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How to avoid 5 Common Mistakes made by Beginners Learning Turkish

Beginners Learning Turkish

For some, learning a new language seems to come naturally. For others the entire process feels more like a tooth and nail struggle. However if you’ve had a negative experience learning Turkish at one point and time, don’t let that discourage you from trying again.

The truth is that learning Turkish (or any language for that matter) is never easy, but it’s definitely possible. Sometimes the difference between success and failure has less to do with your abilities or talents, and a lot more to do with the way you look at things.

In this post we’re going to look at how to dodge 5 serious mistakes often made by students learning Turkish.

listen before you speak

1. Listen before you speak

Being slow to speak and quick to listen is good life advice whether or not you’re learning a foreign language. Effective listening is essential to communication. As a beginner there is a tendency to concentrate so much on what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it, that you can completely miss the meaning or heart of what the other person is trying to communicate.

Not only will this impair your ability to listen in Turkish, but it will also stall what little conversation you had going. Remember that conversations are a two way street. If you’re speaking more than listening then you actually have more of a monologue on your hands rather than a dialogue.

The inputs of language learning (listening and reading) are just as important as the outputs (speaking and writing). For a beginner inputs are even more crucial, as they are the main way you acquire new vocabulary. I’ll even go so far to say that for new students the best method for learning Turkish involves more listening than it does speaking. Though that may change with higher proficiency levels.

embarrassed

2. Don’t be embarrassed when you do speak

Our next mistake comes from the other side of the spectrum, where new Turkish learners are too scared or embarrassed to contribute to a conversation. The fear of making mistakes and embarrassing yourself can paralyze your Turkish learning.

It’s vital to remember that everyone makes mistakes. Even native Turkish speakers had to find their way through the language when they were children. Making mistakes while learning Turkish is inevitable, but it’s also a good thing. The faster you make mistakes, the quicker you can correct them and move on with your learning.

So instead of being afraid to make mistakes, try looking at them as steps toward progress. In reality that’s what they really are.

research

3. Don’t major on minors

If taken in all at once the Turkish language can feel like an overwhelming language to learn. It’s so easy get discouraged by all your little mistakes and conversational mishaps that you lose sight of the progress you’re making.

In addition to mistakes you’ll also come across plateaus, where you study and practice consistently but don’t see any results for a significant amount of time. But whether you face errors or plateaus remember that these things are minor obstacles on the road to fluency. The major obstacle is not to give up and stick with it.

If you stay persistent your mistakes will get corrected and your abilities will improve, but if you slow down or throw in the towel completely; then you will either subvert your progress in Turkish or nix it altogether. So remember that as long as you’re still studying and learning the language you can’t lose. It might feel like you’re losing for a little while, but hang in there.

A practical way to help you stay motivated is to make small weekly goals. Research shows that goal setting has a significant impact on learning. Try picking one aspect of Turkish grammar or a collection of new words or Turkish phrases to study for the next 7 days. At the end of the week check your progress and measure your success. Setting little benchmarks like this will give you a rightful sense of accomplishment.

4. Remember that immersion isn’t magical

A lot of people think that by moving to a foreign country they will learn the language by osmosis. But whether you learn Turkish abroad or at home you still need to study and practice the language. Living in Turkey gives you way more opportunities to do this than staying at home, but if you don’t consciously take advantage of these opportunities living abroad won’t benefit your language learning.

If you’re an expat living in a foreign country there is a natural inclination to hang around other expats. Learning a language and living in a foreign culture is hard and uncomfortable. For better or worse we’re often drawn to the easier road. If you made the decision to learn Turkish abroad then you want to hang out with Turkish speaking people as much as possible. You have the rest of your life to be with English speakers. This doesn’t mean ignore your expat friends. Just be sure that you’re giving proper attention to your language learning.

open minded

5. Be open minded

Languages are better lived than they are learned. When learning Turkish your English speaking brain will want to conform Turkish grammar and vocabulary to English norms and grammar rules. Ignore your brain on this one. At first you might feel completely wrong saying a Turkish sentence that is in fact correct.

After a certain point in language learning there is a switch that goes off, when your brain finally realizes that you’re not speaking English but another language altogether. This could take a while though, especially if Turkish is your first foreign language. Until then do what you know is right in Turkish even if it feels like you’re going against the grain.

The same goes for Turkish culture. Just as you want to open to the differences in the language, don’t forget to be open to the differences in the culture too.

Final thoughts

Turkish is a wonderfully beautiful language. I hope this post helped you shift your thinking and approach learning the Turkish language in a way that will help you become fluent faster. I also hope you’ll learn to enjoy the journey toward fluency and savor the language for its own sake (that’s probably the biggest language learning secret there is!).

How to Say Happy New Year in Turkish & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Turkish New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join TurkishClass101 for a special Turkish New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Turkish

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Turkish? Let a native teach you! At TurkishClass101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Turkish New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in Turkey
  2. Must-Know Turkish Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Turkish
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How TurkishClass101 Can Help You Learn Turkish

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Turkish New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in Turkey

In Turkey, New Year’s Eve is a flashy celebration with a festive dinner, bingo games, oriental belly dance shows and decorated Christmas trees. Like most of the countries in the world, Turkey enters the new year after 12:00 AM on the night between December 31 and January 1.

Now, before we get into more detail, we have a question for you-

How do most people decorate their homes to prepare for New Year’s Eve and which myth is this tradition it’s based on?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

New Year’s Eve, in Turkish yılbaşı, is traditionally celebrated at home in Turkey. People consider New Year’s Eve a day for gathering with their relatives, neighbors and close friends. New Year’s Eve dinner is fascinating. Dinner includes turkey with chestnut stuffing, pilaf with chicken and nuts, pastries, and several side dishes and desserts. New Year’s Eve dinner in Turkey is generally rather flamboyant and is served using the best dinner set and table ornaments available in the household. Dried fruit roll-up, in Turkish called cevizli sucuk, snacks and fruits are also served to guests before and after dinner.

As New Year’s Day is considered a family holiday in Turkey, every member of the family, regardless of their age, gets involved and has fun. Especially after the New Year’s Eve dinner, games like rummikub, backgammon, card games and bingo are enjoyed by all. The TV is generally kept on, and families will sit together and watch belly dance shows, in Turkish oryantal dans gösterisi, and sometimes people in the house also try their hand at a bit of the dance! Even if in the cities families celebrate New Year’s Day with the activities mentioned before, many Turkish people choose not to celebrate New Year’s Day, as some consider it a Western Tradition that isn’t suitable for Turkish culture.

When one minute is left to the new year, the countdown, in Turkish geri sayım, starts on TV. People turn their lights off and set off their firecrackers. When mid-night strikes, firework shows, in Turkish havai fişek, take place in big cities such as Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara. Everyone hugs and kisses each other, and wishes each other a good year by saying “Happy New Year”, in Turkish Mutlu yıllar. Presents are exchanged along with new year’s greetings. Children especially anxiously await this moment, knowing it’s when they will receive their long-awaited presents.

There are also some interesting superstitions regarding New Year’s in Turkey. For example, some people believe cracking a pomegranate, or nar, in front of the door at 12:00 AM on New Year’s Day will bring prosperity and good luck in the coming year.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

How do people decorate their homes to prepare for New Year’s Eve and which myth is this tradition based on?

They prepare for New Year’s Day by decorating an artificial or real Christmas tree and putting presents under it. This tradition is not particularly related to Christmas from a religious perspective. Among the Turks there used to be an ancient cult revolving around a secret wishing tree, and its believed that this is where the tradition of decorating Christmas trees originated from!

Happy New Year!
Mutlu yıllar!

2. Must-Know Turkish Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Turkish Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year

yıl

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in Turkey could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

gece yarısı

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

Yeni yılın ilk günü

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party

parti

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing

dans etme

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

şampanya

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

havai fişek

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

Happy Near Year!

8- Countdown

geri sayım

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

Yeni Yıl Tatili

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti

konfeti

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

Yılbaşı gecesi

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

kadeh kaldırma

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

tebrik

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

geçit töreni

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At TurkishClass101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Turkish New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions List

So, you learned the Turkish word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at TurkishClass101 - what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Turkish friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

Daha çok oku.

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Turkish in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Turkish language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

Aileyle daha çok zaman geçir.

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

Kilo ver.

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

Para biriktir.

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to TurkishClass101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

Sigarayı bırak.

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

Yeni bir şeyler öğren.

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

Daha az iç.

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

Düzenli egzersiz yap.

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

Sağlıklı beslen.

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Turkish with TurkishClass101

TurkishClass101.com ile Türkçe çalışmak

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Turkish, especially with us! Learning how to speak Turkish can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. TurkishClass101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Turkish new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Turkish, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Turkish incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with TurkishClass101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Turkish could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Turkish - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Turkish - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with TurkishClass101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Turkish! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that TurkishClass101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Turkish at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Turkish that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Turkish with TurkishClass101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

Turkish Word of the Day - short-sleeved (adjective)

Learn a little Turkish everyday with the free Turkish Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

Kısa kollu short-sleeved (adjective)

Sıcak olduğu zamanlarda kısa kollu gömlekler daha iyi.
Short-sleeved shirts are better when it is warm.

Kısa kollu gömlek
short-sleeved shirt

Kırmızı kısa kollu tişört
red, short-sleeved T-shirt

Own a blog or website? Share free language content with your readers with the Turkish Word of the Day with Audio Widget. Click here for instructions on how to embed and customize this free widget!

Turkish Word of the Day - basketball (noun)

Learn a little Turkish everyday with the free Turkish Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

basketbol basketball (noun)

Oğlanlar ve kızlar basketbol oynuyorlar.
The boys and girls are playing basketball.

Adam basketbol oynuyor.
The man is playing basketball.

basketbol oyuncusu
basketball player

basketbol oynamak
play basketball

Own a blog or website? Share free language content with your readers with the Turkish Word of the Day with Audio Widget. Click here for instructions on how to embed and customize this free widget!

Turkish Word of the Day - waiter (noun)

Learn a little Turkish everyday with the free Turkish Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

garson waiter (noun)

Garson oda servisini sunuyor.
The waiter is delivering room service.

Otel garsonu
hotel waiter

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Turkish Word of the Day - sponge (noun)

Learn a little Turkish everyday with the free Turkish Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

sünger sponge (noun)

Masayı süngerle temizle.
Run the sponge across the table.

sarı sünger
yellow sponge

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Turkish Word of the Day - calendar (noun)

Learn a little Turkish everyday with the free Turkish Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

takvim calendar (noun)

Bizim yıl dönümümüzü takvimde işaretledim.
I marked our anniversary on the calendar.

bir takvim yılı
one calendar year

aylık takvim
calendar month

Günlük takvim
day calendar

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Turkish Word of the Day - bus stop (noun)

Learn a little Turkish everyday with the free Turkish Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

Otobüs durağı bus stop (noun)

Kadın otobüs durağında bekliyor.
The women are waiting at the bus stop.

Bir otobüs durağında beklemek
wait at a bus stop

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Turkish Word of the Day - cut (verb)

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kesmek cut (verb)

Kadın greyfurtu kesti.
The woman cut the grapefruit.

Kadın greyfurtu keser.
The woman cuts the grapefruit.

Adam tavuğu kesiyor.
The man is cutting chicken.

Kadın greyfurtu kesiyor.
The woman is cutting the grapefruit.

Bir greyfurt kesmek
cut a grapefruit

Kesme tahtası üzerinde kesmek
cut on cutting board

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Turkish Word of the Day - flotation device (phrase)

Learn a little Turkish everyday with the free Turkish Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

Can yeleği flotation device (phrase)

Kadın can yeleğinin nasıl şişirileceğini tarif ediyor.
The woman is demonstrating how to inflate the flotation device.

Suya iniş durumuna karşı koltuk minderi can yeleği görevi görecektir.
Your seat cushion will act as a flotation device in the case of a water landing.

sarı can yeleği
yellow flotation device

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