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Greetings and common expressions

Greetings and  common expressions in Turkish

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.

Merhaba :“Hello!, Hi!”

“Merhaba” corresponds to “Hello!, Hi!” in English. Its usage is identical in either language. . The reply for “Merhaba” is “Merhaba”. But, “Merhaba” is not used for “Hello!” on the telephone. This type of “Hello” is “Alo”

Selam: “Hello!, Hi!”

“Selam” is more informal than “Merhaba”

Selamünaleyküm: literally means “May God’s peace be upon you” and is used by Muslims as a greeting.

Aleykümselam: is said in reply to the greeting “Selamünaleyküm”.

Allahaısmarladık, Hoşca kalın : “Goodbye”

Güle güle :“Goodbye”

The one who leaves, says “Allahaısmarladık” or “Hoşca kalın”.

The one who stays behind, says “Güle güle”

“Allahaısmarladık” is literally, “I leave you to God’s care”. It is almost the same with “Goodbye” “Goodbye” in English is the clipping of  “ God bless you”.

“Hoçca kalın” corresponds “Stay well” in English.

“Güle güle” corresponds “Go well” in English.

Either “Allahaısmarladık” or “Hoşca kalın” is correct in informal situations. But in formal situatiaons “Hoşca kalın” is better.

İyi günler: “Have a good day”

Its usage is almost the same as in English. It is also the formal of “Allahısmarladık” and “Hoşca kalın”.The reply for “İyi günler” is either “İyi günler” or “Size de” (same to you)

Gürüşürüz: “See you later”

The reply for “Görüşürüz” is “Görüşürüz.”

Allah rahatlık versin : This is an informal expression for “Good night”. It means “May God give you peace and comfort” It is generally used by the members of the family at home or friends before going to bed. The reply for “Allah rahatlı versin” is “Sana da”(same to you)

Buyurun, Buyrun :

  1. When someone wants to visit you , and asks if you have time, your positive answer  will be “Buyrun”, which literally is an invitation and it means that the speaker will be happy to see the quest in his/her home.
  2. When someone wants to say or ask you someting  you will give him the chance to speak by saying “Buyrun!”. This corresponds to “Yes, please” in English.
  3. When you go in a store the shopkeeper will say “Buyrun” to you. It means “May I help you?” in English.
  4. When you offer your guest something to eat or drink you bring it and say “Buyrun” to the guest. This corresponds to “This is for you”, or “Help yourself, please.” in English. In this usage the reply for “Buyrun” is “Teşekkür ederim” (Thank you)
  5. If you want to give way to someone at a door or you want him go first you step aside and say “Buyrun” It corresponds “After you” in English. The reply is “Teşekkür ederim”
  6. When someone at your door and wants to go in you say “Buyrun” , and he comes in. This is for “Come in, pls” in English.
  7. When someone comes to visit you you offer him a seat by saying “Buyrun” This is “Have a seat, pls” in Turkish.
  8. When you pick up the receiver to answer the phone you can either say “Alo!” , or “Buyrun!” This is “Hello!” in English.

Hoş geldiniz, Hoş bulduk:

“Hoş geldiniz” corresponds “Wellcome” in English.

The reply for “Hoş geldiniz” is “Hoş bulduk”

Teşekkür ederim, Sağolun: “Thank you”

The reply for teşekkür ederim is “Bir şey değil” or “Rica ederim” ( You are wellcome)

Gözünüz aydın: When something which the speaker longing for comes true, he tells the others about it. They say “Gözünüz aydın” to the speaker. The expression indicates that the others share the speaker’s happiness, and that they are also happy about it. The reply for “Gözünüz aydın” is “Teşekkür ederim.”

Hayırlı olsun: When someone opens a shop or starts a new bussiness, others say “Hayırlı olsun” to him. The expression indicates the speaker’s wish that the new bussiness will bring him prosperity, and it will be profitable. The reply for “Hayırlı olsun” is “Teşekkür ederim”

Güle güle kullan / kullanın: When someone buys a thing, such as a new clothes, shoes or a car his friends say “Güle güle kullan / kullanın” It 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”.

İyi yolculuklar / Hayırlı yolculuklar : Have a nice journey.

İyi tatiller : “Have a nice holiday”

İyi şanşlar : “Good Luck”

İyi eğlenceler : “Have a nice time”

İyi seneler / yıllar, Mutlu seneler / yıllar : Happy new year

Doğum / Yaş gününüz kutlu olsun : Happy birthday

Afiyet olsun : “Bon Appetite”

Kolay gelsin: This is used when the speaker sees someone working, busy with something. It can be a physical, or mental work. The expression indicates the speaker’s wish that whatever that person is doing at the moment, may be easy for him. The reply for “Kolay gelsin” is “Teşekkür ederim”

Afedersiniz: “Excuse me”. Afederniz! İstasyona nasıl gidebilirim? “Excuse me! How can I get to the station?”

Özür dilerim: “I am sorry”. Sometimes “Afedersiniz” is used instead of “Özür dilerim”. But “Özür dilerim” is more formal. And it sounds better in formal situations.

Bir şey değil, Rica ederim: “You are wellcome” used in reply to “Teşekkür ederim”

Aferin / Bravo : “Welldone!”

Ways of saying ‘Yes’ in Turkish:

Evet : “Yes” in the sense of answering yes / no questions in English.

Tamam : ‘Yes’ , in the sense of “O.K”

Peki : “Yes” , in the sense of “All right, O.K and  also “If that’s so then…”

Oldu : “Yes” , in the sense of “ That’s good”

Ways of saying “No” in Turkish:

Hayır : “No” in the sense of anwering yes / no questions in English.

Olmaz : “No” in the sense of “That’s not possible, I don’t agree with you, That won’t do”

Yok, Yo : informal saying of “No”

Evet, efendim : “Yes, sir or madam”

Hayır, efendim : “No, sir or madam”

Geçmiş olsun : “Get well soon” is used when a friend is ill or has had an accident. The reply for “Geçmiş olsun” is “Teşekkür ederim”.

Başınız sağolsun : “My condolences” The reply for “Başınız sağolsun” is “Siz de sağolun, Dostlar sağolsun”.

Çok yazık! / Ne yazık! : “What a pity!”

Çok üzüldüm : “I’m sorry to hear that”


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