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!

Colours of life and…stairs a la Turca

143743If someone asks me “How is your life?”(Hayatın nasıl?) the best answer (cevap) I can give is “Very colourful” (Çok renkli), most of the time (zaman) painted (boyamak) in bright (parlak) and serene (rahat) colours like blue (mavi) or green (yeşil), sunbathed in yellow (sarı) because my first love (așk) is the sun (güneş), splashed with orange (turuncu) refreshing orange (portokal) juice, fired with red (kırmızı) enthusiasm (heves), sweetened with pink (pembe) childish smiles and purple (mor) dreams (hayal), powered with a great amount of white (beyaz) determination (azim)… and only extremely rarely (nadiren) stained with grey (gri) or black (siyah) melancholy (melankoli) and fears (korku).

We (biz) all live (yaşamak) in a world (dünya) of colours, having the opportunity (imkan) to choose (seçmek) the proper shades (gölge) and quantities (miktar) of paint for our life’s masterpiece (başyapıt). We can play (oynamak) with colours as we wish… we can throw all our ‘raw’ feelings (duygu) on the canvas or follow our rationality’s (rasyonalite) rigid methods of painting… What we should keep in mind (akılda tutmak) while handling the paint brush (boya fırçası) is that we cannot erase (silmek) our actions (eylem) and that we have only one canvas… So we should be very careful (dikkatlı) not to waste (boşa harcamak) our time and space on the canvas with shapes (şekil) and shades which do not represent (temsil etmek) us, creating a false (yanlış) and unsatisfying painting, with its colours melting (erimek) in a dark (koyu) and dirty (kirli) mixture. It’s hard (zor) to be the artist (sanatçı) of your own life, to manage events (olay), feelings (duygu) and facts in a proper manner, to take sincere (dürüst) decisions (karar) and to make our mind (akıl) see eye to eye with our heart (kalp). If we succeed (başarmak) our inner painting will be reflected (yansıtmak) in our ‘outside’ world as well, colouring our lenses (mercek) and everything that surrounds (çevrelemek) us. Our ‘outside’ world follows our ‘inside’ world. And vice versa (tersine).

I love colours, and probably that is another reason (sebep) why I love Turkey. It’s a colourful and lively (ruhlu) country (ülke). From its  people (halk), cities, bazaars to its… stairs (merdiven). Everything is splashed with colours. The wave (dalga) of rainbow (gökkuşağı) stairs hit Turkey in 2013, when a retired (emekli) engineer (mühendis), Huseyin Cetinel, painted a massive staircase in rainbow hues in Istanbul. Even though the rainbow stairs became the symbol (simge) of the anti-government resistance (direnme) and of the LGBT community, the original purpose (amaç) was to make people smile (gülmek). Today there are many rainbow stairs all around Turkey, colouring happiness (mutluluk) on faces (yüz) and souls (can).

Image source: [1]

Sun, I got you Güneş…

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Sun, I got you Güneş… even though you were trying (denemek) to escape (kaçmak) from my camera (fotoğraf makinesi)… and catch the train (tren) for your daily (günlük) travel (seyahat) around the world (dünya)…  I got you! I got you to hold my breath (nefes) while enjoying your breathtaking (harika) goodbye (hoşçakal).

I got you to make me smile (gülmek). I got you to remind (hatırlamak) me how beautiful you are…how precious (değerli) is your light (ışık) which dawns on us and brings us to life (hayat)… I got you to enlighten my dreams (hayal) hidden (saklamak) in the approaching night (gece)… I got you to give me a last (son) drop (damla) of energy (enerji) for today (bugün) and to prepare (hazırlamak) me for a new (yeni) day. Confident (inanan) and hopeful (umutlu) that you will show me the “tomorrow” (yarin) in an optimistic (iyimser) light!

Oh! You’ve got me! I’ve written this post under the influence (etki) of… music (müzik)

Thank you Sunset (Gün batımı), Cher and Sonny for inspiration (ilham)

Extract (seçme) from the song (şarkı):

Babe (bebe(ğim))
I got you babe
I got you to hold (tutmak) my hand (el)
I got you to understand (anlamak)
I got you to walk (yürümek) with me
I got you to talk (konuşmak) with me
I got you to kiss (öpmek) goodnight

Sun, I got you Güneş… in my curtain (perde)…

İyi akşamlar!

Lyrics source: [1]

Build up your vocabulary with “intruders”!

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I’m not ready (hazır değilim) to write (yazmak) a whole post (blog yazısı) in Turkish. I’m not ready yet (henüz). I must confess (itiraf etmek) that I’m afraid (korkmak) of making mistakes (hata). So I came up with a solution (çözüm). This (bu) solution. From now (şimdi) on a part of my writings will include (içermek) ‘intruders’.

I will welcome them, and wait (beklemek) until they will conquer (fethetmek) my bazaar (pazar).  You should do the same (aynı). Let your mind’s (akıl) citadel be invaded (istila etmek) by Turkish intruders. I’m talking about words (söz), of course (elbette)! I will help (yardım etmek) you to convert the voices (ses) in your head (kafa) to Turkish, by seasoning my posts with Turkish words.  I made my decision (karar) after realizing that some of my friends (arkadaş) had involuntarily learned (öğrenmek) Turkish words (söz) by reading (okumak) my latest post. In order to make learning easier (kolay) I will use (kullanmak) in the brackets only (sadece) the infinitive forms of verbs (fiil) and singular forms of nouns (isim). And I promise (söz vermek) that later I will explain (açıklamak) the tenses, and other grammar issues (soru), and even write in Turkish.  Meanwhile have fun (eğlence) and learn Turkish!

 

Image source: [1]

July. My lazy, marvellous July…

I’m in one of those lazy (tembel) days when I have a lot of work to do but too little motivation (motivasyon)… being surrounded by gentle sun rays (güneş ışını) and thousands shades of green (yeşil), distracting my attention from my duties and directing it towards the beauty (güzellik) of simple things. It’s a wonderful day of July (Temmuz).

And if yesterday after a hard working day, I served you my favourite Turkish dishes, today I will celebrate with you the summer (yaz). With the promise that after publishing this post I will return to my work and won’t feel guilty of time wasting (zaman israfı), as usually… Cross my heart! (Valla billa doğru söylüyorum!) Because we all have not just the right, but also the obligation to enjoy the magic (büyü) of life (hayat), to dream (hayal kurmak) with our eyes open, to admire nature (doğa) and fall in love (aşık olmak) with moments (anlar), tastes (tatlar), colours (renkler), scents (kokular)… And that’s what I’ve done today… I realized how lucky (şanslı) I am for being alive, for living my dream, doing what I like… how fortunate I am to hear the bees’ (arılar) and bugs’ (böcekler) buzzing, to be hugged by the sun, to feel the touch of the refreshing breeze (meltem), to dance in the rain (yağmur), to admire the unique and wonderful painting of the universe (evren), drawn in billions of colours…. To inhale the perfume of flowers (çiçekler), to be spoiled by mellow fruits (meyveler), … Because of you, July. My lazy, marvellous July. (Temmuz. Benim tembel, fevkalade Temmuzum)