Turkish is the most widely spoken Turkic language with over 75 million native speakers in and around Turkey. Learn modern Turkish and you will be able to communicate with the inhabitants of Turkey, several million people indigenous to Northern Cyprus, the Aegean Islands, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and other parts of the Balkans, and a few million members of the more recently founded Turkish communities in countries such as Britain, Australia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and other Western countries. You will also be able to get by in Turkish with over 100 million speakers of closely related Turkic languages in such ex-Soviet Turkic countries as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

For thousands of years, Turkish territory (Eastern Thrace and the Anatolian peninsula) has been a land of ‘in-betweens’ and a bridge of cultural contact and exchange in opposite directions—between Asia and Europe, between north and south through the Caucasus to the regions of North Africa. The Anatolian peninsula—also known as Asia minor—is a cradle of human civilisation, home to some of the world’s most significant archaeological sites, including ruins from the oldest known human settlement, the city of Troy, Ephesus, Noah’s Ark, and Istanbul—the only city in the world located on two continents. Turkish archives today offer an immense amount of documents and historical information pertinent to Hittite, Assyrian, Hellenistic, Lydian, Roman, Persian, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman-Turkish civilizations.

Even though Turkish has thousands of words in common with languages like Greek, Persian, Arabic and French, it is not related to any of them. However, similarities can be found between Turkish, Korean, Japanese, Finnish and Hungarian, particularly as regards sentence structure, various agglutinative (i.e. ‘sticking bits together’) affixes, vowel harmony (except in Japanese) and other aspects. In Turkish, nouns do not have different genders (such as masculine or feminine). It is a phonetic language so learning the alphabet is enough to pronounce all words correctly. The grammar is also regular: once you learn a rule there are usually no exceptions.

Today Turkey has the world's 17th-largest nominal GDP with a growing consumer middle class. As Turkey’s economic and political influence grows, Turkish and knowledge of Turkey are valuable assets sought by corporations, NGOs, government agencies, and research institutions engaged in the region. Numerous career opportunities exist in sectors as diverse as technology, cyber-security, energy, hospitality, finance, law and business.

Levels offered: Turkish

Beginners (level 1) - AVAILABLE FROM OCTOBER 2020

You have little or no prior knowledge of Turkish.

Not sure which level you want? Use the ELP self-assessment grid to identify your level of competence.

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Greeting: Merhaba (Hello)

Counting: bir (beer), iki (ee-kee), üç (ewch), dört (durrt), beş (behsh)

Useful phrase: Çay ister misin? (Would you like a tea?)

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