A language is more than a bunch of words and rules for how to put those words together; it is another world. Speaking Turkish gives you access to the world of over 70 million native speakers across Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Most live in Turkey, but there are sizable populations of Turkish speakers in Greece, Germany and most countries bordering Turkey.
Turkish is the most widely-spoken language Turkic language, a language family that also includes Azerbaijani, Uzbek and Kazakh. There is basically no cross-over between English and Turkish in terms of vocabulary or grammar. The language is considered harder to learn than French or German, from which English originates. However, because it uses the same Latin alphabet as English (with a few extra diacritic marks thrown in) Turkish is the easiest place to start for anyone wanting to learn a Turkic language.
With Babbel, you can learn Turkish without going to classes, hiring a tutor or investing in expensive software. For an affordable monthly subscription, you have access to hundreds of hours of interactive courses that get you speaking right from the first lesson. Babbel’s integrated speech recognition can even help you improve your pronunciation.
We add courses on a regular basis, so the opportunities to learn and improve are always growing. And if you own an iPhone, Android, or Windows 8 phone the key to speaking Turkish is already in your pocket.
Having a little Turkish in your conversational repertoire will open up the world to you on multiple levels:
For Business – being bilingual isn’t just good for your resumé, it can change your career. Knowing some Turkish can be extremely advantageous for anyone doing business with Turkish firms or planning to work in the country. Turkey’s newly industrialized economy robustly withstood the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and has a rapidly-growing private sector. Because so few non-Turks speak Turkish, learning the language can give you a rare skill and make you an in-demand specialist.
Traveling – Turkey’s gorgeous coastlines and exotic cities offer the textbook definition of a vacation getaway. Sunny beaches, calm seas, ancient ruins, thriving markets and breathtaking architecture draw tens of millions of tourists every year. But the country is much bigger and richer than what is accessible via tourist packages and cruises. When you can speak Turkish the country opens up to you in ways that monolingual foreigners could never even guess. And because Turkish is mutually intelligible with other Turkic languages, speaking it will allow you to communicate with people from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean all the way to western China.
Living Abroad – When you speak Turkish well enough to travel without a phrasebook in hand, the idea of staying longer in Turkey can become tempting. It’s most populous city, Istanbul, offers opportunities for students looking for a semester abroad and professionals looking for new opportunities in a vibrant and rapidly-growing economy. Quieter corners of the country are tempting destinations for retirees in search of a low cost of living and warm climates.
Brain Training – Even if you decide to only learn Turkish as a hobby, knowing multiple languages will keep your brain healthy and nimble, even in old age. This is because knowing another language creates another network of connections among your neurons. The higher your neural interconnectivity, the better your memory and problem-solving skills.
Turkish Culture, Unfiltered – Turkey is a transcontinental country – occupying territory in Europe and Asia – with one foot firmly set in Western traditions and the other in Eastern ways of life. As a culture, Turkey is a fascinating hybrid of cultures from two continents. Whether you want to be able to sing along to all of Tarkan’s love songs, get into Turkish psychedelic folk music, learn to belly dance, study Ottoman architecture, or learn how to make your own Türk lokumu, speaking Turkish will let you participate more directly. Knowing the language will also give you unfiltered access to Turkish literature and cinema. And if you have Turkish roots, learning the language will help you to illuminate your heritage.