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How to Say Goodbye in Bulgarian

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Imagine that you were just introduced to someone, talked with them for a few minutes, and then left the conversation without saying goodbye. What would this person think about you? Saying goodbye in Bulgarian is as important as saying hello and introducing yourself. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Saying goodbye in the Bulgarian language will show that you respect your new Bulgarian friend and his or her language (even if you know very little Bulgarian).  
  • In addition, it will show your interlocutor that you’re willing to meet him or her again and that you’re interested in pursuing a friendship with them.
  • Saying goodbye in their language will make it easier for you to build close relationships with Bulgarians, and they’re likely to trust you more. 

In this article, BulgarianPod101.com will teach you everything you need to know about bidding native Bulgarians farewell in their own language. From how to give a formal goodbye in Bulgarian to the best ways to say goodbye to your new besties, we’ll provide you with the words and phrases you need to sound more like a native! Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. The Most Common Ways to Say Goodbye
  2. Specific Ways to Say Goodbye
  3. Common Goodbye Phrases in Bulgarian That Do Not Contain the Word “Goodbye”
  4. Cultural Insights Related to Saying Hello and Goodbye
  5. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn the Specifics of Bulgarian

1. The Most Common Ways to Say Goodbye

Most Common Goodbyes

There are many different ways to say hello and goodbye in Bulgarian depending on the situation. It’s important to note that Bulgarian differentiates between formal and informal language, meaning that you should choose your words carefully. Here, we’ve divided the most common Bulgarian goodbye phrases based on whether they’re formal or informal, so you can always choose the perfect parting words.

How to Give a Formal Goodbye in Bulgarian

Before we go any further, how do you know if your relationship with someone is formal? There are generally three stages in a formal relationship:

  • The introduction
  • Working together
  • Getting closer

Now, here are the most common ways to say goodbye in the Bulgarian language for each of these three stages.

Phase 1: Introduction

After you’ve been introduced to someone in a formal situation and talked a while, the best Bulgarian word for goodbye is:

  • Довиждане!
    Dovizhdane!
    “Goodbye!”

This word actually consists of two different words: до (do), meaning “until,” and виждане (vizhdane), meaning “seeing.” It means: “Until I see you again.” Because this is a common Bulgarian word for goodbye, it’s versatile and can be used any time of the day.

Phase 2: Working together

Here’s another formal phrase, which can be used among colleagues or in other formal situations:

  • До утре!
    Do utre!
    “See you tomorrow!”

In particular, you should use this phrase when you know you’ll be meeting the other person frequently. Although Довиждане! is a great phrase to use during your initial acquaintance with someone, it can be considered too formal once you become closer to that colleague. It’s better to use До утре! in this phase of your formal relationship. 

До скоро! is another popular phrase:

  • До скоро!
    Do skoro!
    “See you soon!”

You could use this one, for example, on a Friday evening before you leave work for the weekend.

Phase 3: Getting closer

After you’ve become more friendly with your colleagues, it’s time to move forward to less formal goodbyes in Bulgarian. A couple of good options are:  

  • Ще тръгвам.
    Shte tragvam.
    “I’ll be going.”
  • Приятна вечер! 
    Priyatna vecher!
    “Have a nice evening!”
Saying Goodbye in Bulgarian Is Important for Building New Friendships!

How to Give an Informal Goodbye in Bulgarian

The most casual way to say goodbye in the Bulgarian language is to say:

  • Чао! 
    Chao!
    “Bye!”

Although this word was taken from Italian, it’s probably the most common word Bulgarians use to say bye. 

Now, let’s see how to end three different types of informal conversations: with a friend, with a family member, and with your boyfriend/girlfriend.

Situation 1: Conversation with a friend

If you say Довиждане! to your close friend, he or she might find it a bit distant or cold. So here are three ways to say bye to your friends:

  • Ще се видим по-късно! 
    Shte se vidim po-kasno!
    “See you later!”
  • До по-късно! 
    Do po-kasno!
    “See you later!”
  • Чао-чао! 
    Chao-chao!
    “Bye-bye!”

The last expression (Чао-чао!) creates a warm and close atmosphere and shows that you would like to see your friend again in the near future.

Situation 2: Conversation with a family member

If you’re married to a Bulgarian, you’ll have a lot of Bulgarian relatives—from your mother-in-law all the way down to your sister-in-law. Imagine that you bump into them on the street and you start a short conversation: 

    Как си?
    Kak si?
    “How are you?”
    Добре съм. Как са децата?
    Dobre sam. Kak sa detsata?
    “I am fine. How are the kids?”
    Ходят на училище, учат.
    Hodyat na uchilishte, uchat.
    “They go to school and study.”
    Съжалявам, но бързам за работа!
    Sazhalyavam, no barzam za rabota!
    “Sorry, but I’m in a hurry for work!”

And now’s the time to politely say goodbye in Bulgarian without offending them. Here are two great ways to do that:

  • До скоро! Поздрави вкъщи! 
    Do skoro! Pozdravi vkashti!
    “See you soon! Greetings at home!”
  • Радвам се, че се видяхме! 
    Radvam se, che se vidyahme!
    “I’m glad to see you!”

Situation 3: Conversation with your boyfriend/girlfriend

There are a few specific phrases for goodbye that should only be used between people in an intimate relationship. They’re intended to show your partner that you really care about and love them. 

  • Пази се!
    Pazi se!
    “Take care!”
  • Ще се видим утре! Обичам те! 
    Shte se vidim utre! Obicham te!
    “See you tomorrow! I love you!”
  • Ще си мисля за теб!
    Shte si mislya za teb!
    “I’ll think about you!”
  • Ще ми липсваш!
    Shte mi lipsvash!
    “I’ll miss you!”
I'll Miss You!

2. Specific Ways to Say Goodbye

Depending on the situation, there are several different ways you can say goodbye in Bulgarian. For example, if you’re only leaving for a few hours, you’ll say goodbye differently than if you were leaving for a long time (or even forever). Here are common Bulgarian goodbye sayings that you can use in a variety of contexts.

Short-Term Goodbyes

Here are five phrases that Bulgarians often use when they’re leaving for only a short while: 

  • Чао! До скоро! 
    Chao! Do skoro!
    “Bye! See you soon!”
  • Ще се видим скоро! 
    Shte se vidim skoro!
    “See you soon!”
  • Чао-чао! Пази се! 
    Chao-chao! Pazi se!
    “Bye-bye! Take care!”
  • Довиждане! Всичко най-хубаво! 
    Dovizhdane! Vsichko nay-hubavo!
    “Goodbye! All the best!”
  • Довиждане! Приятен ден! 
    Dovizhdane! Priyaten den!
    “Goodbye! Have a nice day!”

You might have already noticed that the first three examples are used in informal situations, while the second two are more formal. Below is a situation where you could use one of the formal goodbyes.

Let’s say you’ve just finished eating at a restaurant, and you’re paying for your meal. How would you thank your waiter in Bulgarian, and say goodbye? Here’s what to say to anyone who’s offered you services:

  • Благодаря Ви за обслужването! Довиждане и лека работа! 
    Blagodarya Vi za obsluzhvaneto! Dovizhdane i leka rabota!
    “Thank you for your service! Goodbye and good luck!” (Literally: “I wish you an easy job!”)
Say Thank You and Goodbye in Bulgarian for Any Kind of Services!

Long-Term Goodbyes

When parting for long periods of time, Bulgarians usually express their hope of seeing each other again. Here are four examples of what you can say:

  • Надявам се някой ден да се видим отново!
    Nadyavam se nyakoy den da se vidim otnovo!
    “I hope to see you again someday!”
  • Желая ти всичко най-добро!
    Zhelaya ti vsichko nay-dobro!
    “I wish you all the best!”
  • Остани със здраве!
    Ostani sas zdrave!
    “Stay healthy!”
  • На добър час!
    Na dobar chas!
    “Good luck!”
Saying Goodbye in Bulgarian for a Long Period of Time!

Saying Goodbye Forever

Parting forever is never a happy event, especially if you love that person. Bulgarians have a special word for this occasion. It’s used when a friend is moving to live abroad, or when they’re dying. 

  • Сбогом!
    Sbogom!
    “Farewell!”

This expression consists of two words: the preposition с (s), meaning “with,” and Богом (bogom), meaning “God.” Together, it means “with God,” and it’s like saying “I leave you in God’s hands.”

Ending a Phone Call in Bulgarian

English-speakers often use the common phrases “See you” or “Bye” when ending a phone call. In contrast, Bulgarians have a specific word for ending phone calls. It literally means: “Hear you soon!”

  • Дочуване!
    Dochuvane!
    “Bye!”

Because people don’t “see” each other over the phone, Bulgarians use the word “hear” instead. So instead of Довиждане (До – виждане) (Dovizhdane), they say Дочуване (До – чуване) (Dochuvane).

Saying Goodbye in Bulgarian Is Important for Building New Friendships!
    ➢ Listen to a real-life phone call that ends with the word Дочуване (Dochuvane).

3. Common Goodbye Phrases in Bulgarian That Don’t Contain the Word “Goodbye”

Did you know that Bulgarians can say goodbye without actually using goodbye phrases like Довиждане (Dovizhdane) or Чао (Chao)? It’s good to know at least some of them, so you can recognize them in your conversations with native Bulgarian-speakers.

  • Приятен ден!
    Priyaten den!
    “Have a nice day!”
  • Всичко най-хубаво!
    Vsichko nay-hubavo!
    “All the best!”
  • Всичко добро!
    Vsichko dobro!
    “All the best!”
  • До следващия път!
    Do sledvashtiya pat!
    “Until next time!”
  • До нови срещи!
    Do novi sreshti!
    “See you soon!”
  • Хайде!
    Hayde!
    “Bye!”

The word Хайде (Hayde) is typically used to mean “Let’s” as in “Let’s do something.” Here’s an example:

  • Хайде да отидем на кино.
    Hayde da otidem na kino.
    “Let’s go to the cinema.”

But when someone says Хайде (Hayde) at the end of a conversation, it means “Bye.” In response, you can simply say:

  • Хайде!
    Hayde!
    “Bye!”

Or:

  • Хайде! Ще се видим пак!
    Hayde! Shte se vidim pak!
    “Bye! See you soon!”

4. Cultural Insights Related to Saying Hello and Goodbye

Bulgarian people are open to foreigners and often invite them into their homes to show their hospitality. If you find yourself invited to a native’s home, be mindful to take off your shoes at the door as this is customary in Bulgaria. If you don’t, you’ll offend your host and they’ll take it as a sign of disrespect.

You should also bring a gift with you; we recommend some fruits or something you cooked. It’s a good Bulgarian custom, showing that you thought of the person who invited you, and prepared something special for him or her.

When You Are Invited to Visit a Bulgarian House, Go with a Small Gift!

When it comes to saying goodbye in Bulgarian, you’ll be just fine as long as you know how to use the most common formal and informal phrases. You can use the same phrases regardless of gender, age, or status, which makes things much easier than in other languages like Korean. 

The word до (do) helps create a range of goodbye phrases in Bulgaria. Let’s examine some of them here, keeping in mind that you’ve already seen some of these earlier in the article: 

  • Довиждане!
    Dovizhdane!
    “Goodbye!”
  • Дочуване!
    Dochuvane!
    “Bye!”
  • До скоро!
    Do skoro!
    “See you soon!”
  • До утре!
    Do utre!
    “See you tomorrow!”
  • До нови срещи!
    Do novi sreshti!
    “See you soon!”
  • До понеделник!
    Do ponedelnik!
    “Until Monday!”

Here, you can replace понеделник (ponedelnik), or “Monday,” with any other day of the week.

5. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn the Specifics of Bulgarian

BulgarianPod101 is a great source of practical examples and cultural insights, designed to help foreigners know how to use the words and phrases they’ve learned. For example, our goal for this article was to teach you not only Bulgarian goodbye phrases, but how and when to use them correctly. 

If you feel like you’ll need some personal guidance to master this topic (or any other topic you’re struggling with!), you can choose a teacher from our MyTeacher program. This native Bulgarian expert will help you get a deeper understanding of the language-related and cultural nuances you’ll need to succeed! 

Does saying goodbye in Bulgarian seem easier now than it did before? Or is there something you still have questions about? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll help you out the best we can!

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

How Hard is it to Learn Bulgarian? Overcome the Difficulties.

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Learning a new language is like starting a new journey! It opens up hundreds of opportunities for you and acquaints you with different ways of thinking, unknown cultures, unique people, a rich history, and ways of life you may not be familiar with. By learning a country’s language, you also learn about that country’s cuisine, festivals, traditions, and customs. And considering the rich cultural heritage of Bulgaria, Bulgarian is one language you’ll love learning. 

That said, how hard is it to learn Bulgarian? 

If you start by learning the grammar—all those endless verb forms and conjugations, as well as the adjectives and their forms—there’s a good chance that you’ll soon become lost in the multiple rules and give up. This is not a good way to start, especially if you’re an absolute beginner.

Focusing on Bulgarian Grammar Rules Can Soon Cause You to Give Up!

As you can see, how difficult Bulgarian is for you depends on how you choose to learn. Yes, learning a new language can be a challenge, but anyone can do it! BulgarianPod101 is here not only to motivate you in your studies and to dispel all your doubts, but also to make the process of learning fun and pleasurable—just like each new journey should be. 

So let’s take a look at what things might make the Bulgarian language hard to learn and how to overcome them. See for yourself that it is easy to learn Bulgarian with BulgarianPod101.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. Is it Hard to Learn Bulgarian?
  2. What are the Hardest and Easiest Parts of Learning Bulgarian?
  3. I Want to Learn Bulgarian. Where Should I Start?
  4. Five Tips for New Bulgarian Learners
  5. Why Don’t You Start Learning Bulgarian Right Away? (4 Practical Exercises)
  6. Why is BulgarianPod101 Great for Learning Bulgarian?

1. Is it Hard to Learn Bulgarian?

The very first challenge that new Bulgarian-learners face is studying the Cyrillic alphabet. Yes, it’s completely different from the Latin alphabet, but fortunately, there’s an easy way to learn the Bulgarian alphabet. Let’s study it together!

How to Learn the Bulgarian Alphabet Easier

To make the learning process easier, let’s review the Bulgarian alphabet in chunks. We’ll start with the similarities that you can easily recognize between the two alphabet systems.

Bulgarian LettersEnglish Letters
АаАа
БбBb
Дд Dd
ЕеEe
ЗзZz (note that this Bulgarian letter looks like the cursive ‘Z’ in English)
КкKk
МмMm
ОоOo
ТтTt

Isn’t it great that you already know nine Bulgarian letters? Let’s move on.

The next thing to remember is that:

  • The Bulgarian В is not the English B
  • The Bulgarian H is not the English H
  • The Bulgarian P is not the English P 

Here’s how to remember them:

Bulgarian ВвEnglish Vv
Bulgarian English Nn
Bulgarian English Rr

So far, we’ve covered twelve out of thirty Bulgarian letters. Not bad, right? Let’s move forward.

Bulgarian LettersEnglish Letters
Гг Gg
ПпPp
ФфFf
ЛлLl
УуUu (pronounced like “oo” in “tool”)
ХхHh
Ии (like opposite N)Ii (pronounced like “i” in “igloo”)
CcSs

Twenty letters so far. Let’s practice their pronunciation! Try to read the following words, and then check their pronunciation in parentheses below! To get a headstart in your vocabulary learning, you can also make flashcards for these words. 

  • баба, каза, мама, коза, мотор, паун, доктор, ухо
    (baba, kaza, mama, koza, motor, paun, doktor, ooho)
    grandma, said, mom, goat, motor, peacock, doctor, ear

Excellent! Now, let’s study ten more Bulgarian letters. 

Although English-speakers are not accustomed to these next letters (as most of them are pronounced as a combination of two or more sounds), we believe that you’ll get used to them with some practice. For example, you can study two letters a day (one in the morning and one in the evening) and have them memorized in just five days!

Bulgarian LettersEnglish Letters
ЖжPronounced like ZH or like S in “treasure”
ЙйPronounced like Y in “yes”
ЦцPronounced like TS in “fits”
ЧчPronounced like CH in “church”
ШшPronounced like SH in “shoe”
ЩщPronounced like SHT in “shtick”
ЪъPronounced like U in “turn”
ьSoft sign
ЮюPronounced like YU or U in “menu”
Яя (like a backwards R)Pronounced like YA in “yacht”

The easiest way to get used to these letters is through practical reading exercises. For example, try to read the following word:

  • мартеница
    (martenitsa)
Bulgarian мартеница

You can read more about the Bulgarian мартеница, which will help you learn more about the traditions of this country.

Here are a few more words for practicing your Bulgarian reading skills:

  • щастие, шал, човек, цвете, жаба
    (shtastie, shal, chovek, tsvete, zhaba)
    happiness, scarf, man, flower, frog

Don’t forget to make more flashcards! We’ll be practicing some of these words again in a later section of this article. Hopefully, this new approach to learning the Bulgarian alphabet will help you memorize it easier.
    BulgarianPod101 has prepared a detailed guide to the Bulgarian alphabet that can be downloaded here for free. We highly recommend it for beginners!

2. What are the Hardest and Easiest Parts of Learning Bulgarian?

Now that you’ve overcome the first difficulty, which is learning the Bulgarian alphabet, let’s take a look at what makes Bulgarian hard to learn (and which things make it pretty easy).

What is the Hardest Part of Learning Bulgarian?

One of the biggest difficulties for Bulgarian-learners is pronunciation, especially when Bulgarian textbooks make it seem even more complicated. But how difficult is it to learn Bulgarian pronunciation and phonetic changes, really? Well, once you have the alphabet down, the process really isn’t so difficult. These five tips will help you a lot!

Tip #1 – Imitate native Bulgarian-speakers!

The more you listen to how natives speak, the better. Doing so will allow you to get used to the proper pronunciation and the accents. Just like little children, we learn better by imitating others than by reading rules and instructions.

Tip #2 – Start reading short Bulgarian texts by repeating what you hear!

The best way to do this is by listening to a dialogue between native speakers and repeating what they say. Luckily, BulgarianPod101.com has tons of audio and video lessons featuring native speaker dialogues with transcripts. Perfect for practicing your reading, listening, and speaking skills at the same time!

Listen and Repeat!

Tip #3 – The more you practice, the better your pronunciation will get!

While you can’t expect to have perfect pronunciation after only a month of practice, practicing every day will significantly improve your pronunciation over time. This is because you’ll get used to the difficult words through exposure, and they won’t seem so hard anymore. 

Tip #4 – Don’t be afraid to talk to others in Bulgarian!

This is the most important tip! Even if your pronunciation isn’t very good yet, try to speak daily with native Bulgarians. This will improve your pronunciation little by little.  

Tip #5 – Learn the longer words in chunks!

The long words are hardest to pronounce. But if you divide them into syllables, the pronunciation will seem much easier. For example:

  • Здравейте
    (Zdraveyte)
    “Hello” – for formal or plural form

Can be divided into:

Здрав – ей – те – and the accent falls on the second syllable

  • Благодаря
    (Blagodarya)
    “Thank you!”

Can be divided into:

Благо – да – ря – and the accent falls on the last syllable

Is it Hard to Learn Bulgarian Verbs?

The answer is yes, unless you know this trick to memorize them easier: 

Divide the verbs into groups with common roots and different prefixes that change the meaning of each verb. Here’s an example of such a group:

Bulgarian verb + pronunciationEnglish meaning
    казвам (kazvam)  “I say”
приказвам (prikazvam)“I speak”
разказвам (razkazvam)“I narrate”
доказвам (dokazvam)“I prove”
наказвам (nakazvam)“I punish”
показвам (pokazvam“I show”
изказвам (izkazvam)“I express”
наприказвам (naprikazvam)“get my fill of talking”

And here’s another example:

Bulgarian verb + pronunciationEnglish meaning
    пиша (pisha)  “I write”
впиша (vpisha)“I еnter” (like entering a name on a list)
напиша (napisha)“I write down”
допиша (dopisha)“I finish writing”
запиша (zapisha)“I note down”
надпиша (nadpisha“I inscribe”
изпиша (izpisha)“I cover with writing”
подпиша (podpisha)“I sign”
препиша (prepisha)“I transcribe”
припиша (pripisha)“I ascribe,” “I attribute”
отпиша (otpisha)“I unsubscribe”

You can make flashcards for these verb groups to memorize them easier.

Make Flashcards!

What is the Easiest Part of Learning Bulgarian?

It’s reasonable to start learning the easiest part of Bulgarian first: cognate words, or the ones that sound and look similar in English and Bulgarian. If you’ve learned the Bulgarian alphabet, you’ll see how easy it is to learn Bulgarian words that have a common origin with those in English.

Here are some examples of cognate words:

Bulgarian word + pronunciationEnglish meaning
студент (student)  “student”
идeя (eedeya)“idea”
банан (banan)“banana”
клас (klas)“class”
център (tsentar)“center”
сестра́ (sestra“sister”
хумор (humor)“humor”
проект (proyekt)“project”
филм (film)“film,” “movie”

Again, we recommend that you make flashcards of these cognates. We’ll be going over them again in section five.


3. I Want to Learn Bulgarian. Where Should I Start?

We’ve already mentioned that the best starting point for learning Bulgarian is to memorize the alphabet, and then make flashcards of cognate words. Here, we’ll give you some simple tips that will motivate you and help you achieve your desired Bulgarian fluency! 

Tip #1 – Make your own achievable schedule with pre-set goals.

Try to divide your learning into easy stages and set a specific period of time to study each new level. If you’re motivated enough to learn Bulgarian, you should set aside at least fifteen minutes a day to study. This is a good amount of time that will allow you to really learn something without interfering with your schedule. Regular learning is essential for your progress, so don’t be lazy by skipping a day or two!

Imagine your language learning as a wall that you have to build by adding bricks daily. Each day of study equals one more brick. But if you stop studying the language for a long period of time, it’s quite probable that some of your bricks will fall out and bring down the rest of the wall.

Build Your Language Wall by Adding Bricks to It on a Daily Basis!

Tip #2 – Make your learning fun!

There are a few ways to achieve this. For example, you can make your own flashcards and play a game with them, watch intriguing TV series in Bulgarian, learn about dates in Bulgarian, listen to popular Bulgarian songs, and the list goes on.

If there’s a topic you’re interested in, you can start by learning related Bulgarian vocabulary, doing research, and studying materials from Bulgarian sources.

Tip #3 – Find a Bulgarian friend!

One of the best ways to practice Bulgarian is to speak with a real Bulgarian. Find a Bulgarian friend to help you improve your conversational skills and achieve fluency faster. By speaking with him or her, you’ll remove your language barrier faster and increase your confidence, which is a surefire way to success.

Tip #4 – Review what you have learned so far!

It’s essential to review new vocabulary at least once a week until you get used to it. Your brain needs time to build solid roads in the new language, so you have to go through these new words often until they go from being tiny paths to being wide highways. 

Tip #5 – Don’t give up!

There will be moments when learning Bulgarian won’t be as easy and fun as you wish. You just need to overcome these challenges instead of giving up. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, as mistakes will help you get better.

Here’s a motivational thought from Theodore Roosevelt: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” In Bulgarian, this is:

  • Ако вярвате, че можете, вече сте изминали половината път.
    (Ako vyarvate, che mozhete, veche ste izminali polovinata pat.)
Believe You Can and You're Halfway There!

4. Five Tips for New Bulgarian Learners

Want to learn Bulgarian easy and fast? BulgarianPod101 has some tips for new learners! Follow our advice, and you’ll learn to speak Bulgarian in no time.

Tip #1 – Do all five!

The five elements of language-learning are: watching, reading, listening, writing, and speaking. To improve your Bulgarian language skills, you need to advance in all of these elements. How can you do this?

  • Watching: Watch Bulgarian TV shows, Bulgarian movies, or Bulgarian news channels on a daily basis.
  • Reading: Read Bulgarian books in your favorite genre, articles, news, letters, etc.
  • Listening: You can listen to Bulgarian radio or even popular Bulgarian songs.
  • Writing: Write as many new words as possible, and try forming sentences with them.
  • Speaking: Don’t be afraid of speaking Bulgarian with your Bulgarian friend, in the shop, or wherever you go.

Tip #2 – Repeat, repeat, repeat…

In order to get used to the language’s rhythm, listen to new phrases and sentences over and over again until you start to recognize and understand the meaning. Try to imitate the native speaker as closely as possible.

Tip #3 – Perfect your pronunciation!

You can achieve some great results by using a voice-recording tool. It will allow you to listen to your pronunciation and compare it to that of a native speaker. This way, you can more easily recognize the sounds that you pronounce differently and fix them. 

Tip #4 – Take a dictionary wherever you go!

This is a great way to learn new words while waiting in line, drinking your coffee, or even while you’re out walking. This is a natural way to learn during your free time.

Tip #5 – Master recorded dialogues!

Whenever you listen to recorded dialogues by native speakers, pay extra attention. Study the lines, learn them by heart, and begin understanding how to reply to someone in everyday conversations. 

Another great way to learn Bulgarian is by using a Bulgarian app.

5. Why Don’t You Start Learning Bulgarian Right Away? (4 Practical Exercises)

You don’t have to wait any longer to start learning Bulgarian! Simply complete the following exercises, starting with the Bulgarian alphabet.

Exercise 1: Practice the Bulgarian Alphabet

Complete the table by filling in the English version of the following letters:

Bulgarian LettersEnglish Letters
Аа 
Бб
Дд 
Ее 
Зз
Кк 
Мм
Оо
Тт

That was easy, right? Now, let’s make things harder. Write the Bulgarian version of these English letters:

Bulgarian LettersEnglish Letters
 Gg
 Pp
 Ff
 Ll
 Uu (pronounced like “oo” in “tool”)
 Hh
 Ii (pronounced like “i” in “igloo”)
 Ss

The hardest part is below. Write the English versions of the following Bulgarian letters. (Note that the first three look like specific English letters, but are different.)

Bulgarian LettersEnglish Letters
Вв
Нн
Рр
Жж
Йй
Цц
Чч
Шш
Щщ
Ъъ
ь
Юю
Яя 

Exercise 2: Practice Reading

Now that you know the alphabet, it’s time to start reading. Read the following words out loud and check their pronunciation and meaning:

  • кокошка (kokoshka) – “hen”
  • октопод (oktopod) – “octopus”
  • врата (vrata) – “door”
  • къща (kаshta) – “house”

Now, let’s read some simple sentences:

  • Той отвори вратата.
    (Toy otvori vratata.)
    “He opened the door.”
  • Вратата на къщата е бяла.
    (Vratata na kashtata e byala.)
    “The house’s door is white.”
  • Вратата на къщата се отвори.
    (Vratata na kashtata se otvori.)
    “The house’s door opened.”
  • Кокошката влезе през вратата.
    (Kokoshkata vleze prez vratata.)
    “The hen came in through the door.”

Exercise 3: Practice Flashcards

If you’ve been following our guidelines, you should have about forty flashcards so far with nouns and verbs. If you haven’t made them yet, it’s time to write and review them now, before completing this exercise.

Find the following flashcards: студент, пиша, проект. Place them in a row in this order. Now, let’s write down a grammatically correct sentence.

  • Студентът пише проект.
    (Studentat pishe proekt.)
    “The student writes a project.”

Now, find these flashcards: човек, филм. Let’s write down a grammatically correct sentence.

  • Човекът гледа филм.
    (Chovekat gleda film.)
    “The man is watching a movie.”

Now, find these flashcards: мама, записвам, идея. Let’s write down a grammatically correct sentence.

  • Мама записва идея.
    (Mama zapisva ideya.)
    “Mom writes down an idea.”

Another great game with flashcards is to match each word with its English meaning.

Exercise 4: Introducing Yourself in Bulgarian

Let’s start with some simple sentences that you can use to introduce yourself:

  • Здравейте! Аз съм (your name).
    (Zdraveyte! Az sam)
    “Hello! I am (your name).”
  • А ти как се казваш?
    (A ti kak se kazvash?)
    “And what is your name?”
  • Приятно ми е да се запознаем.
    (Priyatno mi e da se zapoznaem.)
    “Nice to meet you.”
  • Откъде си?
    (Otkade si?)
    “Where are you from?”
  • Аз съм от (your country here).
    (Az sam ot)
    “I’m from (your country here).”

BulgarianPod101 has a list of the Bulgarian pronunciations of some countries. Check it out and fill in the blank with your country. 

In this ten-minute video, you can learn some other useful expressions that will help you introduce yourself in Bulgarian:

6. Why is BulgarianPod101 Great for Learning Bulgarian?

BulgarianPod101 is an inexhaustible source of materials, guides, and practical exercises that will help you learn and master the Bulgarian language. Our team of native Bulgarian professionals has prepared this and many other reviews and guides, many of which you can download or view for free. But in order to gain full access to all of our website’s features, sign up today and have seven days of complete access for free.

BulgarianPod101 even offers a free app that’s available for Android, iPhone, iPad, and Kindle Fire. In case this isn’t enough and you feel that you need professional guidance, you can choose your Bulgarian teacher from MyTeacher and he/she will help you learn Bulgarian in a way that works for you! 

Did you find this article helpful? Have we motivated you to start learning Bulgarian? We look forward to hearing from you and will help out the best we can!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Bulgarian

An Overview of the 10 Most Common Mistakes in Bulgarian

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There’s a Bulgarian saying that states:

  • Глупавият се учи от собствените си грешки, а умният – от грешките на другите! 
    Glupaviyat se uchi ot sobstvenite si greshki, a umniyat – ot greshkite na drugite!
    “The fool learns from his own mistakes, and the smart person learns from the mistakes of others!”

So why not become one of those smart people yourself? You can learn from the Bulgarian mistakes other learners have made, instead of repeating them and getting into some awkward situations.

BulgarianPod101 has prepared this detailed overview of the most common mistakes in the Bulgarian language, providing you with detailed explanations of rules, plenty of examples, and tips for avoiding these Bulgarian mistakes in your conversations with native speakers. This article will help you gain more confidence in your communication with Bulgarians!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. Pronunciation Mistakes
  2. Vocabulary Word Mistakes
  3. Word Order Mistakes
  4. Grammar Mistakes
  5. Short and Long Definite Article
  6. Common Verb Tense Mistakes
  7. Semantic Mistakes
  8. Mistakes Involving Typical Bulgarian Expressions
  9. Embarrassing Mistakes
  10. Other Mistakes
  11. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You

1. Pronunciation Mistakes

Here are some common pronunciation mistakes for Bulgarian-learners that you can start avoiding right now. Just study the following pronunciation rules:

Rule #1: The Bulgarian letter “P”

The Bulgarian letter “P” is always pronounced as a trilled English “R,” and never pronounced like the “R” in words like “far” or “father.”  

Bulgarians teach their children to pronounce this letter properly from an early age using this popular tongue-twister:

  • Рачо реже риба.
    Racho rezhe riba.
    “The crab is cutting the fish.”

Rule #2: Voiced and voiceless consonants in Bulgarian

In Bulgarian, each voiced consonant has a voiceless counterpart. There’s only one voiceless consonant that doesn’t have a voiced counterpart, which is the letter “Х.” Take a look at these voiced-voiceless pairs:

Voiced ConsonantsVoicelessConsonants
БП
ДТ
ГК
ВФ
ЖШ
ЗС
ДЗЦ
ДЖЧ
Х

It’s important to know them, because the voiced consonants are pronounced as voiceless when located at the end of a word. For example:

  • In the word нож (nosh), meaning “knife,” Ж is pronounced as Ш, as it becomes voiceless at the end of the word.
  • In the word град (grat), meaning “city,” Д is pronounced as Т, as it becomes voiceless at the end of the word.
  • In the word ръкав (rakaf), meaning “sleeve,” В is pronounced as Ф, as it becomes voiceless at the end of the word.

The so-called devoicing of the consonants in Bulgarian also occurs when there are two or three consonants bunched together and the final consonant is voiceless. This voiceless consonant makes all the others in the group sound voiceless, too. For example:

  • In the word дръжка (drashka), meaning “handle,” Ж is pronounced as Ш. This is because, in the pair ЖК, the final consonant is voiceless and assimilates the voiced consonant.
  • In the word градски (gratski), meaning “urban,” Д is pronounced as Т. This is because, in the cluster ДСК, the final consonant is voiceless and assimilates the voiced consonant Д.

Rule #3: Pronunciation of “A” at the end of a word

Another common Bulgarian error happens when foreigners try to pronounce the “A” sound at the end of a word. Remember that when a Bulgarian word ends in “A,” it’s pronounced like “Ъ,” unless it is a stressed syllable. For example:

  • In the word баба (baba), meaning “grandmother,” A is not pronounced like in the English word “father,” but more like the u in “ugly,” making the Bulgarian vowel Ъ.
  • In the word кокошка (kokoshka), meaning “hen,” A should be pronounced like the Bulgarian vowel Ъ.

But:

  • In the word баща (bashta), meaning “father,” A is pronounced like it is in the English word “father,” because the last A is stressed. However, the first A in this word is not stressed, and it will sound like Ъ.
  • In the word кола (kola), meaning “car,” A is pronounced like it is in the English word “father,” because the last A is stressed.

By mastering these Bulgarian pronunciation rules, you’ll really impress your Bulgarian interlocutor, as these are the niceties of the language that most Bulgarian-learners don’t know.

    → BulgarianPod101 offers you our Ultimate Bulgarian Pronunciation Guide, which can greatly help you improve your Bulgarian pronunciation and avoid some common Bulgarian pronunciation mistakes.

2. Vocabulary Word Mistakes

Paronyms in the Bulgarian language

There are many words in Bulgarian that are pronounced similarly to each other, but have different meanings. These words are called paronyms, and Bulgarian-learners must learn how to distinguish between them to avoid embarrassing situations. Here are a few examples of them:

  • жена (zhena) – “woman” vs. женя (zhenya) – “getting married”
  • коза (koza) – “goat” vs. коса (kosa) – “hair”
  • пица (pitsa) – “pizza” vs. птица (ptitsa) – “bird”
  • пипам (pipam) – “touch” vs. питам (pitam) – “ask” 

You might be able to imagine the confusion that might occur if you made the following compliment to a girl:

  • Каква красива коза имаш!
    Kakva krasiva koza imash!
    “What a beautiful goat you have!”

Instead of:

  • Каква красива коса имаш!
    Kakva krasiva kosa imash!
    “What beautiful hair you have!”
What a Beautiful Goat You Have!

Homonyms in the Bulgarian language

Another group of tricky words in Bulgarian are the homonyms, which are written and pronounced the same way, but have different meanings. Here are some examples for you:

  • син (sin) – “blue” vs. син (sin) – “son”
  • бал (bal) – “grades” vs. бал (bal) – “ball”
  • вила (vila) – “country house” vs. вила (vila) – “pitch-fork”

Usually, it’s easier to distinguish between these words in the context of a conversation. For example, if you meet someone who tells you:

  • Аз имам син и дъщеря.
    Az imam sin i dashterya.
    “I have a son and a daughter.”

It’s obvious that he isn’t talking about the color blue.

Further, if син (sin) is used as an adjective, it’s clear that it means “blue” and not a son. Here’s an example:

  • Моят панталон е син.
    Moyat pantalon e sin.
    “My pants are blue.”

3. Word Order Mistakes

Although Bulgarian word order is pretty flexible, there are some specific rules that should be followed when building Bulgarian sentences. Knowing these rules well will help you avoid some common mistakes in learning Bulgarian and enhance your communication with natives. These rules mainly have to do with the short form of the personal pronoun. Here are four rules with examples:

Rule #1: Never place the short form of the personal pronoun at the very beginning of the sentence.

Wrong:  Му е лошо. 
                Mu e losho.

Correct:  Лошо му е.
                 Losho mu e.
                 “He feels bad.”

Rule #2: When a sentence starts with a word other than a verb, the short form of the personal pronoun comes before the verb.

Wrong:     Какво боли те? 
                 Kakvo boli te?

Correct:  Какво те боли?
                 Какво те боли?
                 “Where do you feel the pain?”

Rule #3: When a sentence starts with a verb, the short form of the personal pronoun comes right after the verb.

Wrong:   Мe боли главата. 
                 Me boli glavata.

Correct:  Боли ме главата. 
                 Boli me glavata.
                 “I have a headache.”

There Are So Many Rules, That I’ve Got a Headache!

Rule #4: When a sentence is in the future tense, the short form of the personal pronoun comes right after “ще.”

Wrong:  Ще попитам го. 
                Shte popitam go.

Correct:  Ще го попитам.
                 Shte go popitam.
                 “I will ask him.”

4. Grammar Mistakes

There are a couple of things that Bulgarian-learners can keep in mind to easier understand and start applying grammar rules. Let’s examine them together to avoid the most common Bulgarian grammar mistakes.

English and Bulgarian cognates – nouns

Fortunately, Bulgarian and English have many cognates. These are words that sound similar in both languages because of their common etymological origin. Foreigners usually get used to these words faster than others. Such cognates include: fantasy, melody, concert, instrument, opera, theater, dramatic, and dynamic.

It’s easier to remember their Bulgarian form knowing that -Y in English turns into – ИЯ (ya) in Bulgarian.

  • “melody” – мелодия (melodiya)
  • “comedy” – комедия (komediya)
  • “history” – история (istoriya)

TRY IT YOURSELF

* Knowing this rule, try to make the Bulgarian forms of the following English words yourself:

  • fantasy 
  • agony

(The answers can be found at the end of this article.)

English and Bulgarian cognates – adjectives

Another rule to remember about cognates is related to adjectives. When the English adjective ends in – IC, its Bulgarian form most likely ends in -ЧЕН.

“academic – академичен (akademichen)
“dynamic” – динамичен (dinamichen)
“dramatic – драматичен (dramatichen)

TRY IT YOURSELF

* Knowing this rule, try to make the Bulgarian forms of the following English adjectives yourself:

  • fantastic
  • systematic
  • tragic

(The answers can be found at the end of this article.)

Bulgarian verb conjugation

To avoid many mistakes in Bulgarian grammar, learn Bulgarian verb conjugations and learn them well. Foreigners usually make these grammar mistakes because they aren’t familiar with Bulgarian verb conjugation. For example, they say:

Wrong:     Ние са от Америка.
                   Nie sa ot Amerika.

Instead of:

Correct:   Ние сме от Америка.
                   Nie sme ot Amerika.
                   “We are from America.”

Or:

Wrong:     Аз уморен.
                   Az umoren.

Instead of:

Correct:   Аз съм уморен.
                   Az sam umoren.
                   “I am tired.”

5. Short and Long Definite Articles

There is a definite article in Bulgarian that’s added to the end of a noun instead of before it. However, the masculine gender has two forms of definite articles: long (-ът, -ят) and short (-а, -я). The long form is used for a noun that’s the subject of a sentence, while the short form is used for nouns that are direct/indirect objects.

Foreigners often say:

Wrong: Жена седи на балкон. 
               Zhena sedi na balkon.

Following the English:
“A woman is sitting on a balcony.”

However, since жена in the sentence above is the subject of the sentence, the word should be given a long definite article, which is -та for feminine nouns. Since балкон is not a subject, but rather an indirect object, it should be given a short definite article.

Correct:   Жената седи на балкона.
                  Zhenata sedi na balkona.
                  “The woman sits on the balcony.”

Here’s another example:

Wrong:  Кораб отплава в 8 часа.
                Korab otplava v 8 chasa.

Correct:   Корабът отплава в 8 часа.
                  Korabat otplava v 8 chasa.
                  “The ship departed at 8:00 a.m.”

Кораб is the subject of the sentence, which is why it has to be used with a long definite article (-ът for masculine nouns).

The Rule for the Short and Long Definite Article in Bulgarian will Prevent Your Ship from Sinking!

6. Common Verb Tense Mistakes

A common mistake in Bulgarian involves using the incorrect verb tense, because foreigners often have trouble distinguishing between the past tenses. Take the past aorist tense, for example. Using an imperfective verb in a sentence indicates that an action has been made, but is not yet finished. 

  • Вчера писах едно писмо.
    Vchera pisah edno pismo.
    “I wrote a letter yesterday.”

However, if you use a perfective verb instead of imperfective, it implies that the action has been completed. 

  • Вчера написах едно писмо.
    Vchera napisah edno pismo.
    “I wrote a letter yesterday.”

This means that you wrote the entire letter yesterday.

A common verb tense error of Bulgarian-learners is to use present perfect in a sentence that actually requires the past aorist tense. For example:

Wrong: Вчера съм ходил на лекар.
               Vchera sam hodil na lekar.

Correct:   Вчера ходих на лекар.
                  Vchera hodih na lekar.
                  “I went to a doctor yesterday.”

The present perfect does not specify the exact time when the action took place in the past. Because the word вчера (vchera), meaning “yesterday,” implies that the action happened at a specific time, only the past aorist tense should be used.

TRY IT YOURSELF

* Knowing this rule, try to write the correct form of the following sentence, which is wrong:

Wrong: Миналата седмица съм бил на море.
               Minalata sedmitsa sam bil na more.
               “I was at sea last week.”

Correct:  

(The answer can be found at the end of this article.)

7. Semantic Mistakes

There are some Bulgarian words that share a common origin with a similar-sounding English word, but have a different meaning. For example, the Bulgarian word магазин (magazin) means “shop” rather than “magazine.”

So, it would be a mistake to say:

Wrong: Днес ще чета магазина.
               Dnes shte cheta magazina.
               “Today, I’m going to read the store.”

Correct:  Днес ще ходя до магазина за хляб.
                 Dnes shte hodya do magazina za hlyab.
                 “Today, I’m going to the store for bread.”

Or:

Correct:  Днес ще чета списание.
                 Dnes shte cheta spisanie.
                 “Today, I’m going to read a magazine.”

Another example is the Bulgarian word сок (sok), which in English doesn’t mean “sock,” but “juice.”

Correct:  Искам да пия сок от портокал.
                 Iskam da piya sok ot portokal.
                 “I want to drink orange juice.”

The commonly used English word “shop” in Bulgarian refers to a member of an ethnic group: шоп. So, pay attention when you use these words in Bulgarian.

Take a Cup of Fresh Juice while You Study the Bulgarian Word СОК!

8. Mistakes Involving Typical Bulgarian Expressions

Often, foreigners struggle to understand some of the typical Bulgarian expressions that are quite common in daily life. 

When someone tells you that you’ve “waded the onions,” which sounds like сгази лука (sgazi luka), this means that you have gotten yourself into trouble.

When someone wants to tell you that something will never happen, it will sound like когато ми цъфнат налъмите (kogato mi tsafnat nalamite), which is literally translated as “when my clogs blossom.” They may also opt to use: на кукуво лято (na kukuvo lyato), which is literally translated as “on a cuckoo’s summer.”

When someone “sends you to find green caviar,” or пращам те за зелен хайвер (prashtam te za zelen hayver), this means that he tries to trick you.

One more funny expression in Bulgarian culture is to say that someone is “naked water,” which in Bulgarian sounds like гола вода (gola voda). This means that the person is bad at something.

You Don’t Have to be гола вода Naked Water in Bulgarian Language!

9. Embarrassing Mistakes

When talking to Bulgarians, there’s another kind of mistake you need to avoid. This is a mistake that doesn’t necessarily involve semantics, grammar, or vocabulary, but may be considered offensive to native Bulgarians. 

For example, asking a Bulgarian when the language will adopt the Latin script instead of using the Russian alphabet could certainly be taken the wrong way. Bulgarians are very proud of their Cyrillic alphabet—which is not Russian, but was introduced to the First Bulgarian empire in the ninth century AD. Bulgarians celebrate the creation of their alphabet on a national holiday each year on May 24. 

Another embarrassing situation would be to mistake someone’s name. Be careful when you pronounce a person’s name, as this is the name by which the person identifies himself. Carefully listen to the proper pronunciation of your interlocutor’s name, and if needed, ask him to repeat it for you instead of saying it incorrectly. 

There are many names in Bulgarian that have a specific meaning, so be sure to pronounce the name correctly!

  • Аз съм Мирослава.
    Az sam Miroslava.
    “I am Miroslava.”

In Bulgarian, this name is composed of two words: мир (mir), which currently means “peacе,” but in ancient Bulgarian meant “world”; and слава (slava), which means “fame.” So the name Мирослава means “the world’s fame.”

If you get the name wrong, it might change its meaning. For example:

  • Здравей, Морислава.
    Zdravey, Morislava.
    “Hello, Morislava.”

In Bulgarian, the word мори means “to exterminate,” so the meaning of this beautiful Bulgarian name might turn into “exterminate the fame,” which could be quite embarrassing for both parties.

Is Your Name Miroslava or Morislava?

10. Other Mistakes

BulgarianPod101 has gathered for you a wide variety of Bulgarian mistakes, but here we’re going to review one more mistake, related to the politeness level. English-speakers find it difficult to distinguish between the different forms in Bulgarian. Here’s an overview:

When you speak to a family member, close friend, or a person younger than you, you can use the informal form “ти” along with a verb in the singular form: 

Informal:    Ти работиш ли?
                     Ti rabotish li?
                     “Do you work?”

When you speak to an elder person, a stranger, or your boss, you need to use the formal form “Вие” along with a verb in the plural form: 

Formal:   Вие работите ли?
                 Vie rabotite li?
                 “Do you work?”

TRY IT YOURSELF

* Knowing this rule, try to turn this formal question into an informal one:

Formal: Как се казвате?
               Kak se kazvate?
               “What is your name?”

Informal:  

(The answer can be found at the end of this article.)

11. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You

BulgarianPod101 prepared this detailed overview of the ten most common mistakes in Bulgarian to help you overcome your language barriers, and to encourage you to start conversations with Bulgarians. The most important thing to remember is to never give up because of the mistakes you make. The more you practice, the better you will become. Be aware that every beginning is difficult. 

If you don’t feel confident in your ability to avoid all of these common Bulgarian mistakes by yourself, you can find personal guidance from our MyTeacher service. Your Bulgarian language teacher will guide you step-by-step through the speaking process and will help you build your confidence.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this detailed article. We would appreciate your feedback about it! Please, let us know in the comments whether you found the exercises easy or difficult, and we’ll help you out the best we can. 

And now, it’s time to check your answers!

Answers to Section 4

“fantasy” – фантазия (fantaziya)
“agony” – агония (agoniya)

“fantastic” – фантастичен (fantastichen)
“systematic” – систематичен (sistematichen)
“tragic” –  трагичен (tragichen)

Answers to Section 6

Wrong: Миналата седмица съм бил на море.
               Minalata sedmitsa sam bil na more.
               “I was at sea last week.”

Correct:  Миналата седмица бях на море.
                Minalata sedmitsa biah na more.

Answers to Section 10

Formal: Как се казвате?
               Kak se kazvate?
               “What is your name?”

Informal:  Как се казваш?
                  Kak se kazvash?
                  “What is your name?”

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

An Overview of the Top 10 Bulgarian Questions and Answers

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Bulgarian people are helpful and friendly. Foreigners who visit or live in Bulgaria will find that the local people are more than willing to enter into contact with them and offer their assistance. As long as you know the basic Bulgarian phrases and questions, you’ll be able to start conversations and make friends.

This comprehensive review will acquaint you with the most common conversation starters in the form of easy questions and answers in Bulgarian. Knowing these will make your communication with native speakers much smoother, and being able to ask basic questions in Bulgarian will also help you learn specific information about your interlocutor or surroundings. 

This will give you a great advantage over other foreigners who live in Bulgaria, as you’ll gain many more opportunities to communicate with natives and fit in with the local culture.

BulgarianPod101 is your guide in this learning journey, and we recommend that you study this detailed review before you travel to Bulgaria!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. Introduction to the Top 10 Bulgarian Questions and Answers
  2. What’s your name?
  3. Where are you from?
  4. Where do you live?
  5. How long have you been studying Bulgarian?
  6. Have you been to Bulgaria before?
  7. What do you do?
  8. Do you like Bulgarian food?
  9. How are you?
  10. What’s wrong?
  11. How much is it?
  12. Make Conversation with What You’ve Learned
  13. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You

1. Introduction to the Top 10 Bulgarian Questions and Answers

Before you learn how to build questions in Bulgarian, you need to know the Bulgarian question words. These are words that usually come at the beginning of the question, and are used to form a variety of questions. In the following table is a Bulgarian question words list, and each word is accompanied by a sample question that uses it:

What

Example:
What are you doing?
Какво…?
(Kakvo)

Какво правиш?
(Kakvo pravish?)
How

Example:
How are you?
Как…?
(Kak)

Как си?
(Kak si?)
Who

Example:
Who are you?
Кой…?
(Koy)

Кой си ти?
(Koy si ti?)
Where

Example:
Where are you from?
Къде…?
(Kade)

От къде си?
(Ot kаde si?)
When

Example:
When did you arrive?
Кога…?
(Koga)

Кога пристигна?
(Koga pristigna?)
Why

Example:
Whу are you in Bulgaria?
Защо…?
(Zashto)

Защо си в България?
(Zashto si v Bаlgariya?)

This guide will also acquaint you with some of the most popular traditional Bulgarian meals, and teach you many Bulgarian words and phrases you’ll need to introduce and describe yourself.

    → If you can’t wait, you can start right away with our list of twenty common Bulgarian words for occupations. Find out how to say your occupation in Bulgarian and study this guide so you can talk about it in conversations.

Now we think you’re ready to learn the most common Bulgarian questions and answers! 

2. What’s your name?

First Encounter

This is usually the first question you’ll get when meeting new people. So let’s learn how to ask it in Bulgarian, and how to give a proper answer.

  • Как се казваш?
    Kak se kazvash?
    “What’s your name?”

In case you would like to ask this question in a formal style, or ask several people at once, you can say:

  • Как се казвате?
    Kak se kazvate?

Here’s how to respond to it:

  • Казвам се Джон.
    Kazvam se Dzhon.
    “My name is John.”
  • Казвам се Кейт.
    Kazvam se Keit.
    “My name is Kate.”

3. Where are you from?

Bulgarians easily notice if the person they’re speaking with is a foreigner, usually due to the person’s accent or appearance. So the next question you’ll probably get is:

  • От къде си?
    Ot kade si?
    “Where are you from?”

The formal or plural style will sound like this:

  • От къде сте?
    Ot kade ste?
    “Where are you from?”

And here’s how to answer:

  • Аз съм от Испания.
    Az sаm ot Ispaniya.
    “I am from Spain.”
  • Ние сме от Англия.
    Nie sme ot Angliya.
    “We are from England.”

Woman Pointing to the Globe

4. Where do you live?

Many people will be curious to learn where you live now, so the next question in Bulgarian you should expect is:

  • Къде живееш?
    Kade zhiveesh?
    “Where do you live?”

If you’re just in Bulgaria for a short vacation, you can answer:

  • Живея в Лондон.
    Zhiveya v London.
    “I live in London.”

Or: 

  • Живея в Сао Пауло.
    Zhiveya v Sao Paulo.
    “I live in Sao Paulo.”

But maybe you’ve already made the move to live in Bulgaria. In that case, your answer could be:

  • Живея в София.
    Zhiveya v Sofia.
    “I live in Sofia.”

5. How long have you been studying Bulgarian?

Introducing Yourself

Your new Bulgarian friend might be amazed with your level of language proficiency, so he or she might ask you:

  • Колко време си учил български?
    Kolko vreme si uchil balgarski?
    “How long have you been studying Bulgarian?”

Or:

  • От колко време учиш български?
    Ot kolko vreme uchish balgarski?
    “How long have you been studying Bulgarian?”

You can answer by simply stating the amount of time, or by giving a complete sentence:

  • Един месец.
    Edin mesets.
    “One month.”
  • Уча български от един месец.
    Ucha balgarski ot edin mesets.
    “I have been studying Bulgarian for one month.”

Or:

  • Половин година.
    Polovin godina.
    “Half a year.”
  • Уча български от половин година.
    Ucha balgarski ot polovin godina.
    “I have been studying Bulgarian for half a year.”

Do you want to give a more specific answer? Try something like this: 

  • Уча български от месец май тази година.
    Ucha bаlgarski ot mesets may tazi godina.
    “I have been studying Bulgarian since May this year.”

BulgarianPod101 has a lesson all about the names of months in Bulgarian. Check it out

6. Have you been to Bulgaria before?

Your interlocutor might be curious to find out whether you’ve been to Bulgaria before, or if this is your first time. So he or she might ask:

  • Бил ли си в България преди?
    Bil li si v Balgariya predi?
    “Have you been to Bulgaria before?”

Or:

  • За първи път ли си в България?
    Za parvi pat li si v Balgariya?
    “Are you in Bulgaria for the first time?”

Here are some possible answers:

  • Аз съм за първи път в България.
    Az sam za parvi pat v Balgariya.
    “I am in Bulgaria for the first time.”
  • Преди две години също бях в България.
    Predi dve godini sŭshto byah v Bŭlgariya.
    “Two years ago, I was also in Bulgaria.”
  • Бил съм в България и преди.
    Bil sam v Balgariya i predi.
    “I’ve been to Bulgaria before.”

7. What do you do?

If you’re living in Bulgaria, or visiting for an extended period of time, your interlocutor might want to know why. Bulgarians won’t ask this directly, though, as it might be considered offensive to ask “Why are you here?” or Защо си тук? (Zashto si tuk?). Instead, they may ask about your occupation:

  • Какво работиш?
    Kakvo rabotish?
    “What do you do?”
What Do You Do?

Another way to ask this Bulgarian question is:

  • С какво се занимаваш?
    S kakvo se zanimavash?
    “What do you do?”

You can answer with both your occupation and your reason for being in Bulgaria.

  • Аз съм писател и дойдох да пиша книга за България.
    Az sam pisatel i doydoh da pisha kniga za Balgariya.
    “I am a writer and I came to write a book about Bulgaria.”
  • Аз съм бизнесмен и искам да отворя бизнес в България.
    Az sam biznesmen i iskam da otvorya biznes v Balgariya.
    “I am a businessman and I want to open a business in Bulgaria.”
  • Аз съм пенсионер и не работя.
    Az sam pensioner i ne rabotya.
    “I’m a retiree and I don’t work.”

You can learn more words for jobs and occupations in Bulgarian here, and listen to their proper Bulgarian pronunciation.

8. Do you like Bulgarian food?

As you develop closer relationships with your Bulgarian friends, they might invite you to their home for dinner. Of course, you wouldn’t want to miss that chance! But first, they might ask you the following question:

  • Харесваш ли българска храна?
    Haresvash li balgarska hrana?
    “Do you like Bulgarian food?”

This is your opportunity to tell them what you like the most, and hopefully, they’ll prepare your favorite Bulgarian meal for you. So you can answer this way:

  • Да, особено харесвам баница.
    Da, osobeno haresvam banitsa.
    “Yes, I particularly like banitsa.”
  • Да, особено харесвам пататник.
    Da, osobeno haresvam patatnik.
    “Yes, I particularly like patatnik.”
Traditional Bulgarian Meals

9. How are you?

Once you’ve gotten close with someone, this is probably the first question they’ll ask whenever you meet up:

  • Как си?
    Kak si?
    “How are you?”

There are different ways to answer this question in Bulgarian. Let’s see some of them:

  • Добре съм, благодаря!
    Dobre sam, blagodarya!
    “I’m fine, thanks!”
  • Отлично, благодаря!
    Otlichno, blagodarya!
    “Perfect, thanks!”
  • Не се чувствам добре. 
    Ne se chuvstvam dobre.
    “I’m not feeling well.”
  • Уморен съм и ми се спи.
    Umoren sam i mi se spi.
    “I’m tired and sleepy.”

If you would like to learn some more answers to this question, we have you covered!

10. What’s wrong?

If you’re speaking with a friend who tells you that he or she doesn’t feel good, then you should ask:

  • Какво има?
    Kakvo ima?
    “What’s wrong?”

Or: 

  • Какво не е наред?
    Kakvo ne e nared?
    “What’s wrong?”

Then, you might receive one of the following answers:

  • Болен съм.
    Bolen sam.
    “I’m sick.”
  • Разтревожен съм.
    Raztrevozhen sam.
    “I’m worried.”
  • Гладен съм.
    Gladen sam.
    “I’m hungry.”
I'm Hungry!

11. How much is it?

Now, let’s see what you need to ask when you’re in the market. Even if you don’t know the name of every product in Bulgarian, knowing how to ask for the price is always going to be helpful. 

  • Колко струва това?
    Kolko struva tova?
    “How much is it?”

Or:

  • Каква е цената на това?
    Kakva e tsenata na tova?
    “What is the price of this?”

And to understand the answer, you’ll have to learn the Bulgarian numbers first. The answer could be something like:

  • Два лева.
    Dva leva.
    “Two leva.”
  • Един и петдесет.
    Edin i petdeset.
    “One fifty.”
  • Пет лева за килограм.
    Pet leva za kilogram.
    “Five leva per kilogram.”

12. Make Conversation with What You’ve Learned

Here’s a quick exercise to test your knowledge. Imagine that you meet a Bulgarian man for the first time and need to introduce yourself. Try filling in the blanks with your responses, and scroll to the end to check your answers! 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

    – Здравей, как се казваш?
    – ____________________

(Your answer here. Reply and ask about his name as well.)

    – Аз съм Петър. От къде си?
    – ____________________

(Your answer here)

    – А къде живееш?
    – ___________________

(To answer this question, read Peter’s next words.)

    – В Пловдив!? И аз живея в Пловдив, но съм от Варна. А какво работиш.
    – ___________________

(Your answer here. Ask Peter about his occupation, too.)

    – Аз съм брокер. Работя за една пловдивска фирма за недвижими имоти. Търсиш ли да закупиш имот в България?
    – ___________________

(Your answer here. Politely decline his offer.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

If you don’t understand everything or are struggling to write your answers, don’t worry. You can check the answers at the end of the article.

13. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You

BulgarianPod101 has prepared this detailed review of the top ten Bulgarian questions and answers to help you start your face-to-face communication with Bulgarian people. We believe that by studying this guide, you’ll become much more confident in making friends in Bulgaria. Since practice is the best possible teacher, try to start practicing what you’ve learned right away.

If you still need personal guidance, BulgarianPod101 can help you by offering you a private Bulgarian language teacher with our MyTeacher service. This language expert will uncover all the secrets of Bulgarian grammar and lead you to language-learning success.

Now, it’s time to check your answers. Please let us know in the comments whether the exercise was easy or difficult for you, and whether you were able to understand the Bulgarian sentences or not. Also let us know how you feel about this review. Did you find it helpful? We look forward to hearing from you and will help out the best we can! 

Answers to Section 12 Exercise – Make a Conversation

    – Здравей, как се казваш?
    Zdravey, kak se kazvash?
    “Hello, what is your name?”
    – Здравей, аз съм Джон. А ти как се казваш?  (Place your name in place of Джон.)
    Zdravey, az sam Dzhon. A ti kak se kazvash?
    “Hi, I’m John. And what is your name?”

(Your answer here. Reply and ask his name as well.)

    – Аз съм Петър. От къде си?
    Az sam Petar. Ot kade si?
    “I’m Peter. Where are you from?”
    – Аз съм от Англия. (Place your country in place of Англия.)
    Az sam ot Angliya.
    “I’m from England.”

(Your answer here)

    – А къде живееш?
    A kade zhiveesh?
    “And where do you live?”
    – Аз живея в Пловдив. 
    Az zhiveya v Plovdiv.
    “I live in Plovdiv.”

(To answer this question, read Peter’s next words.)

    – В Пловдив!? И аз живея в Пловдив, но съм от Варна. А какво работиш?
    V Plovdiv!? I az zhiveya v Plovdiv, no sam ot Varna. A kakvo rabotish?
    “In Plovdiv!? I live in Plovdiv too, but I’m from Varna. And what do you do?”
    – Аз съм бизнесмен. А ти? (Place your occupation in place of бизнесмен.)
    Az sam biznesmen. A ti?
    “I’m a businessman. And you?”

(Your answer here. Ask Peter about his occupation, too.)

    – Аз съм брокер. Работя за една пловдивска фирма за недвижими имоти. Търсиш ли да закупиш имот в България?
    Az sam broker. Rabotya za edna plovdivska firma za nedvizhimi imoti. Tarsish li da zakupish imot v Balgariya?
    “I’m a broker. I work for a Plovdiv real estate company. Are you looking to buy a property in Bulgaria?”
    – Не, благодаря.
    Ne, blagodarya.
    “No, thanks.”

(Your answer here. Politely decline his offer.)

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

A Speak Freely Guide – Top 10 Bulgarian Sentence Patterns

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Learning the most frequently used language patterns is one of the easiest ways to start speaking that language. As a Bulgarian language learner, you’ll find it very beneficial to learn the most popular Bulgarian sentence patterns and structures. This knowledge will provide you with many advantages:

  • You can skip learning many tedious grammar rules that now seem impossible to learn.
  • You can start taking part in Bulgarian conversations and feel more confident in your language skills.
  • You’ll be able to quickly figure out which of these ten sentence patterns in Bulgarian to use in any situation.
  • You’ll be able to generate hundreds of natural sentences on your own. (And that’s really worth all the effort, right?)
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Bulgarian Table of Contents
  1. Becoming a Bulgarian Sentence Builder
  2. Top Ten Bulgarian Sentence Patterns
  3. Practice Time: What You Have Learned?
  4. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You?

1. Becoming a Bulgarian Sentence Builder

Imagine that you’re a builder, and your task is to build constructions of different sizes and designs on a daily basis. It sounds challenging, right? Well, building sentences in a foreign language can be just as challenging without the right guidance.

Imagine that You Are a Bulgarian Sentence Builder

Fortunately, BulgarianPod101 is aware of your struggles in correctly building common Bulgarian sentence patterns, and we’re here to teach you how to form sentences in Bulgarian. By learning the following Bulgarian sentence patterns, you’ll become a skillful builder of Bulgarian sentences. In fact, with BulgarianPod101, learning how to do this can be very exciting and intriguing. 

In this article, you’ll also learn when to use these ten patterns, how to use them correctly, and how to make friends with Bulgarians. Moreover, you’ll have the chance to practice on-the-go, so take a piece of paper and a pen or pencil right now. 

So, what are you waiting for? Put on your builder’s helmet and let’s start!

2. Top 10 Bulgarian Sentence Patterns

Sentence Patterns

To keep things simple, we’ll look at these ten Bulgarian sentence patterns starting with the easiest and ending with the more complicated ones. Study them and try to practice as soon as you get acquainted with each pattern.

Bulgarian Sentence Pattern #1: Linking Two Nouns: A is B

Two Patterns for Presentation

The pattern for this kind of sentence in Bulgarian is great for making introductions or presentations. It allows you to say that one noun is another noun. Let’s see some examples:

  • Аз съм учител.
    Az sаm uchitel.
    “I am a teacher.”
  • Иван е лекар.
    Ivan e lekar.
    “Ivan is a doctor.”

As you can see, this basic pattern is the same as its counterpart in English. Now, let’s see some examples of how it may be used in daily conversations:

  • Това е къща.
    Tova e kashta.
    “This is a house.”
  • Онова е магазин.
    Onova e magazin.
    “That is a shop.”

*TRY IT YOURSELF*

Try to make a simple sentence on your own by translating the following sentences:

This is Anton. He is a student.

Write your answers down, and at the end of this guide you can check if you’ve translated them correctly.

Adding an Adjective

As you can see in the examples below, the position of the adjective in Bulgarian is the same as in English:

  • Аз съм строг учител.
    Az sаm strog uchitel.
    “I am a strict teacher.”
  • Иван е добър лекар.
    Ivan e dobar lekar.
    “Ivan is a good doctor.”

Adding a Pronoun

  • Юлия е моят учител.
    Yulia e moyat uchitel.
    “Julia is my teacher.”
  • Това е нашата къща.
    Tova e nashata kashta.
    “This is our house.”

Pronoun and an Adjective

To make this pattern complete, let’s add both a pronoun and an adjective to the “A is B” pattern.

  • Юлия е моят нов учител.
    Yulia e moyat nov uchitel.
    “Julia is my new teacher.”
  • Иван е наш добър приятел.
    Ivan e nash dobar priyatel.
    “Ivan is our good friend.”

*TRY IT YOURSELF*

Now, practice what you’ve learned so far by translating the following sentence:

Anton is a good student and my close friend.

If you can cope with this extended sentence, you’ve learned the pattern “A is B.” This means it’s time to move on to the second Bulgarian sentence pattern.

Bulgarian Sentence Pattern #2: Using Adjectives to Describe – A is [Adjective]

The “A is [adjective]” pattern is used for describing someone or something using adjectives. It’s also especially useful when you want to give compliments. Let’s see some Bulgarian language sentences using this pattern below.

Giving compliments using the “A is [adjective]” pattern

  • Ти си красива!
    Ti si krasiva.
    “You are beautiful.”

And to make your compliment to a lady even more kind, let’s add some more words:

  • Ти си много красива тази вечер!
    Ti si mnogo krasiva tazi vecher.
    “You are very beautiful tonight.”

Let’s consider two compliments for a man:

  • Ти си много силен!
    Ti si mnogo silen.
    “You are very strong!”
  • Ти си много смел!
    Ti si mnogo smel.
    “You are very brave.”

Using the “A is [adjective]” pattern for description

Now, here’s an example of a simple Bulgarian sentence pattern for giving descriptions. You can confidently use this sentence when someone presents you with a flower.

  • Това цвете е прекрасно!
    Tova tsvete e prekrasno.
    “This flower is wonderful.”
This Flower Is Wonderful!

*TRY IT YOURSELF*

It’s time for you to try this pattern on your own. Translate the following sentence into Bulgarian for both sexes:

You are awesome!

Bulgarian Sentence Pattern #3: Expressing “Want” – I Want (to)…

When to avoid using “I want” in Bulgarian

Using Bulgarian phrases like “I want” is considered impolite in the following cases:

You’re in the market and you see a wonderful apple that you wish to buy, but the old lady in front of you takes it first. In that case, it would be rude to say:

  • Искам тази ябълка!
    Iskam tazi yabalka!
    “I want this apple!”

You’re in the theater, but your seat is next to the door. Then, someone enters and leaves the door open. It’s not polite to say:

  • Искам да затвориш вратата!
    Iskam da zatvorish vratata!
    “I want you to close the door!”

You’ll learn how to properly react in both of these situations in Bulgarian Sentence Pattern #6.

How to safely use “I want” in Bulgarian

There are many situations when you can safely use “I want” and “I want to.” Here are some examples:

  • Искам да стана лекар!
    Iskam da stana lekar.
    “I want to become a doctor.”
  • Искам да направя другите хора щастливи.
    Iskam da napravya drugite hora shtastlivi.
    “I want to make other people happy.”
  • Искам да говоря на български език.
    Iskam da govorya na balgarski ezik.
    “I want to speak the Bulgarian language.”

Fortunately, BulgarianPod101 is here to help and make your wish come true!

If your boyfriend calls you and asks: “Do you want to go out with me tonight?” You can just say: “I do.” Here’s how this conversation would sound in Bulgarian:

  • Искаш ли да излезеш с мен тази вечер?
    Iskash li da izlezesh s men tazi vecher?
    “Do you want to go out with me tonight?”
  • Искам!
    Iskam.
    “I do.”
Go Out with Me Tonight!

And if you love someone, you can say to him:

  • Искам да бъда твоя!
    Iskam da bada tvoya!
    “I want to be yours!”

*TRY IT YOURSELF*

It’s time for you to try this pattern on your own. Translate the following sentence into Bulgarian:

I want to ask a question.

Bulgarian Sentence Pattern #4: Expressing “Need” – I Need (to)… / I Have to…

Some of the most useful Bulgarian phrases and sentences are those for expressing your needs, and this is especially true when you’re in a foreign country. Here are some simple Bulgarian sentences for expressing the most common needs. You can memorize them, as you never know when you may find yourself in need.

  • Имам нужда от помощ.
    Imam nuzhda ot pomosht.
    “I need help.”
  • Имам нужда от химикалка.
    Imam nuzhda ot himikalka.
    “I need a pen.”
  • Трябва да отида до тоалетната.
    Tryabva da otida do toaletnata.
    “I need to go to the toilet.”
  • Трябва да тръгвам.
    Tryabva da trаgvam.
    “I have to go.”
  • Зле ми е. Имам нужда от лекар.
    Zle mi e. Imam nuzhda ot lekar.
    “I feel bad. I need a doctor.”
  • Трябва да науча български език.
    Tryabva da naucha balgarski ezik.
    “I need to learn the Bulgarian language.”

A hint: To ensure that you know these sentences, just write the Bulgarian translation of the following English sentences without looking at the answers. You can repeat this exercise until you get used to them, and know them perfectly.

I need to learn the Bulgarian language.

I need to go to the toilet.

I need help.

I feel bad. I need a doctor.

I have to go.

I need a pen.

Bulgarian Sentence Pattern #5: Expressing “Like” – I Like (to)…

In Bulgarian, there are three ways to express your likes. Bulgarians use the following words for this: харесвам (haresvam), обичам (obicham), and обожавам (obozhavam). They mean “I like,” “I love,” and “I adore,” respectively. Here are some examples:

харесвам (haresvam), “I like”

  • Харесвам този цвят! 
    Haresvam tozi tsvyat!
    “I like this color!”
  • Харесва ми да готвя. 
    Haresva mi da gotvya.
    “I like to cook.”

обичам (obicham), “I love”

  • Обичам да гледам залеза. 
    Obicham da gledam zaleza.
    “I love watching the sunset.”
  • Обичам да се разхождам вечер.
    Obicham da se razhozhdam vecher.
    “I like to go for a walk in the evening.”

обожавам (obozhavam), “I adore”

  • Обожавам този сладкиш! 
    Obozhavam tozi sladkish!
    “I love this cake!”
  • Обожавам да ходя на сладкарница! 
    Obozhavam da hodya na sladkarnitsa!
    “I love going to the pastry shop!”

*TRY IT YOURSELF*

It’s time for you to try this pattern on your own. Translate the following sentence into Bulgarian:

I love to drink orange juice.

Bulgarian Sentence Pattern #6: Politely Asking Someone to Do Something – Please…

This is another very important Bulgarian sentence pattern, since you don’t want to sound rude or commanding when you speak to Bulgarians. You can probably remember the sentence: Искам да затвориш вратата! from Bulgarian Sentence Pattern #3: “I want.” How can you ask this more politely?

You have two options:

  • Моля, затворете вратата! 
    Molya, zatvorete vratata!
    “Close the door, please!”
  • Мога ли да Ви помоля да затворите вратата? 
    Moga li da Vi pomolya da zatvorite vratata?
    “May I ask you to close the door?”

And what about the apple from Bulgarian Sentence Pattern #3?

May I Have This Apple, Please?

You can use the following sentence:

Може ли тази ябълка, моля? 
Mozhe li tazi yabаlka, molya?
“May I have this apple, please?”

*TRY IT YOURSELF*

Now, imagine that you’re in the market and there’s a list of products that you have to buy. Let’s see how you will ask the seller about each of these products. We’ll do the first two for you, and you have to make the rest by yourself.

Your shopping list contains:

  • Един килограм картофи (Edin kilogram kartofi), “One kilogram of potatoes”
  • Два хляба (Dva hlyaba), “Two loaves of bread”
  • Един килограм моркови (Edin kilogram morkovi), “One kilogram of carrots”
  • Един пакет сол (Edin paket sol), “One salt packet”
  • Две кисели млека (Dve kiseli mleka), “Two yogurts”

Examples:

  • Може ли един килограм картофи, моля? 
    Mozhe li еdin kilogram kartofi, molya?
    “May I have one kilogram of potatoes, please?”
  • Може ли два хляба, моля? 
    Mozhe li dva hlyaba, molya?
    “May I have two loaves of bread, please?”

Now, write the next three sentences, using the Bulgarian sentence pattern given above. 

    → To enhance your shopping experience at a Bulgarian boutique, please watch the following short video:

Bulgarian Sentence Pattern #7: Drawing Attention – Excuse Me…

There will be situations when you need to ask someone for something, or when someone else asks you a question on the street. To draw someone’s attention the right way, use Извинете (izvinete), which means “excuse me.” Here are a few basic Bulgarian sentences that begin with this phrase:

  • Извинете, колко е часът? 
    Izvinete, kolko e chasat?
    “Excuse me, what’s the time?”
  • Извинете, може ли да ми помогнете? 
    Izvinete, mozhe li da mi pomognete?
    “Excuse me, can you help me?”
  • Извинете, това място свободно ли е? 
    Izvinete, tova myasto svobodno li e?
    “Excuse me, is this seat free?”
  • Извинете, къде се намира катедралата? 
    Izvinete, kade se namira katedralata?
    “Excuse me, where is the cathedral?”
  • Извинете, това Ваше ли е? 
    Izvinete, tova Vashe li e?
    “Excuse me, is that yours?”
  • Извинете, говорите ли английски? 
    Izvinete, govorite li angliyski?
    “Excuse me, do you speak English?”
    → To gain deeper insight on the last question and how to reply to it properly, please watch the following video:

*TRY IT YOURSELF*

 Now, let’s combine the patterns # 6 and # 7. Translate these sentences into Bulgarian:

Excuse me, can I close the door?

Excuse me, may I have one loaf of bread?

Sentence Components

Bulgarian Sentence Pattern #8: Asking for Information About Something – What…

In this section, we’ll cover how to use the past, present, and future tenses when asking for information. But let’s first start with the most common question: “What is this?”

  • Какво е това?
    Kakvo e tova?
    “What is this?”

Now, let’s ask about the weather today, yesterday, and tomorrow:

  • Какво е времето днес?
    Kakvo e vremeto dnes?
    “What is the weather today?”
  • Какво беше времето вчера?
    Kakvo beshe vremeto vchera?
    “What was the weather yesterday?”
  • Какво ще бъде времето утре?
    Kakvo shte bade vremeto utre?
    “What will the weather be like tomorrow?”

Let’s ask some more questions with “what”:

  • Какво обичаш да ядеш?
    Kakvo obichash da yadesh?
    “What do you like to eat?”
  • Какво обичаш да носиш?
    Kakvo obichash da nosish?
    “What do you like to wear?”
  • Какво да направя за теб?
    Kakvo da napravya za teb?
    “What can I do for you?”

*TRY IT YOURSELF*

Use the weather examples to translate the following three sentences into Bulgarian:

What is your mood today?

What was your mood yesterday?

What will be your mood tomorrow?

Bulgarian Sentence Pattern #9: Asking About Time – When is…?

In your conversations with Bulgarians, you’ll often need to ask questions about time. Here are some examples:

  • Кога си роден?
    Koga si roden?
    “When were you born?”
  • Кога е рожденият ти ден?
    Koga e rozhdeniyat ti den?
    “When is your birthday?”
  • Кога ще се видим пак?
    Koga shte se vidim pak?
    “When will I see you again?”
  • Кога е срещата ни?
    Koga e sreshtata ni?
    “When is our meeting?”
  • Кога пристига самолетът?
    Koga pristiga samoletаt?
    “When is the plane arriving?”

*TRY IT YOURSELF*

 Use the last question as a model to translate the following three sentences into Bulgarian:

When is the train arriving?

When is their car arriving?

When is the motorcycle arriving?

Bulgarian Sentence Pattern #10: Asking About Location or Position – Where is…?

The last Bulgarian sentence pattern today is “Where is…” which enables you to ask about the position of any person or object. Here are some useful questions using this pattern that might be of help to you in your conversations with Bulgarians.

  • Къде живееш?
    Kade zhiveesh?
    “Where do you live?”
  • Къде е асансьорът?
    Kade e asansyorat?
    “Where is the elevator?”
  • Къде е тоалетната?
    Kade e toaletnata?
    “Where is the restroom?”
  • Къде се намира твоят роден град?
    Kade se namira tvoyat roden grad?
    “Where is your hometown located?”
  • Къде е центърът на града?
    Kade e tsentarat na grada?
    “Where is the city center?”

*TRY IT YOURSELF*

 Use the last question as a model to translate the following three sentences into Bulgarian:

Where is the cathedral?

Where is the park?

Where is the beach?

3. Practice Time: What Have You Learned?

Repetition Is the Mother of Learning!

You’ve probably written all of your answers for the *TRY IT YOURSELF* sections now. If you have, you can check the answers at the very end of this article. If not, you can translate them now.

Even if you’ve already written your answers and checked them, it’s good to repeat the exercise now, trying to get them all correct this time. 

  • This is Anton. He is a student.
  • Anton is a good student and my close friend.
  • You are awesome!  – for both sexes
  • I want to ask a question.
  • I need to learn the Bulgarian language.
  • I need to go to the toilet.
  • I need help.
  • I feel bad. I need a doctor.
  • I have to go.
  • I need a pen.
  • I love to drink orange juice.
  • May I have one kilogram of carrots, please?
  • May I have one salt packet, please?
  • May I have two yogurts, please?
  • Excuse me, can I close the door?
  • Excuse me, may I have one loaf of bread?
  • What is your mood today?
  • What was your mood yesterday?
  • What will be your mood tomorrow?
  • When is the train arriving?
  • When is their car arriving?
  • When is the motorcycle arriving?
  • Where is the cathedral?
  • Where is the park?
  • Where is the beach?

As you can see, it’s a long list, so it will be beneficial for you to try to write each sentence at least two times. The more the better! This will help you master all ten sentence patterns in Bulgarian.

4. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You

This complete guide to the top ten Bulgarian sentence patterns from BulgarianPod101 will help you start speaking freely in your conversations with Bulgarian people. Our goal is to help you advance in this foreign language much more quickly than you can make it on your own.

However, you may find some exercises difficult to complete, or run into issues with Bulgarian grammar or other language-related topics. Do these challenges mean that you have to give up and cease studying the language? Not at all! Winners never stop until they reach their goal. 

To help you become a winner, BulgarianPod101 offers you a special feature called MyTeacher. You can find your favorite Bulgarian language expert there, who can help you conquer all the obstacles that now seem insurmountable. Your personal teacher will help you become a language winner!

We believe these sentence patterns have helped you improve your speaking skills, but we always appreciate your feedback. We look forward to hearing from you and will help you out the best we can! 

Now, it’s time to check your answers. Don’t worry if not all of them are correct. Just practice, practice, practice…

Answers to Translation Exercises

  • This is Anton. He is a student.
    Това е Антон. Той е студент.
    Tova e Anton. Toy e student.
  • Anton is a good student and my close friend.
    Антон е добър студент и мой близък приятел.
    Anton e dobar student i moy blizak priyatel.
  • You are awesome! – for both sexes
    Ти си страхотен! – for masculine
    Ti si strahoten!
    Ти си страхотна! – for feminine
    Ti si strahotna!
  • I want to ask a question.
    Искам да задам въпрос.
    Iskam da zadam vapros.
  • I need to learn the Bulgarian language.
    Трябва да науча български език.
    Tryabva da naucha balgarski ezik.
  • I need to go to the toilet.
    Трябва да отида до тоалетната.
    Tryabva da otida do toaletnata.
  • I need help.
    Трябва ми помощ.
    Tryabva mi pomosht.
  • I feel bad. I need a doctor.
    Зле ми е. Имам нужда от лекар.
    Zle mi e. Imam nuzhda ot lekar.
  • I have to go.
    Трябва да тръгвам.
    Tryabva da tragvam.
  • I need a pen.
    Трябва ми химикалка.
    Tryabva mi himikalka.
  • I love to drink orange juice.
    Обичам да пия портокалов сок.
    Obicham da piya portokalov sok.
  • May I have one kilogram of carrots, please?
    Може ли един килограм моркови, моля?
    Mozhe li edin kilogram morkovi, molya?
  • May I have one salt packet, please?
    Може ли един пакет сол, моля?
    Mozhe li edin paket sol, molya?
  • May I have two yogurts, please?
    Може ли две кисели млека, моля?
    Mozhe li dve kiseli mleka, molya?
  • Excuse me, can I close the door?
    Извинете, може ли да затворя вратата?
    Izvinete, mozhe li da zatvorya vratata?
  • Excuse me, may I have one loaf of bread?
    Извинете, може ли един хляб?
    Izvinete, mozhe li edin hlyab?
  • What is your mood today?
    Какво е настроението ти днес?
    Kakvo e nastroenieto ti dnes?
  • What was your mood yesterday?
    Какво беше настроението ти вчера?
    Kakvo beshe nastroenieto ti vchera?
  • What will be your mood tomorrow?
    Какво ще бъде настроението ти утре?
    Kakvo shte bade nastroenieto ti utre?
  • When is the train arriving?
    Кога пристига влакът?
    Koga pristiga vlakat?
  • When is their car arriving?
    Кога пристига колата им?
    Koga pristiga kolata im?
  • When is the motorcycle arriving?
    Кога пристига моторът?
    Koga pristiga motorat?
  • Where is the cathedral?
    Къде е катедралата?
    Kade e katedralata?
  • Where is the park?
    Къде е паркът?
    Kade e parkat?
  • Where is the beach?
    Къде е плажът?
    Kade e plazhat?

Let us know how you did in the comments!

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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.

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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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