Feed on

I noticed recently in my blog stats that everyday people were coming to my blog by searching phrases like “counting to 10 in Bulgarian” or “1-100 Bulgarian” or “Bulgarian + numbers + counting.”  The blog post that they were ending up at was an early one titled “Learning to Count, Again” but it didn’t actually have any of the information people were looking for in terms of learning how to count in Bulgarian.  So this evening I decided to google some of the search terms that people used to get to my blog and some of my own.

First, I was surprised how early my blog showed up in the search engine and second, I really couldn’t find a good list of Bulgarian numbers 1-100 in English online.  It made me feel bad that people were coming to my blog looking for information and instead they were finding my ramblings on learning Bulgarian.  Second, I couldn’t see any reason that the numbers 1-101 in Bulgarian are protected in anyway so I am publishing a list of the numbers 1-101 as I learned them thanks to my great tutor in Washington DC. I can only assume that the reason the numbers aren’t up in Bulgarian-English, and I know this will come as a shock, is that Bulgarian isn’t widely taught in the United States. (This said, to my new Bulgarian friends and native speakers: if you see a mistake in the list…gasp… let me know and I’ll fix it asap!)

A couple of things: I only wrote out the numbers in Cyrillic 1-10 mostly because I am lazy and I wasn’t sure if people were really interested in seeing the numbers written out in Cyrillic (well, because if you don’t read Cyrillic, then it wouldn’t be very helpful for you).  Also, you’ll see that there are two columns with the numbers written out using Latin letters and English pronouncation.  The first column is the “standard pronouncation” or the formal pronouncation so I felt like I had to include it if only to show that I know there are two ways to say the numbers in Bulgarian.  It’s important to note that you’ll see that the numbers 1-10 are more or less the same and then with the numbers 11 to well however far you can count are pronounced in two ways.  The first way is the standard way and the second way is colloquial. The colloquial form more or less simplifies the pronouncation of the word and in almost all cases drops the pronouncation of the “t” at the end of the numbers past 10.

Here’s the thing, it is probably important to study the standard pronouncation because the makes clear how numbers are formed in Bulgarian.  For example, the number 11 is constructed in a pattern like one and ten or in Bulgarian edinayset–the construcion is something like edin-i-deset and for 12 the number is dvanayset.  After 20, the construction follows the same pattern twenty and one, twenty and two and twenty and three… or in Standard Bulgarian dvayset i endo, davyset i dve and davyset i tri and in colloquial dvaysno, dvayzdve and dvayztri. But I’ve found it equally important if not more important to be familiar with the colloquial form because this is what everyone (I can’t emphasise this enough–everyone) in shops, stores and markets use.

Not that knowing the colloquial will make it that much easier seening how fast everyone talks.  But if you’re blond and blue eyed and clearly not Bulgarian and say: molya? when you don’t understand the price someone has just said usually who ever you are talking to will repeat the number again more slowly.  Oh and only once, I have not been able to understand and after a couple of molyas over the price of tomatoes I took out some change and and the older man at the vegetable stand took .45 Lev.  Oh, “chetirseipe.”  Right–how was I supposed to get that?!

Okay and the moment you’ve been waiting for, a link to the chart I created, learning-to-count-1-to-101

See, I am learning Bulgarian!

5 Responses to “Bulgarian Numbers 1-101”

  1. Katy says:

    Aw, thanks, Karolinka! You rock! I better learn some numbers before I come visit you!

  2. Iany Ianachkova says:

    Read your blog and your list of 1-101, good job, didn’t find any mistakes; I had never realized about the colloquial vs. formal, funny:)
    Obviously I am bored with econ right now…as per my Facebook post:).
    Good luck!!!

  3. miter says:

    I always thought the actual standard for the “teens” is “digit”-na-ten.
    So “edinadest, dvanadeset, trinadeset”, et cetera.
    That being said, “edinaise, dvanaise, trinaise” and the rest are FAR more popular for sure ;)

  4. miter says:

    Oh, and that goes for multiples of ten as well – I believe the “standard” for 20 to be “dvadeset” not “dvaise”. But you’ve planted the seeds of doubt in me… Listen to the lottery numbers on TV – the announcers there hopefully go by the textbook ;)

    Great blog, btw! Found it by chance, and now I’m reading old posts to catch up.

    • karolinka27 says:

      @miter: Thanks for your comments–you really are catching up on the old (but maybe classic) blog posts! I am glad you like the blog. Oh and for the record, you’re right about the numbers and “dvadeset” vs dvaise. All of the text books teach the first but the challenge comes in not when you’re speaking–Bulgarians will understand either but when as a foreigner you’re listening to Bulgarians you need to know both and be most familiar with what people in the shops are saying which by far is the “lazy” version.

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