At Fethiye Times we love the Turkish language and truly believe that, if you are going to live here, even part-time, you should try and learn some Turkish.

At Fethiye Times we love the Turkish language and truly believe that, if you are going to live here, even part-time, you should try and learn some Turkish.

One especially nice aspect of the language are the ‘apt phrases’ which seem to cover all occasions.  Even if you are only here on holiday you’ll have heard ‘Afiyet olsun’ which is the Turkish equivalent of the French ‘Bon appetit’ for which there is no exact equivalent in English, the best translation being ‘Enjoy your meal’.  If a waiter puts your meal down and says ‘Afiyet olsun’ you should reply ‘Elinize sağlık’ which literally means ‘a blessing on your hands’ and is used as the Turkish equivalent of ‘compliments to the chef’.  By the way ‘sağlık’ is pronounced ‘sahluk’ – the ‘g’ is silent and extends the vowel sound of the ‘a’.

If you hear someone is/has recently been ill you should say ‘Ge欩ş olsun’ which literally means ‘Let it be over with’ and is used where we would say ‘Hope they’re better soon’.  When you first see someone’s new baby be sure to say ‘Maşallah’ which literally means ‘Look what God has given to us’ and is traditionally said to new babies.  Remember the Turkish ‘琠is pronounced like ‘ch’ in English with the ‘ş’ being the equivalent of ‘sh’.

When someone dies you say ‘Başın sağ olsun’ which literally translates as ‘May your life be spared’ but is always used as a condolence, another occasion for which we don’t have a set phrase in English.

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