Jul 03, 2013 By Tags:,

How to express ‘katılmak’ in English

__________ the lesson. Attend, join, participate, agree with or support? Which is correct?

The verbs ‘to join’, ‘to attend’, ‘to participate in’, ‘to agree with’ and ‘to support’ can all be expressed in Turkish by ‘katılmak’.

This is the another post in our category ‘In English, how to express …?’ where we discuss language concepts that our Turkish students often struggle with in English. Today, katılmak.

In the following sentences, Turkish speakers can use ‘katılmak’ to express the following actions:

  • Last week he attended the conference in Ankara.
  • I’ll join the lesson this evening.
  • She participated in the managers’ meeting this morning.
  • I agree with your position on the subject.
  • I support your view on this subject.

First, to attend: to go to an event or a place:

  • Would everyone who wishes to attend the dinner let me know by Friday afternoon?
  • All pupils are expected to attend school assembly.
  • I don’t think there’s any need for all of us to attend the meeting.

Secondly, to join: to get involved in an activity or journey with another person or group:

  • He joined the tour to Central Anatolia.
  • Would you like to join us for dinner tonight?
  • You must join the queue to buy tickets for the movie.

Thirdly, to participate in: to take part in or become involved in an activity:

  • We encourage members to participate in the meetings.
  • I don’t like to participate in team sports.
  • Many countries participate in the Olympic Games.

Lastly, ‘to agree with’ or ‘to support’: to have the same opinion, or to accept a suggestion or idea:

  • I agree with your idea.
  • I support the government’s decision not to cut down the trees.
  • I support her position on the death penalty.

Now your turn. Practice using these verbs:

(if you prefer a video lesson, check out our  Ingilizce Dersleri library!)

Choose the best possible answer for each sentence:

For example:

Question: It was already 8pm. Murat was tired and did not want to attend/participate in/support the meeting. All he wanted to do was leave the office and return home.

Answer: Murat did not want to attend the meeting. (He did not want to go to the event)

Your turn

1. ‘That’s a terrible idea. There’s no way that anyone else is going to attend/agree with/join what you think.’

2. Although Gökçe joined the meeting on time, she really did not want to support/to participate/to agree with it and she stayed silent during the entire meeting.

3. ‘Uğur and Nil are getting married next week. Even though they are not close friends, we are planning to attend/to join/to agree with the ceremony.

4. ‘Uğur and Nil are getting married next week. Uğur is my best friend and so he asked to me to attend/to participate in/to support the wedding ceremony. I will read a speech.

5. ‘OK… we are going to cinema at 6pm tonight to see the new zombie movie. Do you want to support/to join/to participate in us?

6. Canberk failed his final science exam and now he must agree with/support/attend summer school.

As always, please let us know what you think and if there are any other topics you would like us to cover!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read full post

İngilizce Türkiye’de: Eleos Istanbul



Welcome to the second post in our İngilizce Türkiye’de series. In our first post we introduced a great place for traditional Turkish breakfast, or kahvaltı, called Van Kahvaltı Evi. In our second post we will highlight Eleos Restaurant with two locations in Istanbul.



In our İngilizce Türkiye’de series we highlight establishments across Turkey that offer great service as well as great command of the English language. Eleos has two locations in Istanbul, one in Beyoğlu and one in Yeşilköy. On a recent trip to the Beyoğlu location we were impressed with the food, the view and the service offered in English to our foreign colleagues.

Lets begin with the most important part: the food

The food at at Eleos is that of a fish mezze house but with a more distinct Greek flare than your traditional Bosphorus fish restaurant. Like a typical Istanbul fish restaurant there was a three-course approach to the meal – cold mezze (vegetarian and fish), hot mezze (fish and seafood) and fish (grilled or fried whole fish). What separates Eleos’ food from other fish restaurants in Istanbul is the variety of ingredients. For example, we tried Oyster mushroom mezze, lobster in yoghurt, fried sole stuffed into peppers and fish kokorec. The lokanta is dressed up as an Agean Greek fish restaurant, with blue and white tablecloths, wood paneling and al fresco ambiance. If you book ahead, be sure to ask for a table on the heated patio in order to get a commanding Bosphorus view over Beyoğlu.

At Eleos there are many thoughtful touches that make the dining experience more enjoyable than at a typical restaurant. Several mezze dishes are brought out “on the house”. A welcome aperitif and an extensive desert tray are delivered to the table as “compliments of the chef”.

Now for the second most important part: İngilizce Türkiye’de

As always in our İngilizce Türkiye’de series, we like to commend establishments with strong command of the English language. The service level in English was of a very high standard. Not only were the servers almost fluent in English but they also adjusted their service for a western sensibility. The service was less abrupt and assertive than in most Istanbul restaurants. In addition, significant time was allowed between each course. For this week’s İngilizce Türkiye’de post we will highlight some of the English service terms and their Turkish equivalents:

  • rezervasyon var mi?   ‘do you have a reservation?’,
  • ikram   ‘on the house’, ‘with our compliments’,
  • afiyet olsun   ‘enjoy your meal’,
  • bir şey değil   ‘you’re welcome’ or ‘my pleasure’
  • ‘iyi akşamlar’   ‘good evening’, ‘see you again’ and ‘thank you for coming’ are all appropriate in this context

Whether you are a Turkish native speaker who wants to practice English or a foreigner visiting Turkey, recommends Eleos for its great food and great service. Details:


Address: İstiklal Mh., 34440, Beyoğlu

Phone: +90 212 244 9090


Address: Yeşilköy Mh., Yeşilbahçe Sk No:9, Bakırköy

Phone: +90 212 663 3911

As always, if you know of any establishments that should be commended for their İngilizce Türkiye’de, please let us know.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read full post

İngilizce Dersleri: Dünyanın gelmiş geçmiş en yaşlı adamı öldü

İngilizce öğrenmek! Türklere online dersler

In our İngilizce Dersleri series we provide online video learning lessons. These video learning lessons are designed to compliment our online conversation classes. We encourage our Turkish students learning English to use these videos between conversation classes. They are designed to develop a student’s reading and listening skills.

This video learning lesson is designed for our intermediate students. It is also a good lesson for anyone practicing for their IELTS test. Typically, in our İngilizce Dersleri lessons we focus on subject matter and current events that are highly relevant for our Turkish students learning English. For this lesson, we decided to pick something different, a story about the world’s oldest man passing away at 116 years old!

The article was originally posted on The Guardian’s website on June 12th 2013. Please take a look at the original article here. In addition, there is a Turkish version of the article on the BBC Turkish service’s website: Dünyanın gelmiş geçmiş en yaşlı adamı öldü.

İngilizce Dersleri: Article Synopsis


The world’s oldest man has recently died in Japan, aged 116. This article from the Guardian offers some vocabulary for English students to describe life and death in a world where we are living longer and longer.

Kimura – who was born on 19 April 1897, died of natural causes early on Wednesday, Japanese media said. The Kyoto prefecture resident became the oldest man in recorded history in late December 2012 at the age of 115 years and 253 days, following the death of Dina Manfredini, an Italian-American who lived in Iowa. The longest-living person in history was Jeanne Calment, a French woman who died in 1997 at the age of 122. Kimura died in hospital in his hometown of Kyotango, local government officials said. He had been receiving treatment for pneumonia since late last month.

As always, let us know what you think of the article and exercise!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read full post

İngilizce Türkiye’de: Van Kahvaltı Evi


In our İngilizce Türkiye’de series we highlight establishments across Turkey that offer great service as well as great command of the English language.

We think the series is a good way to discover great restaurants, destinations, attractions and services, as well as highlighting establishments in Turkey where English speakers can get service in the global language.

On a recent morning walk in Cihangir, myself and my co-founder found ourselves very hungry. Both of us are big fans of an Aegean breakfast. As we walked towards Taksim we noticed a Kahvaltı Evi that was packed at 9 am on a Thursday. We decided to check it out.

Van Kahvaltı Evi is not an Aegean kahvaltı but hails from the eastern parts of the country. The Kurdish regions of Turkey take their kahvaltı very seriously. There are many similarities to an Aegean Kahvaltı with some key differences including Van cheeses, tangy cacık (thick yogurt spread) and murtuğa, a heavy wheat flour porridge. Of course, you will find the typical tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and white cheese of an Aegean kahvaltı. The food at Van Kahvaltı Evi is generous in portion, very fresh and reasonably priced.

What we were most impressed with is the service. Both of our waiters, and the man who brought us our bill spoke a great level of English. Additionally, both had commanded some of the finer elements in translation of Turkish service to English.

One of the more difficult aspects to learning English is wordy question forms:

While in Turkish it’s quite acceptable to simply use a single noun in isolation, such as ‘bread?’, ‘tea?’, ‘bill?’ for example, it usually grates on the ears of a native English speakers as it can border on rudeness.

English, requires a more expansive question. Not too hard to learn but at a minimum service staff are better off using:

  • Would you like anything else?
  • Would you like more tea / bread…
  • Can I get you anything else?

It’s a small thing but these couple of phrases make such a difference to the quality of service.

Whether you are a foreigner visiting Turkey or a Turkish resident, we hope that you will check out Van Kahvaltı Evi for a great breakfast and great service in English (if required). Details:

Address: Defterdar Yokuşu No: 52.A, Cihangir
Telephone: 212-293-6437

As always, if you know of any establishments that should be commended for their İngilizce Türkiye’de, please let us know.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read full post

İngilizce Türkiye’de series

Introducing our new blog series: İngilizce Türkiye’de


service-establishments-turkey is excited to announce the launch of our series: İngilizce Türkiye’de. In this series we will highlight great venues across Turkey, such as restaurants, galleries, tourist attractions and entertainment facilities.

We will focus on establishments where the Turkish staff has a strong command of the English language. Our inspiration for this series is both to highlight great establishments for residents and visitors to Turkey, and also praise establishments with a strong command of the English language. We will also use this series to highlight language lessons related to the service industry. For a Turkish native speaker to adapt to a service culture in English, there can often be challenges. Much of the time, literal translations from Turkish into English don’t work well.

There are several elements of Turkish service language that should not be literally translated into English when providing service. For example:

‘Başka istediğiniz var mı’ should translate to:

  • Is there anything else?
  • Do you need anything else?
  • Would you like anything else?

Likewise, the often used ‘isim?’ when requesting someone’s name in Turkish needs to be a much longer to sound polite in English:

  • Can I have your name?
  • Can I take your name?

Unfortunately, the very question ‘Name?’ used by Turkish Starbucks staff is not polite English.

And for staff who look up from the counter and see a chance to use English, where you would normally use ‘buyurun’, why not try:

  • Hi, can I help you?

We hope that you will enjoy our İngilizce Türkiye’de series. If you know of any establishments across Turkey that should be highlighted for their great command of the English language as well as providing a great service, please let us know! Whether it be a restaurant, an entertainment venue, guide or tourist attraction we would be happy to hear from you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read full post

Jun 17, 2013 By Tags:, ,

Book set in Istanbul: Baksheesh by Esmahan Aykol

İngilizce Kaynaklar: reading resources about Turkey, Baksheesh!



We like to recommend reading resources for Turks learning English. Outside of İngilizce Dersleri, it is important to read English content that is motivating through familiar subject matter. has just discovered a great English language resource for Turks learning English. Baksheesh is a crime novel based in Istanbul! The writing style is concise and simple. It is a perfect novel for upper intermediate to advanced English language students. The content will be very motivating for any Turk learning English because it covers everyday topics in Istanbul. Housing prices, parking your car in the cramped side streets, and dealing with the police and traffic!

About the book

Backsheesh focuses on a character named Kati Hirschel, living in Istanbul. Kati owns a bookstore that specializes in crime stories. She obtains an apartment with the help of a bribe to a government official. A man is found murdered in her apartment, and she becomes the prime suspect! Backsheesh takes us on a tour of Istanbul, from Taksim back streets to Bosphorus villas and beyond. We meet city officials, government officials, police and businessmen.

The language is sometimes a bit abrupt, but it is easy to read. We recommend the novel to our students, especially those living in Istanbul. The subject matter is extremely relevant to anyone who has lived in Turkey or Istanbul. The book was originally written in Turkish and has been translated to English by Ruth Whitehouse (based in Ankara).

About the author



Esmahan Aykol was born in 1970 in Edirne, Turkey. She lives in Istanbul and Berlin. She has written four Kati Hirschel mystery novels. ‘Hotel Bosphorus’ and ‘Baksheesh’ are the first two and have been published in eight languages.

As always, please let us know if you have read this book. Please recommend other books that would be good for a Turk Learning English, as a compliment to İngilizce Dersleri.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read full post

Top three web radio stations for busy Turks



Our list of web radio stations for busy Turks! Most of our Turkish students are busy. Extremely busy. And many of their lives are made even busier by their daily commutes to the office. We often recommend web radio as a great way to practice English listening skills while on the move. Most of the stations and services we recommend here are free (with some limitation on backdated content). We think that web radio, especially talk and news are a great compliment for our Turkish students learning English. Please let us know your favorite web radio stations for busy Turks!

#3 – National Public Radio (US)

The NPR’s radio service is an amazing resource. NPR is a publicly funded talk / news radio from the US. Most presenters speak in very easy-to-understand English accents and language. Topics run the gauntlet from politics to fashion, culture, music and current events. The web radio includes a 24 hour live stream and a large database of podcasts. You can also access continuously updated (hourly) news summaries.

#2 – BBC Radio

The BBC’s radio service is undoubtedly the most comprehensive free radio service in the world. With 15 English stations available, you’ll get a bit of everything (sports, music, talk, news, culture). We find for most of our Turkish students learning English, the world service station is best. It involves a mix of different topics from correspondents based all over the world. Programing is typically free for a week after it is originally aired.

#1 – TuneIn Radio: Our favorite web radio station for busy Turks!

TuneIn radio is not a traditional radio station. It is a service which lets you access the world’s radio (AM/FM) through the web. From news in Europe to talk shows in Africa, you have the option to search by location, genre, station type, or even name or call sign, and start listening. If you’re willing to spend $1 on the app, you can upgrade to a pro-version (Android, IOS, Blackberry).

As always, we would love to here your recommendations on web radio for busy Turks learning English, please give us some feedback!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read full post

Top Five English language books set in Turkey


Our Turkish students often ask us for novel recommendations. We find there is nothing better to motivate them then English language books set in Turkey. Some of these are famed Turkish novelists that have been translated. Others are original pieces of English language literature set in Turkey. There is a wealth of literature to pick from. You can spend an entire four year university degree studying the genre, but we’ve tried our best to pick our favorite five books!

#5 Orhan Pamuk – The Museum of Innocence

From the Nobel winning author (Snow and My Name Is Red), comes an amazing depiction of Istanbul. The protagonist, Kemal, takes a tour of “the other” Istanbul and delivers one of the most powerful English language books set in Turkey. Middle class families, seedy dive bars, Istanbul film circles, and so much more. All the while he collects pieces of treasure throughout his travels around our beloved city. Better yet, if you are ever in Istanbul, you can check out the real life museum of Innocence (in Beyoglu) created to showcase the pieces found by Kemal in his travels around Istanbul!

#4 Louis de Bernières – Birds Without Wings

The novel is set in a small village in southwestern Anatolia in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. Birds without Wings tells the history of the fall of the Ottoman Empire and emergence of the modern Turkish state through the eyes of a village. The battle of Gallipoli takes place halfway through the novel. The village includes Muslim Turks, Greeks, Armeinans and Cricassians. A fine example of historical fiction dealing with one of the largest population exchanges of all time but focusing on everyday village stories, rather than the geopolitics that swept the region.

#3 Orhan Pamuk – Snow

Published in 2002 and translated to English in 2004, Snow is considered a jewel of modern Turkish literature. A poet named Ka returns to Turkey and travels to the city of Kars. The purpose of his journey is to report on a wave of suicides among religious girls forbidden to wear their head-scarves (which actually took place in the city of Batman). The book heavily examines the interplay between secular and traditional Turkey, and is a fascinating read for Turks and foreigners alike.

#2 Elif Shafak – The Bastard of Istanbul



Written in English (and later translated to Turkish), the story is a family saga set in modern day Istanbul. The book has received extensive publicity because of the the Turkish government accusing the novel of ‘insulting Turkishness’. Publicity aside, the book is cluttered and busy with characters and themes, much like modern Istanbul. A must read for any resident of this great city!

#1 Various Authors – The Book of Istanbul: A City in Short Fiction (a collection of ten English language books set in Turkey!)

A 2010 collection of ten short stories (each by a different leading Turkish writer) translated to English and set in Istanbul. Each author gives their own, unique depiction of Istanbul and its people. An amazing a varied take on different perspectives of the same city. These stories are short, concise, entertaining and highly relevant to our Turkish students learning English, this is why we’ve picked the collection as our favorite in the list of English language books set in Turkey.

Let us know your thoughts. Have we missed any must read English language books set in Turkey? I’m sure we have!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read full post