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Language in North Cyprus

Turkish is the official language of Northern Cyprus, whilst English is widely spoken and is considered the country’s second language. But if you plan on staying and ultimately living in Northern Cyprus its well worth learning some Turkish. The effort is greatly appreciated by the local Cypriots. Also while most road signs in Northern Cyprus Kyrenia are in English other remote parts of TRNC may only be in Turkish. Most highways, however, have signs in both languages.

Even though Turkish is the predominant language, Cypriots have their own version. Cyprus was a British colony for many years, so it is most likely that you will here some English words when people are speaking their own dialect of Turkish. Many Cypriots have returned to the island after living in Britain , Australia or America for many years so, English is widely spoken and understood with many Cypriots.

The Turkish Cypriot people are not only warm-hearted and welcoming but also very generous. They are friendly, helpful and will invite the visitor into their home, not just for cay (tea), or cup of coffee, but also share whatever food they may have. They have a courtesy hardly found elsewhere and enthusiasm in the company of new-found friends.

Useful phrases in Turkish:

English Turkish Pronunciation
Hello Merhaba mer-ha-ba
Welcome Hos geldiniz hōsh gel-dee-neez
in reply to Welcome Hos bulduk hōsh bull-dook
Thank you Tesekkur ederim, sagol te-she-koor e-de-rim, saa-ōl
You are welcome Bir sey değil beer shay deel
How are you? Nasılsınız? na-sill-si-niz?
I am fine. İyiyim. ee-yee-yeem
What is your name? İsminiz ne? eez-mee-neez ne?
My name is … Benim adım … be-neem a-dim
Yes Evet e-vet
No Hayır ha-yur
Please Lutfen loot-fen
Good morning Gunaydın goo-naee-dun
Good evening İyi akşamlar ee-yee ak-sham-lar
Good night İyi geceler ee-yee ge-je-ler
What time is it? Saat kac? sa-at kach?
Do you speak English? İngilizce biliyormusunuz? een-gee-leez-je bee-lee-yōr-moo-soo-nooz?
How much is it? Ne kadar? ne ka-dar?
Where is …? … nerede? … ne-re-de?
… the restaurant? Restoran nerede? res-tō-ran …
… the hotel? Otel nerede? ō-tel …
… the restroom? Tuvalet nerede? too-va-let …
… the bank? Banka nerede? ban-ka …
I would like… … istiyorum. … ee-stee-yōr-room
… a beer. Bira istiyorum. bee-ra …
… water. Su istiyorum. soo …
… tea. Зay istiyorum. chai …
… coffee. Kahve istiyorum. kah-ve …
… milk. Sьt istiyorum. soot …
… ice. Buz istiyorum. booz …
… bread. Ekmek istiyorum. ek-mek …
… sugar. Şeker istiyorum. she-ker …
… white wine. Beyaz şarap istiyorum. be-yaz sha-rap …
… red wine. Kırmızı şarap istiyorum. kur-mu-zu sha-rap …
… salt. Tuz istiyorum. tooz …
… pepper. Biber istiyorum. bee-ber …
Breakfast Kahvaltı kah-val-tu
Lunch Oğle yemeği ōr-le ye-me-ee
Dinner Akşam yemeği ak-sham ye-me-ee
Bill/Check Hesap he-sop
Compliment to the cook Elinize sağlık e-lee-nee-ze saa-lik
Bon a petit Afiyet olsun a-fee-yet ōl-soon
Days of the week
Sunday Pazar pa-zar
Monday Pazartesi pa-zar-te-see
Tuesday Salı sa-lu
Wednesday Carşamba char-sham-ba
Thursday Perşembe per-shem-be
Friday Cuma joo-ma
Saturday Cumartesi joo-mar-te-see
One Bir beer
Two İki ee-kee
Three Uc ooch
Four Dert dōrt
Five Beş besh
Six Altı al-tu
Seven Yedi ye-dee
Eight Sekiz se-keez
Nine Dokuz dō-kooz
Ten On ōn
Red Kırmızı kur-mu-zu
Blue Mavi ma-vee
Black Siyah see-ya
White Beyaz be-yaz
Yellow Sarı sa-ru


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