Easy-Turkish - Learn Turkish easily, online and for free!  
HomeLessonsExercisesLearning TipsMiscellaneousDonateContactLegal Advice

Lesson 01

Ok, we’re not going to slam you with information and thousands of facts about where, why and how Turkish language occured. For sure this kind of information is better available from online encyclopedias and search engines. No, at this point we just get started with learning. First we are going to pass you some basic information about Turkish which is necessary to understand and enables you to get comfortable with the "system" of Turkish language.

1.1 ALPHABET

Turkish uses the latin alphabet, just like English. Additionally there are some more letters which stand for a special sound. The letters W, X and Q don’t exist in Turkish alphabet, as they are formed differently: for example Van (V like W), Taksi (instead of Taxi) and K is the same sound as Q.

Therefore Turkish alphabet looks as follows (you can play each letter to hear the pronounciation):
A - a
B - b
C - c (like J in JUNGLE)
Ç - ç (like CH in CHANCE)
D - d
E - e
F - f
G - g (like G in GARDEN, never like G in GENERAL)
Ğ - ğ (yumuşak g, it’s a special sound which is acutally not spoken, it just lengthens the vowel; ğ just occures after vowels and never at the beginning of a word, for example yağmur = the rain sounds more like yaa-mur)
H - h (always spoken, like H in HOTEL)
I - ı (this again is a special sound, it looks like an i, but notice that it’s not dotted. It sounds like an E in TIGER)
İ - i (sounds like EE in BEE, this time dotted, which is important as it is also dotted in capital letter)
J - j (similar to C but softer, usually used for words originated from French language, like jandarma = gendarmerie)
K - k
L - l
M - m
N - n
O - o (like O in SOFT, never like O in BOW)
Ö - ö (like U in BURGER)
P - p
R - r (strongly rolled, even more than the usual English R)
S - s (sharp S like in BUS)
Ş - ş (like SH in SHOP)
T - t
U – u (OO like in BOOK, never spoken like YOU)
Ü - ü (EW like in FEW)
V - v (like W in WATER)
Y - y
Z - z (ZZ like in BUZZ)

1.2 PERSONAL PRONOUNS AND ARTICLES

In Turkish there is no gender like “he, she, it” and no definite article like “the”. Actually Turkish is a perfectly emancipated language which makes things much easier, doesn’t it? But there is an indefinite article: bir – which is also the digit 1. Here we are, you just learned another turkish word. Tebrikler (Congratulations!)… you see, just learned another one. Let’s keep this speed:

The personal prounouns are as follows:
ben = I
sen = you
o = he, she, it
biz = we
siz = you (plural) (siz is also the polite form)
onlar = they

1.3 VOWEL HARMONY

In Turkish there is the so called vowel harmony, which is differed in Little and GREAT VOWEL HARMONY. This is a MUST KNOW as it is the base for following grammar knowledge. Make yourself now familiar with the vowel harmony, though you still don’t know exactly how to use it. But it will be clear to you soon.

The turkish vowels are: a, e, ı, i, o, ö, u, ü

Little Vowel Harmony:
a - ı - o - u is followed by a
e - i - ö - ü is followed by e

Great Vowel Harmony:
a - ı is followed by ı
e – i is followed by i
o - u is followed by u
ö - ü is followed by ü

Examples which make these rules clear will follow later.

1.4 SUFFIXES

Turkish is an agglutinated language which means that most words are formed with suffixes. Even complete sentences can therefore made with one word. Examples will also follow later as at this point we don’t want to irritate you too much.

1.5 CASES

Normally you know the 4 cases:
nominative (basic form)
accusative (who or what?)
dative (whom?)
genitive (whose?).

They also exist in Turkish but apart from that you have to learn about
ablative (from woher or from what?) and
lokative (where?).

Therefore Turkish has 6 cases but as you will notice later it’s not that complicated.

1.6 PHRASE CONSTRUCTION

Actually the phrase construction is summarized easily: Put the verb at the end of the sentence. Every other word prior to the verb can be placed almost in any order. Maybe here and there some wild combinations might sound strange but nevertheless you will be understood - as long as you keep the verb at the sentence's end

If you learned and understood these five basic informations you already made a big step in learning Turkish. Actually Turkish is not a very complicated language. The only problem – if it might be one – is the pronounciation. But even that can be learned. And anyway just don’t be shy using what you learned. It can open hearts and an old turkish saying says:
Her dil insandır! = Every language is a human!


Vocabulary:
abece = the alphabet; İngilizce = English (the language!); bir = one, digit 1; dil = the language, the tongue; güneş = the sun; her = every; jandarma = the gendarmerie; insan = the human; otobüs = the bus; okul = the school; taksi = the taxi; Türkçe = Turkish (the language!); Van = a town in Turkey; yağmur = the rain

 
© 2008-2009 by EASY-TURKISH