Dialogue - Bulgarian

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Vocabulary

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мерси mersi Thanks (informal)
благодаря blagodarya thank you
влак Vlak train

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

In Bulgarian, "thank you" is blagodarya" (благодаря). This compound word is made up of two parts. The first, blago (благо), means "prosperity" or "well-being". This is followed by daria (даря), which in Bulgarian means, "to give a gift". This phrase is neither too formal nor too informal and will be your safe bet in situations where you are not to sure what way of saying "thank you" would be most appropriate. An important note on pronunciation: Bulgarian vowels are short; if you extend them, you are not changing the meaning of the word they form. Here's what they sound like: а, ъ, о, у, е, и.

Now, in Bulgarian there are other ways to express one's gratitude. There's one formal and one casual way that we will explore. Let's take a look at the casual expression first.

In Bulgarian, the casual way of expressing gratitude, for example, "thanks" is mersi (мерси). Yes, that's right! It sounds like French and this is exactly where this word was borrowed from. Keep in mind that the original French pronunciation has mutated and Bulgarians say it with the hard Slavic r.

This expression might come in handy among friends and in other casual situations, for example, when collecting your change from the cashier at a supermarket or when picking up your mail at the post office. A word of caution: a limited number of Bulgarians still consider mersi (мерси) a foreign word which shouldn't be used as there are enough "pure" Bulgarian expressions available. Also, to be on the safe side, make sure you use the higher-level expression blagodarya (благодаря) when dealing with officials in a formal context.

On the other hand, for very special occasions when someone goes above and beyond the call of being kind, when someone is extremely generous, or for any other time you're extremely grateful, we have the following phrase to express deep gratitude: in Bulgarian the equivalent of "thank you very much", is blagodarya vi mnogo (благодаря ви много). The first word blagodarya (благодаря), as we already know means "to give prosperity". The second, vi (Ви), is the polite second person plural of the English "you".

If the person you are thanking is a friend, you can switch to a deeper level of closeness by using ti (ти), the second person singular equivalent of the English "you". Then the whole phrase becomes blagodarya ti mnogo (благодаря ти много). The last word in our expression is mnogo (много), which in Bulgarian is "much". To recap, the formal version of the phrase is blagodarya vi mnogo (благодаря ви много) while the version we use with friends is blagodarya ti mnogo (благодаря ти много).

Cultural Insights

Quick Tip 1


What to do when someone thanks you in Bulgarian using one of the phrases we just learned? Very easy: just say molya (моля) which literally means "please" but has the effect of "you are welcome."

 

Quick Tip 2


As we saw in the case of mersi (мерси), Bulgarian has borrowed words from many European languages like French, German, Italian, and English. Their original pronunciation, however, was "Bulgarianized." Hence, if you want to be understood in Bulgaria, make sure that you know how to say those foreign words with Bulgarian accent.

Lesson Transcript

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Здравейте. Hello and welcome to BulgarianPod101.com. This course is designed to equip you with the language skills and knowledge to enable you to get the most out of your visit to Bulgaria. You will be surprised at how far a little Bulgarian will go.
Now before we jump in, remember to stop by BulgarianPod101.com. And there, you’ll find the accompiying PDF, additional info in the post. If you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment.
Lesson 1. Thank you.
My name is Nicolay Simov, and I’ll be your language teacher and cultural guide throughout this course. Let’s begin with a quick introduction of our target destination. Situated in Southeast Europe, Bulgaria is blessed with breath-taking mountain ranges, a spectacular coast line of the Black sea, and the rich cultural heritages. Bulgarian joined the European Union in January 2007, and it’s rapidly becoming a target destination for visitors who come through the country for tourism, education or business.
Now, wherever your destination maybe, manners are a must! And in this respect, Bulgaria is no different. So in our very first lesson, we'll be taking a look at a phrase there is no excuse not to bring with you to Bulgaria. Again, I'll stress this over and over, a little bit of the language can go such a long way!
In Bulgarian, "thank you" is "blagodarya" (благодаря), благодаря. Let’s break it by syllable: благодаря. Let’s hear it once again - благодаря.
This compound word is made up of two parts. The first, blago (благо), means "prosperity" or "well-being". Let’s break this down and hear it one more time: благо /благо. This is followed by daria (даря), which in Bulgarian means: "to give a gift". Let’s hear it`s syllables in slow motion: даря. And the whole expression again: благодаря.
This phrase is neither too formal nor too informal and will be your safe bet in situations where you are not sure what way of saying "thank you" would be most appropriate. An important note on pronunciation: Bulgarian vowels are short; if you extend them, you are not changing the meaning of the word they form. Here's what they sound like: а, ъ, о, у, е, и.
Now, in Bulgarian there are other ways to express one's gratitude. There's one formal and one casual way that we will explore. Let's take a look at the casual expression first.
In Bulgarian, the casual way of expressing gratitude, for example, "thanks" is mersi (мерси). Yes, that's right! It sounds like French and this is exactly where this word was borrowed from. Мерси. Let’s break it down by syllable: мерси / мерси. Keep in mind that the original French pronunciation has mutated and Bulgarians say it with the hard Slavic r. Мерси.
This expression might come in handy among friends and in other casual situations, for example, when collecting your change from the cashier at a supermarket or when picking up your mail at the post office. A word of caution: a limited number of Bulgarians still consider mersi (мерси) a foreign word which shouldn't be used as there are enough "pure" Bulgarian expressions available. Also, to be on the safe side, make sure you use the higher-level expression blagodarya (благодаря) when dealing with officials in a formal context.
On the other hand, for very special occasions when someone goes above and beyond the call of being kind, when someone is extremely generous, or for any other time you're extremely grateful, we have the following phrase to express deep gratitude: in Bulgarian the equivalent of "thank you very much", is "blagodarya vi mnogo" (благодаря ви много). Благодаря ви много. Let’s break it down by syllable: благодаря ви много. Here it is once again. благодаря ви много.
The first word blagodarya (благодаря), as we already know means, "to give prosperity". The second, vi (Ви), is the polite second person plural of the English "you". Let’s hear it one more time: Ви.
If the person you are thanking is a friend, you can switch to a deeper level of closeness by using ti (ти), the second person singular equivalent of the English "you". Then the whole phrase becomes blagodarya ti mnogo (благодаря ти много). Again in slow motion - благодаря ти много.
The last word in our expression is mnogo (много), which in Bulgarian is "much": много.
To recap, the formal version of the phrase is blagodarya vi mnogo (благодаря ви много) while the version we use with friends is blagodarya ti mnogo (благодаря ти много).
Okay, to close out this lesson, we’d like for you to practice what you just learned. I’ll provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase, and you’re responsible for saying it out loud. You’ll have few seconds before I give you the answer. So "Успех!" that means "Good luck!" in Bulgarian.
Informal level - Thanks - мерси / мерси /мерси
Formal level - Thank you - благодаря / благодаря / благодаря
The gratitude to a person you don’t know well or in a very formal situation - Thank you very much - благодаря ви много / благодаря ви много, благодаря ви много
The gratitude to a friend - Thank you very much - благодаря ти много
All right. That’s going to do it for today. Remember to stop by BulgarianPod101.com and pick up the accompanying PDF. If you stop by, make sure to leave a comment. Довиждане!