10 practical Turkish phrases

10 practical Turkish phrases

Here is a list of 10 phrases that will make you a sound like a true Turk. The pronunciation is also included.

  1. Hos Geldin ““ (hosh gael-deen)

When entering a place, whether it be a shop, a workplace, a friend’s, a restaurant or when you arrive from a long journey, your recipient will welcome you by using this expression meaning “you are indeed welcome.” It is an everyday expression accompanied with a warm smile and often with a hug.

  1. Hos Bulduk ““ (hosh boul-dook)

In response to HosGeldin, you will pronounce this expression meaning “very pleasant we found” literally. It is a form of appreciation for being welcomed.

  1. Afiyet olsun ““ (a-fee-yet all -soon )

This the Turkish equivalent of “Bon appetit.”. You can use this phrase before, during or after a meal or when someone is eating or drinking something with you. You can also tell it to some one who just told you what he had for lunch(or dinner).

Marge: "Afiyet Olsun children ..."

Marge: “Afiyet Olsun children …”

  1. Eline Saglik ““ (Eli-ne saa-lik)

The literal translation might sound strange, but this expression means “health to your hands”. You will be using this phrase before, during or after eating or drinking something that someone has prepared for you to the person who has prepared that for you. You are basically thanking the person in some way for the effort she did.

  1. Masallah ““( maa ““ shall ““ lah)

This word comes from the Arabic vocabulary, literally meaning “with the permission/will of God”. However it is used to describe one’s appreciation at something or someone that is nice, smart, beautiful or impressive – pretty much like saying “Wow that’s great.” . You can say “Masallah” when you see a baby, or when your friend brags to you about how her 10-year old son is doing great at school or when your next door neighbour shows off the bright red roses or tomatoes she managed to grow in her garden.

A fountain in central Anatolia. The writing in Greek alphabet reads "Maasallahh"

A fountain in central Anatolia. The writing in Greek alphabet reads “Maasallahh”

This is a phrase also used in Christian Armenian, Greek, Cypriot or Sephardic Jewish communities.

  1. Aferin ““ (af-fare-reen)

This word means “Bravo” and is used only to people younger than you. To say congratulations and congratulations to someone older, you should use “Tebrikler” (teb-reek-lair) which is more respectful.


Beware though; “Aferin” can have other meanings. My dad would often say “Aferin” to me with a reproving look after I did something wrong like breaking an object, bring home a poor report card or a phone bill way over the limit.

  1. Insallah ““ (in ““ shall – lah)

The famous “God willing” is a phrase that comes from the Arabic dictionary like many other Turkish words. You will be using this famous phrase to wish that a future project come true.


Your friend – I hope I will succeed my exams | You – Insallah!

Your boss – I hope you realize your goals this week! | You – Insallah!

You can also take a slightly sarcastic tone if you have little hope that the project in question occurs:

Your mom – My son / My daughter, I hope you will become an entrepreneur before your 25 and you get married and you have a lot of kids as soon as possible !

You – Insallah …

  1. Allah korusun ““ ( allah ko-roo-soon)

“May God protect” … Another very important and widely used term, basically to wish or to pray nothing bad happens. When someone speaks of a terrible or negative event, you would be using this expression to convey a message to God.


Your friend : Did you have a car accident you? | You : No, never! Allah korusun

Your friend : An earthquake can happen at any time Istanbul | You : I hope not! Allah Korusun …

  1. Nazar degmesin (Nazar day-mah-seen)

Most of you would already know that the famous evil eye beads are used to protect the person from the evil eye or let’s say negative energy created by jealousy. This phrase is pretty much used to replicate the supposed effect of the evil eye bead J

This term is used in the same way that you would say “Masallah” to protect a person or a thing we complimented.


” His company works well right now, Nazar degmesin” or b”My son is getting good grades in high school, Nazar degmesi ” and finally, “My baby is sleeping well at night and eating well, Nazar degmesin … masallah..masallah.“. As the babies are considered sacred in Turkey, you are required to use triple protection!


  1. Lanet olsun ““ (la-net all-soon)

This phrase literally means “Damn it”. There are a lot of bad words in the Turkish language, and lanet olsun would be the lightest of them.

So what’s your favourite phrase?

This article originally appeared on EverythingTurkish

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