Transportation: nakil or ulaşım

Some words that might help you get around:


  • car: araba
  • truck: kamyon
  • motorcycle: motosiklet
  • bus: otobüs
  • train: tren
  • plane: uçak
  • boat: vapur, tekme
  • ship: gemi
  • ferry: feribot
  • bicycle: bisiklet
  • taxi: taksi
  • walking (verb): yürümek

    • “a walk”: yürüme
  • running (verb): koşmak
    • “a run”: koşu




Bayramınız mübarek olsun

Bayramınız mübarek olsun! Enjoy this short description of the celebration that begins at sundown tonight!

Turkish Word a Day

When Ramadan ends, as it will later this week, it is followed by the holiday known in Arabic as the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast, Eid al-Fitr. Turkish has a different name for the same holiday: Ramazan Bayramı or “Ramadan Festival.” I talked a little about the celebration of the festival over at my Arabic blog. As a holiday that follows a month of fasting, it’s not surprising to note that it revolves around food, both eating it and giving it to the less fortunate as charity. Spending time with family is also a big part of the holiday.

Appropriate greetings for the festival are more-or-less Turkish calques on the Arabic “Eid Mubarak” (“Blessed festival”) and “Eid Saeed” (“Happy festival”): Bayramınız Mübarek olsun (“May your festival be blessed”) and Bayramınız kutlu olsun (“May your festival be happy”).

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Mevlid-i Şerif

The Prophet Muhammad’s birthday only comes once a year…on the Islamic calendar, that is. Every so often, though, it comes twice a year on the solar Gregorian calendar. It just so happens that this is one of those years, and today is the second occurrence of Mevlid-i Şerif in 2015. Happy holiday to Muslims who observe it.

Turkish Word a Day

The birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, called Mevlid-i Şerif in Turkish, is being observed today, the 12th of the Hijri month Rabiyülevvel (if you want to be technical about it, the commemoration started at sundown last night, and I guess it’s ended by now in most of the world, but it’s still worth noting). Though not one of the major Islamic holidays, many Muslims do commemorate Muhammad’s birth with decorations and by exchanging small gifts or sweets.

Mevlid is not a universally celebrated holiday, for a couple of reasons. There’s no historical record of the earliest Muslims celebrating Muhammad’s birthday as a special event; the first widespread Mevlid celebration doesn’t appear in the record until the 12th century, though there are records of earlier, smaller observances. So for modern self-proclaimed “fundamentalists” the holiday is an innovation and therefore illegitimate. Honoring a historical figure’s birthday also comes too close to…

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Severe weather and natural disasters

Following on from last time, let’s see what vocabulary we’d need if the weather got a little rougher.

  • storm: fırtına
  • thunderstorm: sağanak

    • thunder: gök gürültüsü
    • lightning: yıldırım OR şimşek
  • monsoon: muson
  • flood: sel
  • tornado: hortum
  • blizzard: tipi OR kar fırtınası (snow storm)
  • hurricane (tropical cyclone): kasırga
  • sandstorm: kum fırtınası
  • drought: kuraklık OR kıtlık
  • volcano: yanardağ OR volkan
    • volcanic eruption: volkanik püskürme
  • earthquake: deprem OR zelzele
  • tsunami: tsunami
  • avalanche: çığ
  • landslide: heyelan

Hava (weather)

Let’s look at some basic weather-related vocabulary, shall we?

  • weather: hava

    • sun: güneş; “sunny” is güneşli
    • clouds: bulutlar; a single cloud is bulut
    • rain: yağmur; “rainy” is yağmurlu
    • fog: sis; “foggy” is sisli
    • snow: kar; “snowy” is karlı
    • hail: dolu
    • wind: rüzgâr; “windy” is rüzgârlı
    • breeze: esinti
    • gust: bora
  • temperature: sıcaklık
    • cold: soğuk
    • cool: serin
    • warm: ılık
    • hot: sıcak
  • humidity: nem or rutubet

    • humid: nemli or rutubetli
    • dry: kurak or kuru

“How’s the weather?”: hava nasıl

“It’s sunny”: hava güneşli or simply güneşli; change accordingly

“It’s raining”: yağmur yağıyor

“It’s snowing”: kar yağıyor

“It’s cold today”: bugün hava soğuk or simply bugün soğuk

Yom Kippur

Sundown today is the start of Yom Kippur, so for those who are Jewish, have an easy fast. I have no interesting linguistic story to tell here, since Turkish and Hebrew aren’t related the way Hebrew and Arabic are, but I thought you might want to see the holiday written in Turkish, where “Yom Kippur” becomes, ah, “Yom Kippur.” I hope that wasn’t too complicated for you to keep up.