Taking a break from life this morning, I want to write about the Turkish language. People are always asking me if it is hard to learn. I don’t find it difficult, it’s just different. If you are a language person, you probably will get it pretty easily. The key is to stop translating and start learning like babies do.
There are many problems with direct translation, one of them being that there is not always a Turkish word for the English equivalent. This became very clear to me when I tried to find a book on verbs. There is “501 English Verbs”, “501 German Verbs”, “501 Spanish Verbs”, etc. But when I found the Turkish book, it was only “201 Turkish Verbs”. Not as nicely done as the others either, but still a great way to learn!
Every once in a while, I do come across the exact opposite situation. Take the word “half” for example. Turks have two words, yarım and buçuk. I don’t know the rhyme or reason behind this. What I do know is that it just takes practice! Below are some tips for you.
- 00:30 (aka 12:30 a.m.) – Saat Yarım or simply yarım assuming the conversation is about time.
- 1:30 – Saat bir buçuk
- I will see you in half an hour – Yarım saat. Notice the word order changed from the time above.
- I am not positive, But I assume if I were coming to meet you in one and a half hours it would be bir buçuk saat sonra.
- Half a kilo - Yarım kilo.
- One and a half kilos – Bir buçuk kilo (this one is interesting to me, only when using the number one, bir, because bir is often used sometimes with a slightly different meaning, something like “a”. But this phrase does not mean I want a half of a kilo, it means I want one and a half kilos.)
- 1,50 TL – Bir buçuk TL
- 0,50 TL – No idea. Following this lesson, it would be Yarım TL, but something tells me it is not. It is probably just 50 kuruş. Do you know????