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Lesson Transcript

Yura: Basic Bootcamp, Lesson 2 - Talking nationality in Bulgarian. Hi, everyone. Yura here, and welcome to Basic Boot Camp series lesson 2. This is the second lesson in the five-part series that will help you ease your way into Bulgarian.
Iva: Здравейте, аз съм Ива. I’m Iva. In this lesson, you will learn how to introduce yourself, and tell people where you are from.
Yura: Which is essential while travelling in Bulgaria because that will be the first question people will probably want to ask you.
Iva: Whether you are in a language class in a new country or in your own city, in our small world, you can always find someone from somewhere else.
Yura: And in this boot camp lesson we will be talking about ethnicity.
Iva: We also go over one of the easy building blocks of learning Bulgarian word order.
Yura: So, listen to the conversation and try to guess the character’s ethnicity.
Iva: And I will give you a hint - the first part of the word for the nationalities are transliterations.
Yura: So, if you do some mental gymnastics, you might be able to guess the nationality.
Ива: Здравейте. Аз се казвам Ива. Аз съм българка.
Юра: Здравейте, аз се казвам Юра. Аз съм англичанин.
Iva: Hello. My name is Iva. I'm Bulgarian.
Yura: Hello, I'm Yura. I'm British.
Iva: One of the most fun things about Bulgarian is that it is similar to other Slavic languages.
Yura: Because Bulgarian offers a connection to the Slavic languages and has so many words from the western culture.
Iva: And people interested in history will want to study a very old language.
Yura: The invention of the Cyrillic alphabet in Bulgaria played a key role in the development of modern eastern European cultures. It will take too long to explain it all here.
Iva: Yeah. It really requires a lifetime of learning.
Yura: Of course, nothing beats being able to order delicious food using only Bulgarian.
Iva: Or going from city to city, interacting with the people who live there.
Yura: It’s truly a wonderful experience and worth all the hours of study.
Iva: The fact it is becoming more and more of an international destination makes it even more exciting to learn.
Yura: Yes, I kind of want to start all over again.
Iva: Okay. Now, let’s take a look at the words used in the conversation so all our learners will be able to share where they are from.
Yura: The first word is…
Iva: българка
Yura: Bulgarian (feminine).
Iva: българка, българка
Yura: The next word is…
Iva: съм
Yura: I am.
Iva: съм, съм
Yura: Next we have…
Iva: англичанин
Yura: British (masculine).
Iva: англичанин, англичанин
Yura: And then we have…
Iva: аз
Yura: I.
Iva: аз, аз
Yura: And finally we have…
Iva: казвам се
Yura: Call.
Iva: казвам се, казвам се
Yura: Cool. We learned already, the greeting Здравей in Boot Camp lesson one.
Iva: Yes, here we have its formal form Здравейте. and the Аз се казвам Ива.
Yura: “My name is...” Now, before we focus on how to say your nationality, you need one important word. It is extremely important and you will use it all the time.
Iva: съм
Yura: That’s right. It means something like “I am”, in English. We won’t go into all the grammar of it right now, but the one word contains both the idea of “I” and the idea of “am”. Can you say one more time slowly?
Iva: съм
Yura: And one more time fast.
Iva: съм
Yura: So, in this dialogue we heard the speaker say…
Iva: Аз съм българка.
Yura: Which is the way a woman would say, “I am Bulgarian.”
Iva: Or българка съм also works.
Yura: Listeners, listen and repeat.
Iva: Аз съм българка. Българка съм.
Yura: So, what was the other nationality we heard in the dialogue?
Iva: англичанин
Yura: That sounds a lot like England.
Iva: That’s right, Yura, it comes from directly from the English word for England.
Yura: That should be easy to remember. Listeners, listen and repeat the phrase.
Iva: Аз съм англичанин.
Yura: Notice the съм didn’t change, just the word for English person. In this case, an Englishman.
Iva: Sounds easy but let’s move on to the grammar section.
Yura: Yes, we’ll have to tackle a more tricky subject there.
Iva: But don’t worry, we’ll make it as easy as possible.

Lesson focus

Yura: Okay. the focus of this lesson is gender in Bulgarian.
Iva: That’s right, we’ve learnt how to say I am Bulgarian, but that’s only how women say it.
Yura: Then how would a man say “I’m Bulgarian” ?
Iva: Аз съм българин.
Yura: The sound is slightly different at the end, but it was mostly the same. Eva, can you say the feminine version again?
Iva: Аз съм българка.
Yura: And now the masculine version.
Iva: Аз съм българин.
Yura: Notice the ка sound at the ending turned into ин sound. Listeners, repeat the feminine version.
Iva: Аз съм българка.
Yura: And now repeat the masculine version.
Iva: Аз съм българин.
Yura: So, let’s take this word and boot camp it up a little. What do you say?
Iva: I’m not sure what boot camp it up really means, but I guess we’re going to find out.
Yura: We’re going to list a number of nationalities first in the masculine and then in the feminine. Listeners, try to follow along and catch the subtle differences between the two. Okay, let’s start with the Bulgarian, the male version will come first.
Iva: българин, българка
Yura: Now Russian.
Iva: руснак, рускиня
Yura: American.
Iva: американец, американка
Yura: British.
Iva: англичанин, англичанка
Yura: Japanese.
Iva: японец, японка
Yura: Chinese.
Iva: китаец, китайка
Yura: French.
Iva: французин, французойка
Yura: Italian.
Iva: италианец, италианка
Yura: Listeners, did you hear the difference?
Iva: At first, it might seem overwhelming, but with practise it will become second nature.
Yura: Yes, and all you have to do is add Аз съм in front of the nationality to say where you’re from. But be careful, these words are only to be used in the context of saying your nationality.
Iva: Very true. It is not the same when talking about language or food, for example.
Iva: Okay. let’s recap. Listeners, how do you say “I’m Bulgarian” if you’re a woman?
Iva: Аз съм българка.
Yura: And what if you’re a man?
Iva: Аз съм българин.
Yura: Great. Now, listeners, try to make some simple sentences with your own nationality.
Iva: Have fun.
Yura: You’ll find more of them in the lesson notes that accompanies this lesson.
Iva: So, we hope everybody isn’t too tired after this boot camp.
Yura: Yes, I think we are pretty nice drill instructors. We don’t yell at listeners or anything.
Iva: So, keep practicing and you have this down pat in no time.


Yura: That’s it for this lesson.
Iva: Thanks for listening. Чао!
Yura: See you.


Please to leave a comment.
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BulgarianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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BulgarianPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 04:24 AM
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Ciao Luciano,

As sym Bulgarche is the same, but the gender is neuter:

Аз съм българин. - I am (a) Bulgarian (male)

Аз съм българка. - I am (a) Bulgarian (female)

Аз съм българче. - I am (a) Bulgarian (neuter) - a kid will use this gender form.

Kind regards,


Team BulgarianPod101.com

Monday at 03:53 AM
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Very useful, blagodaria mnogo! Only one question, I noted you say Az sym bulgarin for male expression. But you have a famous poem called As sym Bulgarche. Where is the difference? ciao ot Italia!

BulgarianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 05:09 AM
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Hi Amanda,

you can use канадец (m.), канадка (f.) when you talk about persons. It is rather common to refer to a child from Canada as канадче as well.

Hope that these details can be of use to you :)

Kind regards,


Team BulgarianPod101.com

Friday at 05:21 AM
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What would Canadian be for the male & female?

Sunday at 07:56 PM
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Hi Хару,

Thank you for posting.

Please check out our Bulgarian Dictionary to learn how to write and say (as it includes audio for the entries) "South Africa" and "South Korea" in Bulgarian:


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



Team BulgarianPod101.com

Saturday at 09:53 PM
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Just a question, how would one say they're from a country like "South Korea" or "South Africa", particularly in regards to the country's name that includes a direction?


BulgarianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 07:06 AM
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Здравей, Матю,

In Bulgarian, you can skip the personal pronoun very often, but in a very short sentence, as in

I am Mathew / Аз съм Матю,

you'd better use the whole one.

You can also say

Матю съм. / It's Mathew, if you are calling a friend for instance and you want to inform them that it's you who is calling.

Kind regards,


Team BulgarianPod101.com

Tuesday at 04:49 PM
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съм матю

BulgarianPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 11:17 PM
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Здравей, Трент,

You can say for a male/female Australian respectively: Аз съм австралиец. / Аз съм австралийка.

Kind regards,


Team BulgarianPod101.com

Wednesday at 08:53 PM
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I know that "Аз съм от Австралия" means "I'm from Australia.

Could you please help me to say- "I'm Australian" for a male?

Благодаря ви много.

Regards Трент.