Learn Turkish because it's an easy language to learn and see how it reminds you of French, if you speak any, of Arabic, if you know some, and even Romanian. Learn a few Turkish phrases (see below) to make your trip to Istanbul more enjoyable and get to the bottom of local spirit.
Turkish is easy to learn yet it is very different from any of the European languages.
Turkish is still one of the easiest languages to learn because:
You have a great opportunity to practice the pronunciation with numerous TV series that Turkey produces and "ships" worldwide!
Very high chance of learning the language on your own!
Best way to start learning is to equip yourself with a good self-teaching book and CDs.
When I moved to Turkey, I didn't speak the language at all. Someone suggested Rosetta Stone's courses on Turkish and I tried them. Couldn't be more happier with what I got! If I learned it, so can you!
Another great source of language class is CDs. They are great for using while driving, doing home chores or simply you might be the audio learner who prefers listening to reading.
Pimsleur's guide focuses on conversational Turkish. Each of 16 CDs provides 30 minutes of classes.
CDs are good for uploading to your iTunes as well as played in Windows Media Player.
Learn Turkish phrases and use them in every day life the minute you learn them. You don't even have to know grammar to start using the phrases.
"Making Out In Turkish" is a great guide to real Turkish as it is spoken in and around Istanbul.
Note that over 100 million people speak Turkish worldwide. There are accents and variations. Language spoken in Istanbul is considered classical Turkish.
Another way to tackle Turkish language is to take a class with other foreigners. I can only recommend places located in Istanbul and tested by friends and acquaintances. Please fill out an enquiry form at the end of this page to see what is available on your dates in the city.
Length of classes varies from 1 hour to 3 months. All teachers are native Turkish speakers and have been officially trained to teach Turkish as a foreign language.
Self-teaching books with exercises and grammar rules are great in number on the internet. This guide of Turkish langugage in PDF offers the best and the most logical approach to self learning the language on its 282 pages.
This is a beginners course with introduction to grammar, exercises, 16 topics for discussion and learning, and Turkish-English glossary. However, if you successfully complete the course you will have an intermediate level of spoken and written Turkish.
Bookmark this free course in PDF and welcome to the Turkish speaking community!
Remember to simply read every letter.
Following are the Turkish characters not found in English alphabet:
Ğ - soft "g"
Ü - sound between "u" and "e"
Ö - sound between "o" and "e"
Ş - "sh" as in shop
I - deep "i" as in cousin.
Ç - "ch" as in cherry
I am fine
how are you?
I am a foreigner
Where is grosery shop?
Where is a drugstore?
ferry port, ferry stop
Git burdan! Polis cağırıın.
(My all time favorite phrase when learning Turkish)
to someone who is eating/drinking or has finished eating/drinking.
way of thanking for the prepared food.
to someone who is doing something or working on something.
I love you!
Get out of here! (Go away!) Call the police.
Used to wish someone quick recovery from illness or any mishap in life. Even used at hairdressers/barbers after getting a haircut or nails done.
Iyı kı doğdun!
This is a Turkish version of Happy birthday! Literally the words mean "So nice that you were born!"
Iyı ki varsın!
Used to say "Thank you" in response to "Happy birthday" or various courtesies. Exact translation of this phrase is "so glad/lucky to have you!"
And, of course, mention your name and email, so we can get back with exact information for you to learn Turkish in Istanbul.