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3 Turkish expressions I’ve learnt while watching “Atiye”

11/07/2021
Photo courtesy of Netflix.

After almost two years of abstinence, I finally watched another Turkish series. As I’ve previously explained, I take great care in deciding whether to start a new Turkish series or not.   

This time, I opted for Atiye (The Gift). The main role is played by Beren Saat, one of my favourite Turkish actresses. I got to know her through her roles in Aşkı Memnu and in Fatmagül’ün suçu ne.  

When I started watching Atiye, I expected the usual drama. However, I soon found out this series was slightly different. Still dramatic but also featuring rather uncommon fantasy elements and a somehow mindful and philosophic approach to life. 

The story can be summarized as follows: Atiye is a painter based in Istanbul. Ever since she was a child, she’s been drawing one particular symbol. She’s planning the wedding with her boyfriend Ozan as an archaeologist named Erhan makes a stunning discovery at an excavation site in Anatolia: Atiye’s symbol. She decides to embark on a quest for answers that leads her to the source of her identity and which entangles the characters in several layers of time and space. 

As usual, I paid close attention to the language used in this series. I noticed it was less colloquial compared to other productions. The following three expressions are among the ones that have stuck with me the most:   

  1. Daire çizdik.

This may seem like a random expression. The word daire actually has several meanings, two of them being flat (as in a place to live) and circle (as in the shape). The literal translation of this expression could thus either be “We drew a flat” or “We drew a circle”. Its figurative meaning is “We’ve been running in circles”.

  1. Dangozluk ettim.

When I first heard the word dangoz (idiot), I somehow thought it was something to eat. Maybe because of its phonetic similarity to salyangoz (snail) and maydanoz (parsley). The context it was used in let me assume it might be something else, though. I looked it up and found out that this sentence actually means “I behaved like a fool”. Oh well, we all do, at times. 

  1. Kıpırdama!

This one simply translates into “Don’t move!”. It can be used in any scene where you’d want others to remain right where they are. It goes without saying that you’d shout these words, adding a decent portion of drama and maybe even drawing a gun or a knife. 

That’s all the drama for today. We’ll see how long it takes before I dive right back into the next Turkish series. As for Atiye, I recommend having a look at the last five minutes of the final season. Even if you haven’t watched the full story before, you’ll find a beautiful summary of what life is about. And by beautiful I mean both from a language and content perspective. 

How about YOU? Have you watched Atiye in Turkish or in any other language? Is there anything in particular that has stuck with you, language- or contentwise? 

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