Bulgarian is the country's only official language. It's spoken by the vast majority of the Bulgarian population and used at all levels of society. It is a Slavic language, and its closest relative is Macedonian. Bulgarian is written with Cyrillic, which is also used by Russian and Serbian.
English was the most commonly known foreign language in Bulgaria (25% claimed workable knowledge of it), followed by Russian (23%), and German (8%), according to a Eurobarometer survey conducted in 2012.
The commonly cited phenomenon of Bulgarian people shaking their head for "yes" and nodding for "no" is true but, with the influence of Western culture, ever rarer, and almost non-existent among the younger generation. (the shaking and nodding are not identical to the Western gestures. The "nod" for no is actually an upward movement of the head rather than a downward one, while the shaking of the head for yes is not completely horizontal, but also has a slight "wavy" aspect to it.)
A dental click (similar to the English "tsk") also means "no" (informal), as does ъ-ъ [ʔəʔə] (the only occurrence in Bulgarian of the glottal stop). The two are often said with the upward 'nod'.
Do you speak English, German, French?
Govorriteh lee anglyiski, nemski, frenski?
Could you please call a taxi for me?
Molya, povikayte taxi!
Call an ambulance!
My Name is …….
Have you got….
Cheren chay molya
Could I have the menu please
Menuto ako obichate
I am a vegetarian
Az sam veghetaryanets
Please bring me/us…..
Molya donesseteh mee /nee
The bill please
Is there a non-smoking section?
Eema lee zallah za neh pooshatchi
I don’t understand.
Compliments to the chef!
Compleementee nah gotvachah
Could I have a cup of coffee with hot milk
Cahfeh sas goreshto mlyako molya
Tea with hot milk
Chay s goreshtoh mlyako molya
Bulgarian has an extensive vocabulary covering family relationships. The biggest range of words is for uncles and aunts, e.g. chicho (your father's brother), vuicho (your mother's brother), svako (your aunt's husband); an even larger number of synonyms for these three exists in the various dialects of Bulgarian, including kaleko, lelincho, tetin, etc. The words do not only refer to the closest members of the family (such as brat – brother, but batko/bate – older brother, sestra – sister, but kaka – older sister), but extend to its furthest reaches, e.g. badzhanak from Turkish bacanak (the relationship of the husbands of two sisters to each other) and etarva (the relationships of two brothers' wives to each other). For all in-laws, there are specific names, e.g. a woman's husband's brother is her dever and her husband's sister is her zalva. In the traditional rural extended family before 1900, there existed separate subcategories for different brothers-in-law/sisters-in-law of a woman with regard to their age relative to hers, e.g. instead of simply a dever there could be a braino (older), a draginko (younger), or an ubavenkyo (who is still a child).
The double negative in Bulgarian is grammatically correct, while some forms of it, when used instead of a single negative form, are grammatically incorrect. The following are literal translations of grammatically correct Bulgarian sentences that utilize a double or multiple negation: "Никой никъде никога нищо не е направил." (multiple negation without the use of a compound double negative form, i.e. using a listing of several successive single negation words) – "Nobody never nowhere nothing did not do." (translated as "nobody has ever done anything, anywhere"); "Никога не съм бил там." (double negation without the use of a compound double negative form, i.e. using a listing of several successive single negation words) – I never did not go there ("[I] have never been there"); Никога никакви чувства не съм имал! – I never no feelings had not have! (I have never had any feelings!).