Lesson 15


Descriptions of origin are formed with suffixes as well, specifically the suffix

-li, -lı, -lu, -lü (complex vowel harmony).

You can connect this suffix with country or city names.


İstanbul – İstanbullu = the person from Istanbul
Hamburg – Hamburglu = the person from Hamburg
Pekin (= Beijing) – Pekinli = the person from Beijing
Auvusturya (= Austria) – Avusturyalı = the Austrian

Here is an additional selection of countries with designations of nationalities:

Avustralya (= Australia) – Avustralyalı = the Australian
(Be careful not to mix this up with Avusturya = Austria)
Belçika (= Belgium) – Belçikalı = the Belgian
Çin (= China) – Çinli = the Chinese person
Hollanda (= Holland) – Hollandalı= the Dutchman / Dutchwoman
İrlanda (= Ireland) – İrlandalı = the Irishman / Irishwoman
İsveç (= Sweden) – İsveçli = the Swede
İsviçre (= Switzerland) – İsviçreli = the Swiss person
Portekiz (= Portugal) – Portekizli = the Portuguese person

In addition, there are also fixed terms for certain nationalities.


Almanya (= Germany) – Alman = the German
Arabistan (= Arabia) – Arap = the Arab
Fransa (= France) – Fransız = the Frenchman / Frenchwoman
İngiltere (= England) – İngiliz = the Englishman / Englishwoman
İskoçya (= Scotland) – İskoç = the Scot
İspanya (= Spain) – İspanyol = the Spaniard
İtalya (= Italy) – İtalyan = the Italian
Japonya (= Japan) – Japon = the Japanese person
Rusya (= Russia) – Rus = the Russian
Türkiye (= Turkey) – Türk = the Turk


Following simple vowel harmony, language designations in Turkish always end with

-ce or -ca

or, after hard consonants, with

-çe or -ça.

The combination of the country designation and the language designation suffix denotes the language.


Avustralyaca = Australian (even if the language as such doesn’t exist)
Çince = Chinese
İrlandaca = Irish
İskoçyaca = Scottish
İsveççe = Swedish
İsviçrece = Swiss
Portekizce = Portuguese

Exceptions (as with the designations of origin):

Almanca = German
Arapça = Arabic
Fransızca = French
İngilizce = English
İspanyolca = Spanish
İtalyanca = Italian
Japonca = Japanese
Rusça = Russian
Türkçe = Turkish

And then there’s of course the language Tarzanca. This is what you speak when no one understands you. In Turkish, a reference to the jungle language “Tarzanic” is similar to the English expression “that’s Greek to me.”

IMPORTANT: These are just the language designations. This means that when you go to an Italian restaurant, you can’t go out for İtalyanca, as İtalyanca refers to the Italian language. It’s better to say: Dün Italyan yemeği yedik. = “We had Italian food yesterday.” This has the same meaning as “We had Italian yesterday” – which is more of an English wording anyway.


Occupations are also indicated with a suffix, specifically

-cı, ci, -cu, or -cü

or, after hard consonants, with

-çı, çi, -çu, or -çü

… so following complex vowel harmony.

Let’s take simple words such as

posta = post
= work
yazı = writing
fırın = oven, bakery

By attaching the suffixes mentioned above, we can make occupations:

postacı = postal worker
işçi = worker
yazıcı = writer
fırıncı = baker

However, there are fixed occupational designations as well – for example:

kasap = butcher


With an additional suffix, collective nouns can be formed in Turkish – generally comparable with the English suffix “-ship” or “-ness” (as in “friendship” or “happiness,” for example).

These suffixes are as follows:

-lik, -lık, -luk, -lük (complex vowel harmony).

With the previous occupational designations, we can therefore form something like “guilds”:

postacılık = postal service
işçilik = workmanship
yazıcılık = writing (as an occupation)
fırıncılık = baking (as an occupation)
birlik = unity (from bir = one)

Those are fairly abstract words, but this suffix can be used to form concrete words, too – for example:

sebzelik = vegetable drawer (in a refrigerator)
kitaplık = bookshelf

Vocabulary for Lesson 15:
balıkçı = fisherman; beraber = together; fırın = oven, bakery; = work; kasap = butcher; kütüphane = library; memleket = home; posta = post; sebze = vegetables; ülke = country; yazı = writing