Ne yalan söyleyeyim

Discussion in 'Türkçe (Turkish)' started by josh612, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. josh612 Member

    American English
    The phrase "Ne yalan söyleyeyim" comes up in something I'm working on. I guess it means something like the English equivalent of "well, I won't lie to you" but would the literal translation be rendered "what lie should/can I tell"? In the next sentence the character tells the truth (in this context she says "yes, you're right, I wasn't very interested").

    Are the literal translation I've given and my sense of the phrase correct? Thanks.
  2. Nihilus Member

    No, the literal translation would be "Why would I lie?", ne there means why. The words meaning why in Turkish (neden, niye, niçin) are derived from the word meaning what (ne - ne+den, ne+ye, ne+için).
  3. josh612 Member

    American English
    Yes, I know. But there was a period at the end of the sentence rather than a question mark...was that likely a typo or does it possibly signify a rhetorical question?
  4. LunarLord Member

    It's hard to come up with an accurate translation but "I won't lie to you , ... " is possibly the best English equivalent of this phrase. Alternatively, "Allah seni inandırsın , ..." has a very similar usage. There are also "Açık konuşayım,..." , "Açık konuşacağım,..." or " Açık konuşmak gerekirse,..." etc.

    By the way, "what lie should/can I tell"? would be a good literal translation. As for the word ne, it means what , not why . Otherwise it would have been "Nasıl yalan söyleyeyim"
  5. Nihilus Member

    Nasıl = How

    That aside, while ne obviously means what normally, it has some limited usage as why.

    For example:

    "Ne bakıyorsun bana?" = "Why are you looking at me?"

    "Ne geleceğim ya, gelmiyorum işte." = "Why would I come, I'm not coming."

    And it's quite clear ne in "Ne yalan söyleyeyim," means why and not what. "What lie should/can I tell" could be a literal translation with a pun at most.
  6. spiraxo

    spiraxo Senior Member

    turkey, turkish
    Ne yalan söyleyeyim is an expression of confession or admittance – to something that (s)he has not revealed yet. It is not a question, as it does not seek a response. Therefore a question mark is not necessary at the end of the sentence.
    Rhetorical questions in narrative are “generally” yes/no questions.
  7. LunarLord Member

    If you use why instead of what , the question seeks a response and the meaning changes(-Neden yalan söyleyeyim? - Because, ...). Sometimes, you can use Ne yalan söyleyeyim to buy some time to ask for a little help from your friend(a wingman for example) before you can come up with a good lie.
  8. Reverence Senior Member

    "Ne yalan söyleyeyim" roughly means something like "no need to lie". Generally used in situations where the speaker is coming clean, being modest or admitting someone else's accomplishments at the expense of his own pride.

    Ne yalan söyleyeyim, adam beni güzel patakladı. - I won't deny it; the guy kicked my butt good.

    Ne yalan söyleyeyim, beşte beş yaptım. - To be perfectly honest, I scored five out of five.
  9. SARI7

    SARI7 Member

    There is an omitted part in this sentence.
    In full it goes as: Ne (için/diye) yalan söyleyeyim.
    Thus it translates as: (For) what should I lie to you.
    Of course, unlike the Turkish sentence, the meaning will be completely changed if you omit "for" in the English translation.
  10. hakos New Member

    (well) to be honest,
    no need to deny it (anymore),
    It is also utilized to gain time for inventing an excuse or to indicate that the speaker will admit an unexpected defeat for sure.

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