Turkish is very different from English, so sometimes even basic things are a little complicated. Luckily a few things are similar – taxi is the same but spelled taksi; the metro is metro.
Here are a few basics, broken down.
Official: “güle güle” (goo-lay goo-lay) is said to the person who is leaving, and “hoş çakalın” (HOESH chalk-all-un) by the person walking out the door.
Cheat: you can also get away with “bye bye.”
Also: it is common to say “good day” instead, which is “iyi günler” (ee-yee goon-LEHR).
Official: “teşekkürler” (tesh-e-koor-lehr)
Cheat: you can also say “mersi” (mehr-see)
“Ne kadar?” (nay kah-dahr)
Always put whatever you’re looking for first, because Turkish sentence structure is opposite from English. So if you’re looking for Hagia Sophia, you would say “Hagia Sophia nerede?”
“Tuvalet” (too-vah-let). Or, to be a little more polite, “lavabo” (lah-vah-bo).
I don’t speak Turkish:
“Türkçe bilmiyorum” (turk-chay bill-me-yor-um).
One beer please:
Bir bira lutfen (replace bira with any of the following words to order).
- Ekmek (bread).
- Meze (appetizer small dishes, like tapas).
- Su (water).
- Hamsi (fish from Balck Sea, like anchovies).
- Simit (Turkish bagels with sesame).
- Lokum (Turkish Delight) .
- Lahmacun (“Lahmajun” Turkish pizza with minced lamb).
- Pide (“Peedeh” Baked flat bread, often with meat, cheese or spinach).
- Borek (“Boereck” Savory phyllo dough pastries with meat, veggies or cheese).
- Manti (Turkish ravioli with minced meat, served with yogurt).
- Sucuk (“Soujouk” Turkish pepperoni).
- Patlican (“Pat-lih-jan” eggplant-the king of Turkish cuisine).
- Dolma (not just grape leaves, but stuffed peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, cabbage leaves..).
- Doner (Doe-nehr: Gyros).
- Kebap (meat of different varieties, usually grilled).
1 – bir (beer)
2 – iki (icky)
3 – üç (ooch)
4 – dört (dort)
5 – beş (besh)
6 – altı (ahl-tuh)
7 – yedi (yeh-di)
8 – sekiz (seh-keez)
9 – dokuz (doh-kooz)
10 – on (ohn)