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Speaking the Language

Turkey - Speaking the Language

The dominant language in Turkey is Turkish, with sixty percent of the seventy million native Turkish speakers there. The first or second language of almost all inhabitants in the country is Turkish, although some also speak Kurdish. Turkish has largely been influenced by languages in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Siberia. It is difficult to determine whether Turkish is an Altaic or Oghuz language as it has characteristics of both. The first Turkish writings were inscriptions on Mongolian monuments.

Turkish has three forms. The first was Anatolian Turkish that was written on Arabic script from the 13th to 15th centuries. Ottoman Turkish followed between the 15th and the early20th century, when Islam was largely adopted by Asian inhabitants. Vocabulary from the Persians and Arabs modified it. Afterwards, Modern Turkish rose from Kemal Ataturk in 1928. He strove to keep the language pure by changing the alphabet from Arabic to Latin. He also formed the Turkish Language Association (Turk Dil Kirumu TDK) to eradicate and replace all foreign words with Turkish equivalents.

Turkish dialects

The standard dialect is Istanbul Turkish. There are two other majorTurkish dialects. The first is the Western group whose major dialect is known as the Danubian and the second is the Eastern group that contains other dialects such asEskisehir, Edirne, Dinler, Gaziantep, Karamanli, Razard, Rumelian, and Urfa.

Characteristics of the Turkish language

The Turkish language has 21 consonants and 8 vowels in its alphabet. There are two types of vowels: the dotted vowels (e.g. ö, ü) and plain vowels (a, i, o, u). The sound of the dotted vowels is produced from the front of the mouth while the sound of the vowels originates at the back of the mouth. The three major distinguishing characteristics of the Turkish language are vowel harmony, agglutination, and consonant mutation.

Vowel harmony: this is a very important aspect of the Turkish language. Better linguistic compatibility is created by rules on vowel combinations. This also makes the Turkish language easier on the tongue.

Agglutination: this is a word derived from the Latin word agglutinare, which means ‘to glue to’. The Turkish language attaches suffixes to words to add meaning or grammatical forms.

Consonant mutation: These are changes that indicate pronunciation differences. It helps to maintain the phonetic structure of the Turkish language. This also happens in the English language, although very rarely.

Nouns are placed after adjectives. Adjectives do not change based on the plurality or singularity of a word and do not have to agree in number.

Gender and articles: Turkish has neither gender pronouns (she, he and it) nor definite articles (the).

Declensions: Turkish only has six cases because it has neither genders nor numbers that declensions are supposed to modify. These six cases include:

• Nominative: this is the root word that contains no suffix
• Genitive: indicating ownership or possession
• Dative: shows movement towards an object
• Accusative: shows the direct object of a verb
• Locative: shows location
• Ablative: shows movement away from an object.

A simplified and almost completely accurate guide to Turkish word order is Subject Object Verb (SOB).

How to learn Turkish

Learning Turkish can be relatively easy or very difficult depending on one’s native language. Speakers of native languages that use declensions would find it easier to learn Turkish compared to those whose languages do not. Researching Turkish learning options is the best way to start. Below are the most common learning methods.

Language schools in Turkey

This is the best option for a student who is serious about learning Turkish. Practicing outside the classroom after the language school course will translate into excellent results. These Turkish language school courses are available in many cities at varying prices.

Home stay courses

This is the best option for a student who is interested in learning Turkish language and culture. It involves staying with families in Turkey for a given period. These courses offer a deeper connection with the culture and can be cheaper.

Private tuition

Private tuition is ideal for a learner who finds language schools expensive. It is also the best for one who wants more individual attention. Looking online at expatriate websites or on university boards and expatriate cafes are the best ways to find a private teacher.

Au pairs in turkey

This is a very affordable option that gives you the chance to participate in the daily life of a Turkish family. A benefit of this language learning method is that in exchange for helping around the house, the family pays you. These duties may vary according to a family’s needs and may include childcare and property maintenance. An au pair mostly stays with the family for between three and twelve months. The disadvantage however, is that you may find yourself working harder and longer than expected. It is advisable to get as much info as possible from the family before agreeing to work.

Turkey language schools

Babil Language School
Found at the heart of the city on Ismetpasa stop very close to the clock Tower, old city and Marina. The school is accessible by car, tram, and on foot. Take a nostalgic tram to Konyaalti Beach or Shopping Malls. Next to the building is a taxi company. The school is on the fourth floor. The school offers a variety of courses (English, Turkish, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Italian language courses) and housing options for both groups and individuals in Antalya. The teachers are native speakers of the language with university degrees in their fields and teaching experience. It is government approved.
42 Babil Yabanci dil Kursu Mh. Cengiz Toytunc cd Bakirci Hafiz is Merk 1sk., Antalya,07040, Turkey
Tel: +90 242 243 50 69
Skype: babelgrup

Royal Turkish Education Center
This school offers standard Turkish courses 5 days or 15 lessons per week and intensive Turkish courses for 5 days or 20 lessons a week. The maximum number of students is 5. It also offers highly intensive private lessons for flexible students who wish to learn alone. In Istanbul
Royal Turkish EC-IstanbulSıraselviler Cad. No: 30/306 Katip Çelebi Mah.
34398 Beyoğlu / ISTANBUL

Read more about this country

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