Bulgarian question: така се олюля че без малко щеше да падне

This phrase, ‘така се олюля че без малко щеше да падне’ contains an expression ‘без малко’, which I don’t quite get. In the original English (this is from The Island of Doctor Moreau), the text reads “[he] stood staggering, and as it seemed to me in serious danger of [falling]”, but ‘without a little’ seems like an unusual wording. Is this a normal way of expressing 'to be at serious risk of [something]?


I wish that we could search through all of our texts that we’ve uploaded, because I know I’ve seen “без малко да Забравих” which means “I almost forgot.” Anyway I’ll ask my wife when she returns, but I think that’s the gist of it.

Okay, just checked, без малко, does indeed mean ”almost” and one uses за малко for expressions involving time.

Thanks. It’s a counterintuitive way of phrasing it, but I’ve made a lingq where I found it, so hopefully it’ll come up for you as well where you see it (I have not shared The Island of Doctor Moreau, since it was a paid audiobook and I didn’t want to violate the rules on copyright, but if you decide to download it yourself, I have been fairly obsessively correcting the translations and annotating them with the root words, so hopefully they’ll be useful for you as well).

By the way, one more question, if you or your wife don’t mind clarifying: sometimes I will see a word starting with a ‘за-’ prefix, and if I look for it in an online dictionary, nothing comes up, but if I delete the prefix, then it brings up a definition that makes sense in the context.

I have the vague impression that the ‘за’ implies starting to do whatever the main verb is, for example, I get no results for ‘запристъпва’, but if I look up ‘пристъпвам’ I get ‘step, advance’. I am assuming that ‘запристъпвам’ means something like ‘I start to advance’, or 'I take a step forward - can I generally take it as a rule that ‘за[x]вам’ means ‘I start to do [x]’?

I bought the audiobook for The Island, but haven’t started reading it yet. How is it in terms of ubnknow words? Over 40%? Where could I eventually find your corrected text? At any rate I have too many things to read now: Хари Потър, Пипи, Малkият Никола, Малкия приц. Funnily enough, The Little Prince seems to have the smaller percentage of unknown words.

There are something like 17 prefixes for Bulgarian verbs, and they subtly vary the meaning. Yes your observation about за[x]вам is right. But sometimes за would mean “finishing” an action (завършвам, затварям…) or even something completely different (застъпвам се…).

btw I had made a mistake, the correct way to say “I almost forgot” is без малко да забравя

Thanks, that’s good to know.
Regarding corrections, I mostly meant that I had been correcting the lingqs when the onboard translation brought up an obviously wrong word, so that should happen automatically. Though there are occasional places where the Chitanka text is slightly different from the audiobook narration, which I have been correcting in my text as and when I notice them - mostly little things like този instead of тоя, or the occasional missing word. I’m only up to part-way through Chapter 4, though - let me know when you want to make a start on it, and, judging by the length of your reading list, hopefully I’ll be nearly done by then and can email you my amended version of the texts for you to upload as a private lesson.

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Also, the text (I’ve split it according to the original chapters) is mostly showing as in the low forties of percentage unknown words for me (though Chapter 9 is 54%), so it is slow going, but at least I can have the original English text (free on Project Gutenberg) open in a new tab, so it’s a lot less difficult than it would be otherwise.

Id prefer to read with 20% or less but can’t find much. The question is, will this type of reading activity translate in to increased vocabulary and ability to speak?

I’ve also been trying to Elliot just for kicks:
Април е най-жестокият месец, ражда люляци от мъртвата земя, смесва спомен и желание, движи тъмни корени с пролетния дъжд.
Зимата ни държи топли, покрива земята със забравящ сняг, подхранва със сухи грудки малък живот.
Лятото ни изненада, дошло на Щарнбергерзее с проливен дъжд, ние спряхме под колонадата и продължихме в слънчева светлина, към Хофгартен, и пихме кафе, и приказвахме цял час.
„Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.“* [* Аз съвсем не съм рускиня, произхождам от Литва и съм чиста германка (нем.).]
И когато бяхме деца и бяхме на гости при ерцхерцога, моят братовчед ме отмъкна с една шейна, аз бях уплашена, а той каза: „Мари, Мари, дръж се здраво.“ И ние се спуснахме.

Sounds reasonable. But I am quite often finding myself surprised by how much relatively obscure vocabulary seem to crop up both in Pippi and in Dr. Moreau :slight_smile:
(At any rate, there are ships and sailors in both)
So hopefully by the time you’ve made it through the rest of that reading list, the percentage will be lower.

Incidentally, I had not heard of the Little Nicolas stories before. Do you recommend them as being a good level for people at my sort-of-upper-beginnerish level?

I find the Nicola stories laugh out loud hilarious. They’re in french on lingq, with audio, which helps when reading in Bulgarian: Търсене на „Малкия Никола“ — Моята библиотека

The stories have feerrors unknown words than Pipi. I’m in the same boat as you, find these stories a tough slog for upper beginner.