Free Bulgarian Phrasebook

Learn Survival Bulgarian

Wikitravel users have collectively created a free Bulgarian phrasebook with the goal of making it possible for travelers to "get by" while traveling in areas where Bulgarian is spoken.

Wikitravel phrasebooks are available in many languages and each one varies in depth and detail. Most of the phrasebooks include a pronunciation guide, a general phrase list, information about dates and numbers, a color list, transportation-related phrases, vocabulary for shopping and phrases for eating and drinking. Some are even more in depth, and all are free!

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Bulgarian is a South Slavic language, thus closer to Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian than to Russian or Polish but still retaining similarities to all. Spoken by over 9.5 million people, it is the national language of Republic of Bulgaria. It is also spoken by Bulgarian minorities in Yugoslavia and the Western Balkans, and Moldova, and language still in use by many immigrants of Bulgarian origin in Argentina, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and U.S.A. Linguists do not agree as to whether Macedonian is a dialect of Bulgarian. Generally Yugoslavs disagree, while Bulgarians say that it is. The spoken languages are mutually intelligible for the most part, although their Cyrillic alphabets have diverged somewhat, with Macedonian's writing system resembling that of Serbo-Croatian.

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 vocative to a slight degree) and replaced by prepositions and definite articles as post-positions like Romanian and Turkish. Unlike other Slavic languages, the infinitive ha fallen out of use (which always ended in -ти). You may say "иcкaм гoвopити" (I want to speak) over "иcкaм дa гoвopя" and be understood, but the locals may think you're sounding archaic or speaking another Slavic language.

There are separate pronouns for "you": singular '"ти'" ("tchee") 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 ommitted due to context. Many times the 'л' will sound like a 'w' sound.

Bulgarian (български език, pronounced: [ˈbɤ̞ɫɡɐrski ɛˈzik]) is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group.

Bulgarian demonstrates several linguistic characteristics that set it apart from all other Slavic languages, such as the elimination of case declension, the development of a suffixed definite article (see Balkan linguistic union), the lack of a verb infinitive, and the retention and further development of the Proto-Slavic verb system. Various evidential verb forms exist to express unwitnessed, retold, and doubtful action. Estimates of the number of people around the world who speak Bulgarian fluently range from about 9 to 12 million.[

In 886 AD, the Bulgarian Empire introduced the Glagolitic alphabet which was devised by the Saints Cyril and Methodius in the 850s. The Glagolitic alphabet was gradually superseded in later centuries by the Cyrillic alphabet, developed around the Preslav Literary School, Bulgaria in the beginning of the 10th century.

Several Cyrillic alphabets with 28 to 44 letters were used in the beginning and the middle of the 19th century during the efforts on the codification of Modern Bulgarian until an alphabet with 32 letters, proposed by Marin Drinov, gained prominence in the 1870s. The alphabet of Marin Drinov was used until the orthographic reform of 1945 when the letters yat (Ѣ, ѣ [æː], called "double e"), and yus (Ѫ, ѫ [ɔ̃], called "big yus" or "ъ кръстато") were removed from the alphabet, reducing the number of letters to 30.

Nowadays the Bulgarian language is written in the Cyrillic alphabet.

Bulgarian belongs to the following language family: Indo-European > Balto-Slavic > Slavic > South Slavic > Eastern South Slavic > Bulgarian

View the Bulgarian Phrasebook.