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Turkish phrasebook

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Turkish (Türkçe) is the most widely-spoken of the Turkic languages and is the official language of the Republic of Turkey and the co-official language of Cyprus but is only spoken and useful in Turkish speaking Northern Cyprus. It is also a recognized minority language in Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania. Turkish is an Altaic language and its closest living relatives are other Turkic languages, which are spoken in southwestern, central and northern Asia; and to a lesser degree in southeastern Europe (the Balkans). Outside of Turkey itself, knowledge of Turkish is helpful in several neighbouring countries particularly in the Balkan countries of Kosovo, Macedonia, and Bulgaria where there are significant Turkish communities, and to a lesser extent in Azerbaijan, where it is to an extent mutually intelligible with Azerbaijani. While the Central Asian "stans" speak Turkic languages, the similarities between Kazakh and Turkish (for example) are only very rudimentary. Turkish is a difficult language to learn and speak, due to its complicated, mathematical vowel-harmonied grammar.

Grammar

Turkish grammar and sentence structures as well as vocabulary differ completely from Indo-European languages like English and Persian and Semitic languages like Arabic and Hebrew and indeed from many other languages. There are no articles, genders, or declensions. Unlike many languages, Turkish forms words by a process known as "agglutination", where prefixes and suffixes are attached to words to mark different parts of speech and so on. Thus, an English phrase such as "I am an Australian" is rendered in Turkish with the one word "Avustralyalıyım - Avustralya-lı-y-ım" (Australia-n-I'm). Turkish uses postpositions instead of prepositions. Thus, an English phrase such as "in Turkey" is rendered in Turkish as "Türkiye'de - Türkiye-de" (Turkey - in).

In Turkish there are two ways of addressing people - informal and polite, like in German, French or Russian. Turkish has two "you" verb forms which denote the relationship the speaker has to someone else. For formal address the plural form of second person "siz" should be used, while for informal address the singular form of the second person "sen" is used.

Pronunciation guide

Turkish pronunciation looks daunting to non-native speakers, as many of the words are very long and look like tongue-twisters. With a bit of practice, however, it becomes much easier. The spelling of Turkish is phonetic, so once knowing the pronunciation of each letter the reading should not be a problem, since all words are pronounced exactly how they are written. However Turkish has some vowel sounds that are not known in many other languages, so they can be hard to learn.

Vowels

The harmony of vowels
Turkish has an unusual feature called vowel harmony, which means that the vowels (a, e, i, ı, o, ö, u, ü) can never be found next to each other in the same word, except some loan words, mostly from Arabic.

The Turkish vowels are

  • A - a short sound, as in the English car
  • E - a short sound, as in the English pet
  • İ - the sound in the English meet and at the beginning of İstanbul (ees-tan-bul)
  • I - a "neutral" sound between "a" and "ee", place your tongue like saying "ee", but pronounce it "ah", with the tongue bent slightly backwards. It has no real equivalent in English, and the closest sound is the "uh" which replaces the "e" in the second syllable of open
  • O - as in the English order
  • Ö - pronounced as in German, a blend of "o" and "e", with lips rounded
  • U - short as in the English put
  • Ü - pronounced as in German, make a sound like "ee", but round your lips like you are going to say "oo"

Remember that, in lower case, the two letters İ and I look different as well. The lower case form of İ is i, while the lower case form of I is ı.

Consonants

  • B - as in bed
  • C - pronounced as the initial letter in the English jump
  • Ç - the "ch" sound in the English chapel
  • D - as in drum
  • F - as in far
  • G - as in girl
  • Ğ - a silent letter, which serves to lengthen the previous vowel
  • H - as in hello
  • J - pronounced as in the French name Jean
  • K - as in king
  • L - as in love
  • M - as in man
  • N - as in new
  • P - as in print
  • R - a tricky consonant in Turkish, most often rolled very lightly
  • S - as in snake
  • Ş - the "sh" sound in the English shake
  • T - as in take
  • V - roughly the mid-point between the "v" in very and the "w" in was
  • Y - as in yet
  • Z - as in zoo'

Common diphthongs

Phrase list

Common signs

AÇIK 
Open
KAPALI 
Closed
GİRİŞ 
Entrance
ÇIKIŞ 
Exit
İTİNİZ 
Push
ÇEKİNİZ 
Pull
TUVALET / WC 
Toilet
BAY 
Men
BAYAN 
Women
YASAKTIR 
Forbidden


Basics

Hello. 
Merhaba. (mehr hah bah)
Hello. (informal) 
Selam. (sell um)
How are you? (polite/plural) 
Nasılsınız? (na suhl suhn uhz)
How are you? (informal singular) 
Nasılsın? (na suhl suhn)
What's up / How're you doing? (very informal, contraction of "Ne haber?", literally meaning "What is new?") 
N'aber? (na berr)
Fine, thank you. 
İyiyim, teşekkürler. (literally I'm fine, thank you) (ee yee yeem teh shek ür lerr)
What is your name? (polite) 
Adınız nedir? (ad uhn uhz ne deer)
What is your name? (informal singular) 
Adın ne? (ad uhn ne)
My name is ______ . 
Adım _______ . (Ad uhm _____ .) Benim adım ______ . (Benn im ad uhm _____ .)
Nice to meet you. 
Memnun oldum. (mem noon oll doom)
Please. 
Lütfen. (Luet fen)
Thank you. 
Teşekkür ederim. (teh shek uer eh der eem)
You're welcome. 
Bir şey değil. (bir shey de yeel)
Is/are there (any/some) ____?
____ var mı? (var muh?)
There isn't any
Yok (yock) usually said with a upward movement of chin and eyebrows
Yes. 
Evet. (eh vet)
No. 
Hayır. (Hah yuhr)
Excuse me. (getting attention) (polite) 
Bakar mısınız? (bah kar muh suh nuhz)
Excuse me. (begging pardon
Afedersiniz. (af fair dair sin niz)
I'm sorry. 
Özür dilerim. (Ö zuer di lay reem)
I'm sorry. 
Pardon. (Par don)
Goodbye (polite/plural, used by the person leaving)
Hoşçakalın. (Hosh cha kaluhn)
Goodbye (informal/singular, used by the person leaving)
Hoşçakal. (Hosh cha kal)
Goodbye (used by the person staying) 
Güle güle. (guele guele)
I can't speak Turkish [well]. 
[İyi] Türkçe konuşamıyorum. ([E yee] Tuerck-che conusha-me-yoor-uhm)
Do you speak English? (polite/plural)
İngilizce biliyor musunuz? (literally, "Do you know English?")
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Burada İngilizce konuşan birisi var mı? (boor-a-duh Eengleez jay kow noo shun bee ree seh wurrm?)
Look out! 
Dikkat! (Dick kaht!)
Good morning. 
Günaydın. (Guen eye duhn)
Good afternoon. (very seldom used, if ever
Tünaydın. (Tuen eye duhn)
Good day. (common greeting throughout the day
İyi günler. (e yee guen ler)
Good evening. 
İyi akşamlar. (e yee ak sham lar)
Good night. 
İyi geceler. (e yee ge jay ler)
Good night (to sleep
İyi uykular (e yee yoo ku lar)
Welcome (polite/plural) 
Hoşgeldiniz (Hosh gel din iz)
Welcome (informal singular) 
Hoşgeldin (Hosh gel din)
I don't understand. 
Anlamıyorum (An-la-muh-yoor-uhm), Anlamadım (An la ma duhm)
Where is the toilet? 
Tuvalet nerede? (Too va let ner eh de?)
Is there any ...?  
... var mı? (var Muh)

Problems

Help! 
İmdat! (Im Daht !)
Help! 
Yardım Edin! (Yard um ed in)
Accident 
kaza (ka za)
Doctor 
doktor (dok tor)
Leave me alone. 
Beni yalnız bırak. (beh nee yahl nuz bu rahk)
Don't touch me! 
Bana dokunma! (bah nah doh koon mah)
I'll call the police. 
Polisi arayacağım. (poh lee see ah rah yah jaa uhm)
Police! 
Polis! (poh lees)
Stop! Thief! 
Dur! Hırsız! (door huhr suhz)
I need your help. 
Yardımınıza ihtiyacım var. (yahr duh muh nuh zah eeh tee yah juhm vahr)
It's an emergency. 
Acil durum. (ah jeel doo room)
I'm lost. 
Kayboldum. (kahy bohl doom)
I lost my bag. 
Çantamı kaybettim. (chahn tah muh kahy beht teem)
I lost my wallet. 
Cüzdanımı kaybettim. (jooz dah nuh muh kahy beht teem)
I'm sick. 
Hastayım. (hahs tah yuhm)
I've been injured. 
Yaralandım. (yah rah lahn duhm)
I need a doctor. 
Bir doktora ihtiyacım var. (beer dohk toh rah eeh tee yah jum vahr)
Can I use your phone? 
Telefonunuzu kullanabilir miyim? (teh leh foh noo noo zoo kool lah nah bee leer mee yeem)

Numbers

bir (beer)
iki (icki)
üç (uech)
dört (dirt)
beş (besh)
altı (altuh)
yedi (yedi)
sekiz (sekiz)
dokuz (dokuz)
10 
on (on)
11 
on bir (on bir)
12 
on iki (on icki)
13 
on üç (on uech)
14 
on dört (on doert)
15 
on beş (on besh)
16 
on altı (on altuh)
17 
on yedi (on yedi)
18 
on sekiz (on sekiz)
19 
on dokuz (on dokuz)
20 
yirmi (yir mi)
21 
yirmi bir(yir mi bir)
22 
yirmi iki (yir mi icki)
23 
yirmi üç (yir mi uech)
30 
otuz (otuz)
40 
kırk (kuhrk)
50 
elli (elli)
60 
altmış (altmuhsh)
70 
yetmiş (yet mish)
80 
seksen (seksen)
90 
doksan (doksan)
100 
yüz (yuez)
200 
iki yüz (icky yuez)
300 
üç yüz (uech yuez)
1000 
bin (bin)
2000 
iki bin (icky bin)
1,000,000 
bir milyon (beer milyon)
1,000,000,000 
bir milyar (beer milyar)
1,000,000,000,000 
bir trilyon (beer trilyon)
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
_____ numara (numara)
half 
buçuk (boo chuook) when after a number like one and a half : bir buçuk; yarım (yah ruhm) for e.g. half a bread : yarım ekmek
less 
az (as)
more 
çok (chock)

Time

now 
şimdi (shim di)
later 
sonra (...)
before 
önce (...)
morning 
sabah (...)
afternoon 
öğleden sonra (...)
evening 
akşam (ak sham)
night 
gece (ge jay)

Clock time

one o'clock AM 
Saat gece 1 (literally "hour is night one")
two o'clock AM 
Saat gece 2
six o'clock AM 
Saat sabah 6 (literally "hour is morning six")
noon 
öğle/öğlen
one o'clock PM 
Saat 13/öğleden sonra 1
two o'clock PM 
Saat 14/öğleden sonra 2
five o'clock PM 
Saat 17/akşam 5 (literally "hour is evening five")
eight o'clock PM 
Saat 20/gece 8 (literally "hour is night eight")
midnight 
gece yarısı

Please note that when saying giving the time, one would normally only use one to twelve, unless having to make sure there's no doubt as to whether it's past or before noon, in which case the twenty-four hour system or affixes such as "morning", "afternoon", "evening", and "night" are used.

Duration

_____ minute(s) 
_____ dakika
_____ hour(s) 
_____ saat
_____ day(s) 
_____ gün
_____ week(s) 
_____ hafta
_____ month(s) 
_____ ay
_____ year(s) 
_____ yıl

Days (Günler)

Sunday 
Pazar (paz ar)
Monday 
Pazartesi (paz ar tesi)
Tuesday 
Salı (saluh)
Wednesday 
Çarşamba (char sham ba)
Thursday 
Perşembe (per shem be)
Friday 
Cuma (juma)
Saturday 
Cumartesi (jumar tesi)

Months

January 
Ocak (o jak)
February 
Şubat (shu bat)
March 
Mart (mart)
April 
Nisan (nee sahn)
May 
Mayıs (ma yuhs)
June 
Haziran (ha zee ran)
July 
Temmuz (taem mooz)
August 
Ağustos (aa hoos toss)
September 
Eylül (aey luehl)
October 
Ekim (ae keem)
November 
Kasım (kah suhm)
December 
Aralık (a ra luhk)

Writing time and date

What's the time? 
Saat kaç?
What date is it today? 
Bugünün tarihi ne?
It's _____ o'clock. 
Saat _____.

Please note that when saying what the clock is, one would normally only use one to twelve, unless having to make sure there's no doubt as to whether it's past or before noon, in which case the twenty-four hour system or affixes such as "morning", "afternoon", "evening", and "night" is used.

Colors

Black 
Siyah (see yah)
White 
Ak (ak)
Yellow 
Sarı (saa rıh)
Blue 
Mavi (mao vee)
Navy 
Lacivert (la jee vert)
Green 
Yeşil (yea sheal)
Red 
Kızıl (khızıl)
Pink 
Pembe (pam bhe)
Orange 
Turuncu (too roon joo)
Purple 
Mor (more)
Brown 
Kahverengi (kaah ve rengi)

Transportation

Bus and train

Which bus? 
hangi otobüs (hangee auto boos)
How many kilometers? 
kaç kilometre? (kach kilo metreh)
How much is a ticket to _____? 
____'a bir bilet kaç para? (___ ah beer bee leht kach pah rah)
One ticket to _____, please. 
____'a bir bilet lütfen. (___ ah beer bee leht loot fehn)
Where does this train/bus go? 
Bu tren/otobüs nereye gider? (boo tee rehn/oh toh boos neh reh yeh gee dehr)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
____'a giden tren/otobüs nerede? (___ ah gee dehn tee rehn/oh toh boos neh reh deh)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
Bu tren/otobüs _____'da durur mu? (boo tee rehn/oh toh boos ___ dah doo roor moo)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
_____'a giden tren/otobüs ne zaman kalkacak? (___ ah gee dehn tee rehn/oh toh boos neh zaa mahn kaal kah jaak)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
Bu tren/otobüs _____'a ne zaman varacak? (boo tee rehn/oh toh boo ___ a neh zaa mahn vaa raa jaak)

Directions

Where? 
(place) nerede? (nar edeh)
(direction) nereye? (nar eyeh)
Left 
sol (sole)
Right 
sağ (saa)
Straight 
düz (dooz)
Here 
burada (bur ah da)
Forwards 
İleri
Backwards 
Geri
Above/over _____
_____nın üzerinde
Under(neath) _____
_____nın altında
Adjacent to _____ 
_____nın yanında

Taxi

Taxi! 
Taksi! (tuck see)
Take me to _____, please. 
Beni _____'a götürün, lütfen.
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
_____'a gitmek kaç para tutar?
Take me there, please. 
Beni oraya götürün, lütfen.
I want to get out 
inecek var (ine jek var)

Lodging

One person 
bir kişi (beer kee shee)
One night 
bir gece (beer gay jay)
Hot water 
sıcak su (see jak suu)
Breakfast included 
kahvaltı dahil (kah val tuh da heel)
Do you have any rooms available? 
Hiç boş odanız var mı? (heech bosh au daa naz vaar muh)
Do you have any single rooms available? 
Tek kişilik odanız var mı?
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
Bir/iki kişilik odalar kaç para?
How much is a room per person? 
Kişi başına ne kadar? (kee shee bah shuh nah neh kah dahr)
Does the room come with _____ 
Odada _____ var mı?
...bedsheets? 
...yatak çarşafı
...a bathroom? 
...banyo/duş
...a telephone? 
...telefon
...a TV? 
...televizyon
May I see the room first? 
Önce odayı görebilir miyim?
Do you have anything quieter? 
Daha sessizi var mı?
...bigger? 
...büyüğü?
...cleaner? 
...temizi?
...cheaper? 
...ucuzu?
OK, I'll take it. 
Tamam, alıyorum.
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
_____ gece kalacağım.
Can you suggest another hotel? 
Başka bir otel önerebilir misiniz?
Do you have a safe? 
Kasanız var mı?
...lockers? 
...kilidiniz
Is breakfast/supper included? 
Kahvaltı/akşam yemeği dahil mi?
What time is breakfast/supper? 
Kahvaltı/akşam yemeği ne zaman?
Please clean my room. 
Lütfen odamı temizleyin.
Can you wake me at _____? 
Beni _____'da uyandırabilir misiniz?
I want to check out. 
Odayı boşaltıyorum.

Money

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
Amerikan/Avustralya/Kanada doları kabul ediyor musunuz?
Do you accept British pounds? 
İngiliz Sterlini kabul ediyor musunuz?
Do you accept credit cards? 
Kredi kartı geçerli mi?
Can you change money for me? 
Benim için para bozabilir misiniz?
Where can I get money changed? 
Dövizimi nerede bozdurabilirim?
What is the exchange rate? 
Döviz kuru nedir?
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
ATM/Bankamatik nerede?

Eating

Waiter! Excuse me! 
bakar mısınız? (ba kar mis in izz)
Menu / price list 
Menü / fiyat listesi (fee yot lis tesi)
Bill / check 
hesap (he sap)
A table for one person/two people, please. 
Bir/İki kişilik masa lütfen.
Can I look at the menu, please? 
Menüye bakabilir miyim?
Can I look in the kitchen? 
Mutfağa bakabilir miyim?
I'm a vegetarian. 
Ben vejeteryanım (or et yemem, literally "I don't eat meat").
I don't eat pork. 
Domuz eti yemem.
I don't eat beef. 
Sığır eti yemem.
I only eat kosher food. 
Yalnızca koşer yemek yerim
à la carte 
à la carte/alakart
breakfast 
kahvaltı
Lunch 
öğle yemeği (oh lay yem ayee)
supper 
akşam yemeği
I want _____. 
_____ istiyorum.
I want a dish containing _____. 
_____ içeren bir yemek istiyorum.
chicken 
tavuk (tah vook)
beef 
sığır eti (suh uhr ae tee)
fish 
balık (bah luhk)
ham 
jambon (zham bohn)
sausage 
sosis (soh sees)
cheese 
peynir (pay neer)
eggs 
yumurta (yoo moor tah)
salad 
salata (sah lah tah)
(fresh) vegetables 
(taze) sebze ((tah zeh) sehb zeh)
(fresh) fruit 
(taze) meyve ((tah zeh) may veh)
bread 
ekmek (ehk mehk)
toast 
tost (tohst)
noodles 
şehriye (or noodle -pronounced same as English- when used for a Far-Eastern dish)
rice 
pirinç
beans 
fasulye
May I have a glass of _____? 
Bir bardak _____ alabilir miyim?
May I have a cup of _____? 
Bir fincan _____ alabilir miyim?
May I have a bottle of _____? 
Bir şişe _____ alabilir miyim?
coffee 
kahve (kaahh veh)
tea (drink
çay (chaay)
juice 
meyve suyu (may veh soo yoo)
(bubbly) water 
soda (soh dah)
water 
su (soo)
beer 
bira (bee rah)
red/white wine 
kırmızı/beyaz şarap (kuhr muh zuh/beh yaaz shaa raap)
May I have some _____? 
Biraz _____ alabilir miyim? (bee raaz ___ ah lah bee leer mee yeem)
salt 
tuz (tooz)
black pepper 
karabiber (kah rah bee behr)
butter 
tereyağı (teh reh yaa uh)
I'm finished. 
Bitirdim. (bee teer deem)
It was delicious. 
Çok lezizdi. (chok leh zeez dee)
The check, please. 
Hesap lütfen. (heh saap loot fehn)

Bars

Do you serve alcohol?  
İçki var mı? (ickhi wha mhi)
Is there table service? 
Masaya servis var mı?
A beer/two beers, please. 
Bir/iki bira, lütfen (beer/icky bhira,luet fen)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
Bir bardak kırmızı/beyaz şarap, lütfen. (beer bar duck khırmizi/bay iz shar up, luet fen )
A pint, please. 
Yarım litre, lütfen. (ya ream lit rhe, luet fen)
A bottle, please. 
Şişe, lütfen. (shishe, luet fen)
whiskey 
viski
vodka 
votka
rum 
rom (rhom)
water 
su (sue)
club soda 
soda (soda)
orange juice 
portakal suyu (pore-tuck-al sue you )
Coke 
Cola (cola)
One more, please. 
Bir tane daha, lütfen. (beer thane dahha, luet fen)
Another round, please. 
Birer tane daha, lütfen. (beer-ar thane dahha, luet fen)
When is closing time? 
Ne zaman kapatıyorsunuz?
Cheers! 
Şerefe! (sherafa)

Shopping

How much (money)? 
kaç para? (koch pa rah)
Cheap 
ucuz (oo juuz)
Expensive 
pahalı (pahaluh)
Do you have this in my size? 
Bedenime uyanından var mı?
How much is this? 
Bu kaç para? (boo kach pa ra)
That's too expensive. 
Çok pahalı.
expensive 
pahalı
cheap 
ucuz
I can't afford it. 
Param yetmiyor.
I don't want it. 
İstemiyorum.
You're cheating me. 
Beni kandırıyorsun.
I'm not interested. 
İlgilenmiyorum.
OK, I'll take it. 
Tamam, alacağım.
Can I have a bag? 
bir torba alabilir miyim?
Do you ship (overseas)? 
(Yurtdışına) nakliyeniz var mı?
I need... 
...a ihtiyacım var
...toothpaste. 
...diş macunu.
...a toothbrush. 
...diş fırçası.
...tampons. 
...tampon.
...sanitary napkins. 
...kağıt mendil.
...soap. 
...sabun.
...shampoo. 
...şampuan.
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
...ağrı kesici.
...cold medicine. 
...soğuk algınlığı ilacı.
...stomach medicine. 
...mide ilacı.
...a razor. 
...jilet.
...an umbrella. 
...şemsiye.
...sunblock lotion. 
...güneş kremi.
...a postcard. 
...kartpostal.
...postage stamps. 
...pul.
...batteries. 
...pil.
...writing paper. 
...yazma kağıdı.
...a pen. 
...kalem.
...English-language books. 
...İngilizce kitaplar.
...English-language magazines. 
...İngilizce dergiler.
...an English-language newspaper. 
...İngilizce bir gazete.
...an English-Turkish dictionary. 
...bir İngilizce-Türkçe sözlük.

Driving

I want to rent a car. 
Araba kiralamak istiyorum.
Can I get insurance? 
Kasko yaptırabilir miyim?
stop (on a street sign
dur
one way 
tek yön
no parking 
park etmek yasaktır
speed limit 
hız sınırı
gas (petrol) station 
benzinci/benzin istasyonu
petrol 
benzin
diesel 
dizel/motorin

Authority

I haven't done anything wrong. 
Yanlış birşey yapmadım.
It was a misunderstanding. 
Yanlış anlaşılma oldu.
Where are you taking me? 
Beni nereye götürüyorsunuz?
Am I under arrest? 
Tutuklu muyum?
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
Ben bir Amerikan/Avustralya/İngiliz/Kanada vatandaşıyım.
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
Amerikan/Avustralya/İngiltere/Kanada büyükelçiliğiyle/konsolosluğuyla konuşmak istiyorum.
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
Bir avukatla konuşmak istiyorum.
Can I just pay a fine now? 
Şimdi yalnızca bir ceza ödesem olur mu?
I want to speak to your superior 
Amirinizle konuşmak istiyorum.

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This is a guide phrasebook. It covers all the major topics for traveling without resorting to English. But please Plunge forward and help us make it a star!

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