Turkish language tips and advice.

A key part of any journey to a new country is asking for directions(in Turkish). Here are a few Turkish phrases and some cultural advice that will help you on your way.

Asking for directions in Turkish on the street

It is polite to say “pardon” (pardon) or “özür dilerim” (I’m sorry) when stopping someone in the street.

If asking a question the other person may not know the answer to, you can acknowledge this by adding the word “acaba” (I wonder) onto the end of your question.

For example, if trying to find the police station, you might ask “Polis istasyonu nerede acaba?”)

Cultural advice

Remember that instead of saying “no” by shaking their heads, Turks tut and lift their heads slightly. If you ask a Turk where something is and get this response, don’t think they’re tutting because they’re offended – it just means they don’t know.

It is often worth getting a second opinion before going a long way out of your way to follow directions, as Turkish people who don’t know a location for sure sometimes prefer to guess rather than tell you they cannot help you. If they really don’t know they may insist on stopping and asking other people for you in order to demonstrate their willingness to help.

Further reading and learning

In the HandsOnTurkish course, you will learn plenty of useful language from arriving at the airport to making new contacts. Click here to start learning Turkish!

Some more information about body language in Turkey: Turkishtravelblog

About HandsOnTurkish

Learn Turkish online with HandsOnTurkish! A comprehensive Turkish language learning programme for business and vocational learners. Available online and on the appstores!