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Merhaba! İlk dersinize hoşgeldiniz!.

Grammar notes for beginners[edit | edit source]

  • I - ben /ben/
  • we - biz /biz/
  • you (singular) - sen /sen/
  • you (plural and formal) - siz /siz/
  • he/she/it - o /o/
  • they/them - onlar /onɫɑɾ

In Turkish, like in many other languages, when you're talking to someone you've never met before, rarely ever talk to or of great importance, you refer to them in the plural form (siz). As you can see in the conversation, rather than referring to each other as sen (you [singular]), they refer to each other as siz (you [plural]). Do not get frightened, this formality is not as complex as in Japanese!

And unlike many other languages, there is no grammatical gender in Turkish. So there is no distinction between he, she and it. There's only o. And like in Russian, there are no words like "am/is/are" and "the", and no need for them.

Greeting (Selamlaşma /selɑmɫɑʃmɑ/)[edit | edit source]

Saying hello is a little bit more complex in Turkish, for there is more than one way of saying hello.

  • Hello! - Merhaba! /meɾhɑbɑ/ (may be formal or informal)
  • Hello/Hi! - Selam! /selɑm/ (informal)
  • How are you? - Nasılsınız? /nɑsɯɫsɯnɯz/ (formal singular or plural)
  • How are you? - Nasılsın? /nɑsɯɫsɯn/ (informal singular)
  • How's it going? - Nasıl gidiyor? /nɑsɯɫ ɟidijoɾ/ (informal singular)
  • What's up? - Ne var, ne yok? /ne vɑɾ ne jok/
  • What's up? - Ne haber? (often pronounced like Naber?) (lit. what's the news?, very informal)
  • I'm fine. - İyiyim. /ijijim/
  • Me too... - Ben de... /ben de/
  • Good/fine - İyi /iji/
  • And you? - Ya sen? /jɑ sen/ (informal)
  • And you? - Ya siz? /jɑ siz/ (formal or plural)

Note: "Ya" means "or" or "what/how about", not "and". "And" is "ve" (/ve/).

This is an invariable greeting ritual. Turks are pleased when foreigners make an effort to learn and participate in it.

  • Good morning. - Günaydın. /ɟynɑɪdɯn/
  • Have a nice day. - İyi günler. /iji ɟynleɾ/ (lit. Good days)
  • Good evening. - İyi akşamlar /iji ɑkʃɑmɫɑɾ/
  • Good night. - İyi geceler. /iji ɟedʒeleɾ/

Meeting (Tanışma /tɑnɯʃmɑ/)[edit | edit source]

  • What's your name? - Adın ne? /ɑdɯn ne/ (informal)
  • What's your name? - Adınız ne? /ɑdɯnɯz ne/ (formal or plural)
  • My name is... - Adım ... /ɑdɯm/
  • Name - Ad /ɑd/
  • Surname - Soyadı /sojɑdɯ/
  • Nice to meet you. - Tanıştığımıza memnun oldum. /memnun oɫdum/ (lit. I'm pleased to meet you)

Turkish honorifics come after the first name, unlike English Mr and Mrs. They are often translated as Bay (/bɑɪ/) and Bayan (/bɑjɑn/). Examples; Bay Smith, Bayan Jenkins

  • Bey /beɪ/ (for men)
  • Hanım /hɑnɯm/ (for women)

Examples; Burcu Hanım, Ahmet Bey (Burcu and Ahmet are first names, not surnames)

Thanking (Teşekkür etme /teʃec:yɾ etme/)[edit | edit source]

Several ways of saying thank you.

  • Thank you - Teşekkür ederim
  • Thank you - teşekkürler
  • Thanks - Sağ ol (informal, singular)
  • Thanks - Sağ olun (informal, plural)
  • You're welcome - Bir şey değil (lit. it's not a thing)
  • You're welcome - Önemli değil (lit. it's not important)

Saying goodbye (Vedalaşma /vedɑɫɑʃmɑ/)[edit | edit source]

Like in hello and thank you, there are more than one way of saying goodbye, but this time depending on situation. For this rules are a bit complex, some people may use English bye bye as a way of valediction. But it should not be used in formal situations, and you still have to learn Turkish ways of saying goodbye.

  • Goodbye. - Güle güle /ɟyle ɟyle/ (said by the remaining person to the leaving person)
  • Goodbye. - Hoşçakal /hoʃtʃɑkɑɫ/ (informal, said by the leaving person to the remaining person)
  • Goodbye - Hoşçakalın /hoʃtʃɑkɑɫɯn/ (formal, said by the leaving person to the remaining person)
  • See you (later). -(Sonra) Görüşürüz /ɟøɾyʃyɾyz/
  • See you later. -Görüşmek üzere /ɟøɾyʃmec yzeɾe/

If you have to specify later meeting time, say the meeting time before "görüşürüz". For example; Yarın görüşürüz, Pazartesi görüşürüz

Example (Örnek /øɾnec/)[edit | edit source]

Şevki: Merhaba! Adım Şevki.

Ayşe: Selam Şevki! Ben Ayşe.

Şevki: Nasılsınız, Ayşe Hanım?

Ayşe: İyiyim, siz nasılsınız?

Şevki: Ben de iyiyim, teşekkürler.

Ayşe: Tanıştığımıza memnun oldum.

Şevki: Ben de.

Ayşe: Hoşçakalın!

Şevki: Güle güle! Yarın görüşürüz.

Exercises (Egzersizler /eɟzeɾˈsizleɾ/)[edit | edit source]

Exercising a language is an important part of learning it. Let's strengthen our Turkish with some exercises.

Translate the following into Turkish:

- Hello. I'm Anıl. And you?

- Hello, Anıl. I'm Gökhan. How are you?

- I'm fine, thanks.

- Good night.


- Merhaba. Ben Anıl. Ya sen/siz?

- Merhaba, Anıl. Ben Gökhan. Nasılsın(ız)?

- İyiyim, teşekkürler.

- İyi geceler.

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