Turkish Phrases

  1. Turkish belongs to the Ural-Altaic family of languages, and is rather different from languages of the Indo-European family. There are 29 letters in the Turkish alphabet, and it may be helpful to look at the list of letters following this phrase list to familiarise yourself with the pronunciation. You can see that some of the endings (especially the questions in these examples) have an  ‘-iz’ . This indicates a formal, less familiar tone, similar to “vous” in French.
  2. Turkish pronunciation is phonetic, very few letters are ‘swallowed’ in most instances each letter is pronounced, usually in pairs; i.e., Merhaba is pronounced MARE – HA – BA with the MARE being pronounced as mare in english, HA as in haha :o), BA as in bah humbug  :o)
  3. Try using a little Turkish whilst you are here, it will be greatly appreciated and bring a big smile.
  4. One very important phrase is Hoş Geldiniz pronounced “hosh gel din iz”.  You may well hear this a lot as you enter a resturant or shop, it’s a form of greeting, it’s near literal translation is “You came well”, basically well come or welcome :o) The proper response is Hoş Bulduk pronounced “hosh bull duk”, ” we found well”. If you remember nothing but this, you’ll go a long way :o)
  5. The phonetic pronounciation is written using english English pronounciation, sorry to any Americans, etc. just pretend you’re English and use that pronounciation :o)
Hello Merhaba!  MARE-HA-BA see above
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
Thank you Teşekkür ederim.  TE-SH-QU-ERR ED-ERR-IM
You’re welcome Birşey değil. (in response to “Thank you”)  BEER-SHEY DEY-EEL
Please Lütfen.  LUT-FEN
Do you speak English? İngilizce konuşur musunuz?
İngilizce biliyor musunuz?


I don’t speak Turkish Türkçe bilmiyorum! TURK-JEH BILL-MI-YOR-UM
I don’t understand Sizi anlamıyorum. SI-ZI ANN-LA-MA-YOR-UM
Could you please repeat Şunu tekrar edebilir misiniz? SHU-NU TEK-RA ED-EBB-ILL-EAR MISS-IN-IZ
Pleased to meet you Tanıştığımıza sevindim./Memnum oldum TAN-ISH-TI-IM-IZA SEV-IN-DIM/ MEM-NUM-OLL-DUM
Where is the washroom? Afedersiniz, tuvalet nerede? AFF-ED-DER-SIN-IZ TOO-WA-LET NER-REY-DE
How much does it cost? Ne kadar? NAY KAD-AR
May I speak to [Name]? [Name] ile görüşebilir miyim? … ILL-EH GOR-EH-SHEBB-ILL-EAR ME-YIM
I am sorry Özür dilerim.


Excuse me Afedersiniz. AFF-ED-DAR-SAN-IZ
Can you help me? Yardım edebilir misiniz? YARR-DIM ED-EBB-ILL-EAR MISS-IN-IZ
Yes Evet. EV-ET
No Hayır. HI-EAR
I don’t know Bilmiyorum. BILL-ME-YOR-UM
Okay/Alright Tamam TAM-AM
Welcome  Hoş Geldiniz  HOSH GEL-DIN-IZ
We came well (response to hoş geldiniz)  Hoş Bulduk  HOSH BULL-DUK

Pronunciation guide of Turkish alphabet:

A – sounds like ah as in ” awful”

B – sounds like b as in ” bed”

C – sounds like j as in ” juniper”

Ç – sounds like ch as in ” chipper”

D – sounds like d as in ” dog”

E – sounds like eh as in ” hey

F – sounds like f as in ” fun”

G – sounds like g as in ” gift”

Ğ – silent letter ( The English word ‘yoghurt’ (or yogurt) is taken from the Turkish yoğurt, pronounced: ‘yo-urt’)

H – sounds like h as in ” happy”

I – sounds like ə as in “th e

İ – sounds like i as in ” interest”

J – sounds like je  as in  “mira ge

K – sounds like k as in ” king”

L – sounds like l as in  ” love”

M – sounds like m as in ” man”

N – sounds like n as in ” none”

O – sounds like o as in ” over”

Ö – sounds like ö as in “c ook”

P – sounds like p as in  ” pickle”

R – sounds like r as in  ” river”

S – sounds like s as in ” supper”

Ş – sounds like sh as in ” shelf”

T – sounds like t as in ” top”

U – sounds like u as in  ” oodles”

Ü – sounds like ü as in “astute”

V – sounds like v as in ” vestibule”

Y – sounds like y as in ” yes”

Z – sounds like z as in  ” zoo”

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