From İnşallah to Maşallah

8862194241_92a75d1d2d_oPhoto credits: Anita Gould 

Since I’ve started my irregular Turkish language learning adventure I developed an extraordinary ability to complain. Whenever I get the chance to talk with somebody in Turkish after the usual Merhaba (Hello), Nasılsın? (How are you?) and Ne yapıyorsun? (What are you doing?) a painful need to say Türkçe çok zor! (Turkish is very difficult!) terrorizes my brain. It’s not because I cannot continue, it’s more like an absurd need to inform my interlocutors about how difficult their language is.  I succeed to silence my stubborn mind and to continue the conversation for a while. Untill I “smash into” the first linguistic obstacle… and then my “struggle” is suddenly over.  There is nothing left to do but wave the white flag and surrender by finally saying the “magic” words: Türkçe çok zor! And what do I get instead? Hadi ya! (used to express disbelief) Gerçekten mi? (Really?) Türkçe dünyanın en kolay dillerinden birisidir. (Turkish is one of the easiest languages of the world.) Of course, Turkish is easy… for Turks. But it really is difficult(gerçekten!) for foreigners. Actually is the most difficult language I’ve been learning. Yes, I’m aware that the other languages I’ve studied, Italian, Spanish and French, are Latin languages, therefore it’s not so difficult for a Romanian to understand them.

But wait, I’m half Hungarian!

And both Hungarian and Turkish are Ural-Altaic languages. But so are Finnish, Estonian, Tatar and Mongolian. That means I should learn them easily, right? If only it would be so simple… Knowing Hungarian didn’t make my job (much more) easier. I cannot deny that there are some similarities between Turkish and Hungarian grammar and both have sounds like ‘ü’ and ‘ö’. I even found a common sentence Cebimde çok küçük elma var.(Tr) -Zsebemben sok kicsi alma van.(Hu) (I have many little apples in my pocket.). But that’s all, this is the point where the two languages sign the divorce papers in my mind.

So I’m on my own again…

Me and Turkish. Sometimes we are so happy together! We are in seventh heaven! But our occasional quarrels bring us back down to earth with a bump… Even though I did learn the grammar rules on my own and I’ve been working on my Turkish vocabulary whenever I had  spare time, I still have problems when reading literature. I still need the dictionary, patience and… time. I still make mistakes when writing long complex phrases. Oh, we have such a complicated relationship. Me and Turkish. But we will manage somehow, İnşallah! (if God willing! I hope so!) Adım Adım. (step by step). I’m dreaming about the day when I won’t need to ask people Tekrar eder misiniz, lütfen? (Can you, please, repeat?) or Bu ne demek? (What does this mean?). The day when Anlamadım (I don’t understand) will disappear from my vocabulary. The day when my Turkish will be Maşallah! (Magnificent!) and not just güzel (pretty, good)The day I will talk like a Turk.

On my way to Maşallah… Since I have a busy schedule I will set some milestones:

  • discover my weaknesses and turn them into strengths (in other words find the most common mistakes I make and do some research)
  • read (and finish!) a novel in Turkish (devote at least a half an hour/day to lecture)
  • listen to Turkish music and translate the lyrics (post a song+lyrics/week on blog)
  • watch a Turkish movie/week
  • speak and write in Turkish as much as possible
  • Post every day on Turkish Delight Bazaar’s Facebook page

İnşallah I’ll reach my destination!

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8 thoughts on “From İnşallah to Maşallah

      • I definitely know what you mean… that happens to me all the time. Perhaps a new goal should be “Be more realistic.” I’ve been watching Medcezir a lot lately on YouTube to practice Turkish, maybe check that out? Each episode is the same length as a movie, basically

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      • I’m always idealistic 😉 This way I succeed to overcome my realistic goals. I’m wathing sometimes Suleyman the Magnificent, but I prefer comedies like Şevkat Yerimdar or Ay lav yu (both very funny) or dramas like Aşk tesadüfleri sever, Kebeleğin rüyasi, Babam ve Oğlum and one of my favourites Mutluluk. I’m trying to watch them without subtitles even if this means that I have to press the pause button from time to time…

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  1. Great post! Turkish seems very difficult in the beginning, especially with the “reversed” order of words.. but it gets easier, especially if you have a friend to practice with or watching movies with subtitles and other things. I only wish that Turkish people would talk slowly, and I mean much slowly 😉 When they speak fast, I can’t understand much. Keep up your motivation!

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    • Teşekkür ederim Lisa 🙂 Beside their “fast speaking”, I have another problem, Turks tend to shorten the words and expressions (eg. napıyoo? instead of ne yapıyorsun?). It can get really confusing, but step by step I’ll figure out what all those tricky expressions mean 🙂

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  2. ercan tegin akyüz says:

    it is perfect , ı read many things about the turkish ( for learning) bu this is so different , beautiful and sincere, it is so succesful. ı hope , you can talk like a turk . and also if you need to some help, ı can ( hope )

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