Shopping in Turkey – parenting dictionary

Dear Parents, Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles and elder Siblings 🙂 Everyone who is going with a little one to Turkey.

Last time you had an opportunity to read a long (but needed) article baby shopping in Turkish stores. As you could see, in some cases we’d be surpised – it was the same with me, when I came to Istanbul with my Baby the first time 🙂 Another surprise was (but it’s not only the domain of Turkey), that even in cosmopolitan Istanbul many people don’t speak English. That’s why I’m presenting you a parental dictionary. You won’t need to waste your time for searching needed words in phrasebooks 😉

Why am I doing this? Well, if I already know a bit of this language, why not to share this knowledge with you? 😉

Let’s start with the pronounciation of the letters 😉

I’ll answer the question some people still ask me till today: No, Dears. Turks don’t speak Arabic and they don’t write Arabic letters. Turkish letters are written in a Latin style, but they have also some national characters 🙂 Because I’m not native English, I’ll refer this guide to you (LINK). You can also listen to them in one of the children’s songs on You Tube (LINK).

I just need to pay attention on the letter !!!Ğğ!!!so-called „yumuşak g” (soft „g”). I’m calling it as „deaf g”, cause this mysterious letter is almost imperceptible. It’s kind of transition between vowels or an extension of the last vowel (if there’s consonant after ğ). For example, the Turkish president Erdoğan – we pronounce his surname as Erdo-an (in case of Turkish back vowels, ie. a,ı,o,u we can hear barely noticeable „h”). Another example – Eğitim (traineeship). We read it as Eyyeeteem. Did you notice, in case of Turkish front vowels (e,i,ö,ü), the sound “y” will be slightly appearing in the place of “Ğ”?


Did you learn all the letters? So, let’s start! 😉

1) Numbers:


Now let’s stop at the number „10” and see what will happen. In Turkey there’s the same rule for “ten” like for 20,30,40, 80… So there’s no accurate translation of the ending „-teen”, but we write and say like we wanted to say „ten one”, „ten two”, „ten three”, so on… Just look!


And now I’m presenting you the Turkish translation of the numbers 20-90. Here the case is more simple, because the numbers like 22 or 84 we make according to the same rules, as Turkish 11, 12… So twenty two will be translated as yirmi iki and eighty four as seksen dört“.


And we came to 100. It’s rather easy case. „One hundred” will be translated into Turkish as „yüz” (there’s no need to add „bir” before „yüz”). If we want to say two hundred or five hundred, we just add the digit according to the number before „yüz”. Just like in the picture attached:


Same rule with thousand (tr. bin), million (tr. milyon), czy billion (tr. milyar).

1000 +

Note, in case of „milion” i „billion” even, when there’s just one “million” or “billion”, we add „bir” before them, so „bir milyon” and „bir milyar”.

„More complicated” numbers, we combine like in English, eg.:

125 – yüz yirmi beş
2018 –
iki bin onsekiz
555 555 –
beş yüz elli beş bin beş yüz elli beş 😉
82 450 999 –
seksen iki milyon dört yüz elli bin dokuz yüz doksan dokuz


2) Necessary questions and answers:

It’s good to note the questions and answers you’ll be using while shopping with baby or those you can hear from shop assistants.

a) Hello/Bye:

Merhaba! – the most popular greeting in Turkey. It can be used between friends or in the shop.

Günaydın! – Good morning!
İyi günler! – this phrase has two functions. It can be Good afternoon! or the farewell like Have a nice day!
İyi akşamlar! – like before. You can say Good evening! or say “bye” like Have a nice evening! Depends on context 😉

Görüşürüz!/Görüşmek üzere! – See you!
İyi geceler! – Good night!
Hoşçakal! – universal way to say „Goodbye!”

You can often hear from shop-assistants or owners (and it’s not fake politeness!)
-Hoş geldin!
(Welcoming like: „I’m glad you came”)
In this case it’s good to answer:
-Hoş bulduk! (in accurate translation: “I’m glad to find you!”)


It’s good to say hello or goodbye (but not both of them the same time ;)) to the employee saying „Kolay gelsin!”. It means something between „Have a good work!” and “Take it easy”.

b) Phrases used in shops:

Evetyes                                Hayır – no

Çokvery, much (eg. Çok güzel – very beautiful)

Ucuz – cheap                           Pahalıexpensive

Güzel – beautiful                     Çirkin – ugly

Büyükbig                             Küçüksmall

Pardon / AffedersinizExcuse me!
Teşekkür ederim! / Teşekkürler! / Sağol!
all of them mean „Thank you!”


Bana yardım eder misiniz?Could you help me?
Yardımcı olabilir miyim? – Can I help you?
Yardım ister misiniz? – Do you need help?

…………………… nerede? – Where is………………… ?
(eg. Dükkan nerede? – Where is the shop?)

……………………. ne kadar? – How much is ……………………………… ?
(eg. Şu yatak ne kadar? – How much is this bed?)


…………………….. var mı? – Is there……………………… ?
(eg. Devam sütü var mı? – Is there modificated milk?)

You can answer:
– Evet, var. – Yes, there is.
– Hayır, yok. – No, there isn’t.
And finally (because not everyone likes to pay by cash):

Kartla ödeyebilir miyim? May I pay by card?


3) Colors:

It’s worthy mentioning about colors. It’s good to specify, eg. what color of t-shirt you want for your baby 😉


Re 4. Clothes and shoes:

Kıyafet – clothing

Ceket – jacket
Çorap(lar) – sock(s)
Eldiven(ler) – glove(s)
Elbise – dress
Etek – skirt
Gömlek – shirt
Hırka – sweater, cardigan
Pantolon – trousers
Şapka – cap
Şort – shorts
Tişört – T-shirt
Yağmurluk – raincoat
Yelek – vest


Clothes strictly for infants:

Body (or Çıtçıtlı Zıbın) – bodysuit
İç-dış Zıbın – side-snap tee
Kukuleta Şapka – premature cap/hat
Patilki Alt – footed pants
Ribanalı Eldiven – anti-scratching gloves

Uyku tulumu – sleep&play / sleepwear / baby pajama


Ayakkabılar – shoes
İlk Adım Ayakkabı – first step shoes
Sandalet – sandals
Crox Sandalet – crocs
Keten Ayakkabı – linen shoes
Spor Ayakkabı – sport shoes, trainers

Good to know: If you want to specify, whether you want to buy things for a newborn (yenidoğan), baby (bebek) or a child (çocuk), it’s good to add words from brackets before the product (usually clothing).

Re 5 & 6. Food:

Bebek maması – baby meal
Kavanoz – jar

Bal – honey
Bebek bisküvisi – baby biscuits
Peynir – cheese
Pirinç lapası – baby porridge (rice one)
Sütlaç – rice pudding
Yumurta – egg

Erişte – noodles (we call pasta as „makarna”)
Patates – potato
Pirinç – rice
Tahıl – grain, cereal

Ayran – slightly salty yoghurt drink (not necessarily for children, but it’s worth mentioning)
Çay – tea
Devam sütü – modificated milk
Malt içeceği – drink for breastfeeding women
Su – water
Süt – milk
Yoğurt – yoghurt

Tavuk – chicken (the only meat in Turkish baby jars)
Hindi – turkey
Domuz eti – pork (hard to find 😉 )
Dana eti – beef
Balık – fish
Somon – salmon
Tavşan – rabbit
Koyun eti – lamb

And now let’s learn fruit and vegetables. I don’t want to prolong this entry unnecessarily, so will limit my vocabulary to the products frequently given to children or those you can find in jars.

Ananas – pineapple
Armut – pear
Çilek – strawberry
Elma – apple
Erik – plum
Frambuaz – raspberry
Kayısı – apricot
Karpuz – watermelon
Kiraz – sweet cherry
Limon – lemon
Mandalina – mandarin/tangerin
Muz – banana

Portakal – orange
Şeftali – peach
Üzüm – grape
Yaban mersini – blueberry

Balkabağı – pumpkin
Bezelye – green pea
Biber – paprica
Brokoli – broccoli
Domates – tomato
Fasulye – bean
Havuç – carrot
Kabak – zucchini
Maydanoz – parsley
Pancar – beet
Pırasa – leek
Salatalık – cucumber
Soğan – onion
Taze soğan – chive

IMPORTANT: If you care about products without sugar, note, if there’s written „şekersiz” (sugarless) or „(ilave) şeker içermez” (doesn’t contain sugar).

Re 8. Hygienic products and first aid kit:

Bebek bezi – diaper
Kullanımlık Bezleri – reusable nappies
Mayo/Yüzme bezi – diapers for swimming
Bebek Eğitim Pantolonu – training pants
Islak mendil – wet/moisturing wipes
Bebek bakım örtüsü – changing pad

Pişik kremi – diaper rash cream
Yağ – olive
Göğüs pedleri – nursery pads
Havlu – towel
Önlük – bib
Sabun – soap
Duş jeli – shower gel
Şampuan – shampoo
Güneş kremi – sun cream

Tırnak makasınail clipper
Diş fırçası – toothbrush
Diş macunu – toothpaste

A/B/C/D vitamin – vitamin A/B/C/D
Burun Spreyi – nasal spray
Diş jeli – teething gel
Folik asit – folic acid 🙂
Hamile testı – pregnancy test
İlaç – medicine
Omega 3 yağ asiti – Omega−3 fatty acid
Sinek Kovucu Sprey – mosquito repellent (or spray)
Yara bandı – adhesive plaster


And finally… Equipment and accessories (just in case):

Karyola – baby bed/cot
Beşik – cradle
Nevresim takımı – linens set
Yastık – pillow
Puset lub Bebek arabası – stroller
Oto koltuğu – car seat
Mama sandalyesi – highchair
Bebek bezi değiştirme masası – changing table
Lazımlık – potty

Oyuncak(lar) – toy(s)
Diş kaşıyıcı – teether
Çıngırak – rattle
Top – ball
Kitap(lar) – book(s)

Göğüs pompası – breast pump
Biberon – feeding bottle
Emzik – pacifier
Alıştırma bardağı – non-spill cup


It’s worth remembering one more place:

Bebek bakım odası – nursery room


Turkish vocabulary has been mentioned also in the article  “Active Istanbul Mom… And Baby” 🙂 I’m recommending you to have a look at it, if you like to spend time actively with your toddler on holiday as well 😉


If you have any questions about the Turkish vocabulary, feel free to comment! In the next article I’ll write about our weekend in Akçay 🙂



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