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May 09

Bulgarian Currency

By Darina | Culture , History

bulgarian-money

The official currency in Bulgaria is the Bulgarian lev (лев, plural: лева). It is usually abbreviated “лв.”. The name comes from an archaic form of the word “lion”. One lev equals 100 stotinki (стотинкa, plural: стотинки). The code of the currency according to the international standard is BGN.

History of the Bulgarian lev

The lev was accepted as a Bulgarian currency in 1880 after the country’s liberation from the reign of the Ottoman empire. At the beginning it was not accepted well by Bulgarians. The reason was that During the Ottoman reign and the revolution that followed the generally known currency was gold coins and Russian rublas. The people were distrusting paper money.

The first World War brought inflation in a lot of European countries and Bulgaria was not an exception. The country produced more money in order to pay for the army’s needs and as a result, by the end of the war the Bulgarian lev’s value was 14 times less than before the war.

The Bulgarian bank pegged the lev to the US dollar in order to cope with the inflation. However, when the Big Depression hit the inflation of the lev continued. After 9th of September’s coup in 1944 when the communist party took over, the inflation became uncontrollable and the national bank was forced to issue banknotes which were not backed by gold or silver.

After the second World War, due to a few more money reforms and denomination of the currency, the lev was finally stabilised. The end of the Communist regime in 1989, however, brought several periods of drastic inflation which devalued the lev considerably. This lead to pegging the lev to the Deutsche Mark, with 1000 lev equaling to 1 DM. On 5th of July 1999, the lev was again redenominated at 1000:1 ,making 1 lev equal to 1 DM. With the change of the Deutsche Mark to Euro, the course was left untouched making 1 Euro equal to 1.95 leva.

The Faces on the Banknotes

1 lev Saint John of Rila (Ivan Rilski) is displayed on the one lev banknote. He was the first Bulgarian hermit, pronounced as a saint while still alive. In his honour the beautiful Rila Monastery was build. Note that this banknote was replaced by a coin.

2 leva The 2 leva note is graced by Paisius of Hilendar (Paisii Hilendarski). He is the author of Istoriya Slavyanobulgarskaya, one of the first Bulgarian history books which kindled the Bulgarian national revival.

5 leva Ivan Milev is maybe the least known of all banknote faces. He was a painter and scenographer, representative of Bulgarian modernism.

10 bulgarian levs 20  bulgarian levs

10 leva Petar Beron is a Bulgarian educator known for creating the first Bulgarian primer. The “Fish primer” had a picture of a dolphin on its cover, from where the name erroneously came.

20 leva Stefan Stambolov is a Bulgarian politician who served as Prime Minister. He had nationalistic views and launched a foreign policy which aimed independence for Bulgaria from the interests of any great power.

50 bulgarian levs 100 bulgarian levs

50 leva Pencho Slaveykov was a famous Bulgarian poet.

100 leva Aleko Konstantinov was a famous Bulgarian writer. His most notable character, Bay Ganyo is a collective character of everything that was ridiculous in the Bulgarian culture at the time.

The Lev and the Euro

Bulgaria’s current political goal to join the Euro Union includes adopting the Euro currency by 2015. This, of course, means the Bulgarian lev’s existence will end then too.

The motif for the new Bulgarian euro coins will be the Madara Rider. The Rider is a large rock carving on the Madara Plateau, dated about 710 AD. It is believed to be created by the Thracians and is part of the Unesco World Heritage list.

Dec 09
26

Bulgarian Relationship Vocabulary

By Michel | Language , Learning

Today we launched our promised video about Bulgarian relationship vocabulary. Learn more than 30 Bulgarian phrases in the areas of “Love and Romance”, “Parents to children” and “Friends”. Additionally we added to the video an audio version, which you can download and use on your computer or mobile device to learn Bulgarian. And last but not least, you find at the end of this post the transcription of the phrases.

1. Video

2. Audio Version

Download MP3 Version to learn the Relationship Vocabulary lesson on your mobile device (ipod, iphone or any mp3 player)

3. Transcription Bulgarian / English

Download as PDF (easier to print)

Bulgarian Vocabulary: Love and Romance

Харесвам те
Haresvam te
I like you

И аз те харесвам
I az te haresvam
I like you too

Обичам те
Obeecham te
I love you

И аз те обичам
Ee az te obeecham
I love you too

Липсваш ми
Lipsvash mee
I miss you

И ти ми липсваш
Ee tee mee lipswash
I miss you too

Винаги си в мислите ми
Veenagee see v meesleete mee
You are always in my thoughts

Много си сладък/сладка
Mnogo see sladhuk/sladka
You are cute

Разчитам на теб
Razcheetam na teb
I rely on you

Мога ли да те целуна?
Moga lee da te tseluna?
Can I kiss you?

Не, твърде е рано
Ne, twuhrde e rano
No, it‘s too early

Стигаш твърде далече!
Steegash twuhrde daleche
You carry things too far!

Съжалявам
Suhzhaleeavam
I am sorry

Няма нищо Neeama nishto It‘s okay

Можеш ли да ми простиш?
Mozhesh lee da mee prosteesh?
Can you forgive me?

Да, прощавам ти
Da, proshtavam tee
Yes, I forgive you

Правиш ме толкова щастлив(а)
Praveesh me tolkova shtastleev(a)
You make me so happy

Bulgarian Vocabulary: Parents to Children

Искаш ли да играем?
Eeskash lee da eegraem?
Would you like to play?

Да, искам
Da, eeskam
Yes, I want

Не, не ми се играе сега
Ne, ne mee se eegrae sega
No, I don‘t want to play now

Време е за лягане
Vreme e za leeagane
It‘s time to go to bed

Гладен/гладна ли си?
Gladen/gladna lee see?
Are you hungry?

Жаден/жадна ли си?
Zhaden/zhadna lee see?
Are you thirsty?

Вода или кола?
Voda eelee kola?
Water or Coke?

Трябва ли ти нещо?
Treeabva lee tee neshto?
Do you need something?

Хайде да излезнем на разходка
Haide da izleznem na razhodka
Let‘s go out for a walk

Bulgarian Vocabulary: Friends / People you know

Искаш ли да отидем в града?
Eeskash lee da otidem v grada?
Would you like to go to the city?

Искаш ли да отидем на кино?
Eeskash lee da otidem na kino?
Would you like to go to cinema?

Да, с удоволствие
Da, s oodovolstvie
Yes, I would love to

Кой е любимият ти филм?
Koi e liubeemeeat tee film?
What is your favourite movie?

Не, немога
Ne, nemoga
No, I cannot

Пожелавам ти успех
Pozhelavam tee oospeh
I wish you success

Можеш ли да говориш по-бавно?
Mozhesh lee da govoreesh po-bavno?
Can you speak a bit slower?

Неможах да те разбера
Nemozhah da te razbera
I couldn‘t understand you

Did you like it? What can we improve to teach you the Bulgarian language better and easier? Feel free to write a comment right below the the post.

Sep 10
7

Hello in Bulgarian

By Michel | Culture , Language , Learning

How to say hello in Bulgarian? It’s not always done with a simple word. But you can learn here within 2 minutes how to greet in Bulgarian.

If you talk to a single person, whom you know very well, you say “zdrasti” or “zdravey” and if you talk to a group of friends you say just “zdraveyte”.

There is a difference if you say hello to someone, whom you don’t really know yet. Then you greet according to the daytime. In the morning you would say “dobro utro”, during the day “dobar den” and at evening you greet this person with “dobar vecher”.

Watch the following video, which will show you how to pronounce the words correctly.

Hello in Bulgarian:

If you want to go further into this topic: Check how to introduce yourself in Bulgarian.

If you have any questions or remarks, don’t hesitate and write a comment right below this post.

Aug 23
8

Bulgarian numbers

By Michel | Language , Learning

We are happy to announce that we have launched a video which will help you learn to count in Bulgarian. The video contains the numbers from 0 to 20. As in most European languages, the Bulgarian numbers from 0 to 12 are unique and has to be remembered. All the numbers up to 20 can be formed from them by adding a suffix. You can see the logic in the formation of all numbers in our free PDF, which you can recieve by using the form on the right side. However, in the video you can hear clearly the pronounciation of the numbers and learn them more easily. Here is the video with the Bulgarian numbers:

Note that the red letters in the video show where you have to stress the word, but anyway, you will hear this as well. Did you find our video helpful? Please, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion.

Jul 29
15

Romantic Bulgarian Phrases

By Darina | Language

Update: We just launched a video with Bulgarian relationship vocabulary.

Let’s start with the main love phrase:

I love you! 
Обичам те!
Obeecham te!

I like you!
Харесвам те!
Haresvam te!

I really like you.
Наистина те харесвам.
Naeestina te haresvam.

I miss you.
Липсваш ми.
Lipsvash mi.

Kiss me.
Целуни ме.
Tselunee me

May I kiss you?
Мога ли да те целуна?
Moga lee da te tseluna?

You are beautiful (to a woman).
Красива си.
Kraseeva si.

You are handsome (to a man)
Красив си.
Kraseev si.

…and a bit stronger:

Will you marry me (to a woman)?
Ще се омъжиш ли за мен?
Shte se omuhzhish li za men?

Will you marry me (to a man)?
Ще се ожениш ли за мен?
Shte se izhenish li za men?

I hope that list of basic love phrases in Bulgarian was useful to you!

Jun 15
9

Learn Bulgarian – Video Lesson

By Michel | Language

We just launched our first video lesson to learn Bulgarian. Learn in less than 3 minutes 18 Bulgarian phrases and words, which you can use when you meet people in Bulgaria. We would love to hear your feedback, so we can improve future videos to your needs and wishes!

May 25
2

Bulgarian Music

By Darina | Culture

“The Mistery of Bulgarian Voices” is not a name given by chance. The video above shows the most cherished Bulgarian song and singer – Izlel e Delio Haidutin by Valya Balkanska. This song has been chosen to be a part of the Voyager Golden Record selection of music included in the two Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977. Most Bulgarians are quite proud of that ;)

Traveller hint: If you like digging in the culture of the country you are visiting, and you like virgin forests and restful vacations you should go to the village of Gela. It is very small, but has the biggest folklore school for singing Bulgarian traditional music. Also, the nature is stunning and it is a great and quiet place to rest.

The Bulgarian traditional music varies a bit in the different parts of the country. The presented song is typical one for the Rodopi mount region. The distinctive regions are Dobrudzha, Sofia, Rodopi, Macedonia, Thrace and the Danube shore. The most famous traditional Bulgarian instrument is the bagpipe. However, there are also some other typical Bulgarian instruments like gadulka (guitar like instrument), kaval (similar to flute) and typan (drum). Besides the interesting voices and singing techniques, the traditional dancing which accompany the Bulgarian music is quite specific as well. The Horo dance is specific Bulgarian entertainment from the old times. It also varies depending of the music – fast or slow and also depending on the region in the country. The best way to show you what it is is to post another video below. Enjoy!

May 20
2

100 Bulgarian phrases and words for free

By Michel | Language

We created a list with 100 Bulgarian phrases and words for you. You can get the PDF for free on our Homepage on learn-bulgarian.net or subscribe on the right side of this page. The list contains all kind of topics that are needed if you travel to Bulgaria or just want to talk easily to a bulgarian friend. 

Stay tuned, there is much more in the pipeline for the next weeks. The next thing will be a special video, so you learn how to pronounce the words and phrases correctly.