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Lesson Transcript

Gabriella: Hello and welcome back to TurkishClass101.com. This is Absolute Beginner, season 1, lesson 5, “Can you Take My Turkish Order?” I’m Gabriella.
Feyza: Merhaba! And I’m Feyza!
Gabriella: In this lesson you'll learn how to place an order, and ask for things in a restaurant.
Feyza: This conversation takes place at the restaurant.
Gabriella: It’s between Hakan and a waitress.
Feyza: And the speakers don’t know each other, so their speech is formal.
Gabriella: As we know, Turkish cuisine is rich and varied so people visiting Turkey would probably like to sample it all. What kinds of challenges might visitors face in restaurants though?
Feyza: Well, in tourist places and big cities, almost every restaurant has an English menu or a menu that has pictures, and the restaurant staff are happy to try to communicate.
Gabriella: You might be surprised by their foreign language skills!
Feyza: (laughs) Yes, they will definitely try their best at least. In Turkey, hospitality is generously embedded in the service sector.
Gabriella: Good to hear! So what types of restaurants can our listeners expect to find in Turkey?
Feyza: Well if we skip street parlors and small kiosk-like buffets, then we have meat, fish, pastry and tradesman restaurants.
Gabriella: What is a tradesmans restaurant Feyza? I have never heard of anything like that...
Feyza: Well, they are unique to Turkey. The concept of tradesmens restaurants is similar to that of a family restaurant. They produce fresh and cheap food sets at affordable prices.
Gabriella: Ah, that sounds good! Do you give an order to a waiter like in a usual restaurant?
Feyza: No, usually there’s an open counter, and you can pick whatever you want and pay for it at the cashier.
Gabriella: That way, you can actually see the food. Do they usually serve fusion food or Western-style like french fries and hamburgers?
Feyza: Definitely not! They serve what we call local “sulu yemek” which is basically a “dish with broth”.
Gabriella: So it’s a home-made dish?
Feyza: Pretty much! You can pick one rice-based, one meat-based and one olive oil based-vegetable dish plus a Turkish dessert - some yoghurt or ayran.
Gabriella: That sounds like a feast!
Feyza: Yes, and the reason we call it a tradesmans restaurant is that all the artisans, craftsmen, and other blue collar workers go there to eat. It’s satisfying, both appetite and budget wise.
Gabriella: So listeners, we definitely recommend you try tradesmans restaurants for an original, local experience!
Gabriella: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. Feyza, what’s the first one?
Feyza: “alabilmek”
Gabriella: This is used to politely indicate that you want something, right?
Feyza: That’s right. This literally means ‘to be able to get something.’
Gabriella: And it is a modal verb like “can” in English?
Feyza: Yes! “-ebilmek” or “-abilmek” are two suffixes that make the most common modal verb in Turkish, and it means “to be able to” or “can”
Gabriella: Very useful! But we’ll learn more grammatical explanations about this later on. What’s our next word?
Feyza: “Elbette”.
Gabriella: Meaning “of course, certainly, by all means”
Feyza: And also “you bet...”
Gabriella: So it has various meanings depending on its context. You can use it to confirm a request or action, right?
Feyza: Yes, literally it is something like “It is understood.”
Gabriella: So it’s an adverb that signifies certainty and is frequently used in colloquial Turkish. Feyza, can you use it in a sentence for us?
Feyza: Sure. “Gelirken ekmek alır mısın?”
Gabriella: Meaning “Can you buy bread (on your way back)?”
Feyza: Elbette!
Gabriella: Meaning “of course”. Listeners, please check our lesson notes for more examples. Let’s move on to our final word.
Feyza: “hemen” It has both the meanings of “Immediately” and “Right away” .
Gabriella: Is it an adverb?
Feyza: Yes, “hemen” is an adverb.
Gabriella: And usually it signifies a duration or an immediate action, but sometimes we duplicate this adverb and the meaning changes to “more or less”
Gabriella: Let’s see it in an example.
Feyza: Ok, imagine a child being scolded by her mother: “Hemen özür dile!”
Gabriella: Meaning “Apologize, right away!”
Feyza: Yes, here it shows an immediate action. However let’s say you’re doing your Turkish homework and you’ve completed 90% of it. Then you say, “Türkçe ödevim hemen hemen bitti.”
Gabriella: Meaning “My Turkish homework is more or less finished”
Feyza: It becomes an adverb of approximation.
Gabriella: Okay, now onto the grammar.
Gabriella: In this lesson, you’ll learn about the most basic modal verb in Turkish which means “to be able to” or “can”
Feyza: We have two suffixes that give this meaning: “-ebilmek” or “-abilmek” . Which of these you use depends on Turkish vowel harmony rules.
Gabriella: Listeners, please see the lesson notes, because these rules are explained and illustrated with examples there.
Feyza: “-ebilmek” and “abilmek” are suffixes that are kind of similar to the function of English modal verb
“can”. For example, yap-abiliyor-um shows the general ability or possibility to do something.
Gabriella: It means “I can do (something)” or “ I am able to do (something)”
Feyza: That’s right. These suffixes also add a level of politeness when you combine them with the appropriate adverb or phrases, and the suffix of second person singular: -siniz, -sınız
Gabriella: What do you mean by the appropriate adverb or phrases?
Feyza: Like “lütfen” meaning “please” or “rica etsem” meaning “if I may request” or “acaba” meaning..
Gabriella: “I wonder if!” Can you use it in a sentence for our listeners?
Feyza: Sure! “Rica etsem, uzatabilir misiniz?” literally meaning “Could you pass it, if I may request”
Gabriella: This is a very useful phrase for when you’re passing money to the driver in a yellow jitneys.
Feyza: (laughs) You know them too well!
Gabriella: So here, instead of “can” or “to be able to” we see a more informal expression almost like “could” right?
Feyza: That’s correct Gabriella. “-ebilmek,-abilmek” is equivalent to one of the most essential meanings of “could”.
Gabriella: Which you can use to make a polite request.
Feyza: There is one more thing though. Like the other function of “could”, the “-ebilmek, -abilmek” modal suffixes can be used to show a possibility in theory or presumption. Like for example “Çok sisli. Feribot iptal edilebilir.” which means “It’s very foggy. The ferry could be canceled”
Gabriella: Does that happen a lot in Istanbul?
Feyza: It does happen a lot during winter, which is a problem for the many people who commute from Anatolia to the European side each day for their work.
Feyza: Listeners, do you know the powerful secret behind rapid progress?
Gabriella: Using the entire system.
Feyza: Lesson notes are an important part of this system.
Gabriella: They include a transcript and translation of the conversation...
Feyza: ...key lesson vocabulary...
Gabriella: and detailed grammar explanations.
Feyza: Lesson notes accompany every audio or video lesson.
Gabriella: Use them on the site or mobile device or print them out.
Feyza: Using the lesson notes with audio and video media, will rapidly increase your learning speed.
Gabriella: Go to TurkishClass101.com, and download the lesson notes for this lesson right now.
Gabriella: Okay listeners, that’s all for this lesson. You will find detailed explanations, many different example, and conjugations of modal verbs in the lesson notes.
Feyza: So be sure to read them.
Gabriella: Thanks for listening everyone! Bye!
Feyza: Hoşçakalın


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Monday at 6:30 pm
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Hello Listeners, Let's practice here how to order in a Turkish restaurant!

Monday at 5:52 pm
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Merhaba Bachir,

-abil/ebil suffix is different when it is a negative sentence.

-yapabilmek is the root

-yapabiliyorum is the affirmative

-yapamıyorum is the negative

An extra "a" is added in negative forms instead of "abil" in affirmative forms.

-yapmıyorum - is "I am not doing"

-yapamıyorum- is "I am not able to do"

Hope it is clear now :)



Team TurkishClass101.com

Sunday at 12:40 am
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"I am not able to do" is "yapamiyorum" (Lesson notes - Language tip).

But where is "abil" here?

Wednesday at 3:45 pm
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Thank you for commenting.

"Çay ve kek istiyorum". İstemek is "to want", istiyorum is "I want".




Team TurkishClass101.com

Tuesday at 10:46 pm
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cay ve kek istemek

Saturday at 11:22 am
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Hi Acj

You can use both. In this case both are fine. The difference is "Can I have a menu?" (Not accusative) or "Can I have the menu" (Accusative).



Team TurkishClass101.com

Saturday at 10:11 pm
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Why is it not "menüyü" in this sentence? İyi akşamlar, menü alabilir miyim? Isn't it a Accusativ case?


Wednesday at 2:13 pm
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Merhaba Magy,

Your question is true. Good job.


Team TurkishClass101.com

Wednesday at 12:28 am
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bir çay alabilir miyim lütfen ?

Tuesday at 6:47 am
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Merhaba Ken,

Nice start up question. If I were a waitress, I'd hand you a menu and say "Buyurun." (Here you go)

What would be the next question?


Team TurkishClass101.com

Sunday at 7:12 am
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İyi akşamlar, menü alabilir miyim?