Do you speak Turkish?

Hi everyone,

It is widely agreed that speaking Turkish is essential for a successful integration in Turkey. Do you agree? Share your experience!

Do you speak Turkish? If so, where did you learn this language? Where can one attend a language course in Turkey?

If not, how do you cope with daily activities? Is it easy to communicate in a different language with Turks ?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


no..I don't speak Turkish. Do anybody can give me advice how can I get Job here for Hotel Engineer cz it is already almost 8 month but I still couldn't get jobs.


If money is an issue consider alternative jobs?

I don't speaks Turkish yet, I enrolled in Turkish lessons in TOMER located in taksim.
I have different language applications for Turkish language and I try to practice everyday.

I have google translate and whenever I need something I write it down and show it to the person I want to communicate.

So far I like turkey very much.

I am speaking Turkish and I am teaching Turkish online.
Anyone who want to learn Turkish, feel free to contact me

Hi Priscilla.
Turkey is a nation state. Only ethnic Turks are considered as belonging in the country. It doesn't matter whether you are born there, speak the language or know the culture if you are not an ethnic Turk you cannot fit in. Ethnic Turks from other Turkic countries like Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and others find more acceptance and easy to fit in than non Turkic people who are born and raised in Turkey. It is because the country is founded on an extreme racism believing that Turkey is only for the Turks and Turkey's friends are only Turks. That is the reason why Kurdish, Arab, Africans, Armenians and other minorities are being excluded, othered, segregated and treated as second class citizens.

Another thing to note is, color plays an important and crucial role in everyday life in Turkey. Whiteness is accepted and welcomed, Blackness is rejected. So your skin color will also determine if whether you will find friends and job. They mostly prefer to welcome people with White skin and blonde hair. So that's another handy information.

Good luck

Speaking Turkish is absolutely essential for successful integration in Turkey. How would you get on in the United States or the UK if you didn't speak English? Turks are generally more tolerant and helpful than native English speakers in their own country - but if you don't speak Turkish you'll always be dependent on the good nature of others, and you'll never be able to function independently.

I speak and read Turkish at a fairly good level. Mostly I am self-taught. Courses generally don't work for me. I got a book, studied and practised at every opportunity. It takes time and determination though. Don't expect a miracle to happen over night. Treat every post as a winning post.

I am currently learning the language.i can speak a bit but I understand alot. Learning the language is essential to your stay here ,you must learn it if you want to carry your Normal activities without much of over dependence on friends.

I absolutely disagree with marriagedenmark's comments.

First, Turkey is a melting pot of many ethnic groups. If an "ethnic Turk" is someone whose genetic origin is in Central Asia, very few citizens of modern Turkey would qualify.

Second, it is nonsense to say "the country is founded on an extreme racism". Most Turks are very welcoming and accepting of foreigners, whatever their origin. What evidence is there that these groups are being excluded? On the other hand, there are now nearly three million Arabic-speaking Syrian refugees in Turkey - and no one else will accept them. Certainly not  the USA or most of the EU countries.

Finally, the skin colour comment is also nonsense in my opinion. What is the skin colour of "ethnic Turks"? And how many of them have blond hair?

The Republic of Turkey, and before that, the Ottoman Empire have a long history of accepting religious and ethnic groups willing to participate and contribute to the local society. Most of the divisions in the past have been brought about by outside interference. For example, the United States' recent encouragement of Kurdish separatism in Iraq and Syria for their own purposes.

@strawberryfeelds The views in your comment are flawed since they reflect more on your personal circumstances than a general state of affairs. Your skin color is White and you are from a western/ rich country. You have all what it takes to be accepted and welcomed in Turkey. You are the person they want  in. This sweeping generalization is not true for everyone. Considering that the person asking doesn't fit in a description of a 'desired person' in Turkey. The views in your comment wont help her much since simply doesn't apply to her. Her skin is not white enough and she probably comes from a less disired country. Lets provide her with a custom advice based on her type of person.

Racism in Turkey is a taboo topic that is why it is swept under the rug. A few know anything about racism in Turkey. There is a portion of society completely denied of its existence. It is even erased in history books. I have lots of articles I can share with you about this rarely touched topic in Turkey.

[link moderated]

Hello everyone,

We are way off-topic here on this thread. The subject is only about language, in this case Turkish and how  expats go about handling it and if learning the local language is crucial for a successful expatriation project.

There are many other aspets to expatriation but this thread is exclusively focused on the use of local language.

Could we please get back to the initial topic ?

Thanks in advance,

i speak little Turkish. However, i agree with you 100% that learning Turkish is essential to do business in Turkey

İm married turkish guy that's why im talking turkish

Marriageenmark's comments are nonsense. I have at least 10 black friends here in Ankara and Istanbul and I have never heard of these complaints from them. If you are not that much happy do a favor to us and to yourself and try to socialize.

I speak very little Turkish.  I've been living here for almost a year and I'm newly married.  I know many words but find it difficult to put sentences together.  My husband speaks to me in English and I try to reply in Turkish. He corrects me when I make mistakes and I ask him lots of grammar questions.  I'm currently working in a school as an English speaking teacher and I learn a lot from the students.
   I feel that it's very important to speak the language. I feel very isolated if I'm unable to communicate with people. Also, people tend to treat me as a stupid yabanci and I like to set them straight on that score. Other people are pleased that I am at least trying to speak their language. I'm hoping to find a Turkish language course that I can attend in the summer holidays, but I don't know if there are any for the summer where I live.

Bhavna is right 👍🏻

I studied in Ankara 14 years ago.. My school was in English ODTU ... i made up my mind to speak a little turkish at least before leaving Turkey..  i didnt need it then.. guess what was my solution:))) .. i lived in the dormitory .. i still remember those lovely days .. my roomates taught me how to speak... thanks to them i still have some in my head .. i think the best thing to do is to have direct interaction with turkish speakers .. better than going to a school to learn it .. i wish they had turkish families who would take in foreign students to teach them the language like in the states or england though..

Friends of my family had a visiting student from Brazil here in Adana last spring. I don't think they spoke much Turkish though as they were speaking English when I visited and I'm not entirely sure what the reason for the visit was.

It's really difficult to find real instructor, most of teaching centers and universities, only turkish based teaching language. To learn Turkish from native is essential but they should teach and explain that puzzle in different language. Now 6 months passed and my gains still low . Still looking for that sort of teaching:)

Hello, i would like very much to learn Turkish languge, cause i want to go and live there in future.
Thank you

Yeah i do ,  learned by staying in a dorm with Turkish people who spoke little to no english. First month was mostly hand gestures and weird But in 6 months i could communicate anything i wanted.

Hello guys how are you all. I would like to add  few advice how you can learn Turkish easy when you are in Turkey.  I don't know but few of them writing something not good and they are still living in Turkey even if they are not happy .if you have more complain about turkish people , culture and about their relogion pls go back your country or move somewhere else where you are happy it will be better for you I am sure they understand I am telling all for whom here.

anyway. first thing if you like to learn speak Turkish pls try to find nice turkish course one of  the nice university. ( like istanbul Ünv. Or marmara Ünv.  Or  TÖMER ) it will help you to learn something from Grammer. And second pls try to make some friend from turkish people and don't be afraid for that because all of them so friendly and polite if you know how to talk and approach them  ( be polite and nice don't be rude them otherwise they will be rude also ) try to talk very day with your friend Turkish and let them correct you if something wrong and socialize with Turkish it will be help and you will enjoy your time here and you will be happy more. Third one is pls try to Wacht Turkish news or movie or listen Turkish music when you are home ( don't Wacht only your country tv and  movie which one English or other language )
You can speak english or other language when you are with your foreigners friend.
Of course most of Turkish people's are knows how to speak English but they don't need to speak if you don't soak with them but I am %100 sure they will love to talk and socialize when you are not afraid and ignore them

I know very little Turkish but I'm still learning by myself because there is no better way than immersion to learn a new language. And yes Turkish is essential for a better chances and opportunities but you can survive the everyday activities with very little Turkish.

Hello Surya Dharma

I was working in hotel sector for long time and I can say that, it's very difficult to find job if you don't speak Turkish, it's not because the people don't accept if don't speak. Actually they would love to have people from different cultures and origines but the problem is they don't speak that much second or third language and paper works are also in Turkish and it is bringing the communication problem, so it will be better if you can Learn Turkish at least brought to do your job. It was the same for me when I was leaving in other countries, like in France I couldn't expect that they learn Turkish for me 😂 So I learned French to do my own job, I hope I could explain what wanted to say !!!

Hi everyone,

I came in Turkey is about 3 months now, and I am getting to understand the language little bit. Speaking is still a problem for me. I am presently going to the Turkish language school in isparta.

Speaking Turkish would help integrate better to the society. This is true for any other country and language, too. However, speaking Turkish is especially important if one is pursuing academic studies, whatever the level. For daily life, though, the attitude towards people is far more important than the linguistic level. People are very keen to help out foreigners even if the outcome is not in their favor.

I studied at the University of Turkish translator
graduated from Oriental languages translate Turkish Hebrew Farsi & Urdu
But when i start working in a different area the most important language was English after 8 years i forgot almost of the other languages
its sad but am trying to restudy Turkish again
in my opinion the most faster way to learn any different language is to get friend from this country

Yes that's right

Actually, you are the kind of person who are not welcome in Turkey. No offence.
Just registered here to reply you.

Speaking Turkish is quite important for one's daily life as we mostly are not able to speak a second language. If you're coming here for couple weeks and if you'll spend your time in an international atmospehere then you don't really have to learn Turkish as you will probably be speaking English with other people but if you consider living in Turkey for a long time then the earlier the better to learn Turkish.

There are several ways of learning a foreign language but as a Turkish tutor for foreign learners, I'd like to share my own opinions with the expat community here.

1. We should not go to courses or private tutors directly.
What do I mean by directly? Well, we mostly go to courses as if they have a pill to make us take it and learn the language. We also know that it won't realize. So we should not go to courses without any knowledge of Turkish language. For instance, we should not learn that it's an Altaic language and it has a vowel and consonant harmony at course. If we know it before the course then we'll be able to focus and learn other new things in the class.

2. We should not forget what kind of age we live in.
We're surrounded by technology. It's in everything we do. Everybody has a smartphone and the applications such as Memrise and Duolingo provide you to learn a new language. We should not underestimate and take time for them. At the beginning it might seem too basic but the more we go on the more we will learn.

3. Now we can go to language centers or take private classes from a tutor.
Now as we know some basic Turkish, what we're going to learn in classes will not sound us alien. We will be able to combine the pieces and the lessons will be way more effective. We should also go on with the apps we mentioned before. Especially Memrise.

4. We should go to Couchsurfing meetings to practice our skills and to make friends.
We all know this site. There must be at least one weekly meeting in our city. Even if there is none, we can organize one to gather locals and expats. This is very important for our language skills.

I hope you all will enjoy your staying in Turkey. :)

PS: My mail box is blocked but you could ask me anything under this post. Have a nice day if you read this. :)

Hi everybody,

           I read the post. I am Mehmet. I am a engineering student in a technical university in Istanbul. I can speak Turkish and English.

    Some people want to learn Turkish. That can be possible with more practice with a person know Turkish. I want to improve my English. If anyone wants , we can meet in Istanbul and we can imrove our speaking. you Turkish , me English. That can be benefit for us.

Please contact me. Thanks.

Hello everyone,

I am not based in Istanbul just yet but hope to say that I am from Istanbul soon.

I have used two online programmes which have helped me tremendously.
Mango Languages

Mango Languages was about $20, I loved this application. It would allow you to record the word you've just learnt and match it to the teachers way of saying the word. So that you know you're pronouncing the word correctly.

Busuu is about $15 a month. This application is a little bit more in depth. If helps you with grammar and takes you right up to an intermediate advanced level.

Also, I try to speak the language as often as I can. I listen to Turkish music and when I am in Istanbul I like to watch TV in Turkish.

Hope my advice has helped somewhat.

All the best

thanks for the program, very nuce and easy to learn many words in Turkey language

Sorry guys, but despite of your (sometimes not quite polite) comments, I have to agree with @MarriageDenmark. Ofcourse it's not about all Turkish people but most Turkish people I know in Istanbul don't know any dark skin coloured people. From all the Turkish people I know (about 100-150) there are only two who have an African friend. And the reason for this is they don't want to know these African people because they don't like them, they don't think these people are interesting. They do like foreigners but especially if these yabanci have blond hair and blue eyes. I'm from the Netherlands and also know many Turkish people there, but not even one of them has dark skin coloured friends... 😒
About the topic of speaking the Turkish language, yes it's important to learn it as it's important in any country to speak the native language, if you want to live there.
Especially in Turkey it's more important since most Turkish people only speak one language...their own...
I'm still trying to learn it but it's difficult because I'm from West-Europe and used to speak Dutch, English, German and French. Turkish is totally different (except from a few, originally, French words).
To practice with Turkish friends is the best way to learn it, with help from some Turkish learning apps (Duolingo, etc.) on your phone so you can use it wherever you are.
Good luck! 🌷

I think we're getting off topic again. However, for a start there aren't that many people of African origin (I assume that's what you mean) in Turkey, so it's not easy to find one to be your friend even if you want. It's a lot easier in America or Europe - but a lot of those people don't have dark-skinned friends either. It seems you are making some pretty broad generalisations for someone who possibly hasn't been in the country very long.

You have done well to make 150 Turkish friends. Are there any Kurds amongst them? They probably speak Kurdish as well as Turkish - and quite few people here speak Circassian or Arabic as well. This certainly isn't Denmark or the Netherlands. In addition to learning Turkish, people like us from Western cultures need to make quite a radical shift in perspective if we are ever going to feel comfortable here.

I've been going to 5 months staying here in turkey...learning turkish is not quite easy..but for all the people of turkey they are still good friends here..If you find difficult to learn try some other option that you can learn the language they have..We are in a technology world and you can find it easy...and maybe there is 2 or 3 in 10 people can help you learn turkish exchanging to teach them an English language...where you can start a good friendship to them..If you are good I think people will be good to you too...stay humble and kind...

@strawberryfeelds- how long did it take you until you were reasonable fluent and had some comprehension?

Join Telegram channel: xxx
for learning Turkish language with daily conversation

Moderated by Bhavna last year
Reason : Broken link

Hello everyone,

Who wants to speak Turkish Fluently?

I can help as a Native Turkish Speaker.

I have lived abroad for several years and now I live in Istanbul.

just send me an e mail.


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