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Lesson Transcript

Gabriella: Hello and welcome back to TurkishClass101.com. This is Absolute Beginner, season 1, lesson 4, The Art of Apologizing in Turkish! I’m Gabriella.
Feyza: Merhaba! This is Feyza here.
Gabriella: In this lesson, you’ll learn various ways to apologize in Turkish.
Feyza: This conversation takes place on a crowded bus.
Gabriella: It’s between Hakan and a stranger, when Hakan accidentally steps on the stranger’s foot.
Feyza: So the speakers don’t know each other, which makes their speech formal.
Gabriella: Feyza, can you tell us a little more about Turkish manners when you’re saying “sorry”?
Feyza: Sure. Turkish people apologize a lot, and accept apologies easily.
Gabriella: So, they are not very shy about saying sorry, right?
Feyza: That’s right. Well, personal lives are one thing, but in business, apologies can be overused and even manipulated from time to time.
Gabriella: What do you mean by that Feyza?
Feyza: Well, by using apologetic expressions in every situation for your own benefit! Like continuously telling your boss that you are late because of your personal problems.
Gabriella: (laughs) And making your romantic struggles an excuse for not completing your project on time, I suppose.
Feyza: Well, trust me, I can see that happening... Actually, in almost all Turkish corporations, being professional is a valued trait, so people act accordingly.
Gabriella: I see, but then what kind of business environment do these informal relations take place in? And what is the cultural reason Feyza?
Feyza: I would say usually small-scale companies. Conflicts and misunderstandings might arise, because more or less everyone uses the power of first hand connections, sharing private life concerns. So asking for understanding and forgiveness is common.
Gabriella: So if there are any non-Turkish professionals among our listeners, please be aware of this, especially if you are planning to work in managerial roles in Turkey.
Feyza: If you are facing this kind of situation, it’s probably a good idea to just explain the work ethics in your own culture, and make sure that the action that disturbs you won’t be tolerated in the future. And in the meantime, try to avoid harsh accusations because these types of face-to-face, close relationships are deeply embedded in Turkish culture.
Gabriella: That’s some good advice for creating a pleasant work environment.
Gabriella: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Feyza: OK, let’s first look at the compound word: “affetmek”
Gabriella: Saying sorry to get attention!
Feyza: That’s generally true. But this verb is composed of two parts: “af” meaning “dismissal” or “mercy” and “etmek” a frequently used auxiliary verb in Turkish that means “to do” in this context. Altogether, they make: “affetmek”, meaning ‘to show mercy and dismissal when faced with an offense.’
Gabriella: Interesting. In this dialogue, this word is used by the stranger to get the attention of Hakan. The speaker says “affedersiniz” to get his attention, and also to show that he doesn’t mean to apologize unless otherwise.
Feyza: That’s right. Here, that meaning is established by the future tense. The verb ‘etmek’ is ‘eder’ in future tense. So, this expression in the dialogue shows the guilty party’s wish for forgiveness in the future. This is the only reason that this expression is used to grab attention, as well as to say ‘I am sorry.’
Gabriella: OK, listeners, please keep that in mind and check the lesson notes for further explanations about the origin of the word, its cultural importance, meaning and examples.
Feyza: Our next word is “çok.”
Gabriella: “Çok” means “many, much” and signifies that the thing you’re talking about comes in abundance.
Feyza: “Çok” is a very common word that functions either as an adjective or adverb, depending on the type of word that comes right after it.
Gabriella: I have one question. When I went to Turkey, I heard someone saying “Çok yaşa” when I sneezed. What does that mean?
Feyza: (laughs) That literally means “Live long”. You can reply to that with “Sen de gör” which means “I wish the same for you as well”. These are idiomatic expressions that everyone uses! What’s more, not following these customs is considered bad manners by the majority of Turks.
Gabriella: Keep that in mind, listeners! Our next word is another apologetic expression.
Feyza: It is “özür dilemek”, another verb phrase that has two constituents: “özür” which is a noun meaning “apology”, and “dilemek” which is a verb meaning “to wish for”. Altogether, it means ‘to wish for an apology.’
Gabriella: Listeners, this is the official, formal way of showing that you are sorry, so it can also be translated as “I am sorry” or “I apologize”. Be careful though, because you can’t use this word during other occasions such as funerals. In English, you approach the grieving party and say “I am sorry” to express your sorrow and support during a funeral.
Feyza: But in Turkish if you say “Özür dilerim” it means that you have something to do with that person’s loss. In Turkish, a different expression is used at funerals.
Gabriella: You can check the lesson notes on how to express your condolences in funerals in Turkey - we won’t cover it here. So Feyza, when should our listeners use this expression?
Feyza: Feel free to use “özür dilerim” in any situation where you think you are at fault, like being late, accidentally hurting someone, or making a mistake. This expression is formal, but it’s used a lot in daily life.
Gabriella: Let’s give an example...
Feyza: “Özür dilerim, sizi üzmek istemezdim”
Gabriella: Meaning, “I apologize, I didn’t mean to make you sad”. Okay, now onto the grammar.
Gabriella: In this lesson you’ll learn how to say “Excuse me” and “I apologize”.
Feyza: We’ll also give you some information on how to distinguish adjectives and adverbs in Turkish. So listen carefully!
Gabriella: Let’s start with two main apologetic expressions.
Feyza: “Affedersiniz” and “Özür dilerim”. We’ve already discussed “özür dilerim”, so let’s focus on “affedersiniz”
Gabriella: How would you say “Excuse me”...
Feyza: That’s “affedersiniz”. It is the formal way to say "Excuse me" or “ I am sorry”. This verb is in the second person plural for formality. This is achieved by the suffix “-siniz”
Gabriella: So what happens if you want to say it to a friend...
Feyza: Use it in second person singular to express informality. This is achieved by using the “-sin” suffix.
Gabriella: You will often encounter this word as 'Affedersin' on the Internet, in friendship circles, among family members, and with all close relations.
Feyza: Please bear in mind that although it is a minor mistake, spelling this word with one 'f' is wrong.
Gabriella: Okay, good to know. Now, let’s move onto our second point.
Feyza: Our second point is the adjective “çok” versus the adverb “çok”.
Gabriella: “Çok”, as well as many other words, can function as adjectives or adverbs in a sentence; depending on their location. If “çok” is followed by the noun, it becomes a numerical adjective that describes the noun, but if it’s followed by a verb, it becomes an adverb that delineates the following verb.
Gabriella: Can you give us some examples Feyza?
Feyza: Sure, for example “Yeni evi çok beğendim” meaning “I like the new house a lot.” In this example, “çok” is followed by the verb beğenmek so it describes the level of liking the house. Therefore it functions as an adverb.
Gabriella: What about when it’s used as an adjective?
Feyza: “Merve çok güzel bir kadın,”
Gabriella: Which translates to "Merve is a very beautiful woman."
Feyza: Yes, here, “çok” is followed by two more adjectives: “güzel” meaning “beautiful” and “bir” meaning “a”. And finally it ends up with “kadın” which is a noun that means “woman”. So it acts as an adjective, because it describes the measure of beauty of that woman.
Gabriella: Attention perfectionists! You’re about to learn how to perfect your pronunciation.
Feyza: Lesson Review Audio Tracks.
Gabriella: Increase fluency and vocabulary fast with these short, effective audio tracks.
Feyza: Super simple to use. Listen to the Turkish word or phrase...
Gabriella: then repeat it out loud in a loud clear voice.
Feyza: You’ll speak with confidence knowing that you’re speaking Turkish like the locals.
Gabriella: Go to TurkishClass101.com, and download the Review Audio Tracks right on the lessons page today!
Gabriella: OK, listeners, that’s all for now. Make sure you check out the other examples and explanations in the lesson notes!
Feyza: Thanks for listening!
Gabriella: Bye everyone!
Feyza: Hoşçakalın!


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Monday at 6:30 pm
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Hello Listeners! How do you say "I'm sorry" in Turkish? 

Sunday at 7:41 pm
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Hi Julia,

It is past tense, you are right, but both sentences mean the same thing in English.



Team TurkishClass101.com

Sunday at 7:40 pm
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Hi Ohsing,

It's because it's in past tense. It means "I didn't notice."



Team TurkishClass101.com

Tuesday at 12:05 am
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Yeni evi çok beğendim.

"I like the new house a lot."

Is not it "I liked the new house a lot"? -dim is the indication of a past tense.

Thursday at 9:44 pm
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Hi Im Ohsing from South Korea. i have a question in this lecture. in a word "Farketmedim", i dont know why "dim" is used. tessekur ederim.

Friday at 3:11 am
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Türkçe öğrenen insanları görmek güzel :smile: beni mutlu etti hepinize gönülden başarılarımı sunuyorum :thumbsup::heart:

Friday at 11:17 pm
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Merhaba Magy,

Özür dilerim doğru cevap.:thumbsup:


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Friday at 7:27 pm
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Özür dilerim = I'm sorry

Tuesday at 6:42 am
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Merhaba Ken,

After you say "I'm sorry", you'll be replied with "Önemli değil." (It's nothing)


Team TurkishClass101.com

Sunday at 6:01 am
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Özür dilerim...