Comprehending the Main Features of Turkish

Language Learning
Turacoon 2021-04-12
Comprehending the Main Features of Turkish

Don’t start to learn Turkish before you know these hints

You may have developed fears and prejudices against Turkish as you kept hearing the sentence ‘’Turkish is difficult to learn’’ from others. If you are nodding while reading this, all you have to do is keep reading; because Turkish is not difficult. Really! It’s just a bit different from your language, that’s all. Different doesn’t mean difficult. When you understand the structure of Turkish and its unique features, you will see how quickly you can learn this language. What is more, once you’ve gotten rid of your prejudices, you will realize how fun Turkish is and enjoy learning it. 

Turkish is a difficult to learn

Someone who lies

It is a fact that Turkish has very flexible uses of words and structural differences from most languages. However, there is a universal grammar for all languages of the world and your part is to understand how this universal grammar works in the language you're learning. The rest will come automatically, you can be sure.  Moreover, learning a new language that completely distinct from your mother language is a freshness for your mind. When you comprehend the logic of Turkish well, it will be easier for you to learn other languages in the same language family with Turkish such as Korean, Mongolian, Kazakh, Uzbek, etc.

Turkish language geography

Turkish is spoken in a remarkably wide area. It also  ranks among the top languages in terms of the numbers of its speakers. Thus, learning Turkish is something very functional for you. As you get to discover the unique, magical, and aesthetic side of this language and reach a deep understanding of its rich literary works, all your prejudices will be destroyed. Remember: no matter which language you learn, what really matters is what you experience during this process and the change in your perspective. If you think learning a language is boring from the start, you won't even be able to learn a language "simpler" for you. Johan Vandewalle, a famous polyglot from Belgium expresses the uniqueness of Turkish with following words: "I wish Chomsky had learned Turkish in his youth, I'm sure that the modern linguistics would have been shaped according to Turkish, not English." What do you think? Is it worth learning no matter what? 

I wish Chomsky had learned Turkish in his youth, I'm sure that the modern linguistics would have been shaped according to Turkish, not English.

Johan Vandewalle, a famous polyglot from Belgium

Lastly, know that only with some essential tips and your effort, you will be able to speak Turkish comfortably. Our aim is to help you understand these differences and make your work easier with small tips. Hopefully, with this article, the obstacle in your mind called prejudice will be removed and you will get an insight into the main features of Turkish. So, let's take a brief look at these without belaboring:

1. Suffixes

Turkish, which belongs to the branch of the Altaic languages, and English, which is in the Indo-European language family are not only in different families but they are structurally different too. So what does that mean? Briefly, while English is in the group of inflected languages, Turkish is an agglutinative language. That is, word building and conjugations in Turkish are made with suffixes. As can be seen below, verb, tense, and person are always gathered in a single word.

düşüyorum-> düş-(ü)yor-um (to fall-present cont. tense-I)

which means ‘’I’m falling’’ in English.           

2. Word Building

Actually, we will not say anything very different from the article above. Derivational suffixes always come to the end of the word in Turkish.

deniz (see) -> deniz+ci = denizci (sailor)

3. Sentence Structure

SOV (Subject + Object + Verb) -> Don't forget this order.

Turkish often uses this order in sentences. At times, the order may change but we better not get in there for now.

Youmy heartbroke.

It sounds a little bit weird, right?

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4. Vovel Harmony

Next is the most important feature: Vovel Harmony. This one is another distinctive feature of Turkish. When you agglutinate in Turkish, endings often have to rhyme or harmonize. The good news is that when you get a good grasp of this rule, you will be able to easily find out which variant of a suffix should go to the end. Considering that Turkish is an agglutinative language, it is a vital rule for you.

5. Genderity

There is no gender category in Turkish. Here is common ground! There is no gender category in Turkish as in English. 😃 You will discover further features like this in the process of learning Turkish. For now, it will be enough for you to know these.

6. Unexceptional Sounds and Letters

When it comes to the features, we said this is enough for now, but we should also give some small tips to help you learn Turkish:

Pay attention to sounds and letters that are not in English. It will be very useful to study these in particular. You will need to focus more on sounds like

/ ı /, / ö /, / ç /, / ğ /, / ü /.

7. Metaphors

Do not seek logic! Not every word you hear in Turkish is logical. Just learn the functions. 

  • Aşk olsun! (Let there be love!) 

No, it’s not what you think. Although its literal translation may seem like a sweet wish, it actually expresses disappointment and resentment. That’s how Turkish is.

8. Common Words

You will be surprised how many common words we have. Seems like a nice way to warm up to Turkish faster.     

otel, kampüs, aktüel, departman, ofis…

But be careful! Common words may not always mean the same. Always use dictionaries for this. The word ‘’sempatik’’ means ‘’loveable, approachable’’ in Turkish which is used quite differently from  the  English word ‘’sympathetic’’.

9. Dictionary

Make sure you get a printed dictionary and spelling book for yourself. Or, you can use official Turkish online dictionary via this website. But, it is fully Turkish and you may need another dictionary at beginning. 🥰

10. Turkish Culture

A cup of coffee has forty years sake. A Turkish Proverb

Learn not only the language but also the culture. Language and culture are intertwined. So you can see the world through a Turkish perspective. One of our goals in opening this page is to introduce you to the Turkish language and culture as a whole. If you want to know more about Turkish  culture, check out our cool blog about customs and manners in Turkey.

11. Why Turkish Language?

Decide why you want to learn Turkish. Thus, by finding the most suitable path for your purpose, you can learn more efficiently.

12. Again Turkish Is Not A Difficult Language

Finally, be confident and don't be afraid to make mistakes. Remember: TURKISH IS NOT DIFFICULT. If you don't know even a word in Turkish yet, may this be the first thing you will learn?

Türkçe Zor Bir Dil Değil!

Begin Your Turkish Language Journey

It is not a difficult language with Turacoon!

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