Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Speaking the Lingo

Turkish isn’t an easy language to learn, but it's worth picking up a few words and phrases to amuse yourself and to astonish and delight Turks!

Despite oddities such as the silent 'g'(ğ) and undotted i (ı) , Turkish is phonetic and simple to pronounce- allegedly. In a few minutes you can get the hang of the sounds, and then you're ready to start talking.

Most letters are said just as they're written: but here's a list of the tricky ones: A,a short, as in 'ant'. E,e short as in 'bell'. I,i as 'ee' in 'bee'. I,ı 'uh' like the 'e' in 'open'. Ö,ö as German 'ö', or 'fur'. U,u short as 'oo' in 'moon'. Ü,ü same as German 'ü', or 'pew'. C,c is a 'j', as jam. Ç,ç 'ch' is in 'chin'.G,g always hard, as in 'get'. G,g: not pronounced, lengthens preceding vowel, ignore it! H,h always pronounced, as in 'hat'. J,j as in French 'j', or 'rouge'. S,s always 'ss', never 'z'. S,s 'sh' as in 'ship'. X,x not used, Turks use 'ks' instead.

Some rather useful phrases/words:

Meeting People

Hello: Merhaba
Good morning: Günaydin
Good evening: Iyi aksamlar
How are you?: Nasilsiniz?
Very well: Çok iyiyim
Good Bye:Hoşça kal(ın)

Useful Words

Yes: Evet
No: Hayir
Please: Lütfen
Thank you: Tesekkür ederim
Excuse me: Pardon
What? Ne? How? Nasil?
How much?: Ne kadar?
Who?: Kim? When?: Ne zaman?
What time is it?: Saat kaç? Friend: Arkada?
Big/Small: Büyük/Küçük
Hot/Cold: Sicak/Soguk
Left/Right: Sol/Sag
Near/Far: Yakin/Uzak
Early/Late: Erken/Geç
Good/Bad: Iyi/Kötü
Beautiful: Güzel
Street: Sokak/Cadde
I don't understand: Anlamiyorum
I don't know: Bilmiyorum
Sun/Sea: Günes/Deniz
Water: Su


Do you take credit cards? Kredi karti kabul ediyor musunuz?
I'm just looking: Yalniz bakiyorum.
That's too expensive: Çok pahali
What's your best price? Son fiyatiniz ne?
Can I try this on? Bunu deneyebilirmiyim?
A larger/smaller size: Daha büyük/küçük beden
It really suits you: Size çok yakisiyor
We'll come back tomorrow: Yarin yine gelecegiz

Eating Out

Bon apettit: Afiyet olsun
Rare/medium (steak) : Az/orta pismis
Chears!: Serefe!
White wine : Beyaz sarap
Red wine : Kirmizi sarap
Dry/sweet: sek/dömisek
2 more bottles,please: Iki sise daha, lütfen
Ice cold beer: Buz gibi bira
Soft drink: Alkolsüz içki
Table for four: Dört kisilik masa
Hot(spicy): Aci
Meatballs: Köfte
Mixed salad: Karisik salata
Without oil: Zeytinyagsiz
Barbecue: Mangal
Typical Turkish cuisine: Tipik Türk Mutfagi
Fruit: Meyve
Unsweetened/medium/sweet (Turkish Coffee): Sade/orta/sekerli
Compliments to the chef: Asçiya tebrikler

Think I'll concentrate on the ones in red first, but this isn't going to be easy...

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