Choose a Destination

Share this site

Arapça bir dil, Farsça bir şekerleme, Türkçe ise bir sanattır

Arabic is a language, Persian is a sweetmeat, and Turkish is an art

Old Persian proverb

Turkish language teaching

Turkish is the native tongue of 90 percent of the population in Turkey and is a language of Central Asian origin. It is related to many other Turkic languages such as Azerbaijani, Türkmen, Uzbek, Kazakh, Kirghiz, and Uygur, which are spoken across a vast area of Asia ranging from the Caucasus mountains to the Western part of China. Turkish has a very regular structure, based upon suffixation, which differentiates it sharply from the majority of European languages, and also from both Arabic and Persian. From the 14th century until the First World War, so-called Ottoman Turkish or Osmancı was the official language of the Ottoman empire, which at its height dominated the whole of the Balkans and most of the Middle East. During this period, the religious authority of Arabic and the literary influence of Persian led to the large-scale importation of vocabulary and even grammatical elements from both these languages, and Turkish continued to be written in the Arabic script until the adoption of the Latin alphabet in 1928 under the leadership of Ataturk. The modern Turkish-Latin alphabet comprises 29 letter. with the ç, ğ, ı, ö, ş, and ü as the letters being peculiar to the Turkish alphabet. Atatürk, also instigated a radical purification of the language, which removed all but a small, well-assimilated residue of the Arabic and Persian loanwords.

Turkish is located among the ending languages in the world tongue classification. The root of the words are never altered with word structure and declination. The declinations and building of the words are executed by the suffixes. The order of the words and suffixes are as root + building affix + declination suffix. Specific difficulties when learning Turkish are the agglutinative structure, the sometimes reverse order of words, and the abundance of synonyms. An example of the richness of the Turkish vocabulary is the English word activity. This can be translated in either faaliyet (Arabic origin), etkinlik (Turkish), or aktivite (French).

The agglutinative nature by the use of suffixes is exemplified by the sentence we are in your houses. This is translated in Turkish by the single word evlerinizdeyiz, which is formed by the root ev (house) + -ler (plural) + -iniz (possessive suffix meaning your) + -de (locative meaning in or at) + -yiz (meaning we are). A more sophisticated example is the word Bilgisizliklerindenmişim, meaning I gather that it was from their ignorance. The word starts with the root-word Bilgi, meaning knowledge. Then -siz is added. This suffix indicates the lack of something. Thus, bilgisiz stands for without knowledge. The next suffix -lik is used to construct an abstract noun, so Bilgisizlik means lack of knowledge or ignorance. Next -leri is added, which means their. The next suffix is -den, which means from. This suffix is connected to the previous one by the letter -n-. Then follows the suffix -miş which indicates a past tense with supposition, i.e. a hear-say. And finally the personal tense -im for I completes our word which is translated literally as: knowledge-lack of-theirs-from-gather-I.

Another typical aspect of Turkish is the vocal harmony, compare for instance evlerinizdeyiz with parklarınızdayız (note the difference between "i" and "ı") meaning we are in your parks.

Here are some useful links for learning Turkish:

Custom Search

More Photographers at