In Turkey's northwestern province of Edirne, which has been frequented by Greek and Bulgarian tourists looking for cheaper products due to exchange rate volatility that led to the Turkish lira tumbling down, local tradesmen in the province have begun to learn both languages to communicate with foreign visitors. Thus, Bulgarian and Greek dictionaries have been prepared by the Provincial Directorate of Trade to help tradesmen make communication with customers easier.
As some tradesmen in the city attend free language courses to learn Greek and Bulgarian, the Edirne Provincial Directorate of Trade has initiated a project for those who could not find time for it. With help from the Edirne Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Union of Edirne Tradesmen and Craftsmen Chambers and the Ulus Market Tradesmen Cooperative, 280 most commonly used words were collected in a "mini shopping dictionary."
In a statement to Anadolu Agency (AA), Edirne Provincial Director of Trade Mahmut Altun said many Bulgarian and Greek tourists have frequented the city due to the recent fluctuations in the exchange rate.
Stressing that trade should be easy, fast and safe to increase the interest of tourists, Altun said that for this reason, they have been working on various issues, especially language problems tradesmen might face.
Altun explained that 2.3 million Bulgarian and Greek tourists arrived in Edirne last year, an average of 190,544 people per month, underlining that Bulgarian and Greek tourists visiting the city spend an average of $50 each, totaling about $115 million, which is above the province's export figure.
Altun said that they prepared a mini shopping dictionary for tradesmen to better communicate with tourists. "I believe this dictionary will solve the language problem of our tradesmen. For now, we have printed 3,000 copies. We handed them to chambers of commerce and cooperatives to distribute to tradesmen. We are also thinking of a similar solution for our small industrial site," he added.
İrfan Yamandır, a local tradesman, said he had the opportunity to review the dictionary and liked it a lot, highlighting the dictionary will provide great convenience for communicating with Bulgarian and Greek tourists. "It is a really good project," he continued. "We look up Bulgarian and Greek words we do not know. It will help tradesmen with their language problem."