Hello and Goodbye

Turkish borrows heavily from Arabic and Persian in its greetings. Turks often employ the Persian selâm (“peace”; the circumflex is used to emphasize the Persian long “a” sound, like a longer and deeper “a” in “father”) or the Arabic merhaba (“welcome”). When formality is called for they may use the formal Arabic greeting, assalamu aleyküm or selamünaleyküm (“peace be upon you”), with the response aleyküm assalam or aleykümselam (“upon you be peace”). Alo should be familiar to an English speaker. The idea of “welcome” is expressed as hoş geldin or hoş geldiniz (the latter is the plural/formal/polite “you” form, which we’ll encounter later) by one party, to which the reply is hoş bulduk (literally, “we found it well”).

There are a whole bunch of goodbyes to choose from. Elveda is “farewell,” a loanword from the Arabic al-wadāʿ. “Until we meet again” is conveyed with görüşmek üzere, while görüşürüz conveys something like “see you later.” The person leaving may say Allahısmarladık, which means something like “I commend you to God,” while the person being left may reply güle güle, “bye-bye.” Hoşça kal or hoşça kalın (the latter is formal/polite) can mean “so long!”

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