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Common Words in the Greek and Turkish Language

athens-bazaarThe Greeks were under Ottoman occupation for 400 years and the period of the Ottoman rule are traditionally viewed in a negative light as they are considered a dark time of cultural and economic decline. However, during that time and despite the rivalry that existed between the Greeks and the Ottomans, the Ottoman occupation had a profound impact on the Greek society and language. Today, we can find more than 300 Turkish words that are used daily in the Greek language. Let’s have a look at some of them.

Greek Turkish English
flytzáni fincan cup
tsépi̱ cep pocket
kaíki kayık boat
manávi̱s manav greengrocerer
bakáli̱s bakal grocer
kav̱gás kavga fight
Ntoulápi dolap closet
hamparia haber news
babas baba father
bahari baharat spice
baruti barut dynamite
bekiaris bekar single man
buzuki bozuk regional musical instrument
divani divan couch
hamalis hamal porter
kaimaki kaymak the creamy part of the milk
karpuzi karpuz watermelon
tavani tavan ceiling
tsantiri cadir tent
tsanta canta bag

However, there are also several Greek words that the Turkish seem to have been using. These words have either passed into the Turkish language directly from the Greek one or through another language e.g. French or English.

Turkish Greek English
efendi afendis (ancient gr. afthendis) boss
ekol sholio school
dramatik dramatikos dramatic
disk diskos disc
epik epikos epic
epilog epilogos conclusion
erotik erotikos erotic
filozof philosophos philosopher
fotometre photometro photometer
galaksi galaksias galaxy
helikopter helikoptero helicopter
hidroliz hydrolysi hydrolysis
ırgat ergatis worker
iklim klima climate
kanape Canapés (ancient gr. konops=mosquito) couch
klor chlorio chlorine
monoton monotonos monotonous
odeon odio odeum
pilot pilotos pilot
sırma syrma wire

 

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