What language is in Bulgaria? About Bulgarian and English
Detailed article about the language of Bulgaria. How do do they understand English?

What language is in Bulgaria? About Bulgarian and English

One of the important factors in choosing a country for recreation for many tourists is the language barrier.

Well, who going to a new country not worried about:

  • Will they understand me if I speak English?
  • What is the language in this country?
  • Can I understand some words in Bulgarian?

We will try to answer these and other questions from the point of view of people who have personally visited 9 Bulgarian resorts. We managed to communicate quite actively with the Bulgarians from different age and social groups and to understand who understands English.

In this article we share our experience and give useful advices.

What language is in Bulgaria?

The official language of Bulgaria is Bulgarian. It is a Slavic language, and therefore for the people of Europe, it is not clear, it uses the Cyrillic alphabet.

By the way, there are a lot of Russians in Bulgaria, a significant part of advertisements and ads, especially about the sale of real estate, are written in Russian.

Are there signs in English?

Надписи на нескольких языках в Болгарии

A typical example of a Bulgarian advertising sign. Here you can find Bulgarian, Russian, English, and even Hebrew.

Despite the fact that Cyrillic is used in Bulgaria, the names of some of the shops and supermarkets are written in English letters too.

At many intersections you can see the signs with the names of streets and arrows. The names are written in both Bulgarian and English. Although we had the impression that the English version was done via Google Translate – so many mistakes happen in it.

A similar situation with price lists and descriptions of sights – information will be duplicated in English. Most often it will be written in a Bulgarian language and English.

Basically, in terms of language Bulgaria is a comfortable country, but there is one detail …

A nod in Bulgaria means no!

In Bulgaria, there is one detail that confuses Europeans and Americans.

If the Bulgarians disagree with something, they nod just like we do when we want to say “yes.” That is, the familiar nod means “no.” Agreement looks like shaking of the head from side to side. Not the way we show “no”, but tilting it to one shoulder, then to the second.

Will they understand me in Bulgaria?

Общение с болгарами на русском

In Bulgaria We quietly talked in English. We were understood even by grandmothers, knitting such beautiful tablecloths, but this is a rare case

In Bulgaria you will be understood. Despite the fact that the Bulgarians are simply amazingly friendly people, they also do not like rudeness (Russian communicate in that way). So if you ask politely something, you will be understood and got answer. But this applies only to the younger generation. Older people understand English very poorly.

The main advice for communicating with the Bulgarians: be polite and friendly and you will certainly be helped! Do not forget to say hello, apologize, do not forget to thank.

Will knowledge of English help in Bulgaria?

In English, it is worth talking only to young people. In Bulgaria there are quite a lot of tourists from the US and Europe, and therefore most sellers and waiters speak English quite well.

You could check whether you will be comfortable in Bulgaria, we picked up several photos of various signboards, documents, menus, price tags.

How to communicate with Bulgarians – some useful tips

As we have already said, Bulgarians are simply amazingly hospitable people.

To win the favor of the Bulgarians, it is enough just not to forget to greet, smile and thank.

How do I set up an offline translator?

In this article I will briefly explain how to set up the translator. Almost everyone has a smartphone. Install on it Google Translate (most likely it is already installed) and upload the Bulgarian language into it.

After these simple manipulations your translator will work even without an internet connection, which very often helped us . Yes, the translation sometimes just terrible, but it’s understandable. And most likely you will not need it.

It is worth to learn even a few Bulgarian words

We recommend to learn at least a few Bulgarian words. Thank you (blagodarya), please (molya), hello (zdravey), good afternoon (dobr den), excuse me (izvinete). To be honest, you probably do not need other words.

Bulgarians – very kind and hospitable people

About the Bulgarians, their traditions and customs, we prepared a separate article with our impressions of visiting Bulgaria.

Here we only specify that of the ten countries visited by us in Bulgaria, people were the most hospitable and kind. Next in line is Georgia – we were told incredibly about the hospitality of this country.

Useful links:


One Response

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  1. MasterMen
    Sep 19, 2018 - 12:20 PM

    Questions in Bulgarian which do not use a question word (such as who? what? etc.) are formed with the particle ли after the verb; a subject is not necessary, as the verbal conjugation suggests who is performing the action:

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