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Bulgarian Language & Phrases - Facts about and sounds of the Bulgarian language.

The Bulgarian language, the official language of the Republic, is spoken by about 8 million inhabitants of the country. It forms the eastern group of the South Slavic branch of the Slavic languages.

All Bulgarians were required to learn Russian at school until 1989; most prefer not to speak it, and many will not. English is the most common second language, especially among the young, then German and French, distantly followed by Italian and Spanish.

Bulgarian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, as do the Russian, Serbian, and Macedonian languages.The history of the Bulgarian language is divided into three periods: old, middle, and modern. The Old Bulgarian period lasted from the 9th to the 11th century, and the texts from this period make up the bulk of the Old Church Slavonic texts.

The Middle Bulgarian period lasted from the 12th to the 14th century.

The Modern Bulgarian period started in the 15th century, but the modern literary language, which is quite different from Old Bulgarian, was formed only during the 19th century. Modern Bulgarian’s two major dialect groups are the eastern and western dialects, each subdivided into northern and southern varieties. The modern literary language is based primarily on the northeastern dialect.

Body language

Bulgarians shake their heads when they mean “yes” and nod when they mean “no”. Sometimes they reverse these gestures if they know they’re speaking to foreigners, thereby complicating the issue further. Emphatic use of the words da (yes) and ne (no) should be enough to avoid misunderstandings.


Have some fun next; click on the link below and get the nearest Bulgarian Cyrillic translation of your favourite English word(s)!


Where to learn Bulgarian

Institute for Foreign Students

27, Kosta Lulchev St. 1111 Sofia

Phone: 720-837; Fax: 723-877

Useful Phrases

I. Greetings 

Zdravey/Zdrasti Hello!/Hi! 

Dobro utro Good morning! 

Dobar den Good afternoon! 

Dobar vecher Good evening! 

Leka nosht Good night! 

Dovizhdane/Sbogom (pronounced [Zbogom]) Goodbye!/Farewell! 

Priyatno mi e It is nice to meet you. 

Kak si How are you? 

Dobre Good/Well 

Zle/Losho Bad/Ill 

Gore-dolu So-so

II. Basic Conversation

Da Yes. 

Ne No. 

Kak se kazvash What is your name? 

Ako obichate Please 

Blagodarya Thank you. 

Molya You are welcome. 

Izvinete/Izvinyavayte Excuse me. (formal)

III. Do You Speak... 

Ne razbiram I do not understand. 

Kak shte kazhesh tova na bulgarski How would you say this in Bulgarian?. 

Govorish li Do you speak... 

Angliyski English 

Frenski French 

Nemski German 

Ispanski Spanish 

Kitayski Chinese

IV. Personal Pronouns 

Az (pronounced [as])

Ti You (singular informal) 

Nie We 

Vie You (singular formal or plural) 

Te They

V. Family 

Mayka Mother 

Bashta Father 

Sin Son 

Dushterya Daughter 

Supruga Wife 

Suprug (pronounced [supruk]) Husband 

Priyatel Friend (male)

VI. Numbers

1 - edno 2 - dve
3 - tree 4 - chetyry
5 - pet 6 - shest
7 - sedem 8 - osem
9 - devet 10 - deset
11-edynayeset 12 - dvanayset
13 - trynayset 14 - chetyrynayset
15 - petnayset 16 - shestnayset
17 - sedemnayset 18 - osemnayset
19 - devetnayset 20 - dvayset
30 - tryiset 40 - chetyrset
50 - petdeset 60 - sheyset
70 - sedemdest 80 - osemdeset
90 - devetdest 100 - sto
200 - dvesta 300 - trysta
400 - chetiristotin 500 - petstotin
600 - shestotin 700 - sedemstotin
800 - osemstotin 900 - devetstotin
1,000 - hiliyada 2,000 - dve-hiliyadi
5,000 - pet-hiliyadi 10,000 - deset-hiliyadi
20,000 - dvayset-hiliyadi 50,000 - petdeset-hiliyadi
100,000 - sto-hiliyadi 1,000,000 - (edin) million

Copyright 2004 My Bulgaria All Right Reserved.Published on: 2004-01-11 (114763 reads)
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