Bulgaria a former Soviet state located on the Black Sea and home to the Danubian Plain, the Balkan Mountains, the Thracian Plain, and the Rhodope Mountains. Rich in history and surviving many take over attempts the Bulgarian have also penned many a quote and proverbs. If you want more from Bulgaria, visit our Bulgarian radio page, our Bulgarian course page or request a free Bulgarian download.
Ако сам не си помогнеш, и господ не може да ти помогне
Translation: If you don’t help yourself, even God cannot help you.
Бързата работа – срам за майстора.
Translation: Hasty work – shame for the craftsman.
English equivalent: Haste makes waste.
Бързата кучка слепи ги ражда
Translation: The hasty bitch gives birth to blind puppies.
English equivalent: Haste makes waste.
Translation: It is good fishing in streamy water.
English equivalent: It is good fishing in troubled waters.
Meaning: In taking advantage of chaotic conditions one can easily serve one’s own purposes.
Една лястовичка пролет не прави.
Translation: One swallow doesn’t make a spring.
Meaning: A solitary event is no indication that a major change is taking place.
Голям залък лапни, голяма дума не казвай.
Translation: Take a big bite, don’t say a big word.
English equivalent: A man of words and not of deeds, is like a garden full of weeds.
Meaning: Act, don’t talk.
Funny Bulgarian language tip for Americans
Капка по капка – вир става.
Translation: Drop by drop – a whole lake becomes.
Meaning: No matter how small, each contribution matters.
English equivalent: Many a mickle makes a muckle.
Който нож вади, от нож умира.
He who pulls out a knife, by knife shall die.
English equivalent: Live by the sword, die by the sword.
Meaning: “Those who engage in aggression or violence will meet their death in a similar way.”
Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of
Много баби, хилаво бебе.
Translation: Тоо many midwives deliver a sickly baby.
English equivalnent: Too many cooks ruin the broth.
Мeaning: When too many people give advice, things do not work.
Воронин, Андрей. Кръстословица за Слепия. TRUD Publishers. ISBN 9545289309.
На вълка вратът му е дебел, защото си върши работата сам.
Translation: The wolf has a thick neck, because he does his job on his own.
English equivalent: If you want a thing done right, do it yourself.
На лъжата краката са къси.
Translation: A lie’s legs are short.
English equivalent: A lie has short legs.
Meaning: Lies cannot go far.
Не оставяй днешната работа за утре
Translation: Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today.
Romanian equivalent: Ce poţi face azi, nu lăsa pe mâine.
Каменов, Йордан (1995). Преди и сега – равно на всякога. Fliorir Publishing House. p. 11. ISBN 9548226448.
Няма дим без огън.
Translation: There is no smoke without fire.
Meaning: There is a reason for everything that happened.
Other meaning: A rumour contains some truth.
Андреев, Коста (2004). Есента на Първия: Роман. TRUD Publishers. p. 163. ISBN 9545284706.
Насила хубост не става.
Translation: You can’t make something beautiful with force.
English equivalent: You can lead a horse to the water but you can’t make it drink.
Meaning: You can give someone an opportunity, but you can’t force him to take advantage of it.
Ганчев, Марко (2002). Смешна тъга. Fliorir Publishing House. p. 247. ISBN 9548226723.
Помогни си сам да ти помогне и Господ.’
Translation: Aid yourself and the lord will come.
English equivalent: Heaven helps those who help themselves.
Meaning: When in trouble first of all every one himself should do his best to improve his condition.
Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 150. ISBN 1-875943-44-7.
Cholakova, Kristalina (2008). Речник на българския език (2 ed.). Prof. Marin Drinov. p. 372.
Приятел в нужда се познава.
English: A friend in need is a friend in deed.
English equivalent: A friend is known in adversity, like gold is known in fire.
Пилците се броят наесен.
English equivalent: Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.
Сговорна дружина, планина повдига.
English equivalent: Many hands make light work.
Translation: Still waters run deep.
English equivalent: Still waters run deep.
Meaning: A person might be taciturn because his head is filled with ambitious thoughts.
Човек предполага, Господ разполага.
Translation: Man proposes, God disposes.
Три пъти мери, веднъж режи.
Measure thrice, cut once.
or Plan carefully.
Трай коньо за зелена трева.
Wait horse for green grass.
or What you are hoping for will never happen.
Bulgarian sayings in English
Bulgarian quotes with English translation