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make yourself heard in Turkish !

SOME NOTES ON THE TURKISH ALPHABET AND LANGUAGE

Richard Chambers / Chicago University

Since 1928, Turkish has been written in a slightly modified Latin alphabet which is very nearly phonetic.

The Turkish alphabet has 8 vowels (A E I İ O Ö U Ü ) and 21 consonants. The letters Q,W and X do not exist in Turkish. Most letters are pronounced pretty much as you would expect, but some are not. Once the phonetic value of all letters is known, then it is rather easy to pronounce any word one sees or to spell any word one hears.The following letters require explanation:

Aa = "a" as in "card" or "dark", never as "a" in"cat" or "back" ( kan = blood )

Cc = "J" as in "judge" ( can= life, soul, pronounced like "John" )

Çç = "ch" as in "church"( çay= tea, pronounced "chay", rhymes with "buy" )

Ee = "e" as in "bed" ( ekmek =bread )

Gg = "g" as in "get" ( gelin =bride )

g ( yumuşak ge [soft g] Never appears as the first letter in a word; essentially silent; sometimes lengthens preceding vowel; sometimes pronounced like "y" in "yet"
(dag =mountain, pronounced daa , rhymes with the "baa" of "baa baa black sheep";
diger =other, pronounced diyer )

lı( undotted "i" ) "u" as in "radium" or "i" as in "cousin" (ışık =ligth, ırmak = river )

İi( dotted "i" ) ="i" as in "sit" ( bir = one, pronounced like "beer" )

Jj = "j" as in "azure" (garaj = garage, pronounced as in French & English )

Oo = "o" as in "fold"(okul =school )

Öö German "ö" as in "König" or French "eu" as in "peur"( göl = lake, rhymes with furl)

Ss="s" as in "sing", never pronounced like a "z" as the "s" in "his"(ses = voice)

Şş="sh"as in "ship" (şey = thing, pronounced "shey" , rhymes with "hay")

Uu "oo" as in "boot" (buz = ice, pronounced like "booze")

Üü German "ü" as in "für" or French "u" as in "tu" (gül = rose)

Zz="z" as in "zoo" (beyaz = white)

Turkish belongs to the Turkic branch of the Altaic language family.The earliest Turkic inscriptions date from the 7th century C.E. and Islamic texts written in Turkic appear in the 11th century. Turkish, the language of modern Turkey, is spoken by about 60 million people. Other important Turkic languages are Azeri (15 million speakers) and Uzbek (14 million speakers). Turkish formerly used the same alphabet as Arabic, but has been written in the Latin alphabet since 1928 as mentioned above; since 1940, Azeri and Uzbek have been written in Cyrillic but efforts are now under way to replace it with Latin.

As an Altaic language, Turkish has virtually nothing in common with English or other Indo-European languages except for some loan words, usually from French or English.

Turkish grammar is complex, but also quite regular. Its two most characteristic features are : (1) vowel harmony (vowels within a word follow certain harmonic patterns) and (2) agglutination (addition suffixes to words.) Through this process, astoundingly long word phrases can be encountered. For example, the following means, "Maybe you are one of those whom we were not able to Turkify."

Türkleştiremedigimizlerdensinizdir.

Another interesting feature is that there is no gender in Turkish.The same word , "o", for example, means "he", "she" and "it".

Turks generally call each other by their given names.For example, a man whose name is Ahmet Kuran would be called Ahmet bey( bey = Mr.), and his wife whose name is Ayşe Kuran would be called Ayşe hanım ( hanım =Ms.). Good friends drop the "bey" and "hanım". But a letter would be addressed to Bay ve Bayan Ahmet Kuran (Mr. and Mrs...).

Some useful Turkish words and expressions are :

Merhaba

Hello[response is the same word]

Günaydın

Good day

Hoşgeldiniz

Welcome

Hoş bulduk

reply of the person arriving

Nasılsınız?

How are you?

İyiyim

I am well

Teşekkür ederim

Thank you

Bir şey degil

Not at all / You're welcome

Adınız / İsminiz nedir ?

What is your name ?

Adım / İsmim ___.

My name is _____.

Memnun oldum

I'm pleased to meet you.

Ben de memnun oldum.

I, too , am pleased to meet you

İyi Günler

Good day. / Have a nice day

İyi Akşamlar

Good evening

İyi Geceler

Good night

Allahaısmarladık

-bye.[said by person leaving]

Güle güle

Good-bye.[said to person leaving]

Buyurun

After you. / Come in. / Be seated / Help yourself; etc.

Elinize saglık

Health to your hands.[said to person who prepared food]

Afiyet olsun

Bon appétit

Affedersiniz

Excuse me

Lütfen

Please

İnşallah

If God wills

Efendim?

What did you say? / I beg your pardon?

Dikkat

Pay attention!/ Watch out!

Kaça?/ Ne kadar?

How much is it? / What does it cost?

Bu pahalı

This is expensive

O pahalı degil

That is not expensive

Bu çok ucuz

This is very inexpensive / cheap

İstiyorum

I want [it, this, that]

İstemiyorum

I don't want [it, this, that]

 

 

 

Numbers :

Bir (1), iki (2), üç (3), dört (4), beş (5), altı (6), yedi (7), sekiz (8), dokuz (9), on (10), on bir (11), on iki (12), yirmi (20), yirmi beş (25), otuz (30), otuz üç (33), kırk (40), kırk altı (46), elli (50), elli beş (55), altmış (60), altmış iki (62), yetmiş (70), yetmiş sekiz (78), seksen (80), seksen bir (81), doksan (90), doksan yedi (97), yüz (100), yüz dokuz (109), yüz elli bir (151), iki yüz on beş (215), üç yüz otuz (330), bin (1000), bin dokuz yüz doksan altı (1996), milyon (milion), milyar (billion).

Other Useful Vocabulary :

Su

water

Fincan

cup

Portakal suyu

Orange-juice

Bardak

glass

Et suyu

meat-broth

Tabak

plate

Süt

milk

Bıçak

knife

Şeker

sugar, candy, sweet

Büyük

big, large

Kahve

coffee

Küçük

small, little

Sade

no sugar

Erkek

man, male

Az şekerli

a little sugar

Kadın

woman

Çok şekerli

a lot of sugar

Kız

girl

Çay

tea

Çocuk

child

Ayran

yogurt drink

Oglan

boy

Bira

beer

Kız

daughter

Şarap

wine

Ogul

son

Beyaz

white

Anne

mother

Kırmızı

red

Baba

father

Buz

ice

Kardeş

sibling

Biber

pepper

Kız kardeş

sister

Tuz

salt

Erkek kardeş

brother

Ekmek

bread

O

he , she, it, that

Tereyagı

butter

Bu

this

Peynir

cheese

Arkadaş

friend, colleague

Meze

appetizers

Amerika Birleşik Devletleri

United States Of America

Et

meat

Soguk

cold

Türkiye Cumhuriyeti

Republic of Turkey

Tavuk

chicken

Balık

fish

Pilav

pilaf

Salata

salad, lettuce

Meyva

fruit

Sebze

vegetable

Çorba

soup

Sandviç

Sandwich

Tatlı

dessert

Dondurma

ice cream, sorbet

Çatal

fork

Kaşık

spoon

Pahalı

expensive