Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Ece: Merhaba! Ben Ece!
Gina: Hello everyone, and I’m Gina. Welcome back to TurkishClass101.com. This is Pronunciation Lesson 4 - Turkish Dialects, and in this lesson we’re going to go over some regional variations in pronunciation.

Lesson focus

Ece: It sounds like it could be a simple topic, but like anything else Turkish, there’s a lot of variety! There are many different variations in Turkish spoken around the world.
Gina: That’s right. First of all, the dialects within the Turkic languages are rich in the sense that they are spoken throughout a vast geographical terrain. On the other hand, the Turkish dialects of Turkey can differ based on region, ethnic background, or the country of origin. Ece, can you explain what we mean about country of origin here?
Ece: We mean the Turkic languages spoken in Turkey, by the descendants of people from Central Asia and the Balkans.
Gina: Oh, I remember this from our other lessons! Turkey is a melting pot of cultures! But in this lesson, let’s concentrate on Turkey, and the dialects of Turkish spoken throughout the country in this lesson.
Ece: Ok! To start with, did you know that around two hundred Turkish dialects can be distinguished in Turkey alone?
Gina: That’s impressive and I must admit, a little daunting! But don’t worry listeners, you don’t have to learn about them one by one! Here at TurkishClass101.com, you’ll be learning standard Turkish, which is spoken everywhere around Turkey.
Ece: And the name of that dialect is…“Eski İstanbul”, or Old Istanbul. That’s the form of Turkish from the early 20th Century. Adoption of the Latin Alphabet was an essential part of Ataturk’s educational reforms. Of course, this form has a rich heritage that dates back to the Ottoman era of Istanbul, the imperial city.
Gina: But people who can speak in the proper Old Istanbul way are becoming quite rare as far as I know.
Ece: Yeah, language is a living organism. As a metropolis, Istanbul is an attention grabber. It has been receiving heavy migration from all parts of Turkey since the 1950s. This, as well as other factors like globalisation, affect the local culture and language.
Gina: So listeners, keep in mind that we’re teaching you the most standardized and contemporary Turkish that is used all over Turkey. But back to the dialects, how are they classified?
Ece: The country is considered as comprising two parts - Trakya, or Avrupa Yakası as it’s known in Istanbul, which is the European side, and Anadolu, the Asian side, which is divided into three main groups that are Eastern, North-Eastern, and Western. Keep in mind that each of them also has further sub-categorization.
Gina: We’ll investigate the differences in pronunciation in three major dialects here. Let’s first focus on words that are common but differ between one dialect and another.
Ece: Some basic differences can appear in the pronunciation of combined suffixes that indicate verbal tense and possession. For example, the verb “Gidiyorsunuz” which means “you are going” can be pronounced as “Gidiysiğiz” in Gaziantep, “Gidiveeyonuz” in Denizli and “Cideysuuz” in Trabzon.
Gina: How about the pronunciations of word roots? Does that change depending on the region?
Ece: Yes, there are variations. For example, some consonants can be replaced with their soft or strong couplets. The capital Ankara is pronounced as “Angara” by the locals. Consonants in sequence may change their order or placement. The word for “Bridge”, which is “Köprü”, is pronounced “Körpü” in Erzincan. Or, the roundedness of vowels can be increased or decreased. So the word for “Well” or “nice” which is “Güzel”, can be pronounced “Gözel” in Adana.
Gina: But those differences are never reflected in writing, right?
Ece: Yes, never on formal documents, books or signboards.
Gina: Secondly, let’s talk about the differences in vocabulary based on the regions. Are there significant differences there?
Ece: Not really, but every region has its extra and exclusive vocabulary. Also in some regions, the ancient versions of some words are being used. These region-based vocabularies exist because their ancient versions are protected and preserved, and derived from their ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Gina: And in border cities, the influence of neighboring countries may appear both in the vocabulary and pronunciations too. Can you give us examples for this category, Ece?
Ece: The word for “Ladle”, which is usually “Kepçe”, is “Çömçe” in Gaziantep, and that’s its ancient form.
Gina: Are there any other differences in region-based vocabulary?
Ece: There are some local expressions. For example, to express astonishment or anger “Aboo!” is used by the people of the South-East, and “Uyy!” is used by the people of the North.
Gina: Is there anything else?
Ece: Well, some sentence-ending particles and conversational fillers are region-based too. Like the word “Gari”, a familiar term used by locals in the Aegean Region, and Turkish immigrants from Balkan countries.
Gina: And in this category, the last thing we’ll mention is...
Ece: Casual and familiar words used for addressing people. Words like “my friend, dude, buddy” in English. Except that they are not slang in Turkish though.
Gina: Ok, what are some examples?
Ece: In the Black Sea Region, people call each other “Uşağum”, in the South-East they say “Toprağam”, or “Agam”, and in the Center they say “Hemşerim”.
Gina So to conclude this lesson, could you give one example from each regional dialect?
Ece Sure, let’s start with the Aegean region - ‘Ne yapıyorsun’ which means ‘What are you doing? is said ‘Napdurun?”
Gina That sounds so different! How about the Black Sea region then?
Ece “Azıcık” is pronounced “accuk”. This means “slightly” or “a little”
Gina And how about the Rumelian dialect?
Ece I know this well because I have Rumelian heritage! “Börek” is pronounced “böörek”, and it means Turkish pastry.
Gina Ok, our final example is from the Southeast Region...
Ece ‘Mevsim’ is pronounced ‘mövsüm’, meaning “season”
Gina: After hearing the many differences between Turkish dialects, our listeners may be wondering whether Turkish people from different regions or ethnicities have trouble understanding each other.
Ece: Not really. Everyone has some prior knowledge about how different accents and dialects sound, so it’s not that confusing for Turkish people. On the other hand, Turkish is not a fragile language. Turkish people can even understand Azerbaijani Turkish, which is quite different, and vice versa!


Gina: Alright listeners, that’s all for this lesson.
Ece: To see more explanations and examples of different dialects, please check out the lesson notes!
Gina: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time!
Ece: Hoşça kalın!