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.

Turkish pronunciation is phonetic, very few letters are 'swallowed'. In most instances each letter is pronounced, usually in pairs; for instance, Merhaba is pronounced MARE - HA - BA with the MARE being pronounced like "mare" in english, HA as in haha :o), BA as in bah humbug.  :o)

Try using a little Turkish whilst you are here, it will be greatly appreciated and bring a big smile.

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"), literally meaning " we found well".  If you remember nothing but this, you'll go a long way. :o)

The phonetic pronounciation is written using British English pronounciation, sorry to any Americans, etc. -- Just pretend you're English and use that pronounciation :o)

English Turkish

 Pronunciation

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?

INN-GLIZ-JE CON-NUSH-OR MUS-UN-UZ

(BILL-IYOR) 

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.
Pardon!

OUZ-UR DILL-EAR-IM

PARR-DON

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 "the"

 İ – sounds like i as in " interest"

 J – sounds like je  as in "mirage"
 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 "cook"
 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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