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Lesson Transcript

Ece: Merhaba, ben Ece! Hello, I’m Ece.
Gina: Hi everyone, Gina: here. Welcome back to TurkishClass101.com. This is Basic Bootcamp Lesson 2 - Talking About Countries in Turkish.
Ece: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask and tell people about your and their countries.
Gina: This lesson’s dialogue is informal, because it is between two people who just met at their mutual friend’s party.
Ece: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Özge:Nerelisin Alice?
Alice:Fransa. Ya sen?
Özge:Where are you from, Alice?
Alice:France. And you?
Gina: Ece, is there any kind of Turkish custom for asking people where they are from?
Ece: Hmm, actually there a few points I’d like to tell our listeners about. Whether you are a tourist or a resident in Turkey, or when meeting with Turkish people in other places, I’d recommend not starting a conversation directly with your nation.
Gina: So your tip is - “Wait till it is asked, which will come sooner than you’ve expected.”
Ece: (laughs) Yes and it’s better to give the name of your country, rather than your nationality.
Gina: Why, is it some kind of taboo to talk about your nationality?
Ece: No no, nothing like that. Actually, in Turkish, there is no common interrogative sentence to ask people about their nationality or ethnicity.
Gina: Hmm, that is very interesting.
Ece: Historically speaking, Turkish people have lived with people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and countries. This might be the reason why Turks tend to avoid ‘stereotyping’.
Gina: Really? That’s so nice!
Ece: Well, this is an essential part of Turkish culture. And, do keep in mind that you can also ask your Turkish friends where they come from.
Gina: But that sounds a bit silly. Our listeners already know that they are talking to their Turkish friends.
Ece: (laughs) Yes, indeed. But in Turkish, ‘nerelisin’ is also used a lot among Turkish people.
Gina: How so?
Ece: In this case, what they want to say is, ‘Which city are you from?’ but in Turkish, the literal translation for this sentence doesn’t sound natural, so people simply ask, ‘Nerelisin’.
Gina: So when a Turkish person meets you for the very first time and asks you where you are from, they actually want to know which city you are from, right?
Ece: Exactly and I reply with, ‘İstanbul’
Gina: Good to know. Now let’s move on to the vocab.
Vocabulary Usage
Gina: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. This should be interesting, talking about the countries of the world!
Ece: Definitely! Now listeners, we obviously can’t tell you all of them now, so in the lesson notes, you’ll find an extensive list of country names in Turkish!
Gina: Let’s go through a few here now though. First up - Germany!
Ece: Almanya! Al-man-ya. Almanya!
Gina: Japan!
Ece: Japonya! Ja-pon-ya. Japonya!
Gina: Greece!
Ece: Yunanistan! Yu-na-nis-tan. Yunanistan!
Gina: Italy!
Ece: İtalya! İ-tal-ya. İtalya!
Gina: Egypt!
Ece: Mısır! Mı-sır. Mısır!
Gina: China!
Ece: Çin! Çi~in. Çin!
Gina: Kazakhstan!
Ece: Kazakistan! Ka-za-kis-tan. Kazakistan!
Gina: England!
Ece: İngiltere! İn-gil-te-re. İngiltere!
Gina: Russia!
Ece: Rusya! Rus-ya. Rusya!
Gina: United States
Ece: Amerika A-me-ri-ka Amerika
Gina: And finally Turkey!
Ece: Türkiye! Tür-ki-ye. Türkiye! That felt great! For a moment I thought we were presenters at a great international competition or something!
Gina: Haha, me too. What can we say about country names in Turkish in general? Many are adapted from their original languages, right?
Ece: Yes and some are still referred to by their previous kingdom or empire names from the Ottoman Era. Some have the “–istan” or “–iya” ending, which can be translated to “land” in English.
Gina: Really interesting. Can you explain about those suffixes a bit more?
Ece: Well, “-istan” is thought to be a Turkish suffix, but “iya” is a derived version of the Latin “-ia”.
Gina: Ah, that makes sense. Ok, now let’s move on to the grammar section!

Lesson focus

Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask where someone is from, in Turkish. Ece, how do we do this?
Ece: Let’s take a look at them one by one. With singular ‘you’, it is “Nerelisin?”. With plural and formal cases, it is “Nerelisiniz?”.
Gina: Great. Ece, can you talk about the suffixes added to this word?
Ece: Sure, let’s break it down: The root is “Nere” which means “where”. The suffix after is “-li”, which means “from.” And finally, we have “-sin”, the simple present tense suffix for the second person singular.
Gina: Then, literally it translates to, “Where from you are?”
Ece: That’s correct. “Nerelisin?” As for the answer, giving just the name of the country will be enough. What’s more is that this question and answer can be used for cities as well.
Gina: Let’s give an example, Ece.
Ece: Gina, nerelisin?
Gina: I’m from London (the hometown of speaker). Ya sen?
Ece: I’m from Istanbul.
Gina: Can we use this interrogative phrase to ask a person, for example, when he or she comes home, “Where are you coming from?”.
Ece: Ah no, because the suffix “-li” indicates being from a place in this case. For asking where, let’s say, someone you live with is coming from, you need to change the suffix into its dative form. We’ll be learning that in our future lessons.
Gina: Alright, I’m out of questions. But our listeners might have some!
Ece: Please don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any, and also tell us where you are from in the comment section of this lesson.


Gina: Okay, that’s it for this lesson. Thanks for listening, and see you in the next lesson! Bye!
Ece: Hoşça kalın!