Formal and informal speech
In Bulgarian, like in French or in Spanish, there are 2 levels of speech that you can use when you address someone ("you"). We'll call them formal and informal:
|ти||You, singular and informal (friend, family, younger person...)|
|вие||You, plural or formal (stranger, elder person, your boss...)|
In short, formal speech means that you'll talk to someone like there's several of them! (use the plural "you").
When вие is used for politeness (rather than for the informal plural), it is capitalized ("Вие").
By politeness, can be used all day:
|Здрасти!||Hi! (most informal, to be used between friends and family)|
|Здравей!||Hello! (used to greet one person, informal)|
|Здравейте!||Hello! (when addressing multiple people, or one person politely)|
By time of the day, can be used for all levels of politeness:
|Добро утро!||Good morning!|
|Добър ден!||Good afternoon! (literally "good day")|
|Добър вечер!||Good evening!|
|Лека нощ!||Good night! (literally "light night")|
|До скоро!||See you soon! (literally, "till soon")|
|Лек ден!||Have a good day! (literally, "light day")|
|Лека вечер!||Have a good evening! (literally, "light evening")|
|Чао!||Bye! (more casual)|
"Чао" is not too casual. You can use it when leaving a shop.
Asking politely and saying thanks
|Може ли...?||Can I (have)...?|
|Мерси||Thanks (more casual)|
"Може ли ...?" (literally "could it?") is a very useful phrase to ask something politely:
"Може ли две кафета?" - Can I have two coffees, please?
"Може ли да питам ...?" - Could I ask ...?
To which the person might answer "може", for yes (literally, "it can")
"Мерси" (like in French!) is appropriate to say thanks for small things like getting your change in a shop, or saying "не, мерси" (no, thanks).
How to type Cyrillic on your keyboard?
In this exercise you will need to type sentences in Cyrillic.
If you already have a Cyrillic keyboard, that's great! Otherwise, don't worry, there's a way to type Cyrillic on your phone or your classic (say, QWERTY) keyboard.
Check out these links to find out how to install another keyboard layout (such as Bulgarian Cyrillic), on your operating system:
Another option, if you're on a computer, is to use or transliteration tool. With it you can just type in Roman letters and we'll convert that to Cyrillic for you!
For some Bulgarian letters that do you have a direct equivalent in Roman letters, you'll have to use a combination of letters like "ya" for "я" and "zh" for "ж". Please refer to the Cyrillic lesson for the romanization standard.