Cookies help us deliver you the best experience. By using our site, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more Got it

Turkish Language Basics


  • Facebook Share
  • Pin It

Turkish is spoken by about 70 million people worldwide. From its roots as a nomadic Central Asian language, it has changed dramatically through time to become the Turkish of today. From as far back as the 11th century, Arabic and Persian words, especially those used for art, diplomacy and business, gradually crept into the Turkish language and Arabic script began to be used.

However, when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk came to power in 1922, as part of his reforms following the formation of the Turkish Republic he instigated a radical overhaul of the language. In an attempt to purify the language, the structure and vocabulary were simplified and the Arabic script was swapped for a Latin one.

The result of this is a refreshingly logical language. Turkish is also relatively simple to pronounce as it is a phonetically consistent language. There are no genders and only one irregular verb and one irregular noun.

Although you may hear a couple of Arabic phrases such as ‘Ins’allah’ and ‘Salam Aleykum’, in reality Turkish bears no real resemblance to the Arabic language.

Turkish has 5 characters which aren’t found in the English alphabet- the ü,ö, s (with a tail), i (without dot) and ç.

Everyday Phrases

English Turkish Pronunciation
Yes Evet e.vet
No Hayir Ha.yuhr
Ok Tamam Ta.mum
Thank you Tesekkür ederim Te.shek.kewr e.de.reem
Thanks Tesekkürler Te.shek.kewr.ler
You’re welcome Rica ederim Ree.ja e.de.reem
Not at all Birsey degil Beer.shay de.eel
Please Lütfen Lewt.fen
Excuse me ( Formal) Afedersiniz a.fe.der.see.neez
Excuse me ( informal) Afedersin
Pardon
a.fe.der.seen
Par.don
Good Iyi ee.yee
Very Good Çok iyi Chok.ee.yee
Bad Kötü Ker.tew
Never mind Önemli Degil Er.nem.lee de.eel
Do you speak English? Ingilizce biliyor musun? Een.gee.leez.je beel.ee.yo moo.soon
I don’t understand Anlamiyorum An.luh.muh.yo.room
Where is …..? …… nerede? ….ne.re.de
Toilet Tuvalet Too.va.let
(WC) Ladies (WC) Bayan Ba.yun
(WC) Gentlemen (WC) Bay Bai
Pharmacy Eczane Ej.za.ne
Ambulance Ambulans Am.boo.lans
Police Polis Po.lees
Help! Imdat! Eem.dat!

Greetings

English Turkish Pronunciation
Hello Merhaba Mer.ha.ba
How are you? Nasilsiin? Na.suhl.suhn
I am fine Iyiyim ee.yee.yeem
Good morning Günaydin Gewn.eye.din
Have a nice day Iyi Günler ee.yee gewn.ler
Good evening Iyi aksamlar ee.yee ak.sham.lar
Good night Iyi geceler ee.yee ge.je.ler
Good bye Güle güle Gew.le Gew.le
See you later Görüsürüz Ger.re.shew.rewz

Numbers

English Turkish Pronunciation
0 Zero Sifir suh.fuhr
1 One Bir Beer
2 Two Iki ee.kee
3 Three Üç Ewch
4 Four Dört Dert
5 Five Bes Besh
6 Six Alti al.tuh
7 Seven Yedi ye.dee
8 Eight Sekiz se.keez
9 Nine Dokuz do.kooz
10 Ten On On
11 Eleven On-bir on.beer
12 Twelve On-iki on.ee.kee
20 Twenty Yirmi yeer.mee
30 Thirty Otuz o.tooz
40 Fourty Kirk Kuhrk
50 Fifty Elli el.lee
60 Sixty Altmis alt.muhsh
70 Seventy Yetmis yet.meesh
80 Eighty Seksen sek.sen
90 Ninety Doksan dok.san
100 Hundred Yüz Yewz
1000 Thousand Bin Been

In Restaurant

English Turkish Pronunciation
Restaurant Restoran res.to.ran
Restaurant Lokanta lo.kan.ta
Menu Menü me.new
Bill Hesap He.sab
Can I take the bill? Hesabi alabilir miyim? he.sa.buh a.la.beel.er mee.yeem?
Water Su Soo
Bread Ekmek Ek.mek
Tea Çay Chai
Milk Süt Sewt
Cold Soguk so.ook
Hot Sicak suh.jak
Spicy Aci a.juh
Ice Buz Booz
Sugar Seker shek.er
Salt Tuz Tooz
Black Pepper Kara Biber Ka.ra bee.ber
Red Pepper Kirmizi  Biber kurh.muh.zuh bee.ber

Shopping

English Turkish Pronunciation
How much? Ne kadar? ne ka.dar?
Money Para Pa.ra
Expensive Pahali pa.ha.luh
Very expensive Çok Pahali chok pa.ha.luh
I want a discount Indirim istiyorum een.dee.reem ees.tee.yo.room
Bank Banka ban.ka
Exchange office Döviz Bürosu Der.veez buhr.o.soo

Transport

English Turkish Pronunciation
Bus Station Otogar o.to.gar
Airport Havalimani Ha.va.lee.man.uh
Single ticket Tek bilet tek bee.let
One way Tek gidis tek gee.deesh
Return Gidis dönüs gee.deesh der.newsh
How far? Ne kadar uzak? ne ka.dar ew-zuk

Taxi Journey

English Turkish Pronunciation
Turn on the meter Taksimetreyi çalistirin Tak.see doo.met.re.yee
cha.luhsh.tuh.ruhn
Stop here Burada durum Boo.ra.da doo.room
Wait please Bekleyin Lütfen Bek.le.mek lewt.fen
Wait here Burada bekleyin Boo.ra.da bek.le.yeen
Left Sola So.la
Right Saga Sa.a
Turn off the music please Müzigi Kapatin lütfen Moo.zee Ka.putt.uhn lewt.fen
Open the window Cami açin Jam.uh ach.uhn
Close the window Cami kapayin Jam.uh ka.pay.uhn
Turn on the Air Conditioner Klimayi açin Klee.may.uh ach.uhn
Turn off the Air Conditioner Klimayi kapatin Klee.may.uh kapa.tuhn

 

  • Facebook Share
  • Pin It

Istanbul Photos

  • Istiklal Street

    Istiklal Street

  • Bosphorus ©Helen Simpson

    Bosphorus ©Helen Simpson

  • Sultanahmet © Yildirim Incealemdaroglu

    Sultanahmet © Yildirim Inceale...

  • Bosphorus Cruise by Mista Riggs

    Bosphorus Cruise by Mista Rigg...

  • Sultanahmet © Aydin Sertbas

    Sultanahmet © Aydin Sertbas

  • Grand Bazaar

    Grand Bazaar

See all Istanbul photos »

Norman

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page" - Saint Augustine