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The Most Useful Turkish Phrases for Beginners

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If you’ve just started learning Turkish, you definitely need to focus on studying the basic grammar rules and picking up as much vocabulary as you can. Obviously, you won’t be able to learn all this overnight! And during this time, you might miss some opportunities or have a hard time getting help in an emergency.

Have I worried you? You can relax now. There is a practical way to prepare for daily conversations, emergencies, and other situations while learning grammar along the way: memorizing standard Turkish phrases for beginners.

In this article, I will teach you phrases you can use to greet people, introduce yourself, order food, go shopping, and get help when you need it. These expressions and patterns will help tide you over until you have a good command of Turkish grammar.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. Greetings, Self-introductions, and Goodbyes
  2. Courtesy Phrases
  3. Dining & Shopping Phrases
  4. Asking for Help in Case of Emergencies
  5. Other Useful Phrases
  6. Practice Beginner Phrases with TurkishClass101

1. Greetings, Self-introductions, and Goodbyes

These three components of conversation are essential in building a connection with others. They’re the keys to easier and more effective communication; they can open the door to new relationships, whether that be a friendship, a business partnership, or a romantic relationship. 

Don’t wait. Start impressing the Turkish people around you by using the following beginner Turkish phrases for greetings, self-introductions, and goodbyes.

A Woman Looking Up from Her Phone to Wave Goodbye to Someone

Greetings

A warm greeting makes a huge difference in one’s social life, especially if you’re in a foreign country. Believe me; you can win a Turkish person’s heart with a sincere Merhaba! (“Hello!”). I’m sure they will appreciate the fact that you took the time to learn that word in Turkish.

Now, knowing all this, are you ready to learn some greeting words in Turkish and start building good relationships with the Turkish folks around you? 

Let’s begin, then!

TurkishEnglishLiterally
Merhaba.Hello.
Selam.Hi.“Greeting.”
Günaydın.Good morning.“Sunlit day.”
İyi günler.Good day.“Good days.”
Tünaydın.Good afternoon.“Sunlit night.”
İyi akşamlar.Good evening.“Good evenings.”
İyi geceler.Goodnight.“Good nights.”

To learn even more Turkish greetings, we recommend you visit our blog post on how to say hello in Turkish.

Introductions

Introductions are an icebreaker of sorts. A self-introduction can also help you make a good first impression if you manage to get it just right. I believe that first impressions matter, and there’s no guarantee of a second chance if you’re not successful from the start. 

To improve your chances of hitting it off with native speakers, memorize and practice these useful Turkish phrases for beginners. 

TurkishEnglishLiterally
Merhaba, ben Ed.Hello, I’m Ed.
Memnun oldum.I’m glad to meet you.“I was glad.”
Ben de.Me, too.
Nasılsınız?How are you?
İyiyim, teşekkür ederim, ya siz?I’m fine, thank you. And you?
Nerelisiniz?Where are you from?
Ben Amerikalıyım.I’m American.
Kaç yaşındasınız?How old are you?“How many ages are you in?”
Ben 25 yaşındayım.I’m 25 years old.“I’m in 25 age.”

You can also check out our article on how to introduce yourself in Turkish to learn additional phrases and patterns you could use.

Goodbyes

Now that you’ve learned how to say “hello” and introduce yourself in Turkish, let’s see some beginner Turkish phrases for saying goodbye. After all, goodbyes are just as essential as hellos.

TurkishEnglishLiterally
Baybay.Bye-bye.
Hoşçakalın.Goodbye.“Stay nicely.”
Görüşürüz.See you.“We see each other.”
Kendinize iyi bakın.Take care of yourself.

Make sure to read our article titled How to Say Goodbye in Turkish to discover even more parting phrases for different situations. The article also talks about the gestures we use when saying goodbye in Turkey. Have fun!

2. Courtesy Phrases

Courtesy phrases also play an important role in social life. Different cultures might have different values, but there are still some common courtesy phrases that we use in order to have good, kind, healthy, and respectful interactions. Below are some beginner Turkish phrases you can use to be polite in different contexts. 

TurkishEnglishLiterally
Teşekkür ederim.Thank you.
Bir şey değil.You’re welcome.“Not one thing.”
Rica ederim.You’re welcome.“I request.”
Lütfen.Please.“Kindly.”
Problem/sorun değil.No problem.“Not a problem.”
İyi şanslar.Good luck.“Good lucks.”
Afedersiniz.Excuse me.“You would excuse.”
Üzgünüm.I’m sorry.

Two Japanese Businessmen Bowing to Each Other

3. Dining & Shopping Phrases

Dining and shopping are inevitable parts of our lives. As such, dear Turkish beginners, you’ll need to know some of the phrases below in order to do your shopping and put the old feedbag on! 

Dining

Turkey has a number of delicacies waiting for you, so you’d better hurry up and learn these simple Turkish phrases for beginners.

TurkishEnglishLiterally
Karnım acıktı. / Ben açım.I’m hungry.“My abdomen got hungry.” / “I’m hungry.”
Karnım tok. / Ben tokum.I’m full.“My abdomen is full.” / “I’m full.”
Susadım.I’m thirsty.“I was thirsty.”
Menüyü görebilir miyim?May I see the menu?
Su alabilir miyim lütfen?May I have water, please?
Hesap lütfen!Bill, please!

Before going to the next topic, I should give you a tip. If you love different tastes, are into international cuisines, and want to find out more about Turkish food, don’t miss our article about Turkish cuisine! It will definitely help you plan each day’s menu while you’re in Turkey. Enjoy!

A Table Containing Plates of Different Delicacies

Shopping

Shopping opportunities are everywhere! While in Turkey, you’ll need to know some basic Turkish phrases for shopping while visiting the malls, supermarkets, drugstores, ticket booths, you name it. Here are just a few phrases to get you started: 

TurkishEnglish
Alışverişe gitmek istiyorum.  I want to go shopping.
Alışveriş merkezi nerede?Where is the mall?
Bu kaç beden?What size is this?
Bu ne kadar?How much is this?
Bu halı kaç para?How much is this carpet?
Kredi kartı ile ödeyebilir miyim?Can I pay by credit card?

A Couple Shopping at the Supermarket

4. Asking for Help in Case of Emergencies

Visiting a foreign country can be stressful if you’re not confident in your language abilities. To help relieve some of this stress, I’ve listed below several basic Turkish phrases for beginners that might just save your life in an emergency. I hope you never have to use these phrases, but don’t forget to jot them down—you never know what life will bring you! 

Someone Performing the Heimlich Maneuver on Someone Who Is Choking on an Apple

TurkishEnglishLiterally
Bana yardım edin lütfen!Please help me!
Bana yardım edebilir misiniz? / Bana yardımcı olabilir misiniz?Can you help me?
Hastane nerede?Where is the hospital?
Benim çileğe alerjim var.I’m allergic to strawberries.I have allergy to strawberry. 
Yangın var.There is a fire.There is fire.
Ambulans çağırın.Call an ambulance.Call ambulance.
Polisi arayın.Call the police.Call police. 
Ben kayboldum; bana yardım edin lütfen!I’m lost; please help me!
Pasaportumu/cüzdanımı kaybettim. Ne yapmalıyım?I lost my passport/wallet. What should I do?

5. Other Useful Phrases

I’ve tried to include basic Turkish phrases for beginners for many different situations. However, there are many more! Asking for the time, getting directions, trying to find an English speaker…the list goes on. The phrases below are a good starting point for expanding your vocabulary, but you can also refer to the numerous resources on TurkishClass101.com for a greater selection. 

TurkishEnglish
Pardon?Excuse me?
İngilizce konuşuyor musunuz?Do you speak English?
Yavaş konuşabilir misiniz lütfen?Can you speak slowly, please?
Anlamadım.I didn’t understand.
Türkçe de “___” nasıl diyorsunuz?How do you say “___” in Turkish?
Pardon, Ayasofya’ya nasıl gidebilirim?Excuse me, how can I get to Hagia Sophia?
Saatiniz kaç?What time is it?
Literally: How many is your watch?

Our article on Turkish sentence patterns might also help you to begin expressing yourself and fulfilling your daily needs more easily. In addition, it will serve as a foundation upon which you can build a stronger knowledge of Turkish grammar. 

6. Practice Beginner Phrases with TurkishClass101

You now know quite a number of basic Turkish phrases for beginners. However, there are many more to explore. Learning Turkish is simple with TurkishClass101, which has numerous audio recordings, tons of vocabulary lists, and other free resources (including this dictionary you can refer to at any time).

Don’t forget that there’s also MyTeacher, which is a Premium PLUS service offered by TurkishClass101 that allows you to practice with a private teacher.

What’s more, you can download the app for free and use it wherever you are.

Last but not least, please continue to provide us with feedback about all the resources we offer at TurkishClass101.com.

Happy learning!

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