Today’s guest post is from Sian, a British ex-pat living in Turkey, who has some advice for anyone considering moving abroad.
Merhaba. Last year I made a life changing decision and decided that, at the age of 42, I wanted to leave the UK and move to Turkey. After much research, a lot of visits to the vets to ensure my two elderly cats could come, and a lot of packing and sorting out, the day finally came and on April 15th this year I moved lock, stock and barrel to Fethiye (you can follow my story on my blog, To Fethiye and Beyond).
Have I regretted it? Absolutely not. Would I advise other people to give it a try? Oh yes. Is it hot? Like you wouldn’t believe. Would I suggest that they learn some of the language before they came? Definitely. Unfortunately I didn’t follow my own advice and barely learnt more than 3 or 4 words before coming out here. Luckily for me, I armed myself with a EuroTalk Turkish DVD before I left so, yes, I do know a lot more Turkish now than when I arrived – although I still sometimes struggle with the simplest of words, the main one being teşekkürler, which means thanks – for some reason I keep thinking of it as ‘testicular’ which is not going to win me any friends (well, not the right sort anyway!).
Not only is the Turkish language very hard, what with its ‘i’ with a dot that is pronounced like ‘ee’, its ‘l’ without a dot (that isn’t an L) that is pronounced like a ‘u’, its ‘c’ that is pronounced like a ‘j’, while the ‘j’ is pronounced like an ‘s’ (seriously, who thought up this language!)… but the local people here also love to practise their English. You may start with every intention of saying something in the local language but as soon as they spot you they say hello, how are you and your brain just goes to mush and you respond in English.
Mind you, something must be sinking in as I did actually manage to have a conversation in Turkish just the other day. Admittedly it wasn’t the longest of conversations but we’ve all got to start somewhere, haven’t we?
I absolutely refuse to be a parody of a Brit abroad and spend the rest of my life speaking v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y in English to the locals in a slightly patronising manner so I am going to keep on going with the EuroTalk DVD and hopefully by the end of the year I’ll be able to manage an even longer conversation!
And on that note I’ll say görüşürüz and wish you all a pleasant day.
Are you moving abroad? Let us know! We’d love to help you start learning the basics of your new country’s language.