Manisa Turkish Icon - The Turkish language Explained for English Speakers

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Turkish - How to say Thank you!

  • Teşekkür ederim Thank you this is used in all normal situations. The reply for teşekkür ederim is Bir şey değil or Rica ederim You are welcome.
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  • sağol [familiar] or sağolun [polite] [Lit: Health to you.] equates to thank you but is more sincere than Teşekkür ederim.
    sen de sağ ol is the response for sağ ol and siz de sağ olun is the reponse to sağ olun.

The difference in usage of teşekkür ederim thank you and the more sincere sağ olun stay healthy.
sağ ol [familiar]
sağ olun [polite and/or singular]
sağ olunuz [public and/or plural]
A simple teşekkürler also means a very informal thanks and is used in shops and for small duties performed.

  • What are the services being rendered to us?
  • Use sağ olun be healthy, be strong is used as thank you for a service which:
    A - Did necessarily needed to be performed.
    B - For someone who has gone out of his way to help you.
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  • Many tourists use sağ olun wrongly instead of using teşekkür ederim.
  • They copy the boy waiter's way of thanking as the waiters often use sağ olun for misguided effect.
  • The rule is: if in doubt then use teşekkür ederim.

Turkish "thank you" Scenarios.

The waiter puts a nice meal in front of you. Your thank you is teşekkür ederim it is his job.
The waiter puts a bottle of wine in front of you. Your thank you is teşekkür ederim it is his job.
Then the waiter uncorks the bottle of wine and pours it in your glass. Your thank you is sağ olun he need not have performed this service.

You ask someone the time. He looks at his watch and says "Half past three".
Your answer is sağ olun [You have caused him to perform a service to you.]

You drop your handkerchief a stranger picks it up and hand it to you.
Your answer is sağ olun [He need not have done it.]

Turkish answer to "thank you"

The answer to teşekkür ederim is bir şey değil It is nothing or rica ederim I request! [same as "bitte schön" in German]
Also used is ne demek? what does it mean?. This expression ne demek? sounds quite comical in English. But it actually means something like: It doesn't matter at all. The answer Rica ederim is the politest one. The recipient of your gratitude will often answer your sen sağol with the rejoinder sen de sağol health to you too. Other forms are sen de sağ ol or quite short siz de or sen de you too

Turkish Be happy!

  • Gözün aydın [familiar/singular] or Gözünüz aydın [polite/plural] [LIT: "May your eyes shine."] When something which the speaker longing for comes true, he tells the others about it.
  • Their response is Gözün(üz) aydın Your eyes shine to the speaker. The expression indicates that the others share the speaker's happiness, and that they are also happy about it.
  • The reply for Gözünüz aydın is Teşekkür ederim
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  • Hayırlı olsun Let it be with goodness Used when someone opens a shop or starts a new business, others say Hayırlı olsun to him. The expression indicates the speaker's wish that the new business will bring him prosperity, and it will be profitable.
  • The reply for Hayırlı olsun is Teşekkür ederim
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  • Güle güle kullan/kullanın Use it with a smile. When someone buys a thing, such as a new clothes, shoes or a car his friends say Güle güle kullan / kullanın This indicates the speaker's wish that use it with joy. Sometimes Hayırlı olsun is said in such condition.
  • The reply for both expressions is Teşekkür ederim.

A caveat "take care..."

Many people when first learning Turkish are tempted to use the present continuous tense: teşekkür ediyorum. This form sounds quite comical to the Turkish ear and can also be construed as being sarcastic. Always use the present simple tense teşekkür ederim and you will not go wrong or be misunderstood.

Turkish Daily Talk

  • Günaydın Good morning
  • İyi akşamlar Good evening
  • İyi geceler Good night
  • In English the expressions Good evening and Good night are singular. In Turkish they are plural [as is the Spanish Buenos Dias.]

Turkish Hello

  • Merhaba Hello!, Hi! Merhaba corresponds to Hello!, Hi! in English. Its usage is identical in either language.
  • The reply for Merhaba is Merhaba
  • Merhaba is not used for Hello! on the telephone. This type of Hello is Alo
  • Selam Hello!, Hi!
  • Selam is more informal than Merhaba
  • Selamünaleyküm: literally means May God's peace be upon you and is used by Muslims as a greeting.
  • Aleykümselam is said in reply to the greeting Selamünaleyküm.
  • Hoş geldin (familiar/singular) or Hoş geldiniz (polite/plural) corresponds Welcome! in English.
  • The reply for Hoş geldin(iz) is Hoş bulduk. We found it well.

Turkish Goodbye.

  • Allahaısmarladık, Hoşca kalın Goodbye
  • Hoşça kal (familiar) or Hoşça kalın (polite) corresponds to Stay well. /Keep happy.. in English.
  • Güle güle Goodbye [lit: Smiling, smiling.] The person staying behind, says Güle güle
  • The person is leaving leaves, says Allahaısmarladık or Hoşca kalın .
  • Güle güle corresponds Go well. in English.
  • Allahaısmarladık Goodbye [Lit: I leave you to God's care.].
  • Either Allahaısmarladık or Hoşca kalın is correct in informal situations. But in formal situations Hoşca kalın is better.
  • İyi günler Good day, [or: Have a good day.] . Its usage is almost the same as in English. It is also the formal of Allahaısmarladık and Hoşca kalın . The reply for İyi günler is either İyi günler or Size de To you also.
  • Görüşürüz See you later. [Lit: We will see each other.] The reply for Görüşürüz is Görüşürüz.
  • Allah rahatlık versin This is an informal expression for Good night. [Lit: May God give you peace and comfort.] This is generally used by the members of the family at home or friends before going to bed. The reply for Allah rahatlık versin is Sana da (sing.), Size de (pl.) And to you also.

Turkish Have a good jouney!

  • İyi yolculuklar / Hayırlı yolculuklar Have a nice journey.
  • İyi tatiller Have a nice holiday
  • İyi şanslar Good Luck
  • İyi eğlenceler Have a nice time
  • İyi seneler / yıllar, Mutlu seneler / yıllar Happy new year
  • Doğum / Yaş günün kutlu olsun! Happy birthday!
  • Afiyet olsun Bon appetite, Enjoy your meal.

Turkish Well done! and Take it easy!

  • Kolay gelsin May it come easy. Used when the speaker sees someone working, busy with something. It can be a physical, or mental work. It indicates the speaker's wish that whatever that person is doing at the moment, may be easy for him.
  • The reply for Kolay gelsin is Teşekkür ederim
  • Aferin Bravo, Well done! Very often used in competition and especially to congratulate young children.

Turkish Sorry about it!

  • Afedersin (singular/familiar) or Afedersiniz (plural/polite): Excuse me./Pardon me.
  • Affedersin(iz)! Merkeze nasıl gidebilirim? Excuse me! How can I get to the city centre?
  • Özür dilerim: I am sorry.
  • Sometimes Affedersin(iz) is used instead of Özür dilerim.
  • However Özür dilerim is more formal, it sounds better in formal situations.
  • Bir şey değil, Rica ederim: You are welcome
  • Used in reply to Teşekkür ederim

Ways of saying "Yes" in Turkish

  • Evet : Yes in the sense of answering yes / no questions in English.
  • Tamam : Yes in the sense of O.K
  • Peki : Yes in the sense of All right, O.K, If that's so then.
  • Oldu : Yes in the sense of That's good, agreed.
  • Evet, efendim : Yes, sir or madam.
  • Var : Yes there is. [Answers questions which contain var mı.? Is there.?]

Ways of saying "No" in Turkish

  • Hayır : No in the sense of answering yes / no questions in English.
  • Olmaz : No in the sense of That's not possible, I don't agree with you, That won't do
  • Yok, Yo : informal and gentle saying of No. [Also answers questions containing Yok mu? Isn't there?]
  • Hayır efendim : No sir. / No madam. "Efendim" must be used in this case else this answer could be construed as being curt.

Turkish Words of Condolence What a pity!

  • Geçmiş olsun May it pass away This expression is used when a friend is ill or has had an accident, like Get well soon. in English
  • The reply for Geçmiş olsun is Teşekkür ederim.
  • Başın sağ olsun (singular/familiar) or Başınız sağ olsun (plural/polite) : Health to your head. This equates to My condolences to you., So sorry about it. in English.
  • The reply for Başınız sağ olsun is Siz de sağ olun, Dostlar sağolsun
  • Çok yazık! / Ne yazık! : What a pity!
  • Çok üzüldüm : I'm sorry to hear that.
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