Saturday, April 2, 2011

Speaking Turkish-Evit or Hayir? (Yes or No?)

To learn the language or not?  That is the question.

I have several friends here who have gotten quite good at speaking Turkish.  They have rented language software (Rosetta Stone and others) and have really committed to learning as much as they can.  They say they find it less intimidating to be out and about off-base when they know how to speak the language.  I also have friends who know very few words and have no intention of learning more.  Their reasons for this vary-but most say they either don't have the time, energy, or interest (or a combination of the three) to invest their time.

I think I am somewhere in the middle.  I don't know a lot of words, but I know enough to get by off-base.  My friend Wendi, who knows the language quite well, will teach me words and phrases from time to time.  I will "try them out" for awhile and when I get comfortable using them, I might ask Wendi for a couple more. 

Maybe I would be more inclined to learn the language if I thought it would be at all beneficial to me down the road.  Let's face it, Turkish is only useful to you in, well, Turkey.  It's not like Spanish or English, or even French.  It is spoken in a tiny part of the world that I probably won't be returning to.  So I will continue learning basic words and phrases, and do the best I can with that.  That being said-here's a little Incirlikin Good Turkish 101.  Consider yourself enlightened. 

All Turkish words will be spelled phonetically.

Hello: Merhaba
Goodbye: Gulay Gulay
Thank You: Tesh-a-kir Aderim
How Are You?: Nossa Sin?
Yes/No: Evit/Hire
One/Two/Three: Beer/E-key/Ooch
I don't understand Turkish: Turk-shay Bill-me-or-um
How Much?: Neck-a-dar?
Okay: Tamum