Learning to read in Bulgarian (consonants – 1)

Learning to read in Bulgarian (consonants – Мм, Лл, Нн, Рр)

What follows is a series of reading exercises to practise the letters of the alphabet: learn the name of the respecive letter (you can use this publication as a general guide), then practice the isolated syllables in bold and proceed reading the words.

In order to learn to read effortlessly in Bulgarian, it is best if you are able to quickly divide the word into syllables (which consist of a vowel and one or more consonants). Syllable division has been marked with hyphens to help you with the first few batches of words.

Word stress is marked with bold italics (e.g. вода).

Approximate translations have been provided in brackets, and where appropriate, some additional information as to gender, etc., but as it is always preferable to learn the usage of a word rather than its literal translation, so concentrate on memorizing only the words with the most concrete meaning.


ма мъ мо му ме ми

ам ъм ом ум ем им

ма-ма (mother)

ма – мо (mother, when used as direct address)

и-ма (has)

и-мам (have)

мо-е (my)

мо-и (my, plural)

Ми-ми (female name)

Е-мо (male name)

ум (mind)

и-ме (name)


ла лъ ло лу ле ли

ал ъл ол ул ел ил

ла-ле (tulip)

лу-ла (pipe)

е-ла (fir)

а-ло (hello – when talking on the phone)

мил (kind)

Ми-ла (female name)

Е-ли (female name)

Ли-ли (female name)


на нъ но ну не ни 

ан ън он ун ен ин

лен (flax)

ние (we)

е-лен (deer)

ну-ла (zero)

Ни-на (female name)

Но-на (female name)

лу-на (moon)

лу-нен (lunar)

у-мен (clever – masculine)

ум-на (clever – feminine)

ли-мон (lemon)

ли-мо-ни (lemons)

ли-мо-нен (lemony)

ли-мо-не-ни (lemony – plural)

ма-ли-на (raspberry)

ма-ли-ни (raspberry – plural)

ма-ли-нен (raspberry – adjective)

ма-ли-не-ни (raspberry – adjective – plural)


ра ръ ро ру ре ри

ар ър ор ур ер ир

ра-мо (shoulder)

ра-но (early)

о-рел (eagle)

ор-ли (eagles)

о-ран (plowing)

мо-ре (sea)

у-ра (hooray)

ру-ло (roll)

мир (peace)

ми-рен (peaceful)

мир-на (peaceful – feminine)

мир-но (peaceful – neutral)

мир-ни (peaceful – plural)

у-мо-ра (tiredness)

у-мо-рен (tired)

у-мо-ре-на (tired – feminine)

у-мо-ре-ни (tired – plural)

Ма-ра (female name)

Ми-ра (female name)

Ли-ла (female name)

Ми-на (female name)

И-ри-на (female name)

Ма-рин (male name)

Ма-ри-на (female name)

Ми-ле-на (female name)

Ру-мен (male name)

Ри-ла (a mountain in Bulgaria)

Further reading (sources):

The alphabet books of the PROSVETA publishing house (published respectively in 1953, 1976, 1990 and 2016) were used in preparing these reading exercises.