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Bulgarian (български) is a South Slavic language, thus closer to Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian than to Russian or Polish but still retaining similarities to all. Its native speakers number over 9.5 million people, as it is the national language of Republic of Bulgaria and it's spoken by the historical Bulgarian minorities in the Western Balkans, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine, and the language is still in use by many immigrants of Bulgarian origin in Argentina, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Linguists do not agree as to whether Macedonian is a dialect of Bulgarian. Generally people from former Yugoslavia (and above all most Macedonians) disagree, while Bulgarians say that it is. In any case, the spoken languages are mutually intelligible for the most part, but their Cyrillic alphabets have diverged somewhat, with Macedonian's writing system resembling Serbo-Croatian's.

Most Bulgarian verbs carry inflection suffixes while some modal verbs use different words (typical example, the verb "съм" / "to be"). There are fewer verb tenses than in English with present, past, past continuous and future being the most commonly used, but the Slavic imperfective and perfective 'aspects' are present.

Nouns have three genders, and pronouns have genders. Adjectives must agree with the noun they modify and the first adjective takes the definite article if present. Those familiar with other Balto-Slavic languages will be surprised to discover that the noun cases are missing (except for a few vocatives) and replaced by prepositions and definite articles as post-positions like Romanian and Turkish. Unlike other Slavic languages, the infinitive has fallen out of use (which always ended in -ти). You may say "искам говорити" (I want to speak) over "искам да говоря" and be understood, but the locals may think you sound archaic or speak another Slavic language.

There are separate pronouns for "you": singular '"ти'" ("tee") and the plural "'вие'" (vee-eh). The formal 'you' is the plural form with first letter capitalized ("Вие"). Like all other Slavic languages (as well as the Romance ones), the pronoun is usually omitted due to context.


Bulgarian grammar is very challenging and very demanding for an English speaker. Speakers of Russian and other Slavic languages may find it easier, as they are already instinctively familiar with grammatical gender and other common concepts. Nevertheless, there are some fundamental differences in grammar - Bulgarian is a more analytic language than Russian or Polish, i.e. it relies more on prepositions rather than on a complex system of noun declensions.


Bulgarian has three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. Identifying gender is easier than in Russian or Ukrainian. As a general rule (with a number of exceptions), masculine nouns end in a consonant, feminine nouns end in a or я, and neuter nouns end in o or e. There are no soft signs in Bulgarian, so gender is pretty simple.


Stress in Bulgarian is irregular, just like Russian. The stress can fall anywhere within a word, and all vowels suffer 'vowel reduction'. The best way to learn new words is to learn them word for word, memorizing the position of the stress. Fortunately, in every dictionary or learning material, the stress is always indicated.


Verb system[edit]

The verb system is perhaps the most complicated feature in modern Bulgarian, especially compared to other Slavic languages.

There are many rules to remember and since it's too complex of a subject, the most basic ideas are listed below.

This may attract the typical language lover, and if you want to become proficient in Bulgarian, you have been officially warned about how difficult its verb system is.

Verb tenses[edit]

Tense Example Meaning
Present tense работя I work, I am working
Imperfect tense работех I was working
Aorist работих I worked
Future (positive) ще работя I will work
Future (negative) няма да работя I will not work
Future in the past (positive) щях да работя I was going to work
Future in the past (negative) нямаше да работя I was not going to work
Present perfect работил съм I have worked
Past perfect бях работил I had worked
Future perfect ще съм работил I will have worked
Future perfect in the past щях да съм работил I would have worked


Bulgarian has four evidentials: indicative, renarrative, dubitative, and conclusive. In Bulgarian, you must clearly distinguish between what you have experienced and what you know from other people.

  • Indicative: чета (I am reading)
Rough meaning: I know from my observation that I am reading something.
  • Renarrative: четял съм (I was reading, I read)
Rough meaning: Someone (apparently) witnessed me reading.
  • Dubitative: бил съм четял (I was reading, I read)
Rough meaning: Someone (apparently) witnessed me reading, and I doubt their claim.
Note: This evidential is seldom used. In addition, it can imply or suggest that someone is lying to you.
  • Conclusive: четял съм (I was reading, I read)
Rough meaning: I can confidently conclude that I read something.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Bulgarian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, and the language is famous for introducing this writing system which Russian, the other East Slavic languages and Serbo-Croatian (and other non-Slavic languages as well) would adopt later, the latter with considerable differences. The language is usually phonetic though there are few sounds denoted by digraphs and few combinations denoted by a single letter.

Stress is generally unpredictable. Fortunately, most Bulgarian dictionaries and language-books put the accent on the stressed syllable.


Unstressed "а" and "ъ", "о" and "у", "е" and "и" tend to be shorter and weaker compared to their stressed counterparts, approaching each other, though without merging completely, presenting a challenge for Bulgarian learners. You shall hear the 'ти' as a 'tchee' sound. Because the 't' becomes palatal and not said behind the teeth like in "ten"

a ah [a]
like in father or car (when stressed); when at the end of the word sounds like stub. Sounds like "uh" as in the Bulgarian letter 'ъ' when unstressed.
e eh [e]
like in pen or attend (when stressed); Sounds like a weak 'ee' when unstressed.
и ee [i]
like in machine or to be (when stressed); Sounds like a weak 'eh' as in the Bulgarian letter 'e' when unstressed.
o oh [כ]
like in more or score (when stressed); Sounds like a weak 'oo' when unstressed.
у oo [u]
like in rule or moon (when stressed); Sounds like a weak 'oh' when unstressed.
ъ uh [ə]
like in about (unstressed) or stub (when stressed). Sounds like a strong 'ah' when unstressed. This letter never appears at the start of a word, other than for the word "ъгъл", the Bulgarian word for "corner".


й y (i-kratko/short i)
like in yes or play

Before a vowel (after another vowel or at the beginning of a word) denotes a diphthong like in "crayon" or "yes". After a vowel at the end of the word similar to English 'y' as in "play" or "fly". Can be used only next to vowels and not before or after a consonant.


Voiced consonants at the end of a word are pronounced as voiceless.

б bə
like in boy or rubbish, on the end of a word pronounced "p"
в və
like in ever or vineyard, on the end of a word pronounced "f"
г gə
like in gull or legacy, on the end of a word pronounced "k"
д də
like in deal or madness, on the end of a word pronounced "t"
ж zhə
like in pleasure or conclusion, on the end of a word pronounced "sh"
з zə
like in zoo or freezing, on the end of a word pronounced "s"
к kə
like in kite or rock
л lə
like in leak or look. Becoming (younger generations in some areas) closer to weak "w" as in saw (cf. Polish ł).
м mə
like in mine or ham
н nə
like in note or monkey
п pə
like in pork or comply
р rə
slightly to moderately rolled "r" as in Spanish, etc. Like in Spanish pero or otro
с sə
like in spit or cast
т tə
like in time or lightning [ at times becoming palatal with 'ти' and 'тя' ]
ф fə
like in feed or left
х hə
like in hotel or coherent [ usually aspirated similar to 'ck' in "lick"]
ц tsə
like in tsunami
ч chə
like in cheap or kitchen
ш shə
like in sheep or mishmash
щ shtə
"Sht", as in German "Still" or "Stettin" NOT shch like in Russian.
ь [']
not a sound itself, denotes softening (palatization) of preceding consonant; unlike Russian and other Slavic languages, this is very rarely used and the softening is less dramatic in Bulgarian than in other Slavic languages;
дж dzhə
like in join or edge. Mainly used for foreign loan words.

Common diphthongs[edit]

In the middle or end of words, they are я-ia, йе-ie, йо/ьo-io and ю-iu
я yah
like in yacht or German Ja (when stressed); Sounds like 'yuh' when unstressed.
йе yeh
like in yes or yellow
йо/ьo yoh
like in yogurt or coyote. The latter is usually stressed
ю yoo
like in you or cute

Note that 'ю' and 'я' denote diphthongs [yoo] and [yah] after a vowel and at the beginning of a word, and tend to be pronounced 'ia' or 'io' in the middle or end of the word. The soft sign will not be included here as it is very rarely used since 1945.

Phrase list[edit]


Common signs

ОТВОРЕНО (oht-VOH-reh-noh) [כt´vכrenכ]
ЗАТВОРЕНО (zaht-VOH-reh-noh) [zat´vכrenכ]
ВХОД (vkhohd) [´vhכd]
ИЗХОД (EEZ-khohd) [´izhכd]
БУТНИ (boot-NEE) [but´ni]
ДРЪПНИ (drup-NEE) [drəp´ni]
ТОАЛЕТНА (toh-ah-LEHT-nuh) [tכa´letna]
МЪЖЕ (muh-ZHEH) [mə´ζe]
ЖЕНИ (zheh-NEE) [ζe´ni]
ЗАБРАНЕНО (zah-brah-NEH-noh) [zabra´nenכ]
Здравейте. (zdrah-VEY-teh) [zdra´veite]
Hello. (informal, to close friend)
Здравей. (zdrah-VEY) [zdra´vei]
Hi. (informal, to close friend)
Здрасти. (ZDRAHS-tee) [´zdrasti]
How are you?
Как сте? (KAHK steh?)
How are you? (informal)
Как си? (KAHK see?)
Fine, thank you.
Добре, благодаря. (doh-BREH, blah-goh-dah-RYUH)
How do they call you? (informal)
Как се казваш? (kahk seh KAHZ-vash?)
My name is ______ .
Казвам се ______ . (kahz-VUHM seh _____ .)
Nice to meet you.
Приятно ми е да се запознаем. (pryaht-NOH mee eh dah seh zah-POHZ-naem)
Моля. (moh-LYAH)
Thank you.
Благодаря. (blah-goh-DAH-ryah)
You're welcome.
Моля. (moh-LYAH)
Да. (dah)
Не. (neh)
Excuse me. (getting attention)
Извинете. (eez-vee-NEH-teh)
Excuse me. (begging pardon or formal)
Моля да ме извините. (MOH-lyah dah meh eez-vee-NEE-teh)
I'm sorry.
Съжалявам. (suh-zhah-LYAH-vahm)
Довиждане. (doh-VEEZH-dah-neh)
Goodbye (informal)
Чао / Ciao (Italian). (chao)
I can't speak Bulgarian [well].
Аз не говоря български [добре]. (az ne govorya balgarski [dobre])
Do you speak English? (polite)
Говорите ли английски? (govorite li angliiski?)
Do you speak English? (informal)
Говориш ли английски? (govorish li angliiski?)
Is there someone here who speaks English?
Има ли някой, който говори английски? (ima li niakoi, koyto govori angliiski?)
Помощ! (pomosht!)
Look out!
Внимавай! (vnimavai!)
Watch out!
Пази се! (pazi se!)
Good morning.
Добро утро. (dobro utro or dobroutro)
Good evening.
Добър вечер. (dobar vecher)
Good night (to sleep)
Лека нощ. (leka nosh)
I don't understand.
Не разбирам. (ne razbiram)
Where is the toilet?
Къде е тоалетната? (kade e toaletnatuh?)


Go away!
Махай се! (makhay se!). Remember the 'kh' in Bulgarian is not rough, more like English 'ck' in 'brick'.
Don't touch me!
Не ме пипай! (ne me pipay)
I'll call the police.
Ще извикам полиция. (shte izvikam politsia)
Полиция! (politsia!)
Stop! Thief!
Спри! Крадец! (spri kradets!)
I need your help.
Имам нужда от помощ. (imam nuzhda ot pomosh)
It's an emergency!
Спешен случай! (speshen sluchay!)
I'm lost.
Загубих се. (zagubikh se)
I lost my bag.
Изгубих си чантата. (izgubikh si chantata)
I lost my wallet.
Изгубих си портфейла. (izgubikh si portfeyla)
I'm sick.
Аз съм болен/болна. (az some bolen/ bolna) [male/female speaker]
I've been injured. [bleeding or other externally visible]
Ранен/а съм. (ranen/ a some) [male/female]
I've been injured. [broken bone or less visible, internal]
Контузен/а съм (kotuzen/ a some) [male/female]
I need a doctor.
Имам нужда от лекар. (imam nuzhda ot lekar)
Can I use your phone, please?
Извинете, мога ли да ползвам телефона ви? (izvinete, moga li da polzvam telefona vi?/). alternate: Мога ли да ползвам вашия телефон? (Moga li da polzvam vashiya telefon?).


There are longer 'formal' versions of the numbers after 10, but they are not normally used in spoken Bulgarian, even on television or by highly educated people such as university professors and literary people. Interestingly, 'thousand' is imported from Greek 'hilyades', not the Slavic 'tisushta' (Russian tysyacha).

The 'people' versions of numbers are used for instance in a restaurant. How many people? Three. Колко души ще бъде? Трима. (KOHL-koh DOO-shee shteh BUH-de? TREE-mah)

нула (NOO-lah)
един (eh-DEEN) [m.] една/едно [fem./neut.] (ehd-NAH/ehd-NOH)
два (dvah) [m.] две (dveh) [fem. & neut.]. Referring to people: двама (DVAH-mah)
три (“tree”) (but remember to roll the "r"!) [m./f./n. all same]. Referring to people: трима (TREE-mah)
четири (CHEH-tee-ree) Referring to people: четирима (cheh-TEE-ree-mah)
пет (peht)
шест (shehs)
седем (SEH-dehm)
осем (OH-sehm)
девет (DEH-veht)
десет (DEH-seht)
единайсет (formal 'единадесет') (eh-dee-NIGH-seht)
дванайсет (formal 'дванадесет') (dvah-NIGH-seht or dvah-NIGH-seh)
тринайсет (etc.) (tree-NIGH-seh(t)) etc.
четиринайсет (che-tee-ree-NIGH-seh)
петнайсет (peht-NIGH-seh)
шестнайсет (shehs-NIGH-seht)
седемнадесет (seh-dehm-NAH-deh-seht)
осемнадесет (oh-sehm-NAH-deh-seht)
деветнадесет (deh-veht-NAH-deh-seht)
двайсет (DVIGH-seht)
двайсет и едно (DVIGH-s(eh) ee ehd-NOH)
двайсет и два (DVIGHS ee DVAH)
двайсет и три (DVIGHS ee TREE)
трийсет (TREE-seh(t))
четирийсет (cheh-TEE-ree-seh)
петдесет (peh-deh-SEH(Y))
шестдесет (shehss-SEH(Y))
седемдесет (seh-dehm-deh-SEH(Y))
осемдесет (oh-sehm-deh-SEH(Y))
деветдесет (deh-veh-deh-SEH(Y))
сто (stoh)
сто петдесет и седем (STOH PEH-deh-seh i SEH-dehm)
двеста (DVEH-stah)
двеста трийсет и едно (DVEH-stah TREEY-seh i ehd-NOH)
триста (TREE-stah)
четиристотин (CHEH-tee-ree STOH-teen)
петстотин (PEHT-stoh-tin)
шестстотин (SHEST-stoh-tin)
седемстотин (SEH-dehm-stoh-tin)
осемстотин (OH-sehm-stoh-tin)
деветстотин (DEH-veht-stoh-tin)
хиляда (heel-YAH-dah)
две хиляди (DVEH HEEL-yah-dee)
един милион (eh-DEEN mee-lee-OHN)
един милиард (eh-DEEN mee-lee-AHRD) [one billion (USA)]
един билион (eh-DEEN bee-lee-OHN) [one trillion (USA)]
number _____ (of train, bus, etc.)
номер _____ (за влакът, аутобусат, и т.н.) (NOH-mehr) (almost sounds like “nowhere”)
the number _____
номерът _____ (NOH-mehr-uht)
половин (poh-loh-VEEN)
помалко (POH-mahl-koh) secondary stress on 'mal'
повече (POH-veh-cheh) other syllables unstressed


сега (seh-GUH)
по-рано (PO RAH-no)
по-късно (PO KUHS-no)
преди (preh-DEE)
сутрин (SOO-treen)
[in] the morning
сутринта (soo-treen-TAH)
обед (O-behd) more vague than in English; approximately noon to 2PM
at mid-day/noon
на обед (nah O-behd)
afternoon / in the afternoon
следобед (sleh-DOH-beht) after 2PM
вечер (VEH-chehr) starting around 5PM
[in] the evening
вечерта (veh-chehr-TAH)
нощ (nohsht) after 10PM, until around sunrise; when talking about hours, both "4 at night" and "4 in the morning" are possible.
at night
през нощта (prehz nohsht-TAH)

Clock time[edit]

The 24-hour clock is always used in writing or when speaking of official times, such as concerts, plays or transportation; both the 24-hour and the 12-hour clock are used in informal speech. Bulgarian does not use "AM" and "PM" - instead, ambiguous hour numbers are followed by the time of day, e.g. '12 [часа] през нощта' ("12 [o'clock] at night"), '3 [часа] следобед' ("3 [o'clock] in the afternoon"), etc.

Exact clock times such as "9:31" are read as "nine [o'clock] and 31 [minutes]" - 'девет [часа] и тридесет и една [минути]', with the first numeral in masculine form, and the second - in feminine. The words for "o'clock" and "minutes" can be dropped when the context makes it clear that the numbers are a time.

When using the 12-hour clock, the minutes can also be referred to in half-hours or specific minutes before or after the hour (usually at 5 minute intervals) - e.g. 'осем и половина' (literally "eight and a half", i.e. "half past eight"), '6 без 15' (literally "6 without 15", i.e. "a quarter to six"), etc.

The standard preposition meaning "in [time]" or "at [o'clock]" is 'в / във' (v / vuhv, "in"); the longer form is used when the following word also starts with 'v', to make sure it's been heard. This can be seen in the examples below.

What time is it?
Колко е часът? (KOHL-koh eh chah-SUH?)
The time is ...
Часът е ... (chah-SUH eh ...)
... 3:22
... три [часа] и двадесет и две [минути].
... 3:30 (half past three)
... три и половина.
... 3:45 (quarter to four)
... четири без петнайсет.
... 3:50 (ten to four)
... четири без десет.
The train departs at ...
: Влакът заминава в ... (VLAH-kuht zah-mee-NAH-vah vuh)
... 8 AM / PM (informal)
... осем [часа] сутринта / вечерта (OH-sehm [chah-SUH] soo-treen-TAH / veh-chehr-TAH)
... 7:45 (AM, formal)
... седем часа и четиридесет и пет минути (SEH-dehm chah-SUH ee cheh-tee-ree-deh-seht ee peht mi-noo-tee)


Days of the week are not capitalized. The week begins on Monday.

понеделник (poh-neh-DEHL-neek)
вторник (VTOHR-neek)
сряда (SRYAH-dah)
четвъртък (cheht-VUHR-tuhk)
петък (PEH-tuhk)
събота (SUH-boh-tah)
неделя (neh-DEH-lyah)
днес (dnehs)
утре (OO-treh)
вчера (FCHEH-rah)


януари (yah-noo-AH-ree)
февруари (feh-vroo-AH-ree)
март (mahrt)
април (ah-PREEL)
май (mai)
юни (YOO-nee)
юли (YOO-lee)
август (AHV-goost)
септември (sehp-TEHM-vree)
октомври (ohk-TOHM-vree)
ноември (noh-EHM-vree)
декември (deh-KEHM-vree)

Writing time and date[edit]

Times are written in 24-hour format. Hours and minutes are usually separated with a colon; the older format uses a period instead of a colon, necessitating the use of 'ч.' after the numbers to make it clear it's a time (for 'часа/часът', chah-SAH/chah-SUHT - "o'clock"). For example, "1 p.m." can be written as '13 ч.', '13:00 ч.', or just '13:00'; "9:47 a.m." can be written as '9.47 ч.', '9:47 ч.' or '09:47'. The leading zero is often dropped.

Dates are written in European order (day, month, year). If numbers are used for the month, periods are used as separators; in the older format, the month is expressed in Roman numerals. The abbreviation 'г.' (for 'година', "year") is usually used after the year number. For example, "March the 3rd, 2023" can be written as:

  • 3.3.2023
  • 3.III.2023 г.
  • 03.03.2023 г. (in official documents, it's a good idea to avoid dropping the leading zeros)
  • 3 март 2023 г.
  • 3-ти март 2023 г. (explicit ordinal suffix, "3rd")

This is read using ordinal numerals: "(masculine ordinal) (month name) (feminine ordinal) [година]" (go-DIH-nah); the "year" word can be omitted. In informal contexts, it's common to abbreviate year numbers to just the last two digits, still ordinal - 'двадесет и трета' ("twenty-third", feminine).

дата (DAH-tah)
day [of the week]
ден (dehn)
What date is it today?
Коя дата е днес? (koh-YAH DAH-tah eh dnehs?)
What day is today?
Кой ден е днес? (koy DEHN eh dnehs?)


секунда/и (seh-KOOND-ah/ee)
минута/минути (mee-NOO-tah/mee-NOO-tee)
час/часа (chahss/CHAH-suh)
часът (chah-SUH[T])
ден/дена (dehn/deh-nuh)
седмица/седмици (SEHD-mee-tsah/SEHD-mee-tsee)
месец/а (MEH-sets/ah)
година/години (goh-DEE-nah/goh-DEE-nee)


сезон/и (seh-ZOHN/ee)
the seasons of the year
годишни времена (goh-DEESH-nee vreh-meh-NAH)
лято (LYAH-toh)
in the summertime
през лятото (prehs LYAH-toh-toh)
есен (EH-sehn)
in autumn
през есента (prehs eh-sehn-TAH)
зима (ZEE-mah)
in winter
през зимата (prehs ZEE-mah-tah)
пролет (PROH-leht)
in springtime
през пролетта (prehs proh-leht-TAH)


Like all adjectives in Bulgarian, color adjectives come in masculine, feminine and neuter forms, changing the ending of the word; the neuter forms are also used as color names. So 'черно' (CHEHR-no) is the color black, 'черна котка' (CHEHR-nah KOT-kah) is "a black cat" (as the noun "cat" is feminine), and 'черен панталон' (CHEHR-ehn pahn-tah-LON) is "a black pair of trousers" (masculine singular). Plural forms are the same for all genders - they are formed with the '-и' (-ih) suffix, e.g. 'черни обувки' (CHEHR-ni o-BOOV-ki) are "black shoes".

черен / черна / черно (CHEH-rehn / CHEHR-nah / CHEHR-no)
бял / бяла / бяло (byahl / BYAH-lah / BYAH-lo, most of the rest are formed analogically)
сив / -а / -о (sihv / -ah / -o)
червен / -а / -о (chehr-VEHN / -ah / -o)
син / синя / синьо (sihn / SIH-nyah / SIH-nyo)
жълт / -а / -о (ZH·UHLT / -ah / -o)
зелен / -а / -о (zeh-LEHN / -ah / -o)
оранжев / -а / -о (oh-RAHN-zhehv / -ah / -o)
лилав / -а / -о (lih-LAHV / -ah / -o)
розов / -а / -о (RO-zov / -ah / -o)
кафяв / -а / -о (kah-FYAHV / -ah / -o)


airplane/ airline
самолет (sah-moh-LEHT)
такси (tahk-SEE)
влак (vlahk)
камион (kah-mee-OHN)
трамвай (trahm-vah-EE)
trolley bus (electric bus with overhead wires)
тролейбус (troh-lay-BOOS)
автобус (ahf-toh-BOOS)
малък автобус (MAH-luhk ahf-toh-BOOS)
кола (koh-LAH)
фургон (FOOR-gohn)
ферибот (feh-ree-BOHT)
кораб (KOH-rahb)
лодка (LOHD-kah)
хеликоптер (kheh-lee-kohp-TEHR)
велосипед (veh-loh-see-PEHD)
мотоциклет (moh-toh-tsee-KLEHT)

Bus and train[edit]

Where's the bus/trolley stop?
Къде е спирката на автобуса/трамвая? (kuh-DEH eh SPEER-kah-tah nah ahf-toh-BOOS-uh/trahm-VIGH-uh?)
Which bus/trolley goes to ...?
Кой автобус/трамвай отива до ...? (KOY ahf-toh-BOOS/trahm-VIGH oh-TEE-vah doh ...?)
Does this bus/trolley go to ...?
Този автобус/трамвай отива ли до ...? (TO-zi ahf-toh-BOOS/trahm-VIGH oh-TEE-vah lee doh ...?)
Which line takes me to ...?
С коя линия ще стигна до ...? (skoh-YAH LEE-nee-yah shteh STEEG-nuh doh ...?)
What's the next station?
Коя е следващата станция (koh-YAH eh SLEHD-vah-shtah-tah STAHN-tsee-yah?)
Is this the right platform for ...?
Това ли е перонът за ...? (toh-VAH lee eh peh-ROH-nuh zah ...?)


How do I/we get to _____ by bus/subway/train?
Как да стигна/стигнем до _____ с автобус/метро/влак? (kahk dah STEEG-nuh/STEEG-nehm doh _____ sahf-toh-BOOS/meh-TROH/vlahk?)
...the main train station?
...централна гара? (tsehn-TRAHL-nah GAH-rah?)
...the bus station?
...автогара? (...AHF-toh-gah-rah?)
...the airport?
...летището? (leh-TEE-shteh-toh?)
...the center?
...центъра? (TSEHN-tuh-ruh?)
...the _____ hostel?
хостел ______? (hoh-stel ______?)
...the _____ hotel?
...хотел _____? (hoh-TEHL _____?)
...the university?
...университета? (oo-nee-vehr-see-TEH-tuh)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British embassy?
...Американското/Канадското/Австралийското/Британското посолство? (ah-meh-ree-KAHN-skoh-toh/kah-NAHD-skoh-to/ahf-strah-LEEY-skoh-toh/bree-TAHN-skoh-toh poh-SOHLST-voh)
Where are there a lot of...
Къде има много... (kuh-DEH EE-mah MNOH-goh...)
...хотели? (...hoh-TEH-lee?)
...ресторанти? (...reh-stoh-RAHN-tee)
...барове/кръчми? (...BAH-roh-veh/KRUHCH-mee) A bar is typical international-style while a 'kruchma' is more like a pub.
...the sights to see?
...забележителности? (...zah-beh-leh-ZHEE-tehl-nohs-tee?)
Can you show me on the map?
Можете ли да ми покажете на картата? (MOH-zheh-teh lee dah mee poh-KAH-zhe-teh nah KAHR-tah-tah?)
улица (OO-leet-sah)
булевард (boo-leh-VAHRD)
highway (major road)
шосе (shoh-SEH)
площад (plohsh-TAHD)
парк (pahrk)
Turn left.
Завийте наляво. (zah-VEEY-teh nah-LYAH-voh)
Turn right.
Завийте надясно. (zah-VEEY-teh nah-DYAHS-noh)
on the left
вляво (VLYAH-voh)
on the right
вдясно (VDYAHS-noh)
straight ahead
направо (nah-PRA-voh)
towards _____
към _____ (kuhm)
past _____
след _____ (slehd)
before _____
пред _____ (prehd)
across (from)/opposite
срещу (sreh-SHTOO)
Look for _____.
Търсете _____. (tuhr-SEH-teh)
the traffic-light
светофара (sveh-toh-FAH-ruh)
отклонение (oht-kloh-NEH-nee-eh)
кръстовище/пресечка (kruh-STOH-veesh-teh/preh-SEHCH-kah)
to the north
на север (nah SEH-vehr)
to the south
на юг (nah YOOK)
to the east
на изток (nah EES-tohk)
to the west
на запад (nah ZAH-paht)
на горе (nah GOH-reh)
на долу (nah DOH-loo)


In Bulgaria, the customer is not always right. At a taxi stand, you must first ask the driver if he/she will take you where you want to go. If the window is closed, open the front passenger door to ask. You also do not need to take the first taxi in the stand. If there is a company you prefer, walk to that taxi or check the prices on the windows. If there is no one in any of the taxis but you see people standing (talking, waiting, smoking) nearby, you can ask them to be taken the same way (second phrase) and one will accept.

Такси! (tahk-SEE)
Can you take me/us to _____?
Ще може ли до _____? (shte MOH-zhe lee doh _____?)
How much does it cost to get to _____?
Колко струва до _____? (KOHL-koh STROO-vah doh _____?)
Is there a driver here?
Има ли някой да кара такси? (EE-mah lee NYAH-koy dah KAH-rah tahk-SEE?)


Where's a_____?
Къде има_____? (KUH-deh EE-mah)
cheap hotel
евтин хотел (EHF-teen KHOH-tehl)
good hotel
хубав хотел (KHOO-bahf KHOH-tehl)
nearby hotel
хотел наблизо (KHOH-tehl nah-BLEE-zoh)
clean hotel
чист хотел (cheest KHOH-tehl)
Do you have any rooms available?
Имате ли свободни стаи? (EE-mah-teh lee svoh-BOHD-nee STAI)
How much is a room for one person/two people?
Колко струва една стая за един човек/двама души? (KOHL-koh STROO-vah EHD-nah STAH-ya zah EH-deen CHOH-vehk/DVAH-mah DOO-shih?)
Does the room come with...
Има ли в стаята ... (ee-MAH lee vuh STAH-ia-tuh ...)
...чаршафи? (tchar-SHAH-fi?)
...a bathroom?
...баня? (bah-NYAH)
...a telephone?
...телефон? (teh-leh-FOHN)
...a TV?
...телевизия? (teh-leh-vee-ZYIAH)
May I see the room first?
Мога ли да видя стаята първо? (MOH-guh lee duh vee-DYAH sta-IA-tah pur-VOH?)
Do you have anything quieter?
Имате ли нещо по-тихо? (EE-mah-teh lee NEHSH-toh poh-TEE-khoh?)
...по-голямо? (POH-goh-lyahm?)
...чисто? (cheest?)
...по-евтино? (POH-ehv-tee-noh?)
OK, I'll take it.
Добре, аз ще я наема. (doh-BREH, ahz shteh ia nah-EH-mah)
I will stay for _____ night(s).
Аз ще остана за _____ нощ/нощувки (ahz shteh ohs-tah-NAH zah...nohsht/noh-SHOOF-kee)
Can you suggest another hotel?
Можете ли да предложите друг хотел? (moh-ZHEH-teh lee duh prehd-LOH-zhite droog khoh-TEHL?)
Do you have a safe?
Имате ли сейф? (EE-mah-teh lee safe)
...шкафчета? (shkahf-CHEH-tah?)
Is breakfast/supper included?
Има закуска/вечеря включена? (ee-MAH zah-KOOS-kuh/veh-CHEH-ryah vklyoo-CHEH-nah?)
What time is breakfast/supper?
По кое време е закуската/вечерята? (poh koh-EH vreh-MEH eh zah-KOOS-kuh-tah/veh-CHEH-ryah-tah?)
Please clean my room.
Моля, почистете стаята ми. (moh-LYAH, poh-chees-TE-teh stah-IA-tuh mee)
Can you wake me at _____?
Можете ли да ме събудите в _____? (moh-ZHEH-teh lee dah meh suh-BOO-dee-teh vuh...?)
I want to check out.
Искам да освободя стаята. (ees-KAHM dah os-vo-bo-DYAH STAH-yah-tah.)
Literally: "I want to release the room."


пари (paRI)
монети (moNEti)
credit card
кредитна карта (KREditna KARti)
баиков превод запис (BANkov PREvoDZApis)
банкноти (bankNOti)
валутна обмяна (vaLUtna OBMIAna)
loose change
пари на дребно (paRI na DREbno)
подпис (PODpis)
I want to exchange some
Искам да обменя (ISkam da obmeNIA)
...пари. (...paRI)
...travellers cheques.
...пътнически чекове. (...PUHtnicheski CHEkove)
What's the exchange rate?
какъв e обменният курс? (kaKUHF e oBMEHnia kurs?)


A table for one person/two people, please.
Маса за един човек/двама души, моля. (MA-sa' zuh eh-DEEN choh-VEHK/dvah-MUH doo-SHEE, moh-LYUH)
Can I look at the menu, please?
Мога ли да видя менюто, моля? (moh-GUH lee duh vee-DYAH meh-NYOO-toh, moh-LYAH)
Can I look in the kitchen?
Мога ли да погледна в кухнята? (moh-GUH lee duh poh-GLEHD-nuh vuh koo-KHNYAH-tuh?)
Note: In most establishments, the staff will be puzzled by such a request.
Is there a house specialty?
Има ли специалитет на заведението? (ee-MAH lee speh-TSEE-ah-lee-teht nah za-veh-deh-nee-eh-toh?)
Is there a local specialty?
Има ли местен специалитет? (ee-MAH lee MEHS-tehn speh-TSEE-ah-lee-teht?)
I'm a vegetarian.
Аз съм вегетарианец. (ahz suhm veh-geh-tah-RYAH-nehts) [masculine]
I don't eat pork.
Аз не ям свинско. (ahz neh yahm sveens-KOH)
I don't eat beef.
Аз не ям говеждо месо. (ahz neh yahm goh-VEZH-doh MEH-soh)
I only eat kosher food.
Аз ям само кашерна храна. (ahz yahm sah-MOH KAH-shehr-nah khrah-NAH)
Note: There are very few Jews in Bulgaria and in many establishments the staff will not understand what you mean.
a la carte
а ла карт (ah lah kahrt)
закуска (zah-KOOS-kah)
обяд (OH-byahd)
(afternoon) tea (meal)
следобедна закуска (sleh-do-behd-nah zah-koos-kah)
Note: It literally means "afternoon breakfast" - Bulgarians have no tradition of afternoon tea-drinking.
вечеря (veh-CHEH-ryah)
I want _____.
Искам _____. (EES-kahm)
I want a dish containing _____.
Искам ястие, съдържащо_____. (EES-kahm YAHS-tyeh, suh-duhr-ZHAH-shtoh)
chicken [meat]
пилешко месо (pee-LEHSH-koh MEH-soh)
говеждо месо (goh-VEHZH-doh MEH-soh)
риба (REE-buh)
шунка (SHOON-kah)
наденица (NAH-deh-nee-tsah)
сирене (SEE-reh-neh)
яйца (yai-TSAH)
салата (sah-LAH-tah)
(fresh) vegetables
(пресни) зеленчуци ((PREHS-nee) zeh-lehn-CHOO-tsee)
(fresh) fruit
(пресни) плодове ((PREHS-nee) PLOH-doh-veh)
хляб (khlyahb)
тост (tohst)
ориз (OH-reez)
боб (bohb)
May I have a glass/cup of _____?
Може ли една чаша _____? (MOH-zheh lee ehd-NAH CHAH-shah....?)
Note: In Bulgarian, the same word is used for "glass" and "cup" in this context.
May I have a bottle of _____?
Може ли една бутилка _____? (MOH-zheh lee ehd-NAH boo-TEEL-kah...?)
кафе (kah-FEH)
tea (drink)
чай (chai)
сок (sohk)
(bubbly) water (carbonated water, soda water, etc.)
газирана вода (gah-zee-rah-nah voh-DAH)
вода (voh-DAH)
бира (BEE-rah)
red/white wine
червено/бяло вино (chehr-VEH-noh/BYAH-loh VEE-noh)
May I have some _____?
Може ли малко _____? (moh-ZHEH lee MAHL-koh....?)
сол (sohl)
black pepper
пипер (PEE-pehr)
масло (mahs-LOH)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Извинете? (eez-vee-NEH-teh?)
Note: It means just "excuse me" - look and wave at the waiter when saying it.
I'm finished.
Аз свърших. (ahz svuhr-SHEEKH)
It was delicious.
Беше вкусно. (veh-SHEH vkoos-NOH)
Please clear the plates.
Моля, приберете чиниите. (moh-LYAH, pri-beh-reh-teh chi-nee-teh)
The check, please.
Сметката, моля. (smet-kah-tah, MOH-lyuh)


Do you have this in my size?
Имате ли това в моя размер? (EE-mah-teh lee toh-VAH vuh moh-ia rahz-MEHR?)
How much is this?
Колко е това? (kohl-KOH eh toh-VUH?)
That's too expensive.
Това е твърде скъпо. (toh-VUH eh tvuhr-DEH skuh-LOH)
Would you take _____?
Бихте ли приели_____? (beekh-TEH lee pryeh-LEE...?)
скъп (skuhp)
евтин (ehf-TEEN)
I can't afford it.
Не мога да си го позволя. (neh MOH-gah dah see goh pohz-VOH-lyah)
I don't want it.
Аз не го искам. (ahz neh goh EES-kahm)
You're cheating me.
Вие ме мамите. (VEE-eh MEH MAH-mee-teh) [plural or formal "you"]
I'm not interested.
Аз не се интересувам. (ahz neh seh een-teh-reh-SOO-vahm)
OK, I'll take it.
Добре, аз ще го взема. (doh-BROH, ahz meh goh VZEH-muh)
Can I have a bag?
Може ли една чанта? (MOH-zheh lee ehd-NAH CHAHN-tah?)
Do you ship (overseas)?
Имате ли кораба (чужбина)? (EE-mah-teh lee koh-RAH-buh(choozh-BEE-nuh)?)
I need...
Имам нужда... (EE-mahm NUZH-duh...)
...паста за зъби (PAHS-tah zah ZUH-bee)
...a toothbrush.
...четка за зъби (CHEHT-kah zah ZUH-bee)
...тампони (tahm-POH-nee)
...feminine napkins.
...дамски превръзки. (DAMS-kee pre-VRUHZ-kee)
...сапун. (sah-POON)
...дезодорант. (deh-zoh-DOH-rahnt)
...шампоан. (shahm-poh-AHN)
...парфюм. (pahr-FYOOM)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen)
...облекчаване на болката. (oh-blehk-chah-VAH-neh nah bohl-KAH-tah)
...cold medicine.
...лекарство за простуда. (leh-KAHRST-voh zah proh-STUH-dah)
...stomach medicine.
...лекарство за стомах. (leh-KAHRST-voh zah stoh-MAKH)
...a razor.
...бръснач (BRUHS-nahch)
...shaving cream.
...Крем за бръснене. (krehm zah bruhs-NEH-neh) umbrella.
...чадър. (chah-DUHR)
...слънцезащитен крем (sluhn-tseh-zahsh-TEE-tehn krehm)
...a postcard.
...пощенска картичка. (pohsh-TEHNS-kah kahr-TEESH-kah)
...postage stamps.
...пощенски марки. (poh-SHTEHNS-kee MAHR-kee)
...батерии. (bah-TEH-rii)
...writing paper.
...хартия за писане. (khahrt-NYAH zah pee-SAH-neh)
...a pen.
...писалка (pee-sahl-KAH)
...a pencil.
...молив. (MOH-leef)
...English-language books.
...книги на английски език. (KNEE-gee nah ahn-GLIYS-kee eh-ZEEK)
...English-language magazines.
...Английски език списания. (spee-SAH-nyah nah ahn-GLIYS-kee eh-ZEEK) English-language newspaper.
...на английски език вестник. (nah ahn-GLIYS-kee eh-ZEEK VEHST-neek) English-Bulgarian dictionary.
... английско-български речник. (ahn-GLIYS-koh-buhl-GAHRS-kee rehch-NEEK)


Note that Bulgarian traffic signs are based on the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals, and this means that traffic signs use abstract symbols rather than text. Except for the international octagonal red STOP sign and a handful of other examples, the only words one usually sees on traffic signs are the place names on direction signs. Text-only signs exist, but they are used only when there's no other way to convey that information (e.g. parking fees and/or restrictions, or truly abnormal road conditions), which is outside the scope of this phrasebook. Note also that speed limits are in kilometers per hour; distances are in kilometers unless otherwise indicated; distances and sizes in meters are indicated with an M (e.g. "500 m" to a level crossing, or a bridge height of "2.5 m"); weights are in metric tons and indicated with a T (e.g. a bridge limit of "30 t").

Where can I hire a car?
Къде мога да наема кола? (kuh-DEH MOH-ghah dah nah-EH-mah koh-LAH)
I want to hire a car.
Искам да наема кола. (EES-kahm dah nah-EH-mah koh-LAH)
...with a manual transmission / automatic transmission.
...със ръчни скорости / автоматични скорости. (suhs RUHCH-nee SKO-ro-stee / ahv-to-mah-TEECH-nee SKO-ro-stee)
How much is it daily/weekly?
Колко струва на ден / на седмица? (KOHL-koh STROO-vah nah dehn / nah SEHD-mee-tsah?)
Does that include also the mileage?
В това влиза ли също пробег / изминати километри? (vuhv to-VAH VLEE-zah lee SUH-shto PRO-beg / eez-MEE-nah-tee kee-lo-MET-ree?)
Can I get insurance?
Мога ли да получа застраховка? (MOH-guh lee dah poh-LOO-chuh zahs-trah-KHOV-kuh?)
no parking
Паркирането забранено (pahr-kee-rah-NEH-toh zah-brah-NEH-noh), or
Не паркирай! (neh pahr-KEE-rye!) (literally "Do not park [here]!")
Note: Usually written in front of private parking spots and parking garage exits. Otherwise, the official sign forbidding parking uses abstract symbols (a blue circle with a red edge and a red diagonal).
speed limit
ограничение на скоростта (ohg-rah-nee-CHEH-nyeh nah skoh-ROHST-tah)
Note: Again, the official speed limit sign is abstract - a large black number inside a white circle with a red edge.
gas (petrol) station
бензиностанция (behn-zee-noh-STAHN-tsyah)
бензин (BEHN-zeen)
дизел (DEE-zehl)
vignette (road tax sticker for the road network outside of settlements)
винетка (vee-NET-kah)


I haven't done anything wrong. (masculine/feminine)
[Аз] Не съм направил/-а нищо лошо. ([ahz] neh suhm nah-prah-veel/-ah NEE-shtoh LOH-shoh)
It was a misunderstanding.
Това е някакво недоразумение. (toh-VUH eh nyah-KAHK-voh neh-doh-rah-ZOO-meh-nyeh)
Where are you taking me?
Къде ме водите? (KUH-deh meh vo-DEE-teh?) [polite/plural]
Am I under arrest? (masculine/feminine)
Арестуван/-а ли съм? (ah-rehs-TOO-vahn/-ah lee suhm?)
I am a citizen of Australia / Canada / the United Kingdom / the USA.
Аз съм гражданин на Австралия / Канада / Великобритания / САЩ. (ahz suhm grahzh-DAH-neen nah ahv-STRAH-lee-yah / kah-NAH-dah / veh-lee-ko-bree-TAH-nee-yah / SAH-sht)
I am an American / British citizen.
Аз съм американски / британски гражданин. (ahz suhm ah-meh-ree-kahn-skee / bree-tahn-skee grahzh-DAH-neen)
Note: the 'zh' in grazhdanin is pronounced as the s in treasure and leisure.
I want to talk to the embassy/consulate of Australia / Canada / the United Kingdom / the USA.
Искам да говоря със посолството / консулството на Австралия / Канада / Великобритания / САЩ. (EES-kahm dah goh-VOH-ryah suhs poh-SOHLS-tvoh-to/kohn-SOOLS-tvoh-to nah ahv-STRAH-lee-yah / kah-NAH-dah / veh-lee-ko-bree-TAH-nee-yah / SAH'sht)
I want to talk to the American / British embassy/consulate.
Искам да говоря със американското / британското посолство/консулство. (EES-kahm dah go-VO-ryah suhs ah-meh-ree-kahn-sko-to / bree-tahn-sko-to po-SOL-stvo/kon-SOOL-stvo)
I want to talk to a lawyer.
Искам да говоря с адвокат. (ees-KAHM duh goh-VOH-ryah suh ad-voh-KAHT)
Can I just pay a fine now?
Може ли само да платя глоба сега? (MOH-zheh lee SAH-mo dah PLAH-tyah GLOH-bah SEH-gah?)
Note: Relatively few infractions in Bulgaria result in fines that are paid directly to the official who registered the infraction (e.g. riding public transport without a ticket). To avoid corruption, police officers only issue tickets for fineable offenses - the fine itself can be paid only at the appropriate office (e.g. the local police station, or the impound lot to which your car was taken, etc.)

Asking about language[edit]

How do you say _____ in Bulgarian?
Как се казва _____ на български? (KAHK seh KAHZ-vah _____ nah BUHL-gahr-skee?)
What is this/that called?
Как се казва това? (KAHK seh KAHZ-vah toh-VAH?)
What is that?
Какво е това? (kahk-VOH eh toh-VAH?)

Learning more[edit]

  • The Bulgarian language, a pop-linguistic video overview of the language by Langfocus.
  • Bulgarian Textbook on Wikibooks - as of 2023, it's mostly an extremely basic phrasebook, and it's likely to remain that way.
  • The Internet Archive has a few Bulgarian textbooks for English speakers; some require registration to be borrowed:
  • Bulgarian-English and English-Bulgarian dictionary (just enter a word in either language in the search field and hit the obvious search button). also provides a number of other automatic Bulgarian reference features, such as verb conjugations.
  • (Online) Dictionary of the Bulgarian Language, published by the Institute For The Bulgarian Language of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (i.e. that's the Bulgarian analog to the OED). It's mostly useless to people who don't already know Bulgarian, unless you are trying to seriously study the language, or to look up a word that is not in any other online dictionary. As of 2023, both the online and the print dictionary reach only to the letter 'Р' (R).
This Bulgarian phrasebook is a usable article. It explains pronunciation and the bare essentials of travel communication. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.