A Cultural Divide? Expressions of Sympathy in Turkish & English

When someone dies, it is difficult to know what to say. It is even more difficult to express your sympathy in a foreign language. This blog post from Adventures In Ankara contains the Turkish and English words to say (or write) when you want to express your condolences. It also suggests a cultural difference between how the Turks use their phrase compared to American usage.

Adventures in Ankara

No matter where we are in life, we will come upon a time where we need to know the language to use to express one’s sympathy for the loss of a loved one.  We will never be prepared for death. But after a loss, we don’t want to spend time scrambling to find the right words.  So here they are in both Turkish and English.

Turkish:  Başınız sağolsun
American English pronouciation:  bah•shin•iz•sah•ol•sun

There are no other words that I know of in Turkish to express one’s sympathy.  If you, my readers, know of any, please share them in the comments.  Thank you.


  • I am sorry for your loss.
  • My condolences.
  • Please accept my deepest condolences/sympathies.
  • I am thinking of you in this time of sorrow.  (Used more in writing).
  • I will keep you (and your family) in my thoughts and prayers.

I am sure there are many…

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