Saturday, October 8, 2011

Part 2 – Bulgarian names

..and for me as a child, and even last name is the same as my parents..the family name – well, in rural areas in Bulgaria, the family name comes from the grandfather on your father’s side. Think about this for a moment..if that were the case for me, my mom’s family name, and my dad’s family name would each be different, and their family name would be different from my family name..and not only that, if my grandfather’s family name were Yordanov, my family name would have to be Yordanova (because I am female)..

The trend in the cities has moved away from this, and families moving from villages usually officially change to a common family name if they move to a city.

A child’s middle name is always a derivative of their father’s name..even if there is more than one child..For example Ivelina Dimitrova Stanova and Ilian Dimitar Stanov.

..and if you call or shout out to someone, the name also changes..not greatly, but it Ivan – you would shout Ivane..or for Elena – Eleno, Lubomir – Lubomire.

This last rule about names, I have yet to follow. In Bulgarian there are 2 forms of ‘you’. There is the singular you (ti), and the plural form (vie).

When introduced to someone you should use the polite ‘vie’ form + their family name..and only when you are on a more familiar basis do you change to using the singular ‘ti’ form + their first name. I have a Bulgarian friend that finds it difficult to determine when this point has been reached..

Saturday, October 1, 2011

What’s in a name?

You know those nicknames we have for people – like for a woman named Susan, we might call her Susie, or Sue..or Richard my be called Ricky or Rich or Rick. And these nicknames or abbreviated names make sense to me. I can see where the shortened name comes from. Bulgaria, names and how you address one another have a very different structure..and it can all get very confusing at times. For example:
- 2 people born in the same year, might address each other as Набори - Nabori (meaning exactly that ‘born in the same year’
- Colleagues working together often refer to each other as колеги – kolegi (colleague)..I guess that is easier than remembering their name.

-- and when speaking with a woman around the age of your mother, she should be addressed as леля – lelya (meaning Aunt)
-- a women around the age of your grandma is addressed as баба – baba (Grandma)

And likewise for men

-- it’s чичо – chicho (uncle) for men approximately your father’s age
-- and Дядо – diyado (grandpa) for men you grandfather’s age

And to show respect to another man (whether he is your age, or older)..I often here batko, or bai+name (for example Stanimir would be called Bye-stan)..kind of like big brother..he always helps and takes care of the hikers in our group that fall behind.

Here is one that really throws is a part of the local dialect in the Veliko Tarnovo region.
- When an older person speaks with a younger person..they refer to them as ‘Ba’
- When speaking with a grandfather, he is also referred to as ‘Ba’
- When a younger person is talking with their mom it is ‘Ma’ (that one makes sense)
- When speaking with morethan 1 person, or to adults they address each other as ‘бе’ (Bay)

Are you confused yet?

If you converse with someone with the same don’t call each other by name..instead you say адаш (adash) – meaning namesake (per the dictionary).

Which is why I usually call people by the name they are introduced with..but somehow, even that gets confusing. Let’s say I get introduced to Georgi. Now that sounds like a simple enough name..however, when other Bulgarians refer to him in conversations, they don’t say Georgi..they say Zhoro, or Gogo (commonly used in the cities), or even Gosho (in the villages)’s an example for a woman’s name – Boriana might be referred to as Bobi, or Boobka. Here are a few more:

Girls names:
Gergana – Geri Penka – Pepa or Petia Paraskeva – Parka Ginka – Galya
Boys names:
Dimitar – Mitko or Mitak Nikolai - Koilyo Valentin – Vaiylyo Yoran – Dancho

Did you notice girls names always in in ‘a’ and boys names only end in a consonant or ‘o’ or ‘I’.

Next week, I’ll explain about middle and last names..almost as confusing as first names :)

This week, I did a radio announcement with two students from the 10th grade about the International Day of European languages..and we asked the announcer to play a few songs in other languages..One of the songs she chose for Bulgaria is the one I have posted above – Detski Spomen (press the play button in the upper left corner).