Days of the Week

Back again after a long layoff; sorry about that. To avoid talking about grammar, which needs to be done at some point, I thought covering the days of the week would be useful. The Turkish word for “day” is gün, and any of these day names can be said a little more properly by saying the name from the list below plus günü, but informally just the name from the list will be fine.

  • Monday = Pazartesi
  • Tuesday = Salı (“sa-lih,” the “ı” is pronounced somewhere between a clipped-off “i” and a clipped-off “u”)
  • Wednesday = Çarşamba (“char-sham-bah”)
  • Thursday = Perşembe  (“per-shem-beh”)
  • Friday = Cuma (“joo-mah”, remember that Turkish Cs sound like English Js)
  • Saturday = Cumartesi
  • Sunday = Pazar

The origins of these names are varied. Cuma (Friday) is taken right from Arabic, and reflects that Friday is the Islamic holy day and involves obligatory congregational prayer. Cumartesi (Saturday) combines Cuma and ertesi (“next” or “following”) and literally means “the day after Cuma“. The same applies to Pazar (Sunday), which is the same word we know as “bazaar” and probably means that Sunday was the traditional shopping day in Turkish culture, and Pazartesi (Monday). Çarşamba (Wednesday) and Perşembe (Thursday) are Turkish variants of the Persian names for those days. That leaves only Salı (Tuesday) unaccounted for, and I confess if I ever knew the root there, I can’t remember what it is.

“Week” is hafta, again from Persian, and “days of the week” is haftanın günleri. Turkey keeps a Saturday-Sunday weekend, and I believe so do the Turkic Central Asian republics (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), because of their former Soviet past if nothing else.


The weather outside is frightful

With winter fully upon those of us in the midwest, here are some useful words:

Winter = kış. Winters in much of Turkey would seem fairly normal to most Westerners, though the average winter lows in central Anatolia can be pretty chilly, and eastern Anatolia is downright frigid.

Cold = soğuk or üşümüş; üşümek is the verb “to chill,” or “to be/feel cold,” so “I am cold” is Üşüyorum. How to make the verb? Drop the -mAk infinitive stem, add “yor” to indicate progressive tense (am feeling, am doing) and -um to indicate first person singular.

Snow = kar. The verb “to snow” is kar yağmak, yağmak alone meaning “to precipitate.”

Rain = yağmur, “to rain” being yağmur yağmak.

Ice = buz, the verb being the passive buzlanmak “to ice up, be frozen.” The active verb “to freeze” is the unrelated dondurmak from which we get dondurma, “ice cream,” although there is an active form of buzlanmak, buzlamak, which means “to frost” but which I don’t think is commonly used. The addition of the “n” in buzlanmak marks it as passive voice.

Coat = a number of options: ceket (“jeket”) which should be clear; parka, also clear; manto, used for a woman’s coat, or palto, probably the best choice for a heavy winter coat.