Sunday, October 25, 2020

CT7D: Pazar

 The final day of Conversational Turkish in 7 Days covers general conversational topics. For instance, occupations (meslekler). I went over fairly quickly how agreement of pronouns and case endings works, but this is a good point at which to look in a little more detail. The Turkish word for 'to be' is imek. Imek's conjugation for present tense is like so:

Ben im : I am
Sen sin : You  (familiar, singular) are
o dur : He/she/it is
biz iz : We are
siz siniz : You (formal or plural) are
onlar dırlar : They are

This is directly relevant to case endings, because you use the conjugations for 'to be' as case endings (allowing for vowel harmony). This takes some getting used to, but is wonderfully logical. So, for instance, to say 'I am an Englishman', you say, Ben bir İngilizim. The -im links the object with the appropriate pronoun (ben); it does the same thing (with some additional complications) with verbs. This carries over to discussion of occupations. Some examples:

Ben bir mühendisim : I am an engineer

Ben bir doktorum : I am a doctor

Ben bir müdürüm : I am a manager

O bir diş doktorudur : He/She is a dentist

Eşim bir bankada çalışıyorudur : My spouse works at a bank

Siz bir hastahanede çalışıyoruz : You work at a hospital

If you want to ask what someone else's occupation is, you say, Sizin mesleğiniz nedir?

Weather is also a universal chatting topic. To ask what the weather is like, you say, Hava nasıl? Various possible answers:

Hava sıcaktır : It is hot

Hava güneşli : It is sunny

Hava rüzgarlı : It is windy

Hava bulutlu : It is cloudy

Hava yağmurlu : It is rainy

Hava karlı : It is snowy

Yağmur yağıyor : It is raining

Kar yağıyor : It is snowing

Yağmur yağacak : It will rain

Kar yağacak : It will snow

Another way to chat is comment on hobbies. Since hobbies are ongoing activities, they tend to use the aorist -rim in first person, e.g.:

Golf ayarım : I play golf

Ben piyano çalarım : I play piano

Piyano dersleri alırım : I take piano lessons

Resim çizerim : I draw

Well, I haven't given everything, just little samples of the lessons, and anyway I'm sure you wouldn't be fluent in seven days, although, if you are a more adept conversationalist than I, you might be able to stumble your way through basic conversation. But it does make a handy way to see how the language works.


Tayfun and Gillian Çağa, Conversational Turkish in 7 Days, Passport Books (Chicago: 1992).

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