The Turkish thank you!

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  • Teşekkür ederim
    Thank you this is used in all normal situations.
  • The reply is:
    Bir şey değil
    It is nothing
  • OR Rica ederim
    You are welcome
    [same as "bitte schön" in German]

A simple teşekkürler thanks is used in shops and for small duties performed.

The more sincere sağ olun stay healthy.

  • sağol [familiar] OR sağolun [polite]
    [Lit: Health to you.] equates to thank you
  • It is more sincere than Teşekkür ederim.
  • sen de sağ ol is the response for sağ ol
  • siz de sağ olun is the reponse to sağ olun.

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.
  • Many tourists use sağ olun wrongly instead of using teşekkür ederim.
    They copy the boy waiter's way of thanking:
    Waiters often use sağ olun for misguided effect.
  • The rule is: If in doubt 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.]
  • 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 hands it to you.
  • Your answer is sağ olun
    [He need not have done it.]

Turkish answer to "thank you"

  • Another polite answer is: ne demek? what does it mean?
  • This expression ne demek? sounds quite comical in English.
  • But it really means: It doesn't matter at all.
  • The answer: Rica ederim is the politest one.
  • The recipient of your gratitude will often answer with the rejoinder sen de sağol health to you too.

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 Be happy!

Gözün aydın! "May your eyes shine!

  • When something which the speaker longing for comes true:
  • You compliment him thus:
    Gözün aydın! May your eyes shine! [fam. / sing.]OR Gözünüz aydın [polite / plu.]
    [LIT: "May your eyes shine."]
  • Their response is: Gözün(üz) aydın Your eyes shine
  • The expression indicates that the others share the speaker's happiness.
  • The reply for Gözünüz aydın is Teşekkür ederim

Hayırlı olsun Let it be with goodness

  • The expression indicates the speaker's wish that the new business will bring him prosperity, and it will be profitable.
  • Used when someone opens a shop or starts a new business, others say Hayırlı olsun to him.
  • The reply for Hayırlı olsun is Teşekkür ederim
  • When someone buys a thing, such as a new clothes, shoes or a car his friends say:
    Güle güle kullan / kullanın Use it with a smile.
  • 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 Hello

  • Merhaba Hello!, Hi!
  • The reply for Merhaba is Merhaba
  • Selam Hello!, Hi!
  • Selam is more informal than Merhaba
  • Merhaba is not used for Hello! on the telephone:
  • The telephone answer is: Alo
  • Informal greetings are: Ne var? Ne yok? What is there or not?
  • Answered by : "İyilik! Goodness!, Wellness!
  • Hayrola! What is up then!
  • Selamünaleyküm: → May God's peace be upon you
  • Used by Muslim males as a greeting to strangers in the street or tea -house:
  • Aleykümselam is the response to Selamünaleyküm.
  • Hoş geldin [fam. /sing.] Hoş geldiniz [polite / plu.] Welcome!.
  • The reply is: Hoş bulduk We found it well.

Turkish Goodbye.

  • Allahaısmarladık Goodbye
  • Hoşça kal(ın) Stay well.
  • The person is leaving says:
    Allahaısmarladık [fam.]
    [LIT: I leave you to God's care.]
  • OR Hoşca kalın. [formal]
  • The person staying behind, says:
    Güle güle Goodbye
    [lit: Smiling, smiling.]
  • Güle güleGo well.
    In formal situations Hoşca kalın is better for "Goodbye!"

Turkish Daily Greetings

  • İyi günler! Good day!
  • The reply is:İyi günler OR Size de To you also.
  • Görüşürüz See you later. [Lit: We will see each other.]
  • The reply is echoed: Görüşürüz.
  • Allah rahatlık versin [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 Sana da! And to you also.

Turkish Have a good jouney!

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

Turkish Well done! and Take it easy!

  • Kolay gelsin May it come easy.
  • The reply: Teşekkür ederim
  • 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.
  • Aferin
    Bravo, Well done!
  • Very often used in competition and especially to congratulate young children.

Turkish Sorry about it!

  • Affedersin(iz) Excuse me./Pardon me.
  • Affedersin(iz)! Merkeze nasıl gidebilirim? Excuse me! How can I get to the city centre?
  • Özür dilerim I am sorry, I apologize
  • Sometimes Affedersin(iz) is used instead of Özür dilerim
  • Özür dilerim sounds better in formal situations.

Ways of saying "Yes" in Turkish

  • Evet Yes → answering "yes / no" questions..
  • Tamam YesO.K
  • Peki YesAll right, O.K, If that's so then. [Gentle use especially by females.]
  • Oldu YesThat'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 → answering "yes / no" questions.
  • Olmaz No"That's not possible, I don't agree with you, That won't do."
  • Yok, Yo No.
    [informal and gentle way of refusal.]
    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: → Get well soon.
  • The reply: Teşekkür ederim
  • Başın(ız) Health to your head.
  • This equates to My condolences to you, So sorry about it.
  • The reply Siz de sağ olun! Dostlar sağolsun And to you! Thanks pal!
  • Ne yazık!
    What a pity!
  • Çok yazık!
    Such a pity!
  • Çok üzüldüm.
    I'm sorry to hear that.