Essential Turkish 2

Asking “Where is…?” questions in Turkish…

If you’ve already learned and practiced Essential Turkish 1 , you’ll be ready to tackle the next 12 essentials. 
These are words and phrases that’ll help you ask “Where is …?” questions – if you’re looking for the bathroom, a pharmacy, a bus stop, or the subway or railway station, a bank or an ATM.
You may also want to know if the person you’re talking with speaks German, or English – that is, one of the languages you may speak as well.

The Next 12 Turkish Phrases: “Nerede…?”

Learn and Practice Tips

  • Click the black arrow to hear the Turkish speaker.
  • Click the red dot once to record yourself, click the black square to stop recording.
  • When you click the black arrow again, you’ll hear the native speaker and then yourself.
  • Do it several times until you sound like the Turkish speaker
  • Then “Choose a Study Mode” and test yourself with one of the Quizlet games! (You may need to adjust your Audio Options with the top right icon .)

Did you notice?

  • In Turkish the question word “nerede” (Where is…?) appears at the end of a question.
  • On Lingo-Late the word “nerede” is pronounced “nerde” (common in normal speech), while on Quizlet you clearly hear the middle “e” in “nerede” (the more “proper” pronunciation).

Some Modern Turkish History…

The history of Modern Turkey begins with the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. 
The first World War had also led to the end of the Ottoman empire that saw its beginnings in the 14th century. At the height of its power, in the 16th and 17th century, the multilingual, multinational empire controlled most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of the Eastern Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

(see Wikimedia.org map)
Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk), the first President of the new Republic, implemented substantial and far-reaching changes between 1924 and 1938 (his death), to secularize and westernize the country. His reforms included: unifying education; reforming the language by introducing a Latin-based alphabet; discontinuing religious and other titles; closing Islamic courts; using Switzerland’s secular Civil Code as a model for replacing Islamic Canon law; instituting a new Penal Code based on Italy’s laws; and many others.
Moreover, the equality between the sexes was recognized and women were granted full political rights in 1934.
Atatürk’s successor, Ismet Inönü, was a respected figure of the Independence Wars. He faced internal struggles and lost some of his popularity as Turkey navigated through World War 2 period as a neutral country.
In 1946 Inönü’s government agreed to multi-party elections. His party won and Inönü remained President until 1950, when his Republican People’s Party (CHP) lost the second free elections. Beside Atatürk, Inönü is still remembered as one of the key figures of Turkey. (see Turkey in 2019 below)

The election of the Democratic Party and the government of Adnan Menderes from 1950-1960 could reap initial success with a booming economy. But high inflation and public debt, coupled with new censorship laws and other restrictions led to dissatisfaction with the government and to a military coup by General Cemal Gürsel.
Until 2002, unstable government coalitions and more military coups, as well as Turkey’s invasion of Cyorus made the international news.
In 2002, new elections brought the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) under the leadership of Istanbul’s mayor, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to power. An attempted but failed coup by factions of the Turkish military led to major purges of military officials, judges, civil servants. The coup was blamed on the influence of the vast network led by U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen.
While a member of NATO since 1952, with the second largest standing military force after the US, its relationship with the US and NATO has been called “strange” by many observers.
Undoing many of Atatürk’s secular achievements, limiting the freedom of the press and the rights of the Kurdish minority, and most recently, the invasion of Syria’s border area cause concern for western governments.
Erdogan’s AKP again won the general election in 2018 with 52.6 % of the vote. Following the approval of constitutional changes in a 2017 referendum, Erdogan now combines the positions of President and Prime Minister.

“Nerede…?”-Questions Answered…

Asking “Nerede…?” questions could let the person you are asking assume that you speak Turkish.
The result will often be an answer and a stream of Turkishwords you may not understand.
It would therefore be good to know some basic directional words and phrases in Turkish – left, right, straight ahead, etc.
Check back with us for next 13 Turkish phrases in a few weeks.

Essential Polish 2

Asking “Where is…? questions in Polish…

If you’ve already learned and practiced Essential Polish 1 , you’ll be ready to tackle the next 12 essentials. 
These are words and phrases that’ll help you ask “Where is …?” questions – if you’re looking for the bathroom, a pharmacy, a bus stop, or the subway or railway station, a bank or an ATM.
You may also want to know if the person you’re talking with speaks German, or English – that is, one of the languages you may speak as well.
And now you can also practice with the Quizlet flashcards and games.

The Next 12 Polish Phrases: “Gdzie jest…?”

Learn and Practice Tips

  • Click the black arrow to hear the Polish speaker.
  • Click the red dot once to record yourself, click the black square to stop recording.
  • When you click the black arrow again, you’ll hear the native speaker and then yourself.
  • Do it several times until you sound like the Polish speaker
  • Then “Choose a Study Mode” and test yourself with one of the Quizlet games! (You may need to adjust your Options with the top right icon .)

Some Polish History…

Poland’s beginning can be traced back to 966, when Duke Mieszko I, ruler of several Slavic tribes, married a Bohemian princess.
His son Boleslav consolidated his power, acquired more territory and became the first legitimate king of Poland in 1025.
However, the Mieszko line died out in the 14th century. An alliance between Poland and Lithuania was eventually created through the marriage of the Polish Queen Jadwiga and the Grand Duke of Lithuania and the establishment of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth win 1569.
The Polish Golden Age lasted into the first decades of the 17th century. The Commonwealth became one of the largest and first multicultural states in Europe, with laws that protected minorities’ rights.
By mid 17th century, conflicts with Poland’s neighbors, Prussia and Russia as well as Sweden and the Ukraine, depleted the Commonwealth’s coffers and destabilized the country.
In 1764 Stanislav August Poniatowski was elected the new king and tried to implement reforms including a new Constitution. However, resistance by Russia and its neighbors to those reforms doomed them to failure.
The Commonwealth ceased to exist in 1795 when Russia, Prussia and Austria invaded and split up the country.
From 1795 to 1918 no truly independent Poland existed.
The Second Polish Republic was established at the end of World War I, and existed as an independent state until 1939, when German and Russian troops invaded the country from both sides.

After the end of World War 2, Poland expanded to the West, while it lost territory in the east to Russia as negotiated by the Allies during the Yalta conference. (Churchill had introduced his “Matchstick solution” during his meeting with Roosevelt and Stalin in Teheran already in 1943. see Map above , courtesy of Wikipedia)
It’s estimated that over 5 million Poles (among them many Jews) lost their lives during the war. The required resettling of about 2 million people, the inefficient communist system and its status as a vassal state of the Soviet Union resulted in more difficult times for Poland thereafter.
In the 1980’s the Polish Solidarity movement started to push for changes. With the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end off the Cold War in 1989 the Third Republic was formed.
Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2014. As the title picture shows Warsaw has become a modern city in the last 30 years.
The 2019 election saw the populist Law and Justice party (PiS) keep it’s comfortable majority in parliament. The party’s leader, Jaroslav Kaczynski, has repeatedly cited Viktor Urban’s Hungary and Erdogan’s Turkey as models to follow. His “illiberal revolution”, may create further headaches for the EU.

Essential Dutch 3

Dutch directional words and phrases…

In Essential Dutch 2 we added “Where is …?” questions – if you’re looking for the bathroom, a pharmacy, a bus stop, the subway or railway station, a bank, an ATM or a place to rent a bike.
Asking “Where is …?” questions in Dutch – especially if you’ve practiced your pronunciation a bit – may let your conversation partner assume that you understand Dutch quite well. The result will be an answer and a stream of words that’ll fly right by you.
So, asking the person to speak more slowly could be your first reply in such a case: “Kunt u alstublieft langzamer praten?” or “Kan je alsjeblieft langzamer praten?”
We explain the difference below.
And it would be good to also know some basic directional words and phrases in Dutch – left, right, straight ahead – as the typical answers may well include them.

The next 13 Dutch Phrases

Using “u” or “je/jij”

Note that in Dutch, there is a formal you – “u”- and a familiar you “je/jij”. There seems to be a trend in the Netherlands to use the familiar form most of the time, even with people you don’t know. This is less the case in Belgium.
In the Netherlands, the polite you – “u” – has traditionally been used for formal situations, but that seems to be somewhat in flux. For example: When talking to strangers in the street, especially if they’re clearly older than you, it’s fine to use “u”, although some people do consistently stick with “je”, no matter what. But you’ll find that in Belgium, it’s normal to use the formal “u” with people you don’t know.
“Jij” is also informal, but more emphatic.
Here are the FORMAL equivalents of the answers to your “Where is …?” questions that are listed above:

Why These phrases?

In Essential Dutch 1 and 2, we listed greetings and typical “where is…?” questions. Even if you’ve never studied Dutch before, it’ll be useful to learn and practice saying them.
In Essential Dutch 3, there are only two sentences you may want to practice saying: “Could you please speak more slowly?” and “Many thanks for your help.”
The other 11 phrases and sentences will be useful to simply understand, as they may be answers to your “where is…?” questions.
You still may want to record yourself saying them, and playing the Quizlet games. That way you can confirm what you thought you understood. You’ll also remember them better that way.
And, you’ll become familiar with Dutch words such as “straat” (street), “gracht” (canal), “plein” (square), “brug” (bridge), “geldautomaat” (ATM), etc.

Food, Drinks, Restaurants

Finding a recommended restaurant, café, or bar has been made much easier with GPS-equipped smart phones and mobile devices.
And finding a good place to eat in the Netherlands has to be part of your travel adventure.
Once you’ve arrived at the restaurant, you may have to ask for a table and the menu, then tell the waiter what you’d like, and later ask for and pay the check.
Yes, most Dutch people will know English better than you’ll ever speak their language. But just knowing a few key phrases in Dutch may still be helpful in the countryside or in a crowded restaurant
You’ll find those among the next 14 Phrases in Essential Dutch 4. (Check back in a few weeks.)

Essential Swedish 3

Swedish directional words and phrases…

In Essential Swedish 2 we added “Where is …?” questions – if you’re looking for the bathroom, a pharmacy, a bus stop, or the subway or railway station, a bank or an ATM.
Asking such questions in Swedish – especially if you’ve practiced your pronunciation a bit – may let your conversation partner assume that you understand Swedish quite well.
The result will be an answer and a stream of words that’ll fly right by you.
So, asking the person to speak more slowly could be your first reply in such a case: “Kan du tala långsammare, snälla!”
And it would be good to also know some basic directional words and phrases in Swedish – left, right, straight ahead – as the typical answers may well include them.

The Next 13 Swedish Phrases

Why These phrases?

In Essential Swedish 1 and 2, we listed greetings and typical “where is…?” questions. Even if you’ve never studied Swedish before, it’ll be useful to learn and practice saying them.
In Essential Swedish 3, there are only two sentences you may want to practice saying: “Could you please speak more slowly?” and “Many thanks for your help.”
The other 11 phrases and sentences will be useful to simply understand, as they may be answers to your “where is…?” questions.
You still may want to record yourself saying them, and playing the Quizlet games. That way you can confirm what you thought you understood. You’ll also remember them better that way.
And, you’ll become familiar with Swedish words such as “gatan” (street), “torget” (square), “bron” (bridge), “kaféet” (coffee shop), etc.

Food, Drinks, Restaurants

Finding a recommended restaurant, café, or bar has been made much easier with GPS-equipped smart phones and mobile devices.
And finding a good place to eat in Sweden has to be part of your travel adventure.
Once you’ve arrived at the restaurant, you may have to ask for a table and the menu, then tell the waiter what you’d like, and later ask for and pay the check.
Yes, most Swedes will know English better than you’ll ever speak Swedish. But just knowing a few key phrases in Swedish may still be helpful in the countryside or in a crowded restaurant.
You’ll find those among the next 14 Phrases in Essential Swedish 4. (Check back in a few weeks.)
If you’re used to giving a 15-20% tip, generally expected in US restaurants, you’ll be pleasantly surprised: In Sweden, as in nearly all West-European countries, tips are included in your check. 
But for good service 5-10% tips are always welcome.