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6 January 2019

Some useful key phrases in Bulgarian

Short dictionary English – Bulgarian

Knowing some key phrases really will make your holiday in Bulgaria a whole lot better!

Here you will find some useful key phrases in Bulgarian and the basics in the Bulgarian language and alphabet.

Visiting a foreign country can be really tricky: different customs, different traditions and of course an entirely different language. Bulgarians are famous for being really friendly and warm people, and indeed they are, but some of them are not fluent in any other language then Bulgarian, so maybe you should consider learning a few significant phrases that will really help you communicate better.

You may need those lines everywhere, in the shop, on the beach, in the bar. Even if you are staying in a private villa with a swimming pool or an apartment you are definitely going outside and meeting people who will probably not speak English. And it is easier to come prepared with a few simple but important phrases, then to rush for your translator every time you need to order a beer or pay the check.

First is the Bulgarian alphabet

А a as in man, bar, but
Б b as in bit, ball
В v as in vine, stove
Г g as in give, go
Д d as in dim, do
Е e as in egg, get
Ж zh as in measure
З z as in zeal, zoo
И i as in ill, bit
Й y as in yes
К k as in kiss, cool
Л l as in lip, all
М m as in miss, man
Н n as in no, none
О o as in odd, hot
П p as in spill, spoon
Р r as in rear
С s as in since, so
Т t as in still, stone
У u as in bush, pull, book
Ф f as in fill, full
Х h as in hand
Ц ts as in hats, bits
Ч ch as in church, thatch
Ш sh as in she, shoe
Щ sht as in pushed, washed
Ъ a as in but, touch, her
Ю yu as in you
Я ya as in yard




1 едно [edno]
2 две [dve]
3 три [tri]
4 четири >[t∫etiri]
5 пет [pet]
6 шест [∫est]
7 седем [sedem]
8 осем [osem]
9 девет [devet]
10 десет [deset]
100 сто [sto]
1000 хиляда [hiljada]


Key phrases in Bulgarian

We have put together a list of the most important phrases that you are likely going to need and you can use the tables for reference as to pronunciation and further information.


Hello Здравей [zdravej]
Goodbuye Довиждане [doviʒdane ]
Please Моля [molja]
You’re welcome Няма защо [njama za∫to]
Thank you Благодаря [blagodarja]
Excuse me Извинете [izvinete]
Yes / No Да / Не [da] / [ne]
Cheers Наздраве [nazdrave]
I don’t understand Не разбирам [ne razbiram]
I don’t know Не знам [ne znam]
Do you speak English Говорите ли английски [govorite li anglijski]
How are you? Как си? [kak si]
Good morning! Добро утро! [dobro utro]
Good afternoon! Добър ден! [dobər den]
Good evening! Добър вечер! [dobər vet∫er]
Good night! Лека нощ! [leka no∫t]
Have you got…? Има те ли..? [imate li]
Where is…? Къде е …? [kəde e]
How much? (price) Колко струва? [kolko struva]
Good / Bad Добро / Лошо [dobro] / [lo∫o]
Expensive / Cheap Скъпо / Евтино [skəpo] / [evtino]
New /Old Ново / Старо [novo] / [staro/
Hot / Cold Топло / Студено [toplo] / [studeno]


Some of the most common phrases and their meanings


1. Da – Yes

One of the most important things is to learn how to agree. The word for yes in Bulgarian is “da” it is pronounced the same way it is written, which is not such a surprise since it has only 2 letters. But this is one of the most crucial things you need to learn


2. Ne – No

No is just as important as yes. If you need to refuse something just say “ne” and your message will be delivered.


3. Zdraveite – Hello, Greetings

If you want to introduce yourself to someone, start a conversation or even grab someone’s attention “zdraveite” is the word you need to use. It is pronounced Zdraveĭte.


4. Blagodarya – Thank you

Another common expression you might want to learn is Blagodarya. It is pronounced the same way it is spelled. But most foreigners find it really hard to talk out. So in case you want to express gratitude towards someone and you feel like Blagodarya does not sound right, you may use the French word, Merci. It is a lot easier and will do just the same job perfectly.


5. Govorite li angliiski? – Do you speak English

This is one of the most important questions you could as the locals, no matter how you decide to approach them on the matter you would usually get a clear answer. You may as well try asking them in English first and the fluent ones will have no trouble starting a conversation straight away.
In case you want to make sure someone understood you correctly you can you the Bulgarian phrase, which is govorite li angliiski. It is roughly pronounced as {go-vo-ri-te li angliĭski}.


6. Kolko struva? – What is the price of the item?

Shopping in Bulgaria will be a really simple task for you if you learn the following way of asking for the price. Kolko struva {kol-ko stroo-vah} is the easiest and most efficient way to figure out the price on any item. It may seem hard to be pronounced but once you give it a try you will find out it is actually quite simple and even melodic.


7. Kude se namira? – Where is?

If you want to navigate freelythroughh Bulgaria, the phrase Kude se namira will be yourbestt friend. There are no specialties as to pronunciation. And simply asking abypasserr would be enough to find the desired location.


8. Izgubih se – I am lost

Everyone has been into a situation where they have got lost in a foreign country or a city. It is nothing unusual and it can happen to anyone, especially in the small narrows picturesque streets of some of our coastal towns.
What you can do in this situation is just find any person and told them you are lost by using the phrase “Izgubih se” and then just ask about the location of a place you are familiar with. It should get you out of the tangled situation quite easily and quickly.


9. Koga? – When

Another key phrase you better become familiar with is “Koga?” it means generally when. It can be used ina different situation as “when does the Bus arrive” – “Koga idva avtobusa”.
Or when is the departure time – “Koga trugvame” {Koga trag-vah-me}


10. Kolko e chasa? – What time is it

Kolko e chasa {Kolko e tsha-sa} will generally help you only in situations when your phone is out of battery and you need to keep track of time. But it is a good thing to know, for crisis situations, when your phone is not around.


11. Pomosht! – Help

Pomosht {Poh-mosth} is the easiest way to ask forthe help of any kind. If you need to get in further detail as if you need police or ambulance you can go as far as saying: “Tryabva mi police/lineika ….”. etc.
Overall you are guaranteed to get the needed help even by just saying “Pomosht”.


12. Ne razbiram – I don’t understand

We Bulgarians tend to be really vocal and talkative all the time, so if you are trying to pick up what a Bulgarian is trying to say to you, but failing just say “Ne razbiram”. It should be enough for your interlocutor to find a slower and morecomprehensiblee way of talking.


13. Voda – Water

Well since Bulgaria is a popular summer vacation spot, one of the most important words you need to learn is the word for water. No one wants to stay dehydrated in the summer heat so you better master the word “Voda” that is simply pronounced the same way it is spelled.


14. Bira – Beer

A truly important word in Bulgaria is the word for Beer – Bira. It sounds a lot like the English counterpart of the word so you would probably have no trouble finding a cool and refreshing drink no matter where you are.


15. Dovijdane – Goodbye

A significant an a quite hard word to pronounce is the word for Goodbye. It is “Dovijdane” {Do-vizh-da-ne}. If you find this word really hard to use, why don’t give the classic Italian word Ciao a go? People will understand you no matter which one you choose to use.


Towns in Bourgas area

There are many options to write a Bulgarian name in English (in latin letters). You can see for example the village os “Bryastovets” written in various different ways accross the internet. The Bulgarian gourvernnments has started a national program several years ago to uniform the writing of bulgarian namens in English – the so called ‘Transliteration’. This site will help you to write a name correct in English.


Airport Летище [leti∫te]
Bourgas Бургас [burgas]
Bryastovets Брястовец [brjastovets]
Kableshkovo Каблешково [kable∫kovo]
Sunny Beach Слънчев Бряг [slənt∫ev brjag]
or Slanchev Brjag
Nessebar (or Nessebur) Несебър [nesebər]

In the bar

One beer Една бира [edna bira]
Two beers Две бири [dve biri]
One coffe Едно кафе [edno kafe]
Two coffes Две кафета [dve kafeta]
The bill please Сметката моля [smetkata molja]

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