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Is Turkish Hard to Learn?


Any time we set out to learn something new—whether it be cooking, sewing, ballet, or biology—it intimidates us. Not knowing what we’ll face makes us worry. Furthermore, we question our ability to learn that specific thing because we’ve never done it before. These same concerns pop up when someone starts learning another language. 

But is Turkish hard to learn? Or is it easier than you think? 

The answer is simple: It might be different from the languages you know and speak, but it’s not difficult.

Yes or No

Yes, it will take some time and effort to learn Turkish, but as we all know, nobody becomes an expert right away. 

In this article, we’ll show you the easy parts of Turkish and help you understand the more challenging parts. This way, you’ll know what areas to really focus on when studying. TurkishClass101 will help you eliminate any prejudice you may have about the Turkish language and answer the question “How easy is Turkish to learn?”

Now, let’s start by talking about the easy features of Turkish.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Turkish Table of Contents
  1. What Makes Turkish Easy to Learn?
  2. So What Makes Turkish Hard to Learn?
  3. How to Start Learning Turkish
  4. TurkishClass101 is Awesome for Learning Turkish!
  5. Utilize TurkishClass101 to Learn Turkish Today!

1. What Makes Turkish Easy to Learn?

Turkish uses the Latin alphabet, which gives most learners an advantage because more than 6000 languages worldwide use the Latin-based alphabet. There might be additional letters (or even missing letters) compared to other Latin-based languages, but still, it’s not like you’ll need to rediscover America! You’ll just need to learn how the letters sound.

Great news for those who aren’t familiar with genders or gender-related conjugations: Turkish doesn’t have any grammatical gender. That’s one less thing to worry about! 

Can you guess what else you won’t have to worry about? The article “the” doesn’t exist in Turkish. This means you don’t have to do anything special for nouns that function as subjects in a sentence. However, if a sentence has a noun that functions as an object, it will require a suffix:

  • “The notebook is in my bag.” (Defter çantamın içinde.

“Notebook” is used without an article in Turkish.

  • “I put the notebook in my bag.” (Defteri çantamın içine koydum.)

Here, “notebook” takes the suffix “i” in Turkish to indicate the article “the,” which is not a separate word in Turkish.

Let’s continue with another convenience. There are no accents in Turkish as there are in some languages (like French), so you won’t have to constantly ask yourself whether the accent is to the left or to the right! We only use the circumflex for loanwords, which is not a big deal!

The convenience doesn’t end there: Turkish also has a flexible word order. Turkish does use the SOV (Subject-Object-Verb) order, which is different from English, but you don’t need to use this order all the time. For example, you can put an object or a verb at the beginning of a sentence without changing its meaning; you’ll only be changing which word is emphasized. Therefore, changing the word order a little bit isn’t usually a problem. However, you have to place the suffixes correctly when you change the order of the words.

Here are some pairs of sentences which are all correct despite having a different word order. 

  • Ne yapacaksın bugün? – “What will you do today?”
  • Bugün ne yapacaksın? – “What will you do today?”
  • Buraya gel! – “Come here!”
  • Gel buraya! – “Come here!”
  • Bugün çok yorgunum. – “I’m very tired today.”
  • Çok yorgunum bugün. – “I’m very tired today.”

2. So What Makes Turkish Hard to Learn?

Whenever a student asks me why Turkish is hard to learn, I always tell them that the question needs to be rephrased: “Is Turkish hard to learn?” I try to break the prejudices first. Then, I answer by letting them know that while there will be challenges, the language itself is not hard. 

That said, let’s look at some characteristics that make Turkish difficult to learn for foreigners.

Suffixes and vowel harmony

Suffixes are one of the most challenging aspects of the language for new Turkish-learners, because these suffixes don’t exist in most other languages.

Suffixes are added;

  • based on the person/subject that a verb alludes to.
  • if the subject is plural.
  • when definite nouns or pronouns are used as an object. Then, they take the “-ı, -i, -u, -ü” suffixes based on the vowel harmony rules.
  • when using possessive pronouns, because there aren’t separate words for them in Turkish. However, the “-m, -ım, -im, -um,-üm” suffixes (in conjugated forms) come after the pronoun to make it possessive.
  • based on the tenses.
  • when negativity is used.
  • when interrogative particles are used.

Once you learn when to use suffixes, the rules for their application, and the vowel harmony, it won’t seem nearly as difficult as it does now.

The pronunciation of letters that don’t exist in English

There are six letters in the Turkish alphabet that don’t exist in English: -ç, -ğ, -ı, -ö, -ş, -ü.


The letter ç, which is the “ch” sound in English (as in “challenge” or “chair”), and the letter ş, which is the “sh” sound in English (as in “shell” or “shame”) are usually pronounced correctly. However, new learners often struggle with the other four.

  • ğ is pronounced like the “ou” syllable in the words “ounce” and “our.” 
  • ı is pronounced like the second “o” in the word “color.”
  • ö is pronounced like the “u” in the word “turn.”
  • ü is pronounced like the “u” in the word “pure.”

Practicing the pronunciation of words that contain these letters will help you overcome any initial difficulties you might have with them.


Conjugation can make Turkish difficult when you first start studying the language. However, as you learn the rules and practice, you’ll be much less intimidated by it.

You need to know the factors that affect verb conjugation in Turkish, which are:

  • Person / Subject
  • Number of subject (singular or plural)
  • Politeness level
  • Tense

You should also note that there are passive voice, causative verbs (verbs formed by adding the causative suffix after the verb root), reflexive verbs, and a verb of mutual action in addition to verb conjugation.

3. How to Start Learning Turkish

Have you decided Turkish isn’t so bad after all? Here are some tips from on how to get started with your Turkish studies! 


I’d recommend starting with the alphabet. As I mentioned earlier, not only do some of the letters look different, but they’re also pronounced differently. Make sure to learn how the consonants and vowels sound. Then, additional effort may be required to learn how the letters that don’t exist in your mother tongue are pronounced.


Learning vocabulary is also essential. You need to start building up your vocabulary (nouns, adjectives, verbs), so once you start learning basic grammar, you can start applying the vocabulary you’ve learned.


You can expand your vocabulary by reading and listening. Make sure to write down the words you don’t know, and always use a dictionary. You can also make flashcards to help you remember words and their meanings. Remember that you need to repeat and use a word many times to memorize it.

Basic Grammar

Once that’s out of the way, start learning basic grammar so you can start making sentences. It might be a good idea to start with pronouns, then word order, sentence structure, and conjugation.


Finally, you need to put together all you’ve learned and put it to practice. I put “practice” at the end, but that doesn’t mean you have to learn everything before you start practicing. You have to practice as you go, and don’t shy away from making mistakes. On the contrary, be bold and use every opportunity to use the new things you’ve learned:

  • You should listen to Turkish radio channels and Turkish music. This will help expand your vocabulary, improve your pronunciation, and give you better overall language comprehension.
  • You should read Turkish blogs, articles, and books. This will expand your vocabulary even further and improve your comprehension.
  • You should watch Turkish TV shows or videos to improve your vocabulary, pronunciation, and language comprehension.
  • Try practicing with native Turkish-speakers whenever possible, as they can help point out and correct your mistakes. This will definitely boost your speaking ability! 

4. TurkishClass101 is Awesome for Learning Turkish!

Would you like to learn and practice Turkish in the quickest, easiest, and most fun way? If yes, all you need to do is visit


Here are some fantastic benefits you can expect when you sign up:

All-in-one resource

Our website teaches you everything you need to know about Turkish and gives you endless opportunities to practice. It teaches you grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, and helps you build your listening, writing, reading, and speaking skills. We even teach you about the country’s culture!

Free resources has many free resources you can use. 

Here, you can learn the Turkish language basics, practice your Turkish pronunciation, and study the entire Turkish alphabet. Furthermore, you can learn about Turkish grammar, memorize the 100 Most Common Words, and master a few Key Turkish Phrases.

To learn more vocabulary, you get free access to our themed vocabulary lists, receive a word of the day, and can utilize our Turkish-English dictionary

Premium services

There’s also MyTeacher, a Premium PLUS service of TurkishClass101 that you can use to practice with a private teacher.

This service provides:

  • One-on-one interaction with your personal teacher
  • Guidance and ongoing assessment 
  • Weekly assignments 
  • Constructive feedback
  • Badges for the assignments you complete

Mobility when learning

Don’t fall behind! Keep learning Turkish wherever you are, and never let you location be a barrier in your language-learning. 

How? Download the app for free and use it anywhere, anytime.

Mobile App

5. Utilize TurkishClass101 to Learn Turkish Today! 

Now you know the easiest and the most challenging parts of learning Turkish! We’ve given you advice on where to start and how to facilitate your learning with TurkishClass101.

Don’t lose any time; check out TurkishClass101 and utilize all of the resources mentioned above. Also, make sure to provide us with feedback about your experience with TurkishClass101!

Before you go, we’re curious: Do you find the Turkish language easy or hard so far? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to ask any questions you still have!

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