Translation mistakes – English vs Bulgarian

One of the most common mistakes we see when proofreading bilingual annual reports (Bulgarian/English) is that the periods and commas are placed incorrectly as delimiters in numbers and figures.

When writing figures, Bulgarian speakers sometimes forget that the symbols used are different in Bulgarian and English. In both Bulgarian and in US/UK English, commas and points are used; they are, however, placed differently in the two languages.

Please note that there are different conventions when it comes to writing numbers, both in Bulgarian, and in the different versions of English. For the sake of clarity, we have boiled this complex topic down to the following rules for Bulgarian and US/UK English when it comes to writing figures, e.g. in multilingual financial reports:

  1. Symbol for the “decimal separator”
  • in Bulgarian: „EUR 999,50“or „EUR 6,5 million“;
  • in English: “EUR 999.50” or “EUR 6.5 million”.

Notice how in UK/US English a decimal point, and not a comma, is placed as separator before the cents (the fractional part of the decimal number).

  1. Symbol for the “thousands separator”
  • in Bulgarian: „US-$ 200 000,50“;
  • in English: “US-$ 200,000.50”.

So, have it in mind! 😊

Bulgarian/English mistakes Ралица Цингова