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Potholes, Round Loaves & Swear Words! - 24 July 2010


  I have been learning Bulgarian for the last two years and now have a good grasp of the basics and can understand a conversation, even if my grammar is terrible. I have never heard of Bulgarian swear words and have not looked any up in the dictionary as I have as yet never needed to use them. I am also trying to learn Turkish as my village is Turkish/Bulgarian.

Bulgarian has lots of words that sound similar just like all languages. Some in English for example: Duck, Tuck, Muck. Now if you get just one letter wrong you can get in almighty trouble. Imagine being at a restaurant and trying to impress you waiter by asking for a fork but you get the first vowel mixed up with the last vowel in the alphabet. Your waiter might not take to kind to it unless they have a big crush on you. Well this is exactly what I did. Let me just set the scene, I was in my local town Djebel and I wanted to buy a loaf of bread from the bakers. The Bulgarian word for a round baked loaf is 'Pitka'

A Bulgarian Pitka

This is easy to remember as the Bulgarian for 'Hole' and 'Pothole' of which there are many in 'Dupka'. They sort of rhyme.

A Bulgarian Pothole

Unfortunately I asked for a 'Putka' which took the young girl behind the counter by surprise. Fortunaltely I was pointing as well. Always a good tip if you are not fluent. Because what I had asked for was, well without swearing, 'the c word'.

Luckily I didn't know this at the time and so could not be embarassed by it. Unluckily, I decided to check in the pub the following night why my Bulgarian had not been as fluent as thought it was.

On retelling my story in the pub, and with their explanation that I had just asked the girl behind the counter for a strip tease, I caused the whole pub to erupt in laughter !They have never let me forget. When I said she looked surprised they encouraged me to go back again with the same request just in case I get lucky! Don't think Annie would be too impressed though!

So now that I am learning Turkish, I have made a point of learning the swear words, not so I can use them, but just so I don't use in the wrong environment!




 
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