I like to be in Bulgaria: ok by me in Bulgaria

When blogger’s block strikes, think on your feet. So here goes. In all honesty, I haven’t slept very much, I’ve been awake for a while, wondering what I’d write when I eventually, inevitably got up, so I’ve decided to take a language lesson on behalf of therebeforelight’s small but touchingly dedicated readership.

I went to the free language courses page at Open Culture and scrolled up and down madly with my free hand over my eyes, then yelled, “Stop.”

Next door’s dog started barking, which probably didn’t impress next door’s dog’s owner very much. I think I heard a muffled “sweep-yelp-mewl” sound as next door’s dog’s owner clubbed next door’s dog with a broom.

Anyway, then I took my hand away from my eyes, and this morning, everyone, we’re all going to learn Bulgarian. Apologies to readers in Sofia. You may wish to skip this one.

Lesson one.

First thing you’ll notice is that these lessons have a theme tune which sounds either like The Past as heard from outer space, or The Future as trapped in a tupperware box. And it goes on longer than the lesson itself. Anyway, back at the Bulgarian.

“You’ll be surprised at how far a little Bulgarian can go,” says Nicolai Simov, our ‘language teacher and cultural guide throughout this course’. Which sounds promising.

First word coming up. It’s Bla-goh-dar-rya (I’m only doing phonetic spelling here), and it means Thank You. There’s no excuse not to use it, says Nicolai.

Well, Nicolai, Bla-goh-dar-rya for the advice. Or, now that we’re friends, merci, which is more casual. It’s like French but has a hard Bulgarian “r.” Too familiar, Nicolai? Better toss in a “bla-goh-dar-rya vi-mnoh-goh.” Thanks  a million.

Now I’m practising aloud. You practice too. Us-pekh, which means “Good Luck” in Bulgarian, Nicolai tells me.

Theme tune plinking into earshot from the magic cloud of melodicas and stylophones.

Dos-cor-ogh: “see you soon”, Nicolai.

But that only took three minutes. Let’s learn some more.

Lesson two.

The theme tune’s growing on me. It reminds me of ferries.

We now know how to receive things, but we don’t know yet how to ask for them. Oh yes we do: mol-ya. It means please.

Do-vah mol-ya: this please. O-noh-vah mol-ya: that please. Aren’t we courteous with our demonstrative adjectives.

Yikes the nouns are all gendered. And “pizza”, says Nicolai with relish, “is a she.”

Tazi pizza mol-ya. Is the correct way to ask for pizza, because tazi indicates a feminine noun.

Now my brain hurts. Please everyone go try it out on a real live Bulgarain today. Go on, ask for a pizza.

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~ by David Thorley on October 22, 2010.

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