Exploring The Turkish Kitchen Blog



 

The Turkish language has several proverbs related to food, eating and cooking. Short often witty (although much of that is lost in translation) powerful expression of wisdom that foreigns are often shocked to discover are used so much in daily speech. 

 

Here is a selection with translation and meaning to whet your appetite.  

Sütten ağzı yanan, yoğurdu üfleyerek yer Engish translation

Sütten ağzı yanan, yoğurdu üfleyerek yer Engish translation

Bedava sirke baldan tatlidir English translation

Bedava sirke baldan tatlıdır English translation

Bir kahvenin kirk yil hatiri vardir English translation

Bir kahvenin kirk yil hatiri vardir English translation

Meyve veren ağaç taşlanır English translation

Meyve veren ağaç taşlanır English translation

 

 

 

 

  1. Sütten ağzı yanan, yoğurdu üfleyerek yer

 

Translation - He whose mouth has been burnt by hot milk will always blow on yoghurt. 

Meaning - One who has experience pain will always be cautious in the future. (Once bitten twice shy)

 

  1. Bedava sirke baldan tatlidir

 

Translation - Free vinegar tastes sweeter than honey. 

Meaning - People are enticed by free or cheap things irrelevant of whether they want or need them.

 

  1. Bir kahvenin kirk yil hatiri vardir

 

Translation - A coffee between new friends/acquaintance offers 40 years of friendship

Meaning - The memory of 1 cup of coffee should feel like you’ve gained 40 years of friendship. Relationships should not be taken lightly.

 

  1. Meyve veren ağaç taşlanır

 

Translation - The tree that bears fruit will always be stoned. 

Meaning - You can not harvest the fruit of a large tree without throwing stones or shaking a stick. 

               The most successful /fruitful/hardworking people always receive criticism and jealousy.  

 

Bağa bak üzüm olsun, yemeye yüzün olsun Engish translation

Bağa bak üzüm olsun, yemeye yüzün olsun Engish translation

Bos laf karin doyurmaz English translation

Bos laf karin doyurmaz English translation

Kaz gelecek yerden tavuk esirgenmez English translation

Kaz gelecek yerden tavuk esirgenmez English translation

Keskin sirke küpüne zarar English translation

Keskin sirke küpüne zarar English translation

 
 

 

 

     
  1. Bağa bak üzüm olsun, yemeye yüzün olsun

 

Translation - Take care of the vineyard, so the vineyard takes care of you. 

Meaning - Invest time, effort and money in the things you care about, want to yield results from. 

 

  1. Bos laf karin doyurmaz

 

Translation - Empty words don't fill the stomach. 

Meaning - Excess talking, broken promises, exaggeration, don’t get jobs done, there's no point saying you’ll finish a task if you don’t physically work. 

 

  1. Kaz gelecek yerden tavuk esirgenmez

 

Translation - You must give away your hen to gain a goose. 

Meaning -  Sometimes you must sacrifice the smaller things in life to gain grander options.



  1. Keskin sirke küpüne zarar

 

Translation - Sharp vinegar only damages its vessel. 

Meaning - Sharp/quick-tempered people ultimately cause harm to themselves.  

 

 

Soğanın acısını yiyen bilmez, doğrayan bilir Engish translation

Soğanın acısını yiyen bilmez, doğrayan bilir Engish translation

Gönül, ne kahve ister ne kahvehane, gönül sohbet ister, kahve bahane English translation

Gönül, ne kahve ister ne kahvehane, gönül sohbet ister, kahve bahane English translation

Aç doymam, tok acıkmam sanır English translation

Aç doymam, tok acıkmam sanır English translation

Üzüm üzüme baka baka kararır English translation

Üzüm üzüme baka baka kararır English translation

 

 

 

 

  1. Soğanın acısını yiyen bilmez, doğrayan bilir

 

Translation - The onion's bitterness is not known by the eater but by the one who slices it. 

Meaning - You can never really understand the sacrifice of hard work unless you yourself experience it.  (Never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shows)

 

  1. Gönül, ne kahve ister ne kahvehane, gönül sohbet ister, kahve bahane

Translation - The heart desires neither coffee nor the coffee house; the heart desires conversation. Coffee is but an excuse

Meaning - One can find excuses/reasons no matter to gain what he needs or intends to do. Be it the simple need for conversation / social interaction by suggesting coffee. 


  1. Aç doymam, tok acıkmam sanır

Translation - The hungry think he'll never fill; the well-fed believes he'll never go hungry. 

Meaning -  A poor person or someone with ‘hungry eyes’ will constantly work hard and never feel satisfied when he has enough food because he thinks he will never actually have enough. 


The wealthy or complacent person slumbers on thinking his luck will always be there, he thinks he doesn't need to work and spends excessively without regard. 


  1. Üzüm üzüme baka baka kararır 

Translation - The grapes on the vine darken as they look to each other. 

Meaning - As people spend more time together they begin to reflect each other. You keep bad company and you darken with them but could also mean you mature by spending time with good company. 


Turkish Proverbs English Translation 

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