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The Bulgarian language, with its Cyrillic alphabet, can appear daunting. However, with a little effort, practice, and some courage (and the unending patience and immediate acceptance shown by Bulgarians towards visitors, especially when an effort is made to communicate even at the most basic level) the visitor can be sure of a warm welcome. Every effort will be made by their Bulgarian hosts to at least try to communicate with them, often in 'Bulgarisch', a mixture of Bulgarian with an occasional English word or phrase included to try to assist the visitor.
A brief selection of useful words and phrases is provided here to assist the visitor. But, a word of warning! In the Pirin, Rila and Rhodope mountains many local dialects abound. For example, in Banya in the Razlog district the visitor will find the 'k' in Bulgarian words frequently pronounced as 'ch' i.e., OK is pronounced locally as O CHAY, Rakia as Rachia. Also, some local dialect words are used instead of 'correct' Bulgarian i.e. the word for potato in Bulgarian is 'kartofi', but locally in the Razlog district is substituted with the dialect word 'combari'.
Do try to use even a few words or phrases of Bulgarian and you will not be disappointed at the grateful response from your hosts! When sitting at a cafe or in a restaurant simply turn to the nearest table and say 'zdravei' (hello) or lift your glass and say 'nastravay' (good health), or even 'cheers' (only when the glass contains alcohol as it is 'not the done thing' with soft drinks!), and in seconds you will be invited to join your neighbours, and in minutes you will have made new friends!