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About Turkish Language

The Turkish language is known as an Altaic language because it originated many centuries ago in the Northern Siberian Altay Mountain Range. Nomadic people brought the language with them as they expanded out to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and a number of other countries. Today, the language is spoken by more than 83 million people around the world. In fact, out of all of the Turkic languages, Turkish is the most commonly spoken worldwide.

The first written records of the Turkish language date back about 1,300 years, and originate from Central Asia. Turkish is currently also called Istanbul Turkish or Anatolian Turkish. As the language was developing, it was influenced by the language spoken during the Ottoman Empire. Eventually the Ottoman alphabet was replaced by a Latin alphabet. The Turkish Language Association, founded in 1932, worked to reform the language and to officially standardize it among Turkish speakers. In the process, many “loanwords,” or words that were borrowed from other languages, were removed from the language and many old Turkish words that had not been used for centuries were reintroduced into the language.

The Turkish language acquires new speakers every year as a growing number of people aspire to learn the unique language. As a result, new and more effective methods for learning how to speak Turkish have been developed. For example, a Turkish podcast that is designed for non-native speakers is a great way to learn basic vocabulary, Turkish accents, and conversational skills. When used in conjunction with traditional written Turkish lessons, a podcast lesson can significantly boost the learning process.

Most beginners will benefit from first learning the Turkish alphabet. Once the alphabet is mastered, it will become easier to pronounce Turkish words correctly. Beginning with the building blocks of the language—the alphabet—will ultimately assist you in learning to speak and understand Turkish with greater ease.

Travelers to Turkish-speaking countries such as Turkey or Northern Cyprus will benefit from learning common Turkish phrases. Knowing greetings such as Merhaba! (Hi!) or Çok teşekkür ederim! (Thank you very much!) will help you to connect with native speakers. As you develop your pronunciation and vocabulary skills, you will have a greater understanding of what is going on around you. Learning even just a few of these basic phrases is a great way to get more out of your trip, to simplify your traveling experience, and to begin your journey of learning a second language.