Look What You Did

Asil Düğün Salonu, Ümraniye
Lesson 38 | -iyo Colloquial Pronunciation

Continuing this exploration of pronunciation variation, colloquialisms, and expressions, we move to a song that has found its way into many a wedding since its release a few years back.

As in other parts of the region, Roma people or gypsies (who often call themselves "Romanlar" in Turkish) are associated with a robust music and dancing culture. This might be especially true with regard to weddings, where a qualified singer or DJ can be the key ingredient to get the whole family dancing. The performer in this lesson, İzmirli Taylan, hit it big first as a wedding singer and later with his recordings, which according to users on ekşisözlük, became a staple at weddings from İzmir to Thrace, the heart of the gypsy music and recording industry in Turkey. I lived above a wedding salon in Feriköy for the better part of a year, and I can attest to this performer's regular inclusion in the wedding music lineup. I first encountered the songs of İzmirli Taylan on a trip to Edirne in 2011, where a music shop owner recommended a handful of performers from Edirne and Keşan, along with the CD containing this recording: "Abe Kaynana Naptın (Oh Mother-in-Law, What Have You Done)".

The song revolves around a couple who fell in love, only to find that the family of the bride in question preferred they not marry. As Taylan says, they thought she was "too much (çok)" for him. As a result, he announces that they are running away together to his family.

I chose this song because of two important points of colloquial pronunciation. To say "we are running away", Taylan declares "kaçıyoz" as opposed to "kaçıyoruz" as it would be in standard Turkish. The dropping of the "-r" from the present tense -iyor ending is a common feature of daily speech. Here is a complete conjugation of the verb "kaçmak" in this colloquial pronunciation along with "bilmek (to know" and "yaşamak (to live)":

Ben kaçıyom
Sen kaçıyon
O kaçıyo
Biz kaçıyoz
Siz kaçıyonuz
Onlar kaçıyolar
Ben biliyom
Sen biliyon
O biliyo
Biz biliyoz
Siz biliyonuz
Onlar biliyolar
Ben yaşıyom
Sen yaşıyon
O yaşıyo
Biz yaşıyoz
Siz yaşıyonuz
Onlar yaşıyolar

The second point is "naptın" meaning "ne yaptın" or "what have you done?". We can also translate this as "look what you did" with just a little bit of interpretation of how it is used. Collapsing vowels in this manner is common in spoken Turkish and you should always listen for it.


abe - hey!
kaynana - mother-in-law
kaçıyoz - we are running away (colloquial)
bize - to us, here: to our place, to our family's home
naptın - what did you do?, what have you done? (ne yaptın)
sevdiği - that he/she loves/loved
biz birbirimizi çok sevdik - we love each other a lot

İzmirli Taylan - Vermediler

Back up link:

Sevenleri sevdiğine vermediler vermediler
They did not give the lovers to the one that they love (i.e. they didn't give us to each other)
Güzel gözlüm seni bana çok gördüler çok gördüler
My pretty-eyed girl, they thought you were too good for me
Sevenleri sevdiğine vermediler vermediler
Güzel gözlüm seni bana çok gördüler çok gördüler.
Abe kaynana da naptın bize de naptın bize
O mother-in-law, what have you done to us?
Biz birbirimizi çok sevdik
We love each other a lot
Kaçıyoz bize / Kaçıyoz yarimle
We're running away to my place (i.e. his house/family) / We're running away, my love and I
Move to our next Lesson in order to learn more about colloquial Turkish.

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