Me Speakie the Turkish

The Turks are a proud people!

The Turks are a proud people!

July 16, 2009, Ankara, Turkey

The Turkish language was formed in 3500 BC and has it roots in the nomadic languages of Mongolia. (This is why China’s Uighurs, so currently in the news, have a Turkish base to their language. I find this so interesting.) Basically Ghengis Khan imposed his people’s language as he conquered the world in the 11th century.  (To read about my first-hand account of Mongolian invasions, read: Mongols – Head for the Hills!)

Modern Turkish was overhauled in the 1920’s by Ataturk (who else?), who was a linguist among his other many talents. With the founding of the modern Republic of Turkey he changed the Arabic script to a phonetic Latin script. Today, Turkish counts 70 million speakers worldwide.

On my fifth day here, I’m well on my way to obtaining the 20 words you need to know in each language. 

Here’re the ones I’ve mastered so far:

Hello: Merhaba. An easy one!
Thank You: For some reason this one was exceedingly hard for me to nail. I keep putting the emphasis on the middle syllable instead of the last one.

Saying (phonetically) tesh-shek-ker, instead of tesh-shek-ker. I guess this is a big enough mistake since I keep getting askew looks from the locals each time I say it. 
• Water:  Su – Easy peasey!
• Sale!  Indirim – I don’t know how to say it, but I know what it is!
• Stop: Dur – Handy for taxi drivers.
• Bus station: Otogar. Learned this one after the taxi dropped us off at the train station, instead of the bus station, on our way to Cappadocia.
• Good: Iyi – Pronounced: eee yeeee. How fun is that to say!
• Most excellent / Cool: Ho? – thanks for asking me to look it up, Lise!
• Go: Git – Just like a horse.
• Full: Doymu? – pronounced: doy  moosh –  learned after waiters keep giving me free deserts. That’s as far as I’ve gotten. Luckily, there’s always pen and paper to negotiate prices, as well as hand gestures / smiling to help us along. I also fall back on my Spanish when in doubt (which is pretty scary if you knew that state of my Spanish.)  

Goodbye! Gule gule – pronouced: gew-le gew-le.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 16th, 2009 and is filed under Europe.

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