Common Turkish Words and Phrases for Tourists

Common Turkish Words and Phrases for Tourists

  • Turkey Trip Planners
  • 10/06/2022
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Knowing a few basic Turkish words and expressions will not only please locals, it will also come in handy during your stay. Turks will try their best to help you, but not all Turks speak English — and that’s an understatement. Most restaurants have menus in both Turkish and English, but especially in snack bars the translations may be far from perfect.

For all those who are going to have holiday in Turkey it will be useful to learn basic Turkish phrases for tourists. Most of the following simple useful Turkish phrases may be useful to you as they are used in everyday life.

Let's start with a brief history of the Turkish language. The abrupt replacement of Ottoman alphabet by Latin one in 1928 had a profound impact on the literacy of the Turkish population at that time and modern Turkish. So how to speak Turkish phrases? Turkish language is based on vowel harmony and use of suffixes. There are some English and French words being used in key common Turkish phrases and most of local Turks in Fethiye, Oludeniz and Hisaronu speak tolerable English. There are regional dialects spoken in Turkey, such as Kurds speak their own language and there is a mixture of Georgian, Arabic and Turkish in the border areas. Learning just a few everyday common basic Turkish phrases for tourists will help to make new friends.

Why Learn Some Turkish?

By learning some of the basic Turkish phrases for tourists below, you will not only make your time in Turkey more enjoyable, but you will also impress the Turkish locals you are speaking with. 

Turkish people absolutely love it when you try to speak their language. Remembering a few phrases in Turkish for tourists will go a long way.

Locals will be delighted that you are trying and they’ll treat you as an honored guest if you make even the smallest effort to speak Turkish.

Eliminate Travel Frustration

First of all, you’ll be able to cut out a good chunk of travel frustration and inconvenience due to language barriers.

Know how to pronounce and use at least the basic Turkish phrases, and then just look foreign. This should go a long way to help you get by and win you friends, because locals would be more inclined to help someone who took the trouble to learn a smidgen of their language.

Emergency Readiness

In case of an emergency, you will be able to get help a lot quicker if you know how to ask for what in Turkish. Imagine miming to a doctor or nurse that you have a sore ear but that you’re allergic to penicillin. Not so easy, right

Rather, you should know basic emergency travel phrases, especially if you suffer from a serious condition. Also, information about life-threatening allergies you have should always be on your person in the language of the country you’re visiting.

Sight-Seeing Readiness

Hopefully, you also travel to learn more about a country’s culture. Visiting the main tourist sites in Turkey will be more interesting if you know how to ask pertinent questions in Turkish.

In this blog, we’ll also be giving you important travel phrases to consider – from the 13 essential must-have phrases to ones that are just generally useful and good to know.

Tips to Know About Turkish Language

  • There are 29 letter in the alphabet
  • The words pronounced exactly the same way as it is read.
  • There are no letter as Q, W and X in Turkish alphabet.
  • Some letters are not present in English e.g. ö, ş, ı, ç, ü, ğ

You will stil manage even if you don’t know Turkish. Many Turks know English and are very helpful to tourists.  

Must-know Common Turkish Phrases for Tourists

No matter how many days you plan to spend in Turkey, you shouldn’t leave home without knowing some basic Turkish for tourists.

Below we have outlined some of the most useful phrases, words and sayings you are going to need when you are visiting Turkey!

Hello Merhaba   Meh – rha – bah

Yes   Evet    Eh – vet

No   Hayır   Hah – yur

How much?    Ne kadar?    Neh – ka – dar

Please    Lutfen    Lewt – fehn

Thank you   Teşekkür ederim     Tesh – ek – kerr – eh – deh – rim

How are you?   Nasilsin?    Nah-sil-sen

I am fine     Iyiyim   ee-yee-yim 

What?   Ne?  Neh

When   Ne zaman    Neh-za-man

Good evening    İyi akşamlar!   ee ak-sham-lar

Good-bye (said by person leaving)  Hoşçakal!  hosh-cha-kal

Good-bye (said by person staying) Güle güle! guu-leh guu-leh

How are you?   Nasılsın?  na-sel-sin

I am fine, and you?  İyiyim, sen nasılsın?  ee-im, sen na-sel-sin

Not very well.    Çok iyi değil.   chok eeyi dey-eel

You’re welcome  Birşey değil. (in response to “Thank you”)   beer-shey dey-eel

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