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




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.

Ramazan 1436

Sundown tonight will be the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan for some people around the world (moon observations make it hard to pinpoint these things exactly), so if you’re interested please enjoy my past writing on the topic.

Turkish Word a Day

There’s much more about the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins this evening for most Muslims around the world, over on the Arabic blog, if you’re so inclined.

My purpose here is only to give you some Turkish greetings you can offer for the month. If you’ve read that Arabic entry then this will be pretty simple, because we’re just using the same Arabic greetings, albeit with the Persian pronunciation “Ramazan” rather than the Arabic “Ramadan.” These are Ramazan mübarek (you could go with Mübarek Ramazan, also), “Blessed Ramadan!” and Ramazan kerim, “Generous Ramadan!” A more authentically Turkish greeting would be the title of this post: İyi Ramazanlar, “Good Ramadan!”

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