Bulgarian Language

Last updated Jan 2015


When traveling to Bulgaria, or any foreign country, it is always a great idea to learn a few basic phrases in the local language.

Making an effort to say a few simple things in Bulgarian will surely win the hearts of the locals. 

Remember, Bulgarian is a native language of less than 7 million people. For obvious reasons there aren’t all that many foreigners studying and speaking Bulgarian and the locals are not used to foreign accents. Your efforts might be met with laughter, but they will not go unappreciated.


 

BULGARIAN ALPHABET


Bulgaria uses the Cyrillic alphabet (the same one Russians write with) and this make the language look a bit more intimidating to the traveler’s eye that it should be.

You will be surprised to find out how similar the Cyrillic and the Latin alphabet are, both being offshoots of the Greek script.

Six of the letters are identical (A, E, K, M, O, T).
Several more are easy to remember variations (Д for D and У for U).

Investing 30 minutes to an hour to learn how to read in Cyrillic will pay many times over at bus and railway stations.

 

A a  A a  а as in apple
Б б      B b b as in boy
В в   V v  v as in vase
Г г   G g g as in go
Д д D d d as in dog
E e Е е  e as in everybody
Ж ж  zh as the s in pleasure
З з Z z z as in zebra
И и   I i   i as in ink
Й й   -   y in yoga
К к    K k  k as in key
Л л  L l    l as in love
М м M m  M as n May
Н н N n  n as in none
О о O o  o as in opera
П п   P p p as in pin
Р р R r  r as in rest but strong rolling r
С с   S  s   s as in Sofia
Т т   T t     t as in today
У у U u  oo as in cook
Ф ф F f  f as in fun
Х х H h   h as in hotel
Ц ц ts as in let’s or boots
Ч ч  ch ch as in choice
Ш ш sh    sh as in shade
Щ щ sht as in Stuttgart
Ъ ъ  u or a    u as in urgent
 -  ь    
Ю ю U u  as you
Я я   ia or ya  as ya in yacht

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulgarians are intimately familiar with the Latin alphabet and will have no problem reading anything written with Latin letters.

Bulgarian names are transliterated into Latin using a state approved transliteration rules.

Still, it is common to see different spellings of city names and personal names in English.
Ruse, Rousse and Russe are one and the same Danube town, so are Bourgas and Burgas.

 

BULGARIAN PHRASES


Here are a few basic phrases that will help you get around Bulgaria


Basic Bulgarian Vocabulary:

Yes/No: да/не; /da/ne/

Hello: здравей (informal), здравейте (formal); /zdravej/zdravejte/

Thank you: благодаря; /blagodaria/

Please: моля; /molia/

There is/there isn’t: Има /няма; /ima/niama/

I don’t understand: не разбирам; /ne razbiram/

Tourist: турист; /turist/

I don’t speak Bulgarian: не говоря български; /ne govoria bulgarski/

Do you speak English?: говорите ли английски?; /govorite li anglijski?/

I don’t know: не знам; /ne znam/

Excuse me/sorry: извинете/прощавайте; /izvinete/proshtavajte/

Leave me alone: оставете ме на мира; /ostavete me na mira/

 

When meeting people:

Hellо: здравей (informal), здравейте (formal and plural); zdravej/zdravejte

Good morning: добро утро; Dobro utro

Good Afternoon: Добър ден/вечер; dobur den/dobur vecher

Good night: лека нощ; leka nosht

Goodbye (formal/informal): довиждане/чао; dovizdane/ciao

How are you?: Как си? (informal), Как сте? (formal and plural); kak si?/kak ste?

Nice to meet you: приятно ми е (да се запознаем); priatno mi e (da se zapoznaem)

My name is …: Казвам се ...; Kazvam se …

What is your name?: Как се казваш?; Kak se kazvash?

I am …: Аз съм ...; Az sum …

Where are you from?: От къде си? (Informal), от къде сте? (formal and plural); Ot kude si/ste?

I am from … or I am …: Аз съм от …; Az sum ot …/Az sum …

 

Money:

Money: пари; pari  

Cash: пари в брой; pari v broj   

How much is it?: Колко струва?; Kolko struva?

I don’t have any money: Нямам пари; niamam pari

 

In taxis:

Could you order a taxi to …, for … o’clock: бихте ли ми поръчали такси за ... за ... часа; Bihte li mi poruchali taksi za … za … chasa

To the airport, please: До летището моля; Do letishteto molia

To the railway station: До гарата моля; Do garata molia

How much is a taxi to the …?: Колко струва таксито до ...?; kolko struva taksito do …?

Drop me off here: Sprete tuk!

Keep the change: задръжте рестото; zadrazte restoto

I would like a receipt, please: Може ли касовата бележка; Moze li kasovata belezka

 

Travel:

When is the next/last train/bus to …? Кога е следващия/последния влак до ...; Koga e sledvashtia/poslednia vlak/avtobus za …

One ticket to …, please: един билет за... моля; edin bilet … molia

Two/three tickets to …, please:  два/три билета до ... моля; dva/tri bileta do … molia

Ticket office: каса/гише; Kasa/gishe

Ticket: билет; bilet

Direct train/bus: Директен влак/автобус; direkten vlak/avtobus

When does it arrive in …?: Кога пристига в ...?; Koga pristiga v …?

One-way ticket/two-way ticket: еднопосочен/двупосочен билет; ednoposochen/dvuposochen bilet

No tickets for …: няма билети за ...; Niama bileti za …

Is this the train/bus to …?: Това ли е влакът/авобусът за ...?; Tova li e vlakut/avtobusut za …?

Does the train/bus stop in …?: Влакът/автобусът спира ли в ...?; Vlakut/avtobusut spira li v …?

Reserved seat: запазено място; zapazeno miasto

When do we arrive in …?: Кога пристигаме в ...?; Koga pristigame v …?

There is a delay: има закъснение; ima zakysnenie

When do I have to get off?: Кога трябва да сляза?; Koga triabva da sliaza?

Do I have to get off here?: Тук ли трябва да сляза?; tuk li triabva da sliaza?

Timetable: разписание; razpisanie

Train platform: перон; peron

Leaves at … o’ clock from … terminal: заминава от ... коловоз; zaminava ot … kolovoz v … chasa

 

Train travel:

Train station: ж п; гара /ze pe gara/

Train: влак; vlak

Fast train: бърз влак; burz vlak

Express train: експрес; ekspres

Passenger train: пътнически влак; putnicheski vlak

купе; kupe

 

Bus travel:

Bus station: автогара; avtogara

Bus: автобус; avtobus

Fifteen-min stop: 15 минути почивка; petnadeset minuti pochivka

 

Driving:


Car: Кола (informal); kola

Automobile: автомобил (formal); Aftomobil

Road: път; put

Motorway: магистрала; magistrala

Excuse me, which way is the road to …?:  izvinete na kude e putiat za … ?

Gas station: бензиностанция; bensino’stantzija

Can I park here?: Мога ли да паркирам тук?; Moga li da parkiram tuk?

Documents (most often driver license, insurance, etc.): документи; dokumenti

Document check (if stopped by traffic police): Документи за проверка; dokumenti za proverka

Driver license: шофьорска книжка; shofiorska knizka

Gas / Petrol: Бензин гориво; benzin/gorivo

Leaded/unleaded/diesel: Оловен/безоловен/дизел; oloven/bezoloven/dizel

Road works: ремонт на пътя; remont na pytia

To the left/right: вляво/вдясно; liavo/diasno

Straight: направо; napravo

Turn left/right: завийте наляво/надясно; zavijte nadiasno/naliavo

 

Hotels:

Hotel: хотел; hotel

Hostel: Хостел; hostel

Room: стая; staia

Bed: легло; Leglo

Bathroom: баня; bania

Bill/check: сметка; Smetka

Is breakfast included?: Закуската включена ли е?; Zakuskata vkliuchena li e?

How much does it cost per night?: Колко струва за 1 нощ?; Kolko struva za edna nosh?

With/without breakfast/dinner: със/без закуска; sus/bez zakuska

Toilet: тоалетна; toaletna

Single room/double room: единична/двойна стая; edinichna/dvojna staia

Do you have rooms available?: Имате ли свободни стаи; Imate li svobodni stai

I have a reservation: Имам резервация Имам резервация

Smoking/non-smoking: за пушачи/за непушачи; za pushachi/za nepushachi

Room for one night: стая за една нощ; staia za edna nosht


Food:

Breakfast: закуска; zakuska

Lunch: обяд; obiad

Dinner: вечеря; vecheria

Diner/fast food: закусвалня; zakusvalnia

Beer: бира; bira

Red/white wine: Бяло/червено вино; bialo/cherveno vino

Salad: салата; salata

Dessert: десерт; dessert

Main course: Основно (ястие); Osnovno (iastie)

Menu: мeню; Menu

Soup: супа супа

Tip: бакшиш; bakshish

Tea: чай; chaj

Coffee: кафе; Kafe

Milk: мляко; mliako

Sandwich: сандвич; sandvich

Plate: чиния чиния

Napkin: салфетка; salfetka

Table: маса; Masa

Waiter: сервитьор; Servitior

I am allergic to …: Алергичен съм към ...; Alergichen sum kum …

May I have the check please?: Може ли сметката?; Moze li smetkata?

I didn’t order this: Не съм поръчвал това; Ne sym poruchval tova

May I have some more: Може ли още малко; Moze li oshte malko

One coffee please: Едно кафе моля; edno kafe molia


Vegetarian:

I am a vegetarian: Вегетарианец съм; Vegetarianec sum

Meat: Месо meso

Do you have something vegetarian/without meat: Имате ли нещо вегетарианско/без месо

Is this dish vegetarian? Does this dish have meat in it?: Това ястие вегетарианско ли е? има ли месо в него?; Tova iastie vegetariansko li e? ima li meso v nego?


Types of restaurants:

Restaurant: ресторант; restorant

Coffee house: кафене; kafene

Bakery: закусвалня; zakusvalnia pekarna



LEARN BULGARIAN

We won’t lie to you! Learning to correctly juggle the extremely complex system of verbs in Bulgarian can take a lifetime, and then some.

Need proof? Bulgarian is one of the few languages in the world that have the so called inferential or renarative mood. This means that Bulgarians use a specific verb tense for an action that took place without being witnessed by the speaker, the speaker was told about it, but remains doubtful or suspicious of the action having had happened as told.

Up for the challenge anyways? There are plenty of wonderful resources for learning Bulgarian.

Learn Bulgarian online or take a group or private Bulgarian lesson in person or via Skype.

 

Last updated Jan 2015
 
   
resized/Cyrilic letters rus 600x200
resized/Cyrilic letters rus 600x200
Cyrilic letters rus
Cyrilic letters rus