Learn Turkish!

Learn Turkish! This fascinating and exotic language is spoken by over 80 million people in its home country of Turkey but also by significant populations in Cyprus, Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania and even Western Europe, particularly Germany.

Turkish is a Central Asian language, related to Azeri and Turkmen. The first written records of the Turkish language date back nearly 1,200 years. Once written in a runic form and later in the Ottoman script, this was replaced with a phonetic variant of the Latin alphabet. Turkish is a favorite of language lovers and linguists due to its interesting grammar and some of its exotic characteristics (at least from a European/North American perspective!)

In recent decades, efforts have been underway by the Turkish Language Association to remove words of foreign origin (particularly Arabic and Persian) from Turkish. In addition, there has been a concerted attempt to resist borrowing new words (mostly of a technological nature) from English and other languages. Instead, new words and replacements are adapted or coined from existing words and Turkish roots, in order to maintain the purity of the Turkish language. These efforts have been largely successful.

In the past, there have been few resources for the independent language learner to learn Turkish, but that is changing. Thanks to a few good recent internet additions and one notable publisher, there is now a pretty good base of options to get started studying Turkish!

Babbel focuses on easy vocabulary acquisition. Turkish is a newer addition to their site, and the options for learning don't go quite as far as they do for more popular languages like Spanish, but there is a good foundation of vocabulary here for a beginner, and there are a number of ways to learn and use the site.

Turkish is a brand new addition to Lingq and it may take some time for the community to generate some content for users. Lingq makes for a great platform for listening to audio, reading and tracking your acquisition of vocabulary and overall progress. If you are a motivated learner, you can import your own content for private use. I have been using Lingq for a while and I recommend it for the motivated language learner.

Learn Turkish at TurkishClass.com
This excellent site has plenty of lessons to get you started. There is also a dictionary, forum, chatroom, original stories and poetry, and other resources.

This website has extensive grammar explanations, helpful vocabulary and notes about the practical use of Turkish. Overall, a very helpful website to help you learn Turkish.

FSI Turkish
This site has a Turkish course available for free download. It's a little out-of-date (like many of the FSI programs) but for free it's a great resource. The method is excellent and quite comprehensive and comes with extensive lessons in two volumes with text and audio. It would make great source material for importing into your Lingq.com (see above) account!

Book/Audio Teach Yourself Turkish
The longstanding Teach Yourself series has always had the widest variety of languages. The Teach Yourself Turkish coursebook comes with two audio cds with lots of native speaker audio. This introduction to Turkish is inexpensive and easy to find as you can get it most well-stocked bookstores and, of course, easily online.


This inexpensive software program to learn Turkish is a great tool to have in your arsenal. Lots of vocabulary and phrases, dialogues, audio from native speakers, games, activities and much more to get you started. Combine this with formal lessons or a more grammar oriented course for a well-rounded approach to learning Turkish.

Pimsleur Comprehensive Turkish I
Pimsleur Turkish Comprehensive Level 1 is a relatively new addition to the Pimsleur line. Pimsleurs all-audio format is a great introduction to the language, and with it you'll develop a better accent and conversation ability than with any other published language method. It's a great way to begin to learn Turkish. For a more in-depth look at how Pimsleur products work, read my review of Pimsleur products.

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