Learning a Language is such a funny thing

Nothing is ever one to one. It would be a lot easier if that were the case, but sadly, it’s not.

In English we organize our sentences with the subject first, verb second and object third.

In Turkish, it’s subject, object, verb. Tricky, tricky.

Or take smoking a cigarette, for example. In Turkish you don’t smoke a cigarette, you drink it. Interesting. You also don’t eat soup, you drink it as well.

How about hating something? You hate from dogs in Turkish. You hate from dogs.

And after learning the language now for almost ten months, I feel sometimes like I know less than when I was first here. I suppose it’s because the more I learn the more I realize I don’t know. “Ne kadar çok öğrenirsen, o kadar çok bilmediğini görürsün.” I flip through the dictionary and see row after row of words I don’t know, and my mind is hard-pressed to try to figure out how to squeeze more in there!

But, it’s fun. I can’t deny that! From watching my Turkish drama I learned how to say “gotcha!” (nasıl inandın!?) And I have definitely used it more than once. For example, when people ask me where I’m from I’ll say “I’m Turkish”. Then with perfect comedic timing I throw out the “gotcha!” Gets ’em every time. Once while shopping at the pazar I ran out of space but still thought it a good idea to buy a watermelon. Sometimes my brain lets me down. I had on my Ergo baby carrier, minus the baby, so put it in the there. The salesman was very concerned that I’d fall over. He’s obviously never been pregnant. So, just to get in a little extra Turkish practice I pretended I was falling and then said, “gotcha!” He and about 5 other salesmen burst out laughing! They didn’t see that one coming, that’s for sure.

So, thus is my love/dislike story of the day of learning a new language. Most days I love it, some days I wish I didn’t have so far to go. Good thing I’m having fun while I’m at it!


About Melissa

Melissa is a wife, mama and fan of all things Turkey. Among other adventures, Melissa loves living life in Turkey while raising her daughters. On IstanbulMoms you can hear about her adventures and escapades, tips for success, strategies for untangling the culture, and ideas for enjoying life in Istanbul to the fullest.

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