Survival Turkish for Beginners: Key Words and Essential Facts
Learning Turkish is not as hard as you may think. The Turkish language is a phonetic language, which makes it easy to read, and is grammatically logical with few exceptions, compared to many other languages. In addition, Turkish vocabulary contains a lot of familiar words that you will probably recognise if you speak more than one language.
Key Facts about Turkish
✅ The Turkish language is based on vowel harmony and the use of suffixes
✅ Every letter of any word has only one sound
✅ The letters Q , W and X are not included in the Turkish alphabet
✅ There are some letters in the Turkish alphabet that don’t exist in English: ö, ç, ş, I, ğ and ü
✅ The Turkish C is pronounced as a J. For example, the word ceviri (translation) is pronounced as “jeviri”
✅ There are two letters “i”. One of them is dotted, the other one is just an “I” and they have different sounds
✅ There are two ways of saying “You”: Siz is the formal version and Sen is used among friends and family members
✅ Always use hanım after a woman’s name and bey after a man’s name. For instance, Damla will be called Damla Hanım and Emre should be called Emre Bey
✅ The verbs come at the end of the sentences and require a suffix
✅ There are no feminine or masculine forms in Turkish
Basic Turkish Vocabulary And Loanwords
The English language has brought to the Turkish language many words, particularly those related to new technologies such as ‘brifing’, ‘kampüs’, ‘dizayn’ (design), ‘data;, ‘çekup’ (check up) or ‘hacker’. In the same way, several Turkish words have made it into English too. ‘Divan’, ‘kiosk’, ‘kayak’ and ‘yogurt’ are good examples of that. Check below some basic Turkish vocabulary that everyone who wishes to learn Turkish or visit a Turkish-speaking country should know.
Hello – Merhaba
Good morning – Günaydın
Good evening – İyi akşamlar
Good night – İyi geceler
Airport – havaalanı
Railway station – gar/istasyon
Bus station – otogar
Near – yakın
Good hotel – İyi bir otel
Restaurant – lokanta
Turkish bath – hamam
Toilet – tuvalet
What does it mean? – ne demek?
How much? – ne kadar?
Money – para
Open – açık
Closed – kapalı
Pardon me – affedersiniz, pardon
Help! – imdat!
Please – lütfen
Thanks – teşekkürler, sağ ol, mersi
You’re welcome – bir şey değil
Goodbye – allaha ısmarladık (formal)
Goodbye (if you are the one who leaves) – hoşca kalın (informal)
Goodbye (if you stay behind) – güle güle (informal)
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