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5 Turkish expressions I’ve learnt while watching “Öyle bir geçer zaman ki”

Öyle bir geçer zaman ki

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In a previous post, I’ve mentioned 3 Turkish TV series that will keep you up all night. Well, this winter I’ve been spending many hours captivated by Öyle bir geçer zaman ki (~ Time goes by).

This series was broadcast on Turkish TV between 2010 and 2013. It tells the story of the Akarsu family whose life changes considerably when father Ali, a captain, has an affair with a Dutch lady. Mother Cemile fights to keep the family together as one tragedy after the next unfolds. The story is set in Istanbul in the late 1960s and evolves as time goes by. Osman, the youngest son, is the one telling the events in retrospective.

Not only is the series’ story line quite interesting, we also get to learn a lot about Turkey’s historical developments throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Watching the series in Turkish has also enabled me to further improve my language skills.

Let me share the following five expressions that I’ve learnt while watching the series as they’re used quite frequently:

  1. Allah’a ısmarladık

This expression is regularly used when the characters say goodbye to each other. It can be translated with “May you be protected by God” (freestyle).  You may answer Hoşça kalın or Güle güle as other means to say goodbye.

  1. Lüzumu yok

This phrase is used to indicate there is no need to do something. A synonym expression would be Gerek yok.

  1. Sırası mı şimdi?

Imagine a couple having a fight when one of the two suddenly starts talking about a random topic. Then the other one would use this expression, stating something like “Do you think it’s the right moment to talk about this now?”. That’s obviously not self-explanatory when one uses this phrase.

  1. Hayırdır?

This expression is hard to translate. In English, you may say something like “What’s the matter?” or “What’s going on?”. What I’ve often observed in the series when someone appears without notice is that the others ask Hayırdır? in order to find out about the reason of the person’s visit. The expression contains the hope that the reason for the person’s sudden appearance is a positive one.

  1. Seni geberteceğim!

This one is easy. It simply means “I will kill you!”.

How about YOU? Have you watched any series in a foreign language recently? Which expressions have you learnt?


From → Turkey

  1. Sakina permalink

    Where can i watch this series with english subtitles

    • Hi Sakina!

      You’ll find the complete series on YouTube but they don’t have any English subtitles, I’m afraid. If you’re learning Turkish, though, it will be a great exercise to watch it even without the subtitles. It might be hard to understand at the beginning but you’ll get better with every episode. I can really recommend giving it a try. 😉

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