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mrs

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mrs last won the day on August 15 2013

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  1. Hi guys! Long time no post, huh? I'm back though, I think at least. Uh, mostly because I have a huge existential crisis and I need advice. I'm still studying Turkish at my school, but my primary major is Computer Science to supplement the language study so that I will have a good chance of getting a job when I graduate. Problem is, I want to study abroad in Turkey but can't find a school with a good CS program really. Since I imagine there are schools that people talk about more than others I was hoping someone could give me the insider advice on school rankings in Turkey, for things like Computer Science but also translation perhaps. Or just general school rankings, that would help a lot! I also really want to do an internship abroad, but I don't know how that would be possible in another country. If someone has an idea there, that'd be splendid! I hope you're all doing great! I will be around trying to catch up!
  2. Hello all, This is a very interesting handbook I've found online written by the National Middle East Resource Center. It contains advice on learning Turkish. It's some common sense advice but it's also one of the most well thought out and clear guides that I've read before. It takes you through the thought behind how best to learn Turkish in many different settings, though it's really for people taking Turkish in a class structure for the most part. It doesn't necessarily provide new information, just a really new way of looking at how you're learning and how you approach Turkish. I thought I would share it with you all since it was rather helpful for me and made me think about what I was doing and how I could make my study of Turkish more effective and fun at the same time. Here's the link: http://nmelrc.org/documents/Handbooks/TurkishHandbook.pdf (Note: It's a PDF so it might take a bit to load, though it's only 34 pages so it's not one of those massive things.)
  3. Oh man, today I went with a friend to the Rüstem Paşa Camii, and I was so amazed! I've seen Agia Sophia and honestly it didn't seem that amazing to me, maybe it was the construction. But this place was so peaceful and incredibly beautiful! If you ever have the chance to go, you definitely should! It's lovely beyond compare! And so tiny and spiritual. You can just sit in there and breath. I think maybe this has made me want to see more Camii. I saw Eyüp Sultan Camii when I first got to Turkey on a school trip and it wasn't all that incredibly either, there were so many tourists, but now maybe I will go hunting for these little mosques because they're just so wonderful! I've included some pictures to inspire anyone reading this to go see for themselves!
  4. Hey guys, It's almost time for me to leave Turkey! I just realized that I don't really know how I'm going to get to the airport for my flight home, so I was hoping someone could tell me about different options. I don't want to take a taxi because all of my friends have been taken advantage of by taxi drivers and I don't think I'm up to that kind of obstacle. Is there a bus from Taksim? Or another central location? Ahh, I haven't yet used the bus system but I don't think it would be that bad? (Although I have one large suitcase, so does that mean I must take a taxi?) Please help!
  5. Hey! I'm hoping some of you will have unplumbed depths here so sorry if this question is too specific for this forum! I'm currently studying Turkish and Translation. I am at the point in my College career though where I need to write down exactly which subjects will comprise my major. I'm interested in translating from English to Turkish and vice versa, but all the Translation advice that I read says that you need a specialty. It is not enough to just have the language and translation knowledge. The problem is... I have no idea what kind of specialty there is any sort of demand for with Turkish! It's not a huge language in the United States so that rules out a lot of options, and similarly in Turkey English isn't a humongous language either with strong translation needs. So have any of you ever come across or can you think of subjects that there seems to be a real need for translators? (I'm not looking to teach as my main profession. I would love to teach during the interim, after I graduate maybe and especially if I need an excuse to live in Turkey for a while to get better at my Turkish, but not as the main thing. So please exclude advice about teaching opportunities with English/Turkish, thanks!)
  6. Oh man, oh man, I need some more advice! (What would I do without you guys!) I love Turkish food! I really do, but I don't eat all that much and my landlady seems intent on making me explode. She doesn't want me to stop eating and won't accept my doydum's! I'm not sure what else to say without being rude, so tonight she kept wanting me to finish the rice and tzatziki sauce that was left over and at first I thought she just meant the rice so I ate that and then she came back and pointed to the sauce and told me to eat! And... Well... I could have eaten it with more of the dinner but that would of meant eating way more food so I just ate it... alone... except the bread... And she kind of looked at me weird and asked if I wanted rice and the other part of the meal too and I couldn't explain that if I did that I really would burst so we kind of had an awkward moment but finally I finished and she was happy. But... I kind of need advice. Is it very rude to say that you're way too full to keep eating? I don't want to make her lose face, but at the same time I don't want to make myself sick. This is kind of a funny story now that it's over, but not exactly the most enjoyable experience to be having every night.
  7. Merhaba guys. So, my nice landlady is so very sweet that she wants me to go with her to a daytime protest tomorrow in Istanbul. I tried to explain that I couldn't do so because my Dad wouldn't allow me to, but the language gap was too big to get the point across. I really want to be able to explain so that she isn't offended so I was hoping that you guys could give me some help with phrasing some sort of explanation. I don't want to use Google Translate because I know it's notoriously bad with Japanese and I assume the same is true of Turkish. Please help! I don't want to hurt her feelings by just saying something like Hayir.
  8. Aaah, guys, I'm so worried now. I was supposed to leave for Turkey on the 30th but all of the sudden we've lost the original flight I wanted and had to settle for another one, a way longer one, so we decided for money reasons to push forward the date to the 26th because now my flight will take two days and then I'll have an extra day to get used to the time difference, etc. BUT! Oh man, I'm not ready for this! I didn't speak any Turkish at all really until this summer when I really tried to study but I can hardly say anything at all correctly or pronounce it right and the worst thing is that I can't seem to memorize the most important phrases. Like the whole exchange you have when someone says hello. Of the title you add onto people's names when you first meet them. Or the right way of saying thank you, seriously why is sag olun so much easier to say and yet not the right one to use ubiquitously? I'm getting really scared now. I want to be polite and be able to communicate with people, or at the very least say hello correctly and ask how they're doing. But even now I can't do that! And even more so, I'm getting really worried about being in Istanbul. I haven't really been in a big city, and Istanbul is not just big, it's humongous. I have only ever taken the bus at my College as any sort of public transportation and even that took me like three months to get used to so I'm terrified of getting on the wrong bus in Turkey and then not being able to find my way home! The good thing is that the home I'm staying at is only a half hour walk away from the school I'm attending, so I can go there by foot! (Though even that is terrifying because I've been reading that you need to be very careful crossing streets and I have to say living out in the middle of nowhere I don't have much experience with traffic on roads.) But honestly the biggest thing I worry about is being rude! There's so many things I've been learning recently. Don't give complements to a baby. Don't turn your back on a person. How to say no when someone wants to stuff you full of food. All of these things are so tiny and I don't really know how to do them. The worst is when guidebooks tell you about something to avoid and then don't say exactly what you should do instead. For instance I've read that you shouldn't give a present directly to the recipient and that you should place it on a table or hallway or something, but is that after you've shown it to them or just in secrecy for them to find later? I can't stop worrying. I love languages and learning and cultures and I'm so very excited about this trip but I just can't stop all my negative thoughts. What if I insult someone? What if I get lost? What if no one likes me? Can you guys tell me about your first trip to Turkey, or any insight into not making a fool out of yourself? I'm so glad this site is here, I just keep reading the older topics about other people's travels and they make me laugh and get so excited!
  9. I was wondering if any of you know if I am allowed to bring goods into Turkey, specifically maple syrup? I know that some countries have laws where only certain foods can be brought in. I'm hoping syrup is alright because I want to give some to my host family, and Maine maple syrup is a well known commodity from my state!
  10. Hey all! I have another question, I've been reading this forum and I can't figure out what you're all talking about with sim cards and taxes and things like that for phones. I don't know anything about using a phone in another country. When I lived in Belize we just bought those cards with minutes on them and used payphones. With the age of cellphones, could someone tell me exactly what I need to do to have a cellphone that would work in Turkey? Do I really need to buy a new Turkish one? Or can I just bring in my current one? Thanks! (Of note, I have the most basic phone ever, so there's no need to deal with all that crazy stuff like "smart" technology.)
  11. Hello! I was wondering if any one of you has a recommendation for a guide book? Either on Turkey in general or Istanbul in particular. I'm more looking for cultural information and practical information like bus details or phone service or money systems, etc. etc. rather than an in-depth description of each tourist site since I likely won't have the means to travel far and all of the basic tourist sites are easy enough to figure out with a school group. Also, do you guys have Turkish dictionaries or phrase books that you really like? I tend to use the lagenscheidt dictionary series for other languages but maybe you guys have other favorites?
  12. Hello! I was wondering if any of you lovely people had a recommendation as to where I should go this summer. I'm able to attend a school either in Istanbul or Izmir. The school in Izmir has smaller classes, which is a plus, but I've always been told to go to Istanbul above all else so I'm just curious what anyone with actual experience has to say? I'm not a real tourist type so while it would be nice to see such amazing things as the Hagia Sophia I can live without it for now and it isn't a deciding factor. What I'm really looking for is a good place to start to explore Turkey and get to know the language and people. It would be lovely if you all said either one, but perhaps there are factors that tip the scale in one direction or the other?
  13. Merhaba! I was wondering if anyone here has any advice about the various homestay organizations running in Turkey? I am interested in Language Vacation, which has a program in Istanbul, where you live with a teacher and study Turkish. Have you heard anything good or bad about these types of programs? Should I think more about a College accredited program, such as BU's summer Turkish classes? Thanks for anyone with advice!
  14. Hello! I'm curious if any of you have good tips for modest clothing in Turkey. I'm going to Istanbul this summer and since I am going alone and am a girl I want to make sure I dress appropriately! Specifically, I'm looking for ideas about a long-sleeve shirt that you could wear under clothing that wouldn't be completely modest on its own, like short-sleeved shirts and such. My only issue is, I need it to be cool! I really dislike heat and have a low tolerance for it. I know, summer is a bad time to be doing this, but it's my only chance right now. Does anyone have recommendations for something like that? Also, any clothing advice or even just random advice would be awesome! This will be my first trip to Turkey, and while I'm very excited I also don't know enough Turkish to feel prepared. I'm doing a homestay with a teacher to study Turkish, but I assume I will spend some time on my own as well. I've read about not smiling at men and things of that nature, but are there any other things girl's should try to avoid doing to keep attention from them?
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