Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Turkish Words Used As Sound Effects In Primitive Cartoons: Part II

"Yağ" means both "fat" and oil. The "g" is silent, for those not in the know.

"Yani" is a word I love in Turkish because it's ever so useful. It can be a filler, to mean like "so" in English, marking the fact that you're trailing off at the end of the sentence, or you can use it in the middle to mean, "I mean...," which insures that your interlocutor will continue listening without getting bored while you fish in your yabancı way for something to say. My tattoo guy remarked that yabancı say "yani" way too much, to which I replied that foreigners who learned English by immersion tend to say "fuck" way too much, in the wrong places in sentences.

And I'm not one to talk but I know what I mean. You can also reply to what someone says with "yani" to mean, "What you said is what I meant to say but your way is just as much or more agreeable." It all depends on the intonation.

"Yan" means "side" and can be used in a variety of grammatically challenging ways that don't translate at all. It doesn't stop my students from trying, though. 

Turkish is very complicated.

"Nar" means pomegranate and it's just a cool-sounding word. A month or so back, my friend and I made homemade grenadine and used it in a drink dubbed the Nartini but he's totally the one who thought of that name.

"Yayaya" never ceases to amuse me. It means "to pedestrians" and it appears on street signs that say "Yayaya yol ver," meaning "give way to pedestrians." But it doesn't matter because people generally ignore these signs, except me, apparently.

I like "hadi" because it's one of those words, in certain uses, that exactly matches English. By itself, it means the same as "come on," in the sense of "Hurry up!" and also "Oh, right" (said sarcastically) or "You're shitting me" (without the "shit" connotation) and "Seriously? Is that the best you can do?" It take some other meanings in conjunction with other words, but it's pretty easy to figure out.

"Ye! Ye! Ye!" means "Eat! Eat! Eat!" I suppose the uses of that re-triplicated thing are fairly obvious.

This is an inside joke. Hah!!


BacktoBodrum said...

Since I've come back to Turkey. I've noticed everyone saying "aynen gibi" When did that start?

Stranger said...


I have no idea. I'm never sure if something has just been coined or if I suddenly just started noticing it...