Learn modern Turkish and you will be able to communicate with
- 80 million inhabitants of Turkey,
- a few million people indigenous to Northern Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and other parts of the Balkans and Central Asia;
- a few million members of recently founded Turkish communities in Australia, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Holland and other western countries.
You will also be able to get by in Turkish with over 100 million speakers of closely related Turkic languages.
Features of Turkish
We have some good news and some bad news for you. The bad news is all related to the fact that Turkish is simply different from western European languages. Let’s look at the bad news first:
- Turkish uses “vowel harmony” — a feature unknown to English speakers.
- Where English uses a separate word, Turkish often adds an ending to an existing word.
- The word order appears odd.
- Turkish vocabulary is mostly unrelated to western languages.
The good news is more important. It tells you that once you adjust to the fact that Turkish does things differently, it is a very regular and logical language:
- Nouns do not have different genders — you do not have to remember whether a thing is masculine or feminine like you do in French or German.
- Turkish grammar is very regular — learn a rule, and there are usually no exceptions.
- Once you know a little vocabulary and a few rules about vocabulary building, then guessing at the meanings of new words is a piece of cake.
The way in which Turkish works is absolutely fascinating. The more you know, the more you are surprised by its simplicity.
Photo Credits: Julia Manzerova