10 Powerful Turkish Proverbs You Need To Hear

Turkish proverbs - Ling

Are you ready to dive into the fascinating world of proverbs in the Turkish language?

Learning proverbs in a foreign language is like unearthing hidden treasures that reveal the essence of a culture. They offer a window into the wisdom, traditions, and values of a society, allowing us to connect on a deeper level.

In this article, we’ll explore 10 meaningful Turkish proverbs that will not only expand your linguistic repertoire but also help you gain a deeper understanding of Turkish culture. So, let’s get ready to sprinkle some Turkish wisdom into your everyday conversations!

Popular Turkish Proverbs

Turkish proverbs are beautiful Turkish expressions that preach to you about topics like life, relationships, friendships, time, and money. It’s like learning valuable life lessons without experiencing them firsthand.

Turkish people use a lot of proverbs in everyday life. If you already know what a proverb means when you’re having a conversation with a Turkish person, you won’t feel like an alien to the subject and will grasp what they mean thoroughly.

That’s why we’ve collected the most commonly used Turkish proverbs and sayings with their English equivalent right below!

1. Damlaya Damlaya Göl Olur.

Literal Translation: Drop by drop, it becomes a lake.

This Turkish proverb conveys the idea that small efforts or contributions pile up over time and result in significant outcomes. It emphasizes the power of persistence, highlighting that even seemingly insignificant actions, when repeated consistently, can lead to great achievements. Just as a few drops of rain gradually fill up a pond.

friendship - Turkish proverbs

2. Dost Kara Günde Belli Olur.

Literal Translation: A real friend is known in times of trouble.

This Turkish proverb emphasizes the true nature of friendship and highlights the importance of reliable companionship during hard times. It suggests that a true friend shows loyalty and support by standing by you when you face hardships in life. In contrast to fair-weather friends, who show up only in your good times.

This proverb reminds us that it is during difficult times that the true colors of friendship shine through. So remember to be there for your Turkish friends in their hard times. It’d be priceless for them!

3. El Elin Eşeğini Türkü Çağırarak Arar.

Literal Translation: A stranger searches for the donkey of another while singing.

This Turkish proverb implies that other people can’t have the same feelings as you when something unfortunate happens in your life. Although they look like they are helping you, they don’t do their best because they can’t put themselves in your shoes.

4. Akıllı Düşman Akılsız Dosttan İyidir.

Literal Translation: A clever enemy is better than a stupid friend.

This Turkish proverb conveys the idea that it is preferable to have an intelligent or cunning enemy rather than a foolish or ignorant friend. Because a clever enemy can challenge and motivate you to improve yourself.

This proverb emphasizes the value of surrounding yourself with people who possess wisdom and intelligence, even if they are not necessarily friendly. It highlights the importance of being cautious and selective in choosing our friends, favoring those who can contribute to our growth and well-being.

5. Sabır Acıdır Ama Meyvesi Tatlıdır.

Literal Translation: Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.

This Turkish saying is something that every wise man would tell you! The idea here is that patience may be challenging at the moment, but in the end, it leads to rewarding outcomes.

So, while the process may be testing, the result – the “fruit” – of our patience is often fulfilling. This proverb encourages us to remain optimistic, knowing that the rewards of patience will be worth the temporary difficulties.

6. Kusursuz Dost Arayan Dostsuz Kalır.

Literal Translation: One who seeks a faultless friend remains friendless.

This Turkish proverb conveys the idea that if someone only seeks a perfect friend, they will end up having no friends at all. It emphasizes the importance of accepting people as they are, with their imperfections and flaws.

This proverb suggests that expecting absolute perfection from others in a friendship is unrealistic and can lead to isolation and loneliness. Instead, it encourages us to embrace the uniqueness and quirks of our friends, understanding that no one is perfect.

yogurt - Turkish proverbs

7. Sütten Ağzı Yanan, Yoğurdu Üfleyerek Yer.

Literal Translation: One who has burnt their mouth on milk, blows on yogurt to eat it.

This Turkish proverb conveys the idea that past experiences or painful lessons can make a person cautious when dealing with similar situations in the future. It suggests that someone who has suffered a negative consequence in the past becomes more careful and takes precautions to avoid a similar situation.

So, this proverb implies that past experiences shape our behavior and make us more mindful or protective in similar circumstances. Just like someone who has burnt their mouth on hot milk would blow on yogurt to cool it down before eating.

8. Bana Arkadaşını Söyle, Sana Kim Olduğunu Söyleyeyim.

Literal Translation: Tell me who your friend is, and I’ll tell you who you are.

This Turkish proverb emphasizes the impact that our choice of friends has on our character and identity. It suggests that the friends around us reflect our own values, beliefs, and qualities. By understanding someone’s best friend or the people they associate with, we can gain insights into their personality and traits.

This proverb emphasizes the importance of surrounding ourselves with positive influences and like-minded individuals who align with our principles and aspirations.

9. Aslan Yattığı Yerden Belli Olur.

Literal Translation: The lion is known by where it lies.

This Turkish proverb implies that a person’s true character can be recognized by their actions because actions speak louder than words. It suggests that someone’s true nature becomes evident based on their behavior and the choices they hold in life.

10. Komşunun Tavuğu Komşuya Kaz Görünür.

Literal Translation: The neighbor’s chicken appears as a goose to the neighbor.

This Turkish proverb conveys the idea that people tend to view others’ possessions as more valuable than their own. This saying highlights the tendency to compare ourselves to others and feel envious or dissatisfied with our own situation. Remember to appreciate what you already have and not be deceived by appearances, because everyone has their own challenges.

Start Learning Turkish With Ling!

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Ling is a language-learning app that encourages everyone around the world to learn a new language in the simplest way. Some of Ling’s best features include engaging writing and listening activities, pronunciation practice, quizzes, and last but not least, AI chatbots to have a casual conversation with! Basically, Ling is the all-in-one language-learning app that you’ve been looking for!

So why are you still waiting? Download Ling from the App Store or Play Store and connect through language now!

PS: Don’t forget to check our Turkish blog often for new weekly articles about the Turkish language and culture!

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