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Lesson Transcript


Jonathan: Hello and welcome to the Absolute Beginner series at BulgarianPod101.com. This is season 1, lesson 1, First Encounters in Bulgarian. I’m Jonathan.
Iva: And I’m Iva!
Jonathan: Together we will guide you through the first steps in Bulgarian.
Iva: That’s right. So get ready and … enjoy!
Jonathan: Yes, because it is fun to learn Bulgarian.
Iva: And we’re here to make your absolute beginner experience easy and productive! Okay, Jonathan, what do we have first?
Jonathan: In this lesson you'll learn how to say "hello" in Bulgarian in the daytime.
Iva: This conversation takes place on the street.
Jonathan: The conversation is between two people.
Iva: The speakers know each other but their relationship is formal, so they’ll be speaking formal Bulgarian.
Jonathan: Let’s listen to the conversation.
[during the day]
Jonathan: Добър ден.
Iva: Добър ден.
Jonathan: Как сте?
Iva: Добре съм, благодаря.
Jonathan: Now let’s hear the conversation one time slowly. (slow speed, broken down by syllable)
[during the day]
Jonathan: Добър ден.
Iva: Добър ден.
Jonathan: Как сте?
Iva: Добре съм, благодаря.
Jonathan: And Now with the English translation.
Iva: Добър ден.
Jonathan: Hello.
Iva: Добър ден.
Jonathan: Hello.
Iva: Как сте?
Jonathan: How are you?
Iva: Добре съм, благодаря.
Jonathan: Fine, thanks.
Jonathan: OK, so now it is time for some more information about Bulgarian culture.
Iva: Yes. Bulgarians like to greet each other on the street when they are close acquaintances or friends.
Jonathan: It is also a very typical thing to see in the countryside, right Iva?
Iva: Yep! People would stop by to talk to their friends and ask them how they feel, or just to say politely hello and have short conversation.
Jonathan: So what would you say in this situation?
Iva: In this case we usually use the expression “Как сте?/Как си?”.
Jonathan: Remember that when talking to elderly people, it is considered polite to use the second person plural form of the phrase.
Iva: ...and other phrases like “Добър ден” and “благодаря” instead of their informal versions “Здравей/Здрасти” and “мерси”.
Jonathan: In our formal situation the speakers use the second person plural to express their respect for each other. Okay, now onto the vocab.
Jonathan: Now let’s take a look at the vocabulary in this lesson. The first word we shall see is...
Iva: Добър ден
Jonathan: Hello
Iva: Добър ден (slow, broken down by syllable)
Iva: Добър ден
Iva: Как сте
Jonathan: How are you?
Iva: Как сте (slow, broken down by syllable)
Iva: Как сте
Iva: Добре съм
Jonathan: I’m fine
Iva: Добре съм (slow, broken down by syllable)
Iva: Добре съм
Iva: Благодаря
Jonathan: Thank you
Iva: Благодаря (slow, broken down by syllable)
Iva: Благодаря
Iva: съм
Jonathan: I am
Iva: съм (slow, broken down by syllable)
Iva: съм
Iva: добре
Jonathan: fine
Iva: добре (slow, broken down by syllable)
Iva: добре
Iva: как
Jonathan: how
Iva: как (slow, broken down by syllable)
Iva: как
Iva: ден
Jonathan: day
Iva: ден (slow, broken down by syllable)
Iva: ден
Jonathan: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Iva: Yes, in addition to their meaning, we will explain some information about their forms and usage.
Jonathan: The first word from this dialogue is…
Iva: "Добър ден"!
Jonathan: This is one of the most important phrases in Bulgarian.
Iva: Yes, you will hear this every day.
Jonathan: It can be used both with people you know or people you are meeting for the first time.
Iva: Literally it means "Good day" so that’s why it’s used in the daytime.
Jonathan: There are other expressions used to greet people in the morning and in the evening...
Iva: But for now, just remember “Добър ден”.
Jonathan: It’s the most common way to greet people in Bulgaria. What’s next, Iva?
Iva: “Добре съм” which means “I am fine” or "I am well".
Jonathan: This phrase naturally follows the question “How are you” in Bulgarian.
Iva: In Bulgarian, “how are you” is “Как сте?” for the formal and “Как си?” for the informal question. Как сте? for formal and Как си? for informal.
Jonathan: Ok, so make sure you listen out for this question! Can you tell us more about the phrase “I am fine”?
Iva: The adverb "добре" means “fine”, “well”, “OK” and sometimes can be the only answer to the question “How are you?”.
Jonathan: So how does that sound?
Iva: For example, you answer the informal question “Как си?” with just one word- “Добре!”
Jonathan: It can be used among friends, right?
Iva: Yes, it can be used in conversation as an affirmative “OK”, like in English.
Jonathan: That’s right! And the last one we’ll talk about is…
Iva: “Благодаря” meaning “thank you”.
Jonathan: Another very useful Bulgarian word!
Iva: Indeed, do not forget to use it often.
Jonathan: Yes, it will help you in so many ways.
Iva: Bulgarians never forget to say “Thank you.”
Jonathan: And this one is mostly used in formal speech but can be used in the informal too.
Iva: That’s right. Its informal substitute is “Мерси”.
Jonathan: Oh, that sounds familiar!
Iva: I know, but we are going to talk about it in detail in our next lesson!
Jonathan: Ok, let’s move on to the grammar!
Jonathan: The focus of this lesson is how to greet people in the daytime in Bulgaria.
Iva: And ask them how they are feeling.
Jonathan: Yes, so “How are you” in Bulgarian is…
Iva: “Как сте?”
Jonathan: "How are you" or "How you are feeling"? There are several phrases used to ask how someone is feeling in Bulgarian, just as in English.
Iva: But let's just focus on the usage of “Как сте” in this lesson.
Jonathan: Okay, (name). Give us an example.
Iva: Here it is – “Как сте днес?” It means...
Jonathan: How are you today?
Iva: And it is formal.
Jonathan: Because the verb is in its polite form.
Iva: “Как си, мило?”
Jonathan: Means “How are you, dear?” There's no difference in the meaning of the phrase. Just remember that the verb changes its form from “сте” to “си”.
Iva: The first one “сте” is the second person plural and the second one, “си” is the second person singular of the auxiliary verb.
Jonathan: OK. Here's a question for you. If you were visiting a friend in the hospital after he’d had an accident, what would you say?
Iva: “Как си след злополуката?”
Jonathan: Which means “How are you after the accident?”
Iva: I hope I won’t have to ask any of my friends this question though!
Jonathan: OK, OK, sorry! Next you'll learn how to ask how someone is (feeling) in a formal situation. Let’s say you are asking Mr. Petrov.
Iva: That will be “Как сте, господин Петров?” It is formed using a phrase you already know plus the name of the person.
Jonathan: It means “How are you, Mr. Petrov?” right?
Iva: Yes, Petrov is one of the common family names in Bulgarian.
Jonathan: So what is the usual way to reply to this question?
Iva: Quite often the answer is “Добре съм”. x2
Jonathan: It used in the same way as the English because it means “I’m fine/I’m OK.”
Iva: Still, when the partner in the conversation is not feeling well other expressions can be used to replace the otherwise typical answer “Добре съм.”
Jonathan: Can you just mention some of them?
Iva: “Горе-долу”, meaning “So-so.”
Jonathan: In that case the verb can be omitted.
Iva: Yes, that’s right.
Jonathan: Let's recap this lesson. You want ask someone “How he/she is?” What would you say?
Iva: If he or she is your friend?
Jonathan: Yes.
Iva: “Как си?”
Jonathan: And how about if this is your boss, for example.
Iva: “Как сте?”


Jonathan: OK. That's all for this lesson. In the lesson notes, you can find more details about this expression. So be sure to read them.
Iva: Yes, please! OK, see you next time!
Jonathan: Bye everyone!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

BulgarianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi everyone,

How are you doing today? Could you answer the question in Bulgarian?

BulgarianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 07:43 PM
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Hi Jan,

You did great and you did it on your own! That’s praiseworthy provided that you have Google translate at your fingertips :).

Just keep in mind that “Как си?” is the informal version and “Как сте?” is the formal version of the same question.



Saturday at 05:53 AM
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здрасти! Добре съм, как сте?

(trying this without looking things up haha😄)

BulgarianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 04:56 PM
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Hi Jeffrey,

I see you are determined to learn the language. It might be more difficult provided that this is the first Slavic language you learn but I am sure you will make it. Things will become easier after some point, that’s for sure. BulgarianPod provides very useful resources for this purpose. If you want to read books for children for a change, you can find some on amazon and ebay. Please remember that language for children may sometimes be more difficult to understand so the books should probably be adapted. I hope this helps.

Kind regards,


Team BulgarianPod101.com

Jeffrey Ford
Thursday at 12:55 AM
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I decided that I might one day retire and live in Bulgaria, so I have to learn the language may as well start now, its difficult for me because I have not studied a Slavic language before, but I am enjoying the challenge, thankyou for providing this as I have looked very hard for ways to learn Bulgarian, and have found no other sites, or resources for this, I bought 4 audio books and they are all from your site and I've listened for a couple hundred hours, and I know only about 200 words so far. but I feel it will all fall together eventually.. I wondered if you can tell me a place I could Order Childrens books in bulgarian so I can maybe learn to read it easier?

Sunday at 07:55 AM
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Hi Bruce,

Please check out these lessons to improve your Bulgarian pronunciation:

Basic Bulgarian Pronunciation


Sound Like a Native: Bulgarian Pronunciation


Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.



Team BulgarianPod101.com

Sunday at 06:06 AM
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Hi! I speak cantonese from Hong Kong. Bulgarian is interesting. But the pronunciation of Bulgarian make me feel difficult.

BulgarianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 07:12 AM
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Hi Nelly,

thank you for posting. Unfortunately, I cannot get exactly your sentence.

инструмент / instrument, is in masculine in Bulgarian, therefore it would be more correct to say

един музикален инструмент

гаранциа / guarantee is in feminine, and you can say

една гаранция

Kind regards,


Team BulgarianPod101.com

Nelly Furtado
Saturday at 07:38 PM
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днес гаранциа как е едно музикален инструмент.

BulgarianPod101.com Verified
Friday at 03:08 AM
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Hi Nazim,

съм is 1st person singular form of the verb "to be". Аз means "I", so Аз съм is "I am". As the verb in Bulgarian changes in person and number, you can usually skip the personal pronoun and still convey the right meaning. It is a bit tricky with the 1st person singular as it sounds weird sometimes, but it is quite ok to say "Добре съм." (I) am fine.

"Аз съм ученик" means "I am a student"

Аз - I

съм - am

ученик - a student.

"a" in "a student" is a peculiarity of the English language and does not have an equivalent in Bulgarian.

Kind regards,


Team BulgarianPod101.com

BulgarianPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 04:09 PM
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Hi Osvaldo,

Thank you for posting!

In case of any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.



Team BulgarianPod101.com