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Turkish Modes of Address

Turkısh Personal Addressing

The formal Turkısh mode of address when you do not know the person's name or title is as follows:
For males: Beyefendi Sir daily pronunciation is truncated to: Beyfendi
For females: Hanımefendi Miss or Madam Daily pronunciation is truncated to: Hanfendi These are used in formal situations and to strangers.

Once names are known then bey and hanım are used after the first name. This usage is formal and semi-formal. These titles follow the fırst name/Chrıstıan name. The titles are written without a capital letter:
Mustafa bey Mr. Mustafa
Ayşe hanım Miss or Mrs. Ayşe
These are used in formal situations when you know the person's first name but also in informal situations to acquaintances, friends and even to you own family members.

Surnames are not usually used in conversational turkish, so in formal situations the Mustafa bey can mean Mr. Mustafa and Ayşe hanım can mean Mrs. OR Miss Ayşe or B it can mean just a friendly Mustafa or Ayşe with or without the title .

Turkish has two words for the first name of a person isim or ad and they can both be used at any time as they are interchangeable. The Turkish word for surname is soyadı there is no corresponding word for surname based in the word isim
İsminiz ne? What is your first name?
İsmim Ayşe. My name is Ayşe.

isim name becomes ism-iniz your name and ism-im my name.

This noun loses an internal vowel, see: apocopation

Adınız ne? What is your first name?
Adım Ali My name is Ali.
Soyadınız ne? What is your surname?
Soyadım Karaca My surname is Karaca.

Turkish Addressing a Third Person

The third person suffix is -i or meaning his, her, its
Onun ismi ne? What is his name?
Onun ismi Mehmet. His name is Mehmet.
Onun adı ne? What is her name?
Onun adı Deren. Her name is Deren.
Onun soyadı ne? What is his surname?
Onun soyadı Gürses. His surname is Gürses.

If we are talking about a third person remote from us we may ask the question: What is that man's name?. In this case we must translate the words "man's name" correctly by using the Possessive Relationship to show that the two words belong to each other.
adamın ismi the man's name [Lit: the name of the man]
adamın adı the man's name
adamın soyadı the man's surname
O Beyefendinin soyadı ne? What is that gentleman's surname? [Lit: the surname of the man]
O Beyefendinin ismi ne? What is that gentleman's name?

If we want to make the sentence more conversational we would normally say : I wonder what that lady's name is?. I wonder is simply translated by adding the word acaba at the beginning or end of the Turkish question.
O Hanımefendinin adı ne, acaba? I wonder what that lady's name is?
Acaba, Mehmet'in soyadı ne? I wonder what Mehmet's surname is?
Kız kardeşinizin ismi ne, acaba? What is your sister's name, I wonder?

There is an increasing use of addressing people by their surname especially used on television in interviews etc.
This method uses the word Sayın esteemed before the surname directly.
If the interviewee's name is Musafa Kurt, then he may be addressed as Mustafa bey [formal and informal] or directly by his surname as Sayın Kurt Esteemed Kurt [formal and public] or Bay Kurt Mr. Kurt [polite and official.]
Bay Mr. and Sayın Esteemed are usually spelt with capital letters, but are also foundin lower case letters.

Addressing Envelopes

Letter Addressed in Turkish
Sayın Mustafa Kurt
Çekmece Mah.
Uzunyol Sok. Nolu:24 D:6
Bağarası Köyü
02332 İZMİR TÜRKİYE
Esteemed Mustafa Kurt
Çekmece District
Uzunyol Street No.24 Apt No. 6
Bağarası Village
Post Code. Postal County. Country

 

Turish Abbeviations used in Addresses
Sok.Sokak/SokağıStreet
Cad.Cadde/CaddesiRoad
Bul.Bulvar/BulvarıAvenue
Yol.Yol/YoluWay, Route
Mah.Mahalle/MahallesiLocal District
D.DaireApartment, Suite
Apt.ApartmanApartment
K.KatFloor
No.Numara Number
Nolu.NumaralaNumbered

Turkish Greetings

In semi formal situations there is a four stage greeting procedure:

  1. The Welcome: hoş geldiniz or less formal hoş geldin Welcome!. This is answered by hoş bulduk We found it well!
  2. The Greeting: This is an exchange of merhaba Hello
  3. The Asking after Health Stage: nasılsınız? [formal] or nasılsın? [informal] How are you?
  4. The Response: This is is answered by İyiyim, teşekkür ederim I am well, thank you. This then followed by a question about the other's health: siz nasılsınız? You, how are you?

günaydın [LIT:the day shines.] good morning, good day, good afternoon
iyi günler good day
iyi akşamlar good evening [said on arrival]
iyi geceler good night [said on leaving company]
görüşmek üzere see you soon
hoşça kal so long [Lit: stay joyful]
The plural is used in "Good day, Good evening, Good night" similar to the Spanish "Buenos Días"

  • Listen to: Hoşça kal "Cheerio, Goodbye"

Turkish Daily Informal Greetings

For an informal greeting like Hi! in English, Turkish uses Selam! to which the answer is the same selam!
Also one can use What's up? Na'ber? Na'ber? is commonly used in everyday language. It is actually Ne haber? What news? [Lit: It's good and from you?]. The answer is generally iyidir, senden?
Another informal greeting is ne var ne yok? What is happening? [Lit: What is there (going on?) What isn't there (going on?)]. The answer to this one is iyilik! Goodness! Wellness!

Turkish Goodbye

There is a "Formula Speak" that is used quite lot and is very common for saying your "Goodbyes". This is often used when leaving company or on going away to somewhere. The person(s) who are leaving will say Allaha ısmalardık! goodbye! [a quasi religious-type formula].
The answer said by those staying behind is güle güle! Cheerio! [Lit: Go with a smile!].
If you use this formula after visiting your Turkish friends they will be suitably impressed.

Turkish Muslim Peace Greeting

selâmünaleyküm answered by aleykümselâm
This greeting is mainly used between passing strangers, normally both male, during travel or on entry to a crowded room, such as a tea house, when one cannot address everybody personally.