Merhaba arkadaşlar. Bloğuma hoş geldiniz!
You might not understand a single word of what I wrote above. That’s normal. I used to be exactly like you.
Well, I wrote “Hello my friends. Welcome to my blog!” in Turkish.
How I got to read, write and talk Turkish?
Here is my story …
My first encounter with the Turkish language was, as most people in my country, through Turkish series.
In 2011 I visited Istanbul for the first time, and I simply fell in love with everything about this city, including the language.
Having the desire to talk with Turkish people with their mother tongue, I started learning Turkish through the internet. From youtube videos to language teaching websites and applications like Duolingo, I learned a lot.
On my second and third visit, I started using the words I learned and realized a major shift in the way people communicated with me when they knew that I was learning Turkish because Turkish people value their language enormously.
I decided at last, in 2016, to study Turkish officially. My husband and I enrolled in our first Turkish course at Yunus Emre Institute (Turkish Cultural Center) in Beirut, Lebanon.
@ Yunus Emre Institute – Beirut
Now, two years later, finishing one level after another, I can read, write and talk fluently with Turkish people whenever I am in Turkey, or even if I meet a Turkish tourist in Beirut.
What about you?
My dear reader, if you are planning your next visit to Turkey, let me help you check some important words and phrases that will be helpful in your journey and learn to pronounce them the “Turkish way”.
But first some facts…
Until 1928, the Turkish language was written in Arabic letters, after which it was transformed into 29 Latin letters and is still so till now.
While some letters have the same sounds as in English, some other letters are written or pronounced in a different way than in the English language.
These letters are:
• C: pronounced as Je like Jar. A Turkish example would be “Sultan Ahmad Cami”. It is pronounced as Jami meaning Mosque.
• Ç: pronounced Tche like Chat. For example, “Dolmabahçe Sarayı” is pronounced as Dolmabahtche.
• Ğ: is a silent letter that elongates the sound of usually the vowel letter preceding it. It is found in the middle of many words like “Sağol” pronounced Saol meaning Thank you.
• Ş: is Shé like “Şemsiye” which is pronounced as Shemsiye, meaning Umbrella.
• V: sometimes is W like in “Evrak” which is pronounced Ewrak, meaning paper.
You can understand some words by simply trying to think about them as Arabic words written in Latin letters. (In the examples above Cami is جامع, Şemsiye is شمسية, and Evrak is اوراق)
Now that you know the pronunciation, let us check the most used phrases;
• Merhaba (Mer-ha-ba): Hello
• Hoş geldiniz (Hosh-gel-din-iz): Welcome
• Buyurun (Bu-yu-run): Please come in
• Güle güle (Gule gule): Goodbye. It is told by those staying to those leaving.
• Görüşürüz (Gu-ru-shu-ruz): See you
• Günaydın (Gun-ay-din): Good morning
• İyi akşamlar (Iyi aksham-lar): Good evening
• İyi geceler (Iyi geje-ler): Goodnight
• Nasılsın (Na-sel-sen): How are you?
• Lütfen (Lut-fen): Please
• Pardon: Excuse me
• Evet: Yes
• Hayır (Ha-yer): No
• Ne kadar: used to ask for the price of a product
• Teşekkürler (Te-she-kur-ler): Thank you
• Memnun oldum (Mem-nun ol-dom): Nice to meet you
• Bay: Man
• Bayan: Woman
• Otel: Hotel
• Oda: Room
• Giriş (Gi-rish): Entrance
• Çıkış (Tche-kish): Exit
• Acil (Ajil): Emergency
• Havalimanı (Hawa-li-ma-né): Airport
• Su: Water
Now you are ready to get packing your bags. You have your list of most used words and phrases that will make your trip easier, and more importantly, you know how to say them.
And by the way, Seni Seviyorum (Se-ni-se-vi-yo-roum) is I love you in Turkish!
If you know more words or phrases that could be useful to tourists when in Turkey why not share them with me in the comment box below.