Tuesday, 19 March 2013

"is that all?"

Of all the complexities I have experienced while attempting to learn the Turkish language, the arrangement of sentences, the suffixes, suffixes and suffixes, it is the word "başka" that always trips me up.

I don't know why, but I keep forgetting that başka means "anything else?" And not, "is that all?".So I regularly experience an awkward few seconds of silence at checkout counters having responded "evet, yes" to that tricky başka question. The checkout assistant/shopowner and I stare at each other like bemused chess-players waiting for the opponents move.

I sometimes end the silence by saying back "baska?" (which, surely, is very rude) but this actually tends to resolve the matter as they piece the puzzle together and realise that I'm just a stupid foreigner. Then they wish me goodnight in perfect English.



  1. it is not very rude I think.
    Its a bit stupid, but I use it very often!
    Sorry for my English, Im also foreigner to your language!

    1. Oh really? I usually get that funny look, when it dawns on people that I must only know one or two words of Turkish.

      You're English is fine! And anyway, we have to adapt and acknowledge the efforts of those who don't speak it as a first language, especially if we want to stay lazy and expect everybody else to speak it!

    2. for short sentences, yes its good :) when you speak in English with me, you hear always same words :) But you can understand :)
      Its hard to learn another language but maybe funny when you are in that country and all peaople speak in the language that you try to learn, I dont know.