Culture & Community

Learning Bulgarian: Our Favorite Words/Phrases

здрасти приятели!! Or as we say in English…hello friends!!

It is hard to believe that we recently hit the 9 MONTH anniversary of our arrival in Ruse!! CRAZYYY!! But the good news is the sun is shinning and yes we are still smiling!


What a journey it has been. Looking back on some of our posts we realized we have neglected to write many updates about our language learning (Oops!).

We did write a quick post back in December about the Bulgarian Alphabet, (Note: NOT the Russian alphabet) but we have learned so much more since then and it would be a shame if we did not share about some of it with you all!

To answer some common language learning questions we have received:

-Yes, we are taking weekly(ish) private Bulgarian lessons with our wonderful Bulgarian teacher.

-In addition to our lessons we are using a textbook published by the Sofia University, the phone app Quizlet for testing our vocabulary, attempting to use whatever words we do know in our day to day conversations and sometimes check out children’s books from the local library to read (Dora the Explorer books are the best!!)

-How well do we understand Bulgarian? That really depends on the day, but generally we can read basic signs/menus, have a basic conversation with someone if they speak slowly and clearly 🙂 , and can do many day to day errands without too much trouble.

So while we should probably share some common phrases that we have learned (which might actually be useful if you were to travel to Bulgaria)…let’s be honest that the words/phrases that we find funny (mostly based on how they compare to our native language of English) are much more entertaining 😂. So without further ado…here are some of our favorite Bulgarian words and phrases that we have learned so far. Some of them we still have trouble saying with a straight face!

  1. Вратата (vratata) – The door – Notice how this word rhymes with ‘Fritatta’ 😉
  2. Пухкав (pukhkav) – fluffy
  3. магданоз (magdanoz) – parsley – No it is not pronounced McDonalds but that is how we remember it 🙂
  4. той губи гъби (toĭ gubi gŭbi) – He loses mushrooms
  5. брак (brak) – marriage – to us this sounds a bit harsh to define marriage 😬
  6. ъгъл (ŭgŭl) – angle/corner – the plural ‘corners’ is even better ъгли (ŭgli)
  7. пуканки (pukanki) – popcorn
  8. кокошка (kokoshka) – hen
  9. коза коса (koza kosa) – goat hair
  10. балони (baloni) – ballons – No this is not a type of meat 😆

Next time we post about our language learning journey we will try to include some more practical information 😉 . In the meantime, you can enjoy impressing your friends with these fun Bulgarian words!

If you ever have more specific language learning questions for us do let us know. We also love hearing stories from others about their own language learning journey so don’t hesitate to write us if you have a fun story to share 🙂 .