middle’, this word is more specific. Technically, it means the exact central point of a circular area, equally distant from every point on the circumference.  When asking for directions to the center of town, though, we don’t mean to find a mathematically-accurate pinpoint!

Bull’s eye on a dartboard

7- Front – лице (litse)

The front is the place or position that is seen first; it’s the most forward part of something.  In the case of a hotel, the front is going to be easy to recognize, so if you call a taxi and are told to wait “in front of the hotel”, you won’t have a problem. It’s pretty cool how just knowing the main Bulgarian directional words can help you locate something if there’s a good landmark nearby.

8- Back – гръб (grab)

I once rented a house in a charming little street that was tucked away at the back of a popular mall. It was so easy to find, but my boss took three hours to locate it from 300 meters away. Why? Well, because she spoke no English and I had no clue what the word for ‘back’ was. All she heard, no matter which way I said it, was “mall, mall, mall”.  As a result, she hunted in front of and next to the mall until she was frazzled. 

Knowing how to describe the location of your own residence is probably the first Bulgarian ‘directions’ you should practice. This skill will certainly come in handy if you’re lost and looking for your way home. 

9- Side – страна (strana)

If the place you’re looking for is at the ‘side’ of something, it will be located to the left or the right of that landmark. That could mean you’re looking for an alleyway beside a building, or a second entrance (as opposed to the main entrance). 

As an example, you might be told that your tour bus will be waiting at the right side of the building, not in front. Of course, then you’ll also need to understand “It’s on the right” in Bulgarian.

Jeepney taxi parked at the side of a building

10- East – изток (iztok)

If you’re facing north, then east is the direction of your right hand. It’s the direction toward which the Earth rotates about its axis, and therefore the general direction from which the sun appears to rise. If you want to go east using a compass for navigation, you should set a bearing of 90°. 

We think of Asia as the ‘East’. Geographically, this part of the world lies in the eastern hemisphere, but there’s so much more that we’ve come to associate with this word. The East signifies ancient knowledge and is symbolic of enlightenment in many cultures.

Monks reading on a boulder in front of a Buddha statue

11- West – запад (zapad)

West is the opposite to east and it’s the direction in which the sun sets. To go west using a compass, you’ll set a bearing of 270 degrees. 

If you were on the planet Venus, which rotates in the opposite direction from the Earth (retrograde rotation), the Sun would rise in the west and set in the east… not that you’d be able to see the sun through Venus’s opaque clouds. 

Culturally, the West refers mainly to the Americas and Europe, but also to Australia and New Zealand, which are geographically in the East. The Western way of thinking is very different to that of the East. One of the most striking differences is individualism versus collectivism. In the West, we grew up with philosophies of freedom and independence, whereas in the East concepts of unity are more important. 

Food for thought: as a traveler who’s invested in learning the languages and cultures of places you visit, you have an opportunity to become a wonderfully balanced thinker – something the world needs more of.

12- North – север (sever)

North is the top point of a map and when navigating, you’d set a compass bearing of 360 degrees if you want to go that way. Globes of the earth have the north pole at the top, and we use north as the direction by which we define all other directions.

If you look into the night sky, the North Star (Polaris) marks the way due north. It’s an amazing star, in that it holds nearly still in our sky while the entire northern sky moves around it. That’s because it’s located nearly at the north celestial pole – the point around which the entire northern sky turns. Definitely a boon for lost travelers!

The North Star with the Big Dipper in a night sky

13- South – юг (yug)

South is the opposite of north, and it’s perpendicular to the east and west. You can find it with a compass if you set your bearings to 180 degrees. 

The south celestial pole is the point around which the entire southern sky appears to turn. In the night sky of the southern hemisphere, the Southern Cross is a very easy to find constellation with four points in the shape of a diamond. If you come from the southern hemisphere, chances are your dad or mum pointed it out to you when you were a kid. You can use the Southern Cross to find south if traveling by night, so it’s well worth figuring it out!

14- Outside – отвън (otvan)

This word refers to any place that is not under a roof. Perhaps you’ve heard talk about some amazing local bands that will be playing in a nearby town on the weekend. If it’s all happening outside, you’ll be looking for a venue in a park, a stadium or some other big open space. Come rain or shine, outside definitely works for me!

A young woman on someone’s shoulders at an outdoor concert

15- Inside – вътре (vatre)

I can tolerate being inside if all the windows are open, or if I’m watching the latest Homeland episode. How about you? I suppose going shopping for Bulgarian-style accessories would be pretty fun, too, and that will (mostly) be an inside affair. 

16- Opposite – противоположен (protivopolozhen)

This is a great word to use as a reference point for locating a place. It’s right opposite that other place! In other words, if you stand with your back to the given landmark, your destination will be right in front of you. 

17- Adjacent – съседен (saseden)

So, the adorable old man from next door, who looks about ninety-nine, explains in Bulgarian that the food market where he works is adjacent to the community hall on the main road. ‘Adjacent’ just means next to or adjoining something else, so… head for the hall! 

While you’re marveling at the wondrous and colorful displays of Bulgarian food, think about how all of these delicious stalls lie adjacent to one another. Having a happy visual association with a new word is a proven way to remember it!

Outdoor food market fruit display

18- Toward – към (kam)

To go toward something is to go in its direction and get closer to it. This word can often appear in a sentence with ‘straight ahead’, as in:

“Go straight ahead, toward the park.”

If you’ve come to Bulgaria to teach English, you might have to ask someone how to find your new school. Depending on what town you’re in, you could simply head toward the residential area at lunch time. You’ll see (and probably hear) the primary school soon enough – it will be the big fenced building with all the kids running around the yard!

19- Facing – изправен пред (izpraven pred)

If you look at yourself in a mirror, you’ll be facing your reflection. In other words: you and your reflection look directly at each other.  Many plush hotels are ocean-facing or river-facing, meaning the main entrance is pointed directly at the water, and the beach out front faces the hotel. 

20- Beside – до (do)

I know of a special little place where there’s a gym right beside a river. You can watch the sun go down over the water while working out – it’s amazing. What’s more, you can park your scooter beside the building and it will still be there when you come out.

21- Corner – ъгъл (agal)

I love a corner when it comes to directions. A street corner is where two roads meet at an angle – often 90 degrees – making it easier to find than a location on a straight plane. 

“Which building is the piano teacher in, sir?”

“Oh, that’s easy – it’s the one on the corner.”

The key to a corner is that it leads in two directions. It could form a crossroads, a huge intersection, or it could be the start of a tiny one-way cobblestone street with hidden treasures waiting in the shadow of the buildings.

A white and yellow building on the corner of two streets

22- Distant – далечен (dalechen)

When a location is distant, it’s in an outlying area. This Bulgarian word refers to the remoteness of the site, not to how long it takes to get there. For that reason, it’s a very good idea to write the directions down, rather than try to memorize them in Bulgarian. Even better, get a Bulgarian person to write them down for you. This may seem obvious, but always include the location of your starting point! Any directions you’re given will be relative to the exact place you’re starting from.

Man lost on a dusty road, looking at a road map and scratching his head

23- Close – близък (blizak)

This word is always a good one to hear when you have your heart set on a very relaxing day in the sun. It means there’s only a short distance to travel, so you can get there in a heartbeat and let the tanning commence. Remember to grab your Nook Book – learning is enhanced when you’re feeling happy and unencumbered. Being close to ‘home’ also means you can safely steal maximum lazy hours and leave the short return trip for sunset! 

A smiling woman lying in a hammock on the beach

24- Surrounding – заобикалящ (zaobikalyasht)

If something is surrounding you, it is on every side and you are enclosed by it – kind of like being in a boat. Of course, we’re not talking about deep water here, unless you’re planning on going fishing. Directions that include this word are more likely to refer to the surrounding countryside, or any other features that are all around the place you’re looking for.

A polar bear stuck on a block of ice, completely surrounded by water.

25- All sides – от всички страни (ot vsichki strani)

Another useful descriptive Bulgarian term to know is ‘all sides’. It simply means that from a particular point, you will be able to see the same features to the front, back and sides of you. It doesn’t necessarily imply you’ll be completely surrounded, just more-or-less so. Say, for example, you’re visiting the winelands for the day. When you get there, you’ll see vineyards on all sides of you. How stunning! Don’t neglect to sample the local wines – obviously. 

26- Next to – в съседство с (v sŭsedstvo s)

The person giving you directions is probably standing next to you. The place being described as ‘next to’ something is in a position immediately to one side of it. It could refer to adjoining buildings, neighbouring stores, or the one-legged beggar who sits next to the beautiful flower vendor on weekdays. ‘Next to’ is a great positional term, as everything is next to something! 

“Excuse me, Ma’am.  Where is the train station?”

“It’s that way – next to the tourist market.”

27- Above – над (nad)

This is the direction you’ll be looking at if you turn your head upwards. Relative to where your body is, it’s a point higher than your head. If you’re looking for the location of a place that’s ‘above’ something, it’s likely to be on at least the first floor of a building; in other words, above another floor.

‘Above’ could also refer to something that will be visible overhead when you get to the right place. For example, the road you’re looking for might have holiday decorations strung up from pole to pole above it. In the cities, this is very likely if there’s any kind of festival going on.

View from below of a carnival swing, with riders directly above the viewer

28- Under – под (nagore)

Under is the opposite of above, and refers to a place that lies beneath something else. In the case of directions in Bulgarian, it could refer to going under a bridge – always a great landmark – or perhaps through a subway. In some parts of the world, you can even travel through a tunnel that’s under the sea!

Of course, you might just be missing your home brew and looking for an awesome coffee shop that happens to be under the very cool local gym you were also looking for. Nice find!

2. Getting directions in Bulgarian

The quickest and easiest way to find out how to get where you’re going is simply to ask someone. Most people on the streets of Bulgaria won’t mind being asked at all and will actually appreciate your attempt to ask directions in Bulgarian. After all, most tourists are more inclined to ask in their own language and hope for the best. How pedestrian is that, though?

Asking directions

I know, I know – you normally prefer to find your own way without asking. Well, think of it like this: you obviously need to practice asking questions in Bulgarian as much as you need to practice small talk, counting, or ordering a beer. Since you can’t very well ask a complete stranger if they would please help you count to five hundred, you’ll have to stick with asking directions!

We spoke earlier about body relative directions and these tend to be the ones we use most. For example:

“Turn left.”

“Go straight.”

“Turn right.” 

Remember, too, that your approach is important. Many people are wary of strangers and you don’t want to scare them off. It’s best to be friendly, direct and get to the point quickly.  A simple ‘Hi, can you help me?” or “Excuse me, I’m a bit lost,” will suffice. If you have a map in your hand, even better, as your intentions will be clear. 

The bottom line is that if you want to find your way around Bulgaria with ease, it’s a good idea to master these basic phrases. With a little practice, you can also learn how to say directions in Bulgarian. Before you know it, you’ll be the one explaining the way!

3. Conclusion

Now that you have over thirty new directional phrases you can learn in Bulgarian, there’s no need to fear losing your way when you hit the streets of Bulgaria. All you need is a polite approach and your own amazing smile, and the locals will be excited to help you. It’s a chance for them to get better at explaining things to a foreigner, too. Most will enjoy that!

I advise keeping a few things handy in your day pack: a street map, a highlighter, a small notebook and pen, and your Bulgarian phrasebook. It would be useful to also have the Bulgarian WordPower app installed on your phone – available for both iPhone and Android

Here’s a quick challenge to get you using the new terms right away. Can you translate these directions into Bulgarian?

“It’s close. Go straight ahead to the top of the hill and turn left at the corner. The building is on the right, opposite a small bus stop.”

You’re doing amazingly well to have come this far! Well done on tackling the essential topic of ‘directions’ – it’s a brave challenge that will be immensely rewarding. Trust me, when you’re standing at a beautiful location that you found just by knowing what to ask in Bulgarian, you’re going to feel pretty darn good.

If you’re as excited as I am about taking Bulgarian to an even deeper level, we have so much more to offer you. Did you know that we’ve already had over 1 billion lesson downloads? I know – we’re blown away by that, too. It’s amazing to be bringing the world’s languages to people who are so hungry for learning. Let me share some of our best options for you:

  • If you haven’t done so already, grab your free lifetime account as a start. You’ll get audio and video lessons, plus vocabulary building tools. 
  • My favorite freebie is the word of the day, which will arrive in your inbox every morning. Those are the words I remember best!
  • Start listening to Bulgarian music. I’m serious – it really works to make the resistant parts of the brain relax and accept the new language. Read about it here for some tips.
  • If you enjoy reading, we have some great iBooks for your daily commute.
  • If you have a Kindle and prefer to do your reading on a picnic blanket,  there are over 6 hours of unique lessons in Bulgarian for you right there.

That’s it for today! Join BulgarianPod101 to discover many more ways that we can offer you a truly fun and enriching language learning experience. Happy travels!

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Your Extensive Guide to Bulgarian Compliments

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Compliments provide encouragement that makes people feel valuable and important. These words can even improve their self-esteem and help them believe that they can achieve more. Moreover, compliments imply that you have something—whether it’s a great appearance, a cheerful character, or an exceptional mind—which other people find noteworthy. In fact, every person is unique and possesses something that he or she can receive compliments for.

Although Bulgarians are sparing with their praise and compliments, just like people of many other nations, they also love to get sincere compliments. You probably want to learn various Bulgarian compliments, such as how to compliment a Bulgarian girl or how to praise someone in Bulgarian. Or maybe you’re just curious what kind of compliments Bulgarian people give their friends?

You’re in the right place, as BulgarianPod101 will reveal to you a completely new part of Bulgarian culture. By the end of this guide, you’ll not only be able to offer someone praise in Bulgarian words, but also know how to accept compliments that Bulgarians give to you.

Table of Contents

  1. What Compliments will Impress Your Bulgarian Girlfriend?
  2. Bulgarian Compliments On Your Girlfriend/Boyfriend’s Look
  3. Bulgarian Compliments On Someone’s Work
  4. Bulgarian Compliments On Girlfriend/Boyfriend’s Skills
  5. How to Make Your Compliments Sound More Sincere?
  6. What to Expect After Giving Compliments?
  7. How to Avoid Awkward Situations When Making Compliments?
  8. Practice Time: What Compliments You Will Give to People in the Following 6 Situations?
  9. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Impress Other People with Your Bulgarian?

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1. What Compliments Will Impress Your Bulgarian Girlfriend?

Four Little Secrets For Building a Lasting Relationship with a Bulgarian Girl

There are a few surefire ways to impress your Bulgarian girlfriend. No, you don’t have to offer her a holiday in Miami or buy a star in the sky to make her happy. Here are four little secrets that can make a big turnaround in a timid relationship:

  • Be a real gentleman, as girls notice every act of attention. You’ll definitely attract her attention if you open the door for her, ask her for a date and bring her back home afterward, or show her some other little signs of care.
  • Pay the bill when you’re out together for dinner. Even if a lady can afford to pay her bill, a gentleman will show his sincere interest by paying the bills.
  • Give her some little presents, even without a reason. It doesn’t have to be something expensive; it could be a flower or something small, for example. The gift will show her that you’re thinking about her.
  • Offer her compliments in Bulgarian every time you see her. This will maintain the flame of love.

Keep Giving Her Compliments!

What Bulgarian Compliments Will Make Her Happy?

Now, let’s learn some beautiful compliments to tell a girl in Bulgarian. Let’s start with “You are beautiful!” in Bulgarian.

  • Много си красива!
    Mnogo si krasiva
    You are so beautiful!
  • Толкова си интелигентна!
    Tolkova si inteligentna
    You are so smart!
  • С теб може да се говори на толкова много теми!
    S teb mozhe da se govori na tolkova mnogo temi
    You can talk about so many topics!

This compliment is equivalent to “You are so smart!” but it’s not so direct. So by using it, you can just hint at her intelligence, which will definitely make your Bulgarian girlfriend happy during the initial stage of your relationship!

    Смехът ти е очарователен!
    Smehat ti e ocharovatelen
    Your laugh is charming!

This also tells her that you like to see her happy.

Now, let’s learn some more Bulgarian flirting phrases:

  • Имаш толкова нежен глас, че мога да те слушам с часове!
    Imash tolkova nezhen glas, she moga da te slusham s chasove
    You have such a gentle voice that I can listen to you for hours!
  • Очите ти са толкова дълбоки, че мога да потъна в тях!
    Ochite ti sa tolkova dalboki, che moga da potana v tyah
    Your eyes are so deep that I can sink into them!
  • Нямам търпение да се срещнем отново!
    Nyamam tarpenie da se sreshtnem otnovo
    I can’t wait to meet you again!

This compliment will assure her that you like her a lot, and that you would like to spend much more time with her.

What if You Have a Bulgarian Boyfriend?

Just like girls, boys and men also need to receive compliments to know that they’re valuable in their partner’s eyes. Here’s a list of Bulgarian romantic phrases and compliments that a foreign girl can learn to impress her Bulgarian boyfriend.

  • Вярвам в теб!
    Vyarvam v tep
    I believe in you!

It’s very important for a man to know that the girl he likes trusts in him. If you do, tell him so.

  • Голям майстор си!
    Golyam maystor si
    You’re an expert in your field!
  • Хората искат да работят с теб, защото се доверяват на твоите способности!
    Horata iskat da rabotyat s tep, zashtoto se doveryavat na tvoite sposobnosti
    People want to work with you because they trust your abilities!
  • Ти си и талантлив, и трудолюбив!
    Ti si i talantlif, i trudolyubif
    You are both talented and hardworking!

All three of the compliments above are important for men to hear, because they emphasize their skills and achievements. A man who works hard and is independent is a reliable man who can maintain his own family. So use these compliments to show that you’re impressed with his achievements.

  • Вече си постигнал толкова много в живота си!
    Veche si postignal tolkova mnogo v zhivota si
    You’ve already achieved so much in your life!
  • Мисля, че притежаваш качества, които не се срещат в много други мъже!
    Mislya che pritezhavash kachestva koito ne se sreshtat v mnogo drugi mazhe
    I think you have qualities that many other men don’t have!
  • Ти си толкова мил с мен!
    Ti si tolkova mil s men
    You are so kind to me!
  • Мнението ти е важно за мен!
    Mnenieto ti e vazhno za men
    Your opinion is important to me!

By saying this, you make your man a part of your life; it means that you’ll not only consider, but also follow, his advice.

Give Compliments to Your Bulgarian Boyfriend!

2. Bulgarian Compliments on Your Girlfriend’s/Boyfriend’s Look

Tell These Bulgarian Compliments to Your Girlfriend

  • Истинска ли си?
    Istinska li si
    Are you real?
  • Ти си прекрасна жена!
    Ti si prekrasna zhena
    You are a wonderful woman!
  • Изглеждаш като Джулия Робъртс!
    Izglezhdash kato Dzhuliya Robarts
    You look like Julia Roberts!
  • Ти си красива и отвътре, и отвън!
    Ti si krasiva i otvatre i otvan
    You are beautiful both inside and outside!
  • Ти си моята причина да бъда щастлив!
    Ti si moyata prichina da bada shtastlif
    You are my reason to be happy!

You Are a Wonderful Woman!

Tell These Bulgarian Compliments to Your Boyfriend

  • Истински ли си?
    Istinski li si
    Are you real?
  • Ти си прекрасен мъж!
    Ti si prekrasen mazh
    You are a wonderful man!
  • Изглеждаш като Арнолд Шварценегер.
    Izglezhdash kato Arnold Shvartseneger
    You look like Arnold Schwarzenegger!
  • Ти си красив и отвътре, и отвън.
    Ti si krasiv i otvatre i otvan
    You are beautiful both inside and outside!
  • Ти си моята причина да бъда щастливa.
    Ti si moyata prichina da bŭda shtastliva
    You are my reason to be happy!

Compliments That Fit for Both Genders

  • Не мога да си представя света без теб!
    Ne moga da si predstavya sveta bez tep
    I can’t imagine the world without you!
  • Искам дъщеря ми да прилича на теб.
    Iskam dashterya mi da prilicha na tep
    I want my daughter to look like you!
  • Не усещам как минава времето, когато съм с теб!
    Ne useshtam kak minava vremeto, kogato sam s tep
    I can’t feel the time when I’m with you!

Funny Compliments on Your Girlfriend’s/Boyfriend’s Look

Sometimes, a little joke can break the tension and make your boyfriend or girlfriend relax. Laughter brings people together, so it might be useful to learn the following funny compliments and use them at the right time:

  • Толкова си сладка, че ще те изям!
    Tolkova si sladka, che shte te izyam
    You are so sweet that I will eat you up!
  • Ти си като елексир на живота!
    Ti si kato eleksir na zhivota
    You are like the elixir of life!
  • Когато те видя, всичко останало изчезва!
    Kogato te vidya, vsichko ostanalo izchezva
    When I see you, everything else disappears!
  • Колко си красива днес! Също като мен!
    Kolko si krasiva dnes! Sashto kato men
    How beautiful you are today! Just like me!
    → BulgarianPod101.com offers Bulgarian lessons for beginners. Click here to learn three ways to say thank you to the Bulgarian person you really like.

3. Bulgarian Compliments on Someone’s Work

Although it’s nice to get compliments about your looks, many people like hearing compliments about their work even more. This praise means that your friends appreciate what you’ve done and acknowledge that you’re a master in something.

To make other people happy, you can learn the right way to compliment in Bulgaria. Here are some examples that you can apply in your work environment:

  • Свърши чудесна работа!
    Svarshi chudesna rabota
    You did a great job!
  • Ти си много вдъхновяваща личност!
    Ti si mnogo vdahnovyavashta lichnost
    You are a very inspiring person!
  • Вярвам ти и те ценя!
    Vyarvam ti i te tsenya
    I trust you and I appreciate you!
  • Поздравявам те за начина, по който се справи със ситуацията!
    Pozdravyavam te za nachina, po koyto se spravi sas situatsiyata
    I congratulate you on the way you handled the situation!
  • Имам нужда от твоя съвет!
    Imam nuzhda ot tvoya savet
    I need your advice!

You Did a Great Job!

Funny Compliments on Someone’s Work

If you want to lighten up the situation with some humor, use one of the following funny compliments in Bulgarian:

  • Добра работа, но можеше да е още по-добрa!
    Dobra rabota, no mozheshe da e oshte po-dobra
    Good job, but it could have been even better!
  • Никой не може да се сравнява с теб!
    Nikoy ne mozhe da se sravnyava s tep
    No one can compare to you!
  • Хората в живота ти са късметлии, че те имат!
    Horata v zhivota ti sa kasmetlii, che te imat
    The people in your life are lucky to have you!
  • Личи си, че се учиш!
    Lichi si, che se uchish
    You seem to be learning!

4. Bulgarian Compliments on Your Girlfriend’s/Boyfriend’s Skills

To praise your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s skills means that you acknowledge their talents and are inspired by their personality. By complimenting their skills, you show the other person that they’re valuable in your eyes. Here are some ways to demonstrate your deep appreciation:

  • Обичам начина, по който ме караш да мисля!
    Obicham nachina, po koyto me karash da mislya
    I love the way you make me think!
  • Постоянно ми напомняш, че хората са добри!
    Postoyanno mi napomnyash, che horata sa dobri
    You keep reminding me that people are good!
  • Светът би бил толкова скучен без теб!
    Svetat bi bil tolkova skuchen bez teb
    The world would be so boring without you!
  • Душата ти е великолепна!
    Dushata ti e velikolepna
    You have a magnificent soul!
  • Имаш толкова добро сърце!
    Imash tolkova dobro sartse
    You have such a good heart!
  • Никога не спирай да бъдеш това, което си!
    Nikoga ne spiray da badesh tova, koeto si
    Never stop being who you are!
  • Ти ме караш да вярвам в доброто!
    Ti me karash da vyarvam v dobroto
    You make me believe in good!

Funny Compliments on Your Girlfriend’s/Boyfriend’s Skills

Add more fun to the conversation by using one of these Bulgarian compliments:

  • Умен си колкото двама глупави!
    Umen si kolkoto dvama glupavi
    You are as smart as two stupid people!
  • Сърцето ти е десет пъти по-голямо от средното!
    Sartseto ti e deset pati po-golyamo ot srednoto
    Your heart is ten times larger than the average heart!
  • Не си толкова глупав, колкото позволяваш на хората да мислят за теб!
    Ne si tolkova glupav, kolkoto pozvolyavash na horata da mislyat za tep
    You’re not as stupid as you allow people to think about you!
  • Има ли ден, който не си направил по-добър?
    Ima li den, koyto ne si napravil po-dobar
    Is there a day you didn’t make better?

5. How to Make Your Compliments Sound More Sincere

Bulgarian people love to get compliments—when they’re sincere. These praises not only tell them that the person they’re speaking with finds them valuable, but compliments also encourage them to make further improvements. To achieve this effect, we need to know how to make a good compliment in Bulgarian.

Indirect Compliments

There are indirect compliments you may find useful in your conversations with Bulgarians. You can use the following Bulgarian compliments after you successfully finish a project with others.

  • Колко сме умни!
    Kolko sme umni
    How smart we are!
  • Браво на нас!
    Bravo na nas
    Good on us!

If you’re not sure how the person will receive your compliment, you can offer a compliment that’s less emotional. For example, you can say kind words about something they own:

  • Каква страхотна кола имаш!
    Kakva strakhotna kola imash
    What a great car you have!
  • Имаш много хубава къща!
    Imash mnogo hubava kashta!
    You have a very nice house!

Direct Compliments

In order to make a direct compliment on someone’s look sincere, take a closer look at the person and note exactly what you like about him/her. It may sound like:

  • Имаш страхотна прическа!
    Imash strahotna pricheska
    You have a great hairstyle!
  • Тази рокля ти стои чудесно!
    Tazi roklya ti stoi chudesno
    This dress looks great on you!

Sincere Compliments with Facts

To make your direct compliments sound more sincere, add some irrefutable fact to them.

  • Чудесен тен. Изглеждаш неотразимо!
    Chudesen ten. Izglezhdash neotrazimo
    Great tan. You look irresistible!
  • Каква красива рокля. В нея си просто очарователна!
    Kakva krasiva roklya. V neya si prosto ocharovatelna
    What a beautiful dress. You’re indeed charming!
  • Перфектна работа! Благодарение на нея нарастват печалбите на фирмата.
    Perfektna rabota! Blagodarenie na neya narastvat pechalbite na firmata
    Perfect job! Thanks to it, the company’s profits increased!

6. What to Expect After Giving Compliments

Although they like receiving compliments, Bulgarians may be shy about it. The most typical reaction to a compliment will be:

  • Благодаря (Blagodarya), “Thank you!
  • Благодаря! Много мило! (Blagodarya! Mnogo milo!), “Thank you! Very kind of you!

But sometimes, the person you’re speaking with might be too shy and try to oppose the compliment. For example, if you tell her “Oh, what a lovely dress you have today!” she might say: “Nothing special.

In Bulgarian, it will sound like this:

  • О, каква прекрасна рокля носиш днес!
    O, kakva prekrasna roklya nosish dnes
    Oh, what a beautiful dress you are wearing today!
  • Нищо особено!
    Nishto osobeno
    Nothing special.

This doesn’t mean that your interlocutor doesn’t like your compliment. Usually, it means that she or he is shy. In a case like that, you can just add:

  • Наистина, много ми харесва!
    Naistina, mnogo mi haresva
    Indeed, I like it a lot!

After such a comment, most Bulgarians will say: “Thank you!”

Now, watch the following video to find out the best ways of accepting a compliment in Bulgarian:

7. How to Avoid Awkward Situations When Making Compliments

You have to be careful when giving compliments in specific situations, as your compliments might not be considered appropriate.

Such a situation may be giving compliments about a girl’s look in the presence of her boyfriend or husband. It’s not okay to praise a woman’s beauty in this case. Instead, you can say a compliment that includes both of them as a couple. For example:

  • Изглеждате чудесно като двойка!
    Izglezhdate chudesno kato dvoyka
    You look great as a couple!

Or

  • Много си подхождате!
    Mnogo si podhozhdate
    You are so matching!

You should also avoid accidentally giving weird Bulgarian compliments on someone’s look, which can happen if that person has a physical disability. In that case, you can just emphasize on his good character or skills. For example:

  • Голям майстор си!
    Golyam maystor si
    You are an expert in your field!

Or

  • В това си ненадминат!
    V tova si nenadminat
    You are unsurpassed in this!

Compliments

8. Practice Time: What Compliments Will You Give to People in the Following Situations?

Now that you’ve learned a lot of Bulgarian compliments, it’s time to practice them in real-life situations. Your task will be to choose the right compliment to say for each specific situation described below. You can write down your answers now and check the correct answers at the end of this article.

Situation #1

You’re in the market searching for good apples to buy. You see very nice apples on the stall and you would like to give a compliment to the seller, who is standing beside them. What are you going to say?

Situation #2

Your colleague has offered you help, as you’re new to the company. He explained to you all of the details related to your working position. What compliment will you tell him/her to thank them for their kindness?

Situation #3

Your friend has a new hairstyle. What will you say to him/her?

Situation #4

You have a date with a Bulgarian girl. She looks really beautiful! What compliment will you give her?

Situation #5

You take a bus. There are no seats available, but a young man stands up to give you his seat. What will you tell him?

Situation #6

You were invited to your friend’s house, and the dinner you ate was very delicious. What will you tell the lady of the house?

9. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Impress Other People with Your Bulgarian

BulgarianPod101 prepared this extensive guide on Bulgarian compliments not only to help you learn about compliments in Bulgarian culture, but also to help you feel more confident in your Bulgarian skills during a date with a Bulgarian man or woman. If you need even more detailed explanations about this topic or help in specific situations, you can turn to a Bulgarian language expert using our MyTeacher program. You’ll find an excellent coach who will understand your needs and determine the right learning approach to improve your language skills.

If you’ve met some difficulties completing the practical exercises in Section 8, you can share them in the comments below. We’re always happy to hear from you and to support you in your struggles. We’ll also appreciate hearing your thoughts on this article!

Answers to Section 8: Practice Time

Situation #1

  • Много хубави ябълки!
    Mnogo hubavi yabalki
    Very nice apples!

Situation #2

  • Много мило от твоя страна! Благодаря за помощта!
    Mnogo milo ot tvoya strana! Blagodarya za pomoshta
    Very nice of you! Thanks for the help!

Situation #3

  • Много хубава прическа! Много ти отива!
    Mnogo hubava pricheska! Mnogo ti otiva
    Very nice hairstyle! It really suits you much!

Situation #4

  • Изглеждаш страхотно!
    Izglezhdash strahotno
    You look great!

Situation #5

In this case, we’ll use the formal Ваша instead of the informal твоя.

  • Много мило от Ваша страна! Благодаря!
    Mnogo milo ot Vasha strana! Blagodarya
    Very kind of you! Thank you!

Situation #6

  • Много e вкусно! Благодаря!
    Mnogo е fkusno! Blagodarya
    It’s very tasty! Thank you!

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Get Angry in Bulgarian with Phrases for Any Situation!

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Anger is a natural response to pain of some sort; when you’re angry, you’re angry with a cause and want someone to pay! It’s so much harder when you’re traveling, because your routines are off-kilter, there’s culture shock to deal with and the smallest problems can seem overwhelming. How do you handle someone who’s just pushed your last button?

At home, we often have a go-to person who is good at calming us down, but emotions are tricky to deal with in a foreign country. Sometimes people may treat you unfairly, but you’re completely baffled as to why. You have to remember that people in Bulgaria think differently to how you do and it’s not impossible to inadvertently cause offense. Don’t stress about it too much, because you’ll adapt! Once you feel at home in Bulgaria and people get to know you, it will be easy to flow with the local rhythm and handle tensions well.

This brings us to two obvious reasons why you should learn some angry phrases in Bulgarian: first, so you can understand when you’ve upset a Bulgarian person, and second, to have the vocabulary to tell a person off when they absolutely have it coming. Not only will you be far more likely to solve the problem if you know some appropriate angry Bulgarian phrases, but you’ll probably earn some respect, too! At BulgarianPod101 we’re ready to help you articulate those feelings.

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Table of Contents

  1. Bulgarian phrases to use when you’re angry
  2. Feeling negative in Bulgarian
  3. Conclusion

1. Bulgarian phrases to use when you’re angry

Complaints

Okay, so you’ve had a very frustrating day at your new teaching job in Bulgaria and all you want to do is chill on your bed with ice-cream and a Nook Book, but you come home to find your landlord in your apartment, apparently doing an inspection of your personal possessions. How do you handle it? Do you have an angry Bulgarian translation for “What the heck are you doing?”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about confronting someone in their own country, it’s to press the pause button on my reactions and think first! Is my first thought worth expressing? Sometimes, you need to think like a chess player: if I make this move, what will happen next?

It’s always better to think ‘win-win’ in Bulgaria. A good tactic is to keep a mental note of your personal speed limit before engaging. After all, you want a positive outcome!

So, do you know how to say “I am angry” in Bulgarian? You will – BulgarianPod101 is about to teach you how to get mad! Here are fifteen great angry phrases in Bulgarian.

1- It’s none of your business. – Не е твоя работа (Ne e tvoya rabota).

As a foreigner in Bulgaria, you’ll be a topic of interest. While most folks understand boundaries, there’s always that one individual who doesn’t!

Sometimes you feel that a person is getting way too involved in your affairs, and this expression is a commonly-used one for letting them know that. If said calmly and firmly, while looking them in the eye, it should do the trick and even earn you some respect.

Angry Blonde Girl Holding Up Her Hands to Warn Someone Away

2- I’m upset. – Разстроен съм (Razstroen sam).

I find this phrase useful for times when I need to express annoyance to someone I can’t afford to lose my temper with. A boss, for instance. As long as you say it without yelling, this can be a polite way of letting someone know that you are feeling bad and that you want those feelings validated. No matter what has happened, the result is that you are troubled and need some time to get over it. Depending on how you say it, “I’m upset” can also be a subtle invitation for the other party to address the problem.

3- You’re not listening to me. – Ти не ме слушаш (Ti ne me slushash).

Isn’t this the most frustrating thing? You’re in a situation where you’re telling someone why you’re mad at them, but they just won’t look at the story from your point of view. Rather than resort to bad language, try to convince them to take a breather and hear you out. This expression is a great way to ask someone to stop talking and to listen to you properly.

Asian Couple Fighting Head-to-Head, Woman Blocking Her Ears

4- Watch your mouth. – Не ми говори така (Ne mi govori taka).

Where have you heard this before? Let your mind go back to all the times you were cheeky and disrespectful in your youth… that’s right – it was your parents! If you’re on the receiving end, this angry phrase means that you said something you shouldn’t have. It has an authoritative, challenging tone and it implies that there could be consequences if you don’t stop.

So, when can you use it? Well, be careful with this one; it may very well get you in trouble if not used with caution. It can also be seen as very rude if used on anyone you don’t actually have authority over!

5- That’s enough. – Достатъчно (Dostatachno)!

Depending on your tone of voice when you say this, you could be calmly telling someone to stop doing what they’re doing, or you could be sternly ordering them to stop. In Bulgarian, as in English, tone is key when it comes to making yourself understood. Just don’t be saying this to anyone, as it carries an authoritative tone and would be seen as rude if said to an older person.

Angry School Mistress Shaking a Ruler As If Reprimanding

6- Stop it. – Прекрати (Prekrati)!

One of the more common imperatives in any language, this is a basic way to warn somebody that you don’t like what they’re doing and want them to stop. You can use it in most situations where a person is getting under your skin. Often, “Stop it” precedes some of the weightier phrases one resorts to if the offender doesn’t stop and anger escalates. For this reason, I always add a “Please” and hope for the best!

7- Cut it out. – Престани (Prestani).

I think parents and teachers everywhere, throughout time, have heard variations of this expression of annoyance for as long as we’ve had tweens and teens on Earth! It’s a go-to command, thrown about frequently between siblings and peers, to stop being irritating. You’d generally use this on people you consider your relative equals – even though in the moment, you probably consider them low enough to stomp on!

8- What the heck are you doing? – Какво правиш по дяволите (Kakvo pravish po dyavolite)?

Here’s an interjection for those instances when you can scarcely believe what you’re seeing. It denotes incredulity ranging from mild disbelief to total disgust or dismay. You would typically use this when you want an action to stop immediately, because it’s wrong – at least, in your perception of things.

It may be worth remembering that the English word “heck” doesn’t have a direct translation in Bulgarian – or in other languages, for that matter; most translations are more accurately saying “What the hell.” We say “heck” in English as a euphemism, but that word is thought to come from “hex” – an ancient word for “spell” – so I don’t know which is better!

9- Who do you think you are? – За кого се мислиш (Za kogo se mislish)?

I avoid this expression as it makes me nervous! It’s quite confrontational. I’m reminded of the time a clerk in a busy cellular network service store was being rude to me and a rich-looking man came to my rescue, aiming this phrase at the clerk loudly and repeatedly. At first, I was relieved to have someone on my side, but I quickly grew embarrassed at the scene he was causing.

Using this phrase has a tendency to make you sound like you feel superior, so take it easy. The irony, of course, is that someone who provokes this response is taking a position of authority or privilege that they aren’t entitled to! Now you look like two bears having a stand-off.

They call this an ‘ad hominem’ argument, meaning the focus has shifted from attacking the problem, to attacking the person. So, is it a good phrase to use? That’s up to you. If you’re in the moment and someone’s attitude needs adjusting – go for it!

Man and Woman Arguing, with White Alphabet Letters Coming from the Man’s Mouth and White Question Marks Above the Woman

10- What?! – Какво е това (Kakvo e tova)?

An expression of disbelief, this is frequently said mid-argument, in a heated tone, and it means you cannot believe what you’re hearing. In other words, it conveys the message that the other person is talking nonsense or lying.

11- I don’t want to talk to you. – Не искам да говоря с теб (Ne iskam da govorya s teb).

This is a great bit of vocab for a traveler – especially for a woman traveling solo. Whether you’re being harassed while trying to read your Kindle on the train, or hit on by a drunk man in a bar, chances are that sooner or later, you will encounter a character you don’t wish to speak to.

The most straightforward way to make the message clear is to simply tell them, “I don’t want to talk to you”. If you feel threatened, be calm and use your body language: stand straight, look them in the eye and say the words firmly. Then move away deliberately. Hopefully, they will leave you alone. I’d go so far as to say learn this phrase off-by-heart and practice your pronunciation until you can say it like a strong modern Bulgarian woman!

Highly Annoyed Redhead Girl Holding Up Her Hands As If to Say “Stop!”

12- Are you kidding me? – Ти майтапиш ли се с мен (Ti maytapish li se s men)?

To be ‘kidding’ means to joke with someone in a childlike way and it’s used both in fun and in anger. Like some other expressions, it needs context for the mood to be clear, but it pretty much conveys annoyed disbelief. You can use it when a person says or does something unpleasantly surprising, or that seems unlikely to be serious or true. It’s a rhetorical question, of course; try to familiarize yourself with how it sounds in Bulgarian, so next time it’s aimed at you, you don’t hunt your inner Bulgarian lexicon for an answer!

Dark-haired Girl Giving a Very Dirty Look, with One Hand on Her Hip and Holding a Gift Box with Apparent Disgust

13- This is so frustrating. – Това направо ме побърква (Tova napravo me pobarkva).

Another way of showing someone you have an intense battle going on inside, is to just tell them you’re terribly frustrated and feeling desperate to find a solution. Use this expression! It can be a useful tool to bring the other person into your headspace and maybe even evoke some degree of empathy from them. More polite than many others, it’s a sentence that seems to say, “I beg you to work with me so we can resolve this!”

Asian Man Yelling, Bent Forward, with His Hands Held Up Next to His Head

14- Shut up. – Млъкни (Mlakni).

The use of the phrase “shut up” to signify “hold one’s tongue” dates back to the sixteenth century and was even used by Shakespeare as an insult – with various creative twists! It’s been evolving ever since and there are variations in just about every language – proving that no matter where you come from, angry emotions are universal!

One example of old usage is a poem Rudyard Kipling wrote in 1892, where a seasoned military veteran says to the troops: “Now all you recruities what’s drafted to-day, You shut up your rag-box an’ ‘ark to my lay.”

Well, when I was twelve and full of spirit, I was taught that nice girls don’t say this. “Shut up” is an imperative that’s considered impolite; it’s one of those expressions people resort to when they either can’t think of better words to use, or simply can’t bear to listen to any more nonsense. Either way, it’s at the lower end of the smart argument scale. Like all angry phrases, though, it does have its uses!

15- So what? – И какво толкова (I kakvo tolkova)?

When you don’t believe the other person’s defense argument legitimizes or justifies their actions, you might say these words. Basically, you’re telling them they need to come up with better logic!

Another time you could use this one, is when you simply don’t care for someone’s criticism of you. Perhaps you don’t agree with them, or they’re being unfair and you need to defend your position. “So what?” tells them you feel somewhat indignant and don’t believe you’re in the wrong.

2. Feeling negative in Bulgarian

Negative Feelings

What was the most recent negative emotion you felt? Were you nervous about an exam? Exhausted and homesick from lack of sleep? Maybe you felt frightened and confused about the impact COVID-19 would have on your travel plans. If you’re human, you have days when you just want the whole world to leave you alone – and that’s okay!

When you’re feeling blue, there’s only so much body language can do. Rather than keeping people guessing why you’re in a bad mood, just tell them! Your Bulgarian friends and colleagues will be much more likely to give you your space (or a hug) if they know what’s wrong. Not only that, but it’s nice to give new friends the opportunity to be supportive. Bring on the bonding!

The fastest way to learn to describe negative feelings in Bulgaria, is to get into the habit of identifying your own mood daily in Bulgarian. Here’s an easy way: in your travel journal, simply write down the Bulgarian word for how you feel each morning. You can get all the words directly from us at BulgarianPod101. Remember, also, that we have a huge online community if you need a friend to talk to. We’ve got you!

3. Conclusion

Now that you know how to express your bad feelings in Bulgarian, why not check out some other cool things on our site? You can sign up for the amazing free lifetime account – it’s a great place to start learning!

And really – make the most of your alone time. After all, it’s been proven that learning a new language not only benefits cognitive abilities like intelligence and memory, but it also slows down the brain’s aging. So, on those days when you just need to be away from people, we have some brain-boosting suggestions that will lift your spirits:

  • Have you heard of Roku? A Roku player is a device that lets you easily enjoy streaming, which means accessing entertainment via the internet on your TV. We have over 30 languages you can learn with Innovative Language TV. Lie back and enjoy!
  • If you like your Apple devices, we have over 690 iPhone and iPad apps in over 40 languages – did you know that? The Visual Dictionary Pro, for example, is super fun and makes learning vocab easy. For Android lovers, we have over 100 apps on the Android market, too.
  • You can also just kick back on the couch and close your eyes, letting your headphones do the work with our audiobooks – great for learning the culture while you master the language. Similarly, if you’re more of a reader, we have some fantastic iBooks that are super interesting and fun for practicing your daily conversation skills.

Whatever your learning style (or your mood), you’ll find something that appeals to you at BulgarianPod101. Come join us!

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Essential Vocabulary for Life Events in Bulgarian

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What is the most defining moment you will face this year? From memories that you immortalize in a million photographs, to days you never wish to remember, one thing’s for certain: big life events change you. The great poet, Bukowski, said, “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well, that death will tremble to take us.” The older I get, the more I agree with him!

Talking about significant events in our lives is part of every person’s journey, regardless of creed or culture. If you’re planning to stay in Bulgaria for more than a quick visit, you’re sure to need at least a few ‘life events’ phrases that you can use. After all, many of these are shared experiences, and it’s generally expected that we will show up with good manners and warm wishes.

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Table of Contents

  1. Life Events
  2. Marriage Proposal Lines
  3. Talking About Age
  4. Conclusion

1. Life Events

Do you know how to say “Happy New Year” in Bulgarian? Well, the New Year is a pretty big deal that the whole world is in on! We celebrate until midnight, make mindful resolutions, and fill the night sky with the same happy words in hundreds of languages. No doubt, then, that you’ll want to know how to say it like a local!

Big life events are not all about fun times, though. Real life happens even when you’re traveling, and certain terminology will be very helpful to know. From talking about your new job to wishing your neighbors “Merry Christmas” in Bulgarian, here at BulgarianPod101, we’ve put together just the right vocabulary and phrases for you.

1- Birthday – рожден ден (rozhden den)

If you’re like me, any excuse to bring out a pen and scribble a note is a good one. When there’s a birthday, even better: hello, handwriting!

Your Bulgarian friend will love hearing you wish them a “Happy birthday” in Bulgarian, but how much more will they appreciate a thoughtful written message? Whether you write it on their Facebook wall or buy a cute card, your effort in Bulgarian is sure to get them smiling! Write it like this:

Честит Рожден ден
Chestit Rozhden den

Older Woman Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake Surrounded by Friends.

Now that you know the words, I challenge you to put them to music and sing your own “Happy birthday” song in Bulgarian! It’s not impossible to figure out even more lyrics, once you start discovering the language from scratch.

2- Buy – купувам (kupuvam)

If there’s a special occasion, you might want to buy somebody a gift. As long as you’ve checked out Bulgarian etiquette on gift-giving (do a Google search for this!), it will be a lovely gesture. If you’re not sure what to buy, how about the awesome and universally-appealing gift of language? That’s a gift that won’t stop giving!

Two Women at a Counter in a Bookstore, One Buying a Book

3- Retire – пенсионирам се (pensioniram se)

If you’re planning to expand your mind and retire in Bulgaria, you can use this word to tell people why you seem to be on a perpetual vacation!

Retirement is also a great time to learn a new language, don’t you think? And you don’t have to do it alone! These days it’s possible to connect to a vibrant learning community at the click of a button. The added benefit of a Daily Dose of Language is that it keeps your brain cells alive and curious about the world. After all, it’s never too late to realize those long-ignored dreams of traveling the globe…

4- Graduation – дипломиране (diplomirane)

When attending a graduation ceremony in Bulgaria, be prepared for a lot of formal language! It will be a great opportunity to listen carefully and see if you can pick up differences from the everyday Bulgarian you hear.

Lecturer or University Dean Congratulating and Handing Over Graduation Certificate to a Young Man on Graduation Day.

5- Promotion – повишение (povishenie)

Next to vacation time, receiving a promotion is the one career highlight almost everyone looks forward to. And why wouldn’t you? Sure, it means more responsibility, but it also means more money and benefits and – the part I love most – a change of scenery! Even something as simple as looking out a new office window would boost my mood.

6- Anniversary – годишнина (godishnina)

Some anniversaries we anticipate with excitement, others with apprehension. They are days marking significant events in our lives that can be shared with just one person, or with a whole nation. Whether it’s a special day for you and a loved one, or for someone else you know, this word is crucial to know if you want to wish them a happy anniversary in Bulgarian.

7- Funeral – погребение (pogrebenie)

We tend to be uncomfortable talking about funerals in the west, but it’s an important conversation for families to have. Around the world, there are many different customs and rituals for saying goodbye to deceased loved ones – some vastly different to our own. When traveling in Bulgaria, if you happen to find yourself the unwitting observer of a funeral, take a quiet moment to appreciate the cultural ethos; even this can be an enriching experience for you.

8- Travel – пътувам (patuvam)

Travel – my favorite thing to do! Everything about the experience is thrilling and the best cure for boredom, depression, and uncertainty about your future. You will surely be forever changed, fellow traveler! But you already know this, don’t you? Well, now that you’re on the road to total Bulgarian immersion, I hope you’ve downloaded our IOS apps and have your Nook Book handy to keep yourself entertained on those long bus rides.

Young Female Tourist with a Backpack Taking a Photo of the Arc de Triomphe

9- Graduate – завършвам (zavarshvam)

If you have yet to graduate from university, will you be job-hunting in Bulgaria afterward? Forward-looking companies sometimes recruit talented students who are still in their final year. Of course, you could also do your final year abroad as an international student – an amazing experience if you’d love to be intellectually challenged and make a rainbow of foreign friends!

10- Wedding – сватба (svatba)

One of the most-loved traditions that humans have thought up, which you’ll encounter anywhere in the world, is a wedding. With all that romance in the air and months spent on preparations, a wedding is typically a feel-good affair. Two people pledge their eternal love to each other, ladies cry, single men look around for potential partners, and everybody has a happy day of merrymaking.

Ah, but how diverse we are in our expression of love! You will find more wedding traditions around the world than you can possibly imagine. From reciting love quotes to marrying a tree, the options leave no excuse to be boring!

Married Couple During Reception, Sitting at Their Table While a Young Man Gives a Wedding Speech

11- Move – премествам се (premestvam se)

I love Bulgaria, but I’m a nomad and tend to move around a lot, even within one country. What are the biggest emotions you typically feel when moving house? The experts say moving is a highly stressful event, but I think that depends on the circumstances. Transitional periods in our lives are physically and mentally demanding, but changing your environment is also an exciting adventure that promises new tomorrows!

12- Be born – роден (roden)

I was not born in 1993, nor was I born in Asia. I was born in the same year as Aishwarya Rai, Akon, and Monica Lewinsky, and on the same continent as Freddy Mercury. When and where were you born? More importantly – can you say it in Bulgarian?

13- Get a job – намирам работа (namiram rabota)

The thought of looking for a job in a new country can be daunting, but English speakers are in great demand in Bulgaria – you just have to do some research, make a few friends and get out there! Also, arming yourself with a few Bulgarian introductions that you can both say and write will give you a confidence boost. For example, can you write your name in Bulgarian?

Group of People in Gear that Represent a Number of Occupations.

14- Die – умирам (umiram)

Death is a universal experience and the final curtain on all other life events. How important is it, then, to fully live before we die? If all you have is a passport, a bucket list, and a willingness to learn some lingo, you can manifest those dreams!

15- Home – дом (dom)

If home is where the heart is, then my home is on a jungle island completely surrounded by the turquoise ocean. Right now, though, home is an isolation room with a view of half a dry palm tree and a tangle of telephone wires.

If you’re traveling to Bulgaria for an extended stay, you’ll soon be moving into a new home quite unlike anything you’ve experienced before!

Large, Double-Story House with Lit Windows.

16- Job – работа (rabota)

What job do you do? Does it allow you much time for travel, or for working on this fascinating language that has (so rightfully) grabbed your attention? Whatever your job, you are no doubt contributing to society in a unique way. If you’re doing what you love, you’re already on the road to your dream. If not, just remember that every single task is one more skill to add to your arsenal. With that attitude, your dream job is coming!

17- Birth – раждане (razhdane)

Random question: do you know the birth rate of Bulgaria?

If you’re lucky enough to be invited to see a friend’s baby just after they are born, you’ll have all my respect and all my envy. There is nothing cuter! Depending on which part of the country you’re in, you may find yourself bearing witness to some pretty unexpected birth customs. Enjoy this privilege!

Crying Newborn Baby Held By a Doctor or Nurse in a Hospital Theatre

18- Engaged – сгодявам се (sgodyavam se)

EE Cummings said, “Lovers alone wear sunlight,” and I think that’s most true at the moment she says “yes.” Getting engaged is something young girls dream of with stars in their eyes, and it truly is a magical experience – from the proposal, to wearing an engagement ring, to the big reveal!

In the world of Instagram, there’s no end to the antics as imaginative couples try more and more outrageous ways to share their engagement with the world. I love an airport flashmob, myself, but I’d rather be proposed to on a secluded beach – salt, sand, and all!

Engagement customs around the world vary greatly, and Bulgaria is no exception when it comes to interesting traditions. Learning their unique romantic ways will inspire you for when your turn comes.

Speaking of romance, do you know how to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” in Bulgarian?

19- Marry – женя (zhenya)

The one you marry will be the gem on a shore full of pebbles. They will be the one who truly mirrors your affection, shares your visions for the future, and wants all of you – the good, the bad and the inexplicable.

From thinking up a one-of-a-kind wedding, to having children, to growing old together, finding a twin flame to share life with is quite an accomplishment! Speaking of which…

2. Marriage Proposal Lines

Marriage Proposal Lines

Ah, that heart-stopping moment when your true love gets down on one knee to ask for your hand in marriage, breathlessly hoping that you’ll say “Yes!” If you haven’t experienced that – well, it feels pretty darn good, is all I can say! If you’re the one doing the asking, though, you’ve probably had weeks of insomnia agonizing over the perfect time, location and words to use.

Man on His Knee Proposing to a Woman on a Bridge.

How much more care should be taken if your love is from a different culture to yours? Well, by now you know her so well, that most of it should be easy to figure out. As long as you’ve considered her personal commitment to tradition, all you really need is a few words from the heart. Are you brave enough to say them in Bulgarian?

3. Talking About Age

Talking about Age

Part of the wonder of learning a new language is having the ability to strike up simple conversations with strangers. Asking about age in this context feels natural, as your intention is to practice friendly phrases – just be mindful of their point of view!

When I was 22, I loved being asked my age. Nowadays, if someone asks, I say, “Well, I’ve just started my fifth cat life.” Let them ponder that for a while.

In Bulgaria, it’s generally not desirable to ask an older woman her age for no good reason, but chatting about age with your peers is perfectly normal. Besides, you have to mention your birthday if you want to be thrown a birthday party!

4. Conclusion

Well, there you have it! With so many great new Bulgarian phrases to wish people with, can you think of someone who has a big event coming up? If you want to get even more creative, BulgarianPod101 has much to inspire you with – come and check it out! Here’s just some of what we have on offer at BulgarianPod101:

  • Free Resources: Sharing is caring, and for this reason, we share many free resources with our students. For instance, start learning Bulgarian with our basic online course by creating a lifetime account – for free! Also get free daily and iTunes lessons, free eBooks, free mobile apps, and free access to our blog and online community. Or how about free Vocabulary Lists? The Bulgarian dictionary is for exclusive use by our students, also for free. There’s so much to love about BulgarianPod101…!
  • Innovative Learning Tools and Apps: We make it our priority to offer you the best learning tools! These include apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Mac OSX; eBooks for Kindle, Nook, and iPad; audiobooks; Roku TV and so many more. This means that we took diverse lifestyles into account when we developed our courses, so you can learn anywhere, anytime on a device of your choice. How innovative!
  • Live Hosts and One-on-One Learning: Knowledgeable, energetic hosts present recorded video lessons, and are available for live teaching experiences if you upgrade. This means that in the videos, you get to watch them pronounce those tongue-twisters, as if you’re learning live! Add octane to your learning by upgrading to Premium Plus, and learn two times faster. You can have your very own Bulgarian teacher always with you, ensuring that you learn what you need, when you need to – what a wonderful opportunity to master a new language in record time!
  • Start Where You Are: You don’t know a single Bulgarian word? Not to worry, we’ve absolutely got this. Simply enroll in our Absolute Beginner Pathway and start speaking from Lesson 1! As your learning progresses, you can enroll in other pathways to match your Bulgarian level, at your own pace, in your own time, in your own place!

Learning a new language can only enrich your life, and could even open doors towards great opportunities! So don’t wonder if you’ll regret enrolling in BulgarianPod101. It’s the most fun, easy way to learn Bulgarian.

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Talk About the Weather in Bulgarian Like a Native

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Did you know that every minute of the day, one billion tons of rain falls on the earth? Hard to believe, considering the climate crisis! Of course, all that rain is not equally shared across the planet.

So, would you mention this fascinating fact to your new Bulgarian acquaintance? Well, small talk about local weather is actually a great conversation-starter. Everyone cares about the weather and you’re sure to hear a few interesting opinions! Seasons can be quite unpredictable these days and nobody knows the peculiarities of a region better than the locals.

BulgarianPod101 will equip you with all the weather vocabulary you need to plan your next adventure. The weather can even be an important discussion that influences your adventure plans. After all, you wouldn’t want to get caught on an inflatable boat with a two-horsepower motor in Hurricane Horrendous!

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Table of Contents

  1. Talking about the weather in Bulgaria
  2. Words for the first day of spring
  3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?
  4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary
  5. Winter
  6. BulgarianPod101 can prepare you for any season.

1. Talking about the weather in Bulgaria

Talking About Weather

If you’re like me, your day’s activity plan is likely to begin with a strong local coffee and a chat about what the sky is doing. After all, being prepared could be the difference between an amazing day and a miserable one! Luckily, it’s not difficult to comment on Bulgarian weather – just start with these simple words and phrases.

1- The rain is falling on the street – Дъждът пада на улицата (Dazhdat pada na ulitsata).

Watercolor artists, take out your paints! You might not be able to venture out on foot today, but just embrace the rain as part of your Bulgarian experience. When the rain stops, the air will be clean and colours vibrant.

2- The snow has covered everything – Снегът покрива всичко (Snegat pokriva vsichko).

A fresh blanket of snow is irresistibly beautiful. Pull on your boots and beanie, and leave your tracks in this foreign landscape. Don’t resist the urge to build a snowman – you need this!

3- Fluffy cloud – пухкав облак (puhkav oblak)

When you’re waiting for a warm beach day, fluffy white clouds in a blue sky are a good sign. Don’t forget your sunscreen, as clouds will intensify the UV rays hitting your skin.

Fluffy White Cloud in Clear Blue Sky

4- The water froze on the glass – Водата замръзна на стъклото (Vodata zamrazna na stakloto).

Night temperatures can get chilly and might freeze the condensation on your windows. A good way to clear them up is with warm salt water.

5- The heavy rain could cause flash flooding – Този порой може да причини светкавично наводнение (Tozi poroy mozhe da prichini svetkavichno navodnenie).

If you’re visiting Bulgaria in the wet season, it’s important to stay informed when heavy rain sets in, so keep an eye on the weather radar. Avoid river activities and rather spend this time making a home-cooked meal and brushing up on your Bulgarian weather words.

Heavy Rain in a Park

6- Flood – наводнение (navodnenie)

If you do get caught in a flood, your destination should no longer be ‘home’, but the nearest high ground.

7- The typhoon has hit – Тайфунът удари (Tayfunat udari).

Not all countries experience typhoons, but you need to know when to prepare for one! It will be very scary if you’ve never experienced one before. Your local neighbours are the best people to advise you on where to take shelter, as they’ve been doing it for generations. Be sure to get the low-down at the first sign of rough weather!

8- Check the weather report before going sailing – Провери прогнозата за времето преди да отплаваш (Proveri prognozata za vremeto predi da otplavash).

When planning an outdoor activity, especially on a body of water, always be prepared for a change in the weather. Ask your hotel receptionist or neighbour where you can get a reliable daily weather report, and don’t forget your sweater!

Two Men on Sailboat

9- Today’s weather is sunny with occasional clouds – Времето днес е слънчево с краткотрайни облаци (Vremeto dnes e slanchevo s kratkotrayni oblatsi).

Sunny weather is the dream when traveling in Bulgaria! Wake up early, pack the hats and sunblock and go and experience the terrain, sights and beautiful spots. You’ll be rewarded with happy vibes all around.

10- A rainy day – дъждовен ден (dazhdoven den)

Remember when you said you’d save the Bulgarian podcasts for a rainy day? Now’s that day!

11- Scenic rainbow – живописна дъга (zhivopisna daga)

The best part about the rain is that you can look forward to your first rainbow in Bulgaria. There’s magic in that!

12- Flashes of lightning can be beautiful, but are very dangerous – Просветванията на мълнията може да са красиви, но са много опасни (Prosvetvaniyata na malniyata mozhe da sa krasivi, no sa mnogo opasni).

Lightning is one of the most fascinating weather phenomena you can witness without really being in danger – at least if you’re sensible and stay indoors! Did you know that lightning strikes the earth 40-50 times per second? Fortunately, not all countries experience heavy electric storms!

Electric Storm

13- 25 degrees Celsius – двадесет и пет градуса по Целзий (dvadeset i pet gradusa po Tselziy)

Asking a local what the outside temperature will be is another useful question for planning your day. It’s easy if you know the Bulgarian term for ‘degrees Celsius’.

14- Fahrenheit – Фаренхайт (Farenhayt)

Although the Fahrenheit system has been replaced by Celsius in almost all countries, it’s still used in the US and a few other places. Learn this word in Bulgarian in case one of your companions develops a raging fever in one of those places.

15- Today the sky is clear – Днес небето е ясно (Dnes nebeto e yasno).

Clear skies mean you’ll probably want to get the camera out and capture some nature shots – not to mention the great sunsets you’ll have later on. Twilight can lend an especially magical quality to a landscape on a clear sky day, when the light is not filtered through clouds.

Hikers on Mountain with Clear Sky

16- Light drizzle – лек ситен дъждец (lek siten dazhdets)

Days when it’s drizzling are perfect for taking in the cultural offerings of Bulgaria. You could go to the mall and watch a Bulgarian film, visit museums and art galleries, explore indoor markets or even find the nearest climbing wall. Bring an umbrella!

17- Temperature – температура (temperatura)

Because of the coronavirus, many airports are conducting temperature screening on passengers. Don’t worry though – it’s just a precaution. Your temperature might be taken with a no-touch thermometer, which measures infrared energy coming off the body.

18- Humid – влажен (vlazhen)

I love humid days, but then I’m also a water baby and I think the two go
together like summer and rain. Find a pool or a stream to cool off in – preferably in the shade!

Humidity in Tropical Forest

19- With low humidity the air feels dry – При ниска влажност въздухът се чувства сух (Pri niska vlazhnost vazduhat se chuvstva suh).

These are the best days to go walking the hills and vales. Just take at least one Bulgarian friend with you so you don’t get lost!

20- The wind is really strong – Вятърът е наистина силен (Vyatarat e naistina silen).

A strong wind blows away the air pollution and is very healthy in that respect. Just avoid the mountain trails today, unless you fancy being blown across the continent like a hot air balloon.

21- It’s windy outside – Навън е ветровито (Navan e vetrovito).

Wind! My least favourite weather condition. Of course, if you’re a kitesurfer, a windy day is what you’ve been waiting for!

Leaves and Umbrella in the Wind

22- Wet roads can ice over when the temperature falls below freezing – Мокрите пътища могат да се заледят, когато температурата падне под замръзване (Mokrite patishta mogat da se zaledyat, kogato temperaturata padne pod zamrazvane).

The roads will be dangerous in these conditions, so please don’t take chances. The ice will thaw as soon as the sun comes out, so be patient!

23- Today is very muggy – Днес е много задушно (Dnes e mnogo zadushno).

Muggy days make your skin feel sticky and sap your energy. They’re particular to high humidity. Cold shower, anyone? Ice vest? Whatever it takes to feel relief from the humidity!

24- Fog – мъгла (magla)

Not a great time to be driving, especially in unknown territory, but keep your fog lights on and drive slowly.

Fog on a Pond with Ducks

25- Hurricane – ураган (uragan)

Your new Bulgarian friends will know the signs, so grab some food and candles and prepare for a night of staying warm and chatting about wild weather in Bulgaria.

Palm Trees in a Hurricane

26- Big tornado – голямо торнадо (golyamo tornado)

If you hear these words, it will probably be obvious already that everyone is preparing for the worst! Definitely do whatever your accommodation hosts tell you to do when a tornado is expected.

27- It’s cloudy today – Днес е облачно (Dnes e oblachno).

While there won’t be any stargazing tonight, the magnificent clouds over Bulgaria will make impressive photographs. Caption them in Bulgarian to impress your friends back home!

Cloudy Weather on Beach with Beach Huts

28- Below freezing temperatures – температури под нулата (temperaturi pod nulata)

When the temperature is below freezing, why not take an Uber and go shopping for some gorgeous Bulgarian winter gear?

Woman with Winter Gear in Freezing Weather

29- Wind chill is how cold it really feels outside – Вятърното охлаждане е колко студено се чувства навън (Vyatarnoto ohlazhdane e kolko studeno se chuvstva navan).

Wind doesn’t change the ambient temperature of the air, it just changes your body temperature, so the air will feel colder to you than it actually is. Not all your Bulgarian friends will know that, though, so learn this Bulgarian phrase to sound really smart!

30- Water will freeze when the temperature falls below zero degrees celsius – Водата ще замръзне, когато температурата падне под нула градуса по Целзий (Vodata shte zamrazne, kogato temperaturata padne pod nula gradusa po Tselziy).

If you’re near a lake, frozen water is good news! Forgot your ice skates? Don’t despair – find out where you can hire some. Be cautious, though: the ice needs to be at least four inches thick for safe skating. Personally, I just slide around on frozen lakes in my boots!

Thermometer Below Freezing Point

31- Waiting to clear up – чакам да се изясни (chakam da se izyasni)

Waiting for the weather to clear up so you can go exploring is frustrating, let’s be honest. That’s why you should always travel with two things: a scintillating novel and your Bulgarian Nook Book.

32- Avoid the extreme heat – избягвам горещината (izbyagvam goreshtinata)

Is the heat trying to kill you? Unless you’re a hardened heatwave hero, definitely avoid activity, stay hydrated and drink electrolytes. Loose cotton or linen garb is the way to go!

Hand Holding a Melting Ice Cream

33- Morning frost – сутрешна слана (sutreshna slana)

Frost is water vapour that has turned to ice crystals and it happens when the earth cools so much in the night, that it gets colder than the air above it. Winter is coming!

34- Rain shower – преваляване от дъжд (prevalyavane ot dazhd)

Rain showers are typically brief downpours that drench the earth with a good drink of water.

35- In the evening it will become cloudy and cold – Привечер ще се заоблачи и ще застудее (Privecher shte se zaoblachi i shte zastudee).

When I hear this on the Bulgarian weather channel, I buy a bottle of wine (red, of course) and wood for the fireplace. A cold and cloudy evening needs its comforts!

Snow in the Park at Night

36- Severe thunderstorm – силна гръмотевична буря (silna gramotevichna burya)

Keep an eye on the Bulgarian weather maps if it looks like a big storm is coming, so you’ll be well-informed.

37- Ice has formed on the window – Образувал се е лед на прозореца (Obrazuval se e led na prozoretsa).

You could try this phrase out on the hotel’s helpful cleaning staff, or fix the problem yourself. Just add a scoop or two of salt to a spray bottle of water – that should work!

38- Large hailstones – големи парчета град (golemi parcheta grad)

As a kid, I found hail crazy exciting. Not so much now – especially if I’m on the road and large hailstones start pummeling my windscreen!

Large Hailstones on a Wooden Floor

39- Thunder – гръмотевица гръмотевица (gramotevitsa)

The rumble of rolling thunder is that low-volume, ominous background sound that goes on for some time. It’s strangely exciting if you’re safely in your hotel room; it could either suddenly clear up, or escalate to a storm.

40- Sleet – суграшица (sugrashitsa)

Sleet is tiny hard pieces of ice made from a mixture of rain and melted snow that froze. It can be messy, but doesn’t cause major damage the way hail does. Pretty cool to know this word in Bulgarian!

2. Words for the first day of spring

You know the feeling: your heart skips a beat when you wake up and spring has sprung! Spring will reward you with new blossoms everywhere, birdsong in the air, kittens being born in the neighborhood and lovely views when you hit the trails. Pack a picnic and ask a new Bulgarian friend to show you the more natural sights. Don’t forget a light sweater and a big smile. This is the perfect time to practice some Bulgarian spring words!

Spring Vocabulary

3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?

Summer! Who doesn’t love that word? It conjures up images of blue skies, tan skin, vacations at the beach and cruising down the coast in an Alfa Romeo, sunglasses on and the breeze in your hair. Of course, in Bulgaria there are many ways to enjoy the summer – it all depends on what you love to do. One thing’s for sure: you will have opportunities to make friends, go on picnics, sample delicious local ice-cream and maybe even learn to sing some Bulgarian songs. It’s up to you! Sail into Bulgarian summer with this summer vocab list, and you’ll blend in with ease.

Four Adults Playing on the Beach in the Sand

4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary

Victoria Ericksen said, “If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour,” and I agree. Who can resist the beauty of fall foliage coloring the Bulgarian landscape? Birds prepare to migrate; travelers prepare to arrive for the best weather in Bulgaria.

The autumnal equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator, making day and night almost equal in length. The cool thing about this event is that the moon gets really bright – the ‘harvest moon’, as it’s traditionally known.

So, as much as the change of season brings more windy and rainy days, it also brings celebration. Whether you honor Thanksgiving, Halloween or the Moon Festival, take some time to color your vocabulary with these Bulgarian autumn words.

Autumn Phrases

5. Winter

Winter is the time the natural world slows down to rest and regroup. I’m a summer girl, but there are fabulous things about winter that I really look forward to. For one, it’s the only season I get to accessorize with my gorgeous winter gloves and snug down coat!

Then, of course, there’s ice skating, holiday decorations and bonfires. As John Steinbeck said, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” Get ready for the cold season with our list of essential Winter words!

Skier Sitting in the Snow

6. BulgarianPod101 can prepare you for any season.

Now that you know how to inquire and comment on the weather in Bulgaria, you
can confidently plan your weather-ready travel itinerary. How about this for an idea: the next
time you’re sitting in a Bulgarian street café, try asking someone local this question:

“Do you think the weather will stay like this for a few days?” If you loved learning these cool Bulgarian weather phrases with us, why not take it a step further and add to your repertoire? BulgarianPod101 is here to help!

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Tsvetnitsa: Celebrating Palm Sunday in Bulgaria

Palm Sunday in Bulgaria, also called Tsvetnitsa or Vrabnitsa, is a major Christian celebration with many fascinating traditions. In this article, you’ll learn about the significance of Palm Sunday for believers, look at how Bulgarians celebrate it, and gain some relevant Bulgarian vocabulary.

Let’s get started!

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1. What is Palm Sunday?

On Palm Sunday, Christians celebrate Влизането на Иисус в Йерусалим (Vlizaneto na Iisus v Yerusalim), or “Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.” According to the Bible, Jesus entered Jerusalem exactly one week before his Resurrection. Upon Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, a crowd of believers greeted him and threw palm sprigs at his feet.

On Palm Sunday, Bulgarians also celebrate the name day for anyone with a Име на цвете (Ime na tsvete), or “flower-related name.” There are many Bulgarian names related to flowers and plants: Tsvetan, Tsvetomir, Tsvetelina, Bozhura, Violeta, Nevena, Varban, Liliya, Zdravko, Yavor, Yasen, Iva, and many others.

2. When is Palm Sunday in Bulgaria?

Tsvetnitsa

The Palm Sunday date varies each year, along with the dates of Lent and Easter. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date in Bulgaria for the next ten years:

  • 2020: April 12
  • 2021: April 25
  • 2022: April 17
  • 2023: April 9
  • 2024: April 28
  • 2025: April 13
  • 2026: April 5
  • 2027: April 25
  • 2028: April 9
  • 2029: April 1

3. How is Palm Sunday Celebrated?

Various Easter Decorations

In Bulgaria, Palm Sunday is largely associated with plants, trees, and flowers, in addition to its religious connotation. The two elements often go hand-in-hand in Bulgarian traditions. For example, because people welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem with palm sprigs, people go to church with flowers or other plants on Palm Sunday. These flowers are then blessed and consecrated.

The most popular of these plants is the sprig of върба (varba), or “willow.” This is where Palm Sunday gets its other name, Vrabnitsa. After the willow sprigs have been blessed, worshipers take them home as Palm Sunday decorations for their front door or elsewhere in the home. Some Bulgarians believe that the willow sprigs protect their home from evil forces and disease, and bring health and happiness. Tsvetnitsa is a holiday of flowers, revival, and youth.

4. Kumichene

Do you know what unique Bulgarian custom is carried out on Palm Sunday?

This popular custom in Bulgaria is called kumichene. This is when girls gather by the river, carrying chaplets (a wreath worn on the head) and ceremonial bracelets called puppet. The girls float these chaplets and beads down the river and watch to see whose chaplet will be first.

5. Essential Palm Sunday Vocabulary

The Word Rosemary as a Name

Are you ready to review some of the Bulgarian vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important words and phrases for Palm Sunday!

  • Цвете (Tsvete) — “Flower”
  • Дърво (Dyrvo) — “Tree”
  • Великден (Velikden) — “Easter”
  • Върбова клонка (Varbova klonka) — “Palm leaf”
  • Имен ден (Imen den) — “Name day”
  • Влизането на Иисус в Йерусалим (Vlizaneto na Iisus v Yerusalim) — “Jesus’ entry in Jerusalem”
  • Име на цвете (Ime na tsvete) — “Flower-related name”
  • Върба (Varba) — “Willow”
  • Цветница (Tsvetnitsa) — “Tsvetnitsa”
  • Връбница (Vrabnitsa) — “Vrabnitsa”

To hear the pronunciation of each word and phrase, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Bulgarian Palm Sunday vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Palm Sunday in Bulgaria with us, and that you gained some valuable knowledge about Bulgarian traditions.

Do you celebrate Palm Sunday in your country? If so, are your traditions similar or quite different from those in Bulgaria? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

If you’re fascinated with Bulgarian culture and can’t get enough, we recommend that you check out the following pages on BulgarianPod101.com:

That should keep your thirst for knowledge satisfied for a little while, but for even more great learning resources, check out BulgarianPod101.com. If you like what you see, create your free lifetime account today and start learning about Bulgarian culture and the language with us!

Happy learning!

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Baba Marta: Celebrating Grandma March Day in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, Baba Marta Day (also called Grandma March Day) is a unique holiday associated with the beginning of spring, and can last all through the month of March. At its center is the mythical Baba Marta Bulgarian folktale character, who personifies every aspect of the month of March.

In this article, you’ll learn all about Baba Marta Day, the character behind it, and the most common traditions for the Baba Marta Bulgaria holiday. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

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1. What is Grandma March Day?

Baba Marta (Granny March Day) is a feast associated with the coming of spring and the mythical figure of Baba Marta.

According to the Baba Marta legend, she is the sister of two other characters, named Big Sechko and Little Sechko, who represent the months of January and February. Baba Marta represents the month of March, as well as the beginning of spring. Therefore, the holiday of Baba Marta is associated with the beginning of a new cycle in nature and with wishes for health and fertility.

In addition, Baba Marta is known for her often-changing mood and anger toward her brothers. Because March in Bulgaria is known for being a month of changing weather, it’s believed that Baba Marta is behind any bad weather or storms that occur during March.

2. When is Baba Marta?

A Cherry Blossom Tree in Full Bloom

Each year, Bulgarians officially begin celebrating Baba Marta Day on March 1, and the holiday can actually last all through the month of March.

3. Baba Marta Traditions & Celebrations

A Bulgarian Baba Marta Martenitsa Tied to a Tree Branch

The most common tradition on Baba Marta Day is that of the Мартеница (martenitsa), which is a Гривна (grivna), or “wrist band,” made of бял и червен конец (byal i cherven konets), or “red- and white-colored thread.” These two colors are said to represent different things; the red is for blood or life, and the white is purity and happiness. Oftentimes, people create their martenitsi with additional decorations, including beads, shells, and even garlic.

People wear these Baba Marta bracelets for most of March, believing them to act as protection against evil spirits, demons, and illness. In addition, it’s thought that Baba Marta martenitsi make Mother March happy, thus ensuring that the wearer has her favor.

In some parts of Bulgaria, martenitsi are worn in different ways depending on who the wearer is. Married men put martenitsi in their right sock, young single men wear them on their left pinkies, and young single girls wear them on the left sides of their dresses. When the wearer sees his or her first sign of spring, like a tree beginning to bloom or the arrival of a sparrow or Щъркел (shtarkel), meaning “stork,” he takes off his martenitsa and ties it to a tree.

4. Baba Yaga?

Baba Marta, for foreigners, may not seem very familiar. But maybe you’ve heard of Baba Yaga, a very similar character from Slavic folklore.

Baba Yaga is generally portrayed as wicked, although in some stories, she has been shown to guide characters with her wisdom. An old woman who lives in a chicken-legged hut, Baba Yaga kidnaps and eats little children and flies around on a pestle carrying a birch broom to cover her tracks.

While found in many Eastern European countries such as Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus, and Bulgaria, Baba Yaga figures most prominently in Russian and Polish folktales and literature.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Baba Marta Day

A Stork

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important vocabulary for Baba Marta Day!

  • Мартеница (martenitsa) — “martenitsa”
  • Гривна (grivna) — “wrist band”
  • Благоденствие (blagodenstvie) — “well-being”
  • Щъркел (shtarkel) — “stork”
  • бял и червен конец (byal i cherven konets) — “red and white colored thread”
  • Здраве (zdrave) — “health”
  • Баба Марта (Baba Marta) — “Granny Martha Day”
  • Баба Марта (Baba Marta) — “Grandma March Day”
  • цъфнало дърво (tsafnalo darvo) — “bloomed tree”
  • плетена гривна (pletena grivna) — “woven wrist band”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, check out our Bulgarian Grandma March Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

What are your thoughts on the Baba Marta holiday in Bulgaria? Who are the most popular mythical or folklore characters in your country? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re interested in learning more about Bulgarian culture and holidays, be sure to check out the following pages on BulgarianPod101.com:

Whatever your reasons for developing an interest in Bulgarian culture or the language, know that BulgarianPod101.com is the best way to expand your knowledge and improve your skills. With tons of fun and effective lessons for learners at every level, there’s something for everyone!

Create your free lifetime account today, and start learning Bulgarian like never before!

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Blagoveshtenie: Celebrating the Day of Epiphany in Bulgaria

The Day of Epiphany is a Christian holiday on which people celebrate the epiphany of the триединен Бог (triedinen Bog), or “triune God.” In this article, you’ll learn more about how Christians view the Epiphany holiday, and more specifically, how Bulgarians celebrate Epiphany.

At BulgarianPod101.com, we always aim to ensure that your language-learning journey is both fun and informative—starting with this article on Epiphany! Bulgarian customs may just surprise you. 😉

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Epiphany?

Epiphany is a very old holiday. According to the Orthodox Church, this is the day Jesus Christ was baptized in the River Jordan. Thus the holiday is also called “Baptism of the Lord.” The name Bogoyavlenie is formed by two words: bogo, meaning “God’s,” and yavlenie, which is a word meaning “appearance” or “manifestation.”

According to Christianity, at the baptism of Jesus Christ, the secret of the Holy Trinity appeared—the Son Jesus Christ in human form, the Holy Spirit as a dove alighting upon Jesus, and the Divine Voice of the Heavenly Father. Hence the name Bogoyavlenie.

Jesus Christ was baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist (Yoan Krastitel). The next day on the calendar, January 7, is Ivanovden—name-day of Ivan, Ivanka, etc., and the feast of Sveti Yoan Krastitel (Saint John the Baptist).

2. When is Epiphany in Bulgaria?

Adoration of the Magi

Each year, Epiphany (Bogoyavlenie) is celebrated on January 6 and is also a name-day for people carrying the names Yordan, Yordanka, and similar names. This is because these names derive from the name of the River Jordan (Yordan).

Other common names celebrated on this name-day are Bozhidar, Bozhan, Boyan, Bogdana, and Dancho.

3. Reading Practice: Bulgarian Celebration of the Epiphany

Swimming in Water

On Epiphany Day, Bulgarian traditions and customs reflect the theme of baptism.

Do you know how Bulgarian Christians celebrate Epiphany? Read the Bulgarian text below to find out, and check your reading skills against the English version.

На Йордановден се яде постно и на трапезата трябва задължително да присъстват царевичен хляб или царевични питки.

Популярен обичай на Богоявление е да се хвърля кръст в леденостудените води на реките. Обикновено мъже скачат да го уловят. Този, който го намери се смята, че ще бъде благословен с късмет.

On Yordanovden, people fast, and there must be cornbread or flat corn loaves on the table.

A popular custom on Epiphany is to cast a cross into the ice-cold water of the rivers. Usually, men jump in to take it; the one who finds it is considered to be blessed with luck.

4. Many Names

Epiphany in the Bulgarian culture is a holiday with many names. Do you know what they are?

Besides Baptism of the Lord, this day is also called Yordanovden, Winter Feast of the Cross, Enlightenment, Waters, and even Vodokrashti, because of the association with Jesus’s baptizing in the waters of Jordan.

5. Essential Bulgarian Vocab for Epiphany

Cleaning Hands in Water

Here’s some Bulgarian vocabulary you need to know for Epiphany!

  • състезавам се (sastezavam se) — compete
  • Кръщавам (krashtavam) — baptize
  • Кръст (krast) — cross
  • Мъдрец (madrets) — Wise Men
  • хвърлям във водата (hvarlyam vav vodata) — toss in the water
  • мъже танцуват в реката (mazhe tantsuvat v rekata) — men dancing in the river
  • Почитам (pochitam) — worship
  • поклонение на влъхвите (poklonenie na vlahvite) — adoration of the Magi
  • Водосвет (vodosvet) — sanctification of the water
  • триединен Бог (triedinen Bog) — triune God
  • Пречистване (prechistvane) — purification
  • скачам във водата (skacham vav vodata) — jump in the water
  • мокри дрехи (mokri drehi) — wet clothes

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Bulgarian Epiphany vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about the Bulgarian Epiphany traditions and the story behind this significant Christian holiday.

Do you celebrate Epiphany in your country? If so, how? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re interested in learning more about Bulgarian culture, or want to learn some wintery words to get you through the next couple of months, you may find the following pages useful:

Learning Bulgarian doesn’t have to be boring or overwhelming—with BulgarianPod101.com, it can even be fun! If you’re serious about mastering the language, but don’t have the time for the unnecessary hassle, create your free lifetime account today. You’ll be learning Bulgarian like never before!

Happy Bulgarian learning! 🙂

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