How to speak Turkish
Going to learn how to speak Turkish? Then say merhaba to a language that is heard across Europe! Over 75 million people speak Turkish across the world.
Turkish is written using a Latin alphabet, but it wasn’t so long ago that it was very different. It was introduced in 1928 by Mustafa Atatürk, the first president of the Republic of Turkey. This move was part of wider reforms to Turkey and Turkish life, with an aim to bring the country closer to Europe. Before the reforms, Turkish was written in the Arabic alphabet. Amazingly, the switch happened in only a matter of months, with new letters including ç (“ch” in chat) and ş (“sh” in show) being introduced.
Spoken along a wide Eurasian belt, the language is part of the Turkish subgroup of Oghuz languages and is understood in many central Asian countries. Learning how to speak Turkish is worth it if you are travelling to countries such as Germany, Kosovo, Macedonia, Northern Cyprus and, of course, Turkey. And even Bulgaria, Greece and Iraq. And, if you’re a bit of a romantic, that’s even better.
Differences between Turkish & English
If you’re in any way attached to the letters Q, W and X, then we have bad news for you. Turkish doesn’t contain those amongst its 29 letters. Sorry!
However, here’s some good news. Especially for beginners. The language does not use the pronoun “is/are”. Sentences like ‘I happy’, ‘you going’ and ‘they coming’ save Turkish newbies from weeks of learning the basics of subject verb agreement. The English article ‘the’ is also not part of the language. Without word gender, learning how to speak Turkish becomes more **straightforward for native English speakers.
Turkish has vowel harmony, which means that all the vowels in a particular word should be of the same type. In contrast, English has the feature of random vowels. “Sport” and “Support” in English would become “Siport” and “Sport” respectively in Turkish.
Finally, verbs in Turkish sentences feature at the end and they only have two past tenses.** Because it is pronounced exactly the way it is written, beginners’ lives are made a bit easier. They can then just focus on learning as many Turkish words and phrases as they can!
Different learning methods
Online courses, apps, language school classes, books, private tutors and even exchange programs. You have so many choices you can even challenge yourself to see how much you can learn in 10 days. Or maybe even 7 days?!
Plus, never forget one of the best ways to learn any new language: go to the source and dive in! Travelling to Turkey means immersing yourself in the language and culture. It will mean you have almost no choice but to speak the language! From saying a simple memnum oldum to some bazaar bargaining with local traders, you’ll be chatting away sooner than you think.
We’re all pretty lucky nowadays to have access to so many wonderful resources and tools through a device we carry with us all day. Learning a language is no different. In addition to apps, you can find many other fun (and often free) resources online to help you speak Turkish. Videos, podcasts, blogs, social media accounts and more. Perhaps having a go at the translation of (very catchy) Turkish pop song lyrics on YouTube, if you want!
Learn how to speak Turkish with Babbel
We want to get you talking with confidence. And get you ready for real-life situations you can easily tackle in your new language. That’s why, when you learn how to speak Turkish with Babbel, you learn everyday, real-life conversation. That’s practical and useful stuff for your next Turkish trip, impressing your Turkish colleague and more.
And what would you like to learn? Because it’s your choice - you choose the topics! From food to animals, even Turkish names, you learn what interests you. And all content is crafted and tailored for English speakers by our in-house team of expert linguists.
Babbel lessons are only 15 minutes long on average. So there’s no chance your calendar will get too upset. You can easily fit in a lesson on your commute, lunch break, on the sofa and even on the plane (when you download lessons in advance). Even one lesson a day makes a difference!
Give Babbel a go and start your Turkish odyssey today. Your first lesson is free!