Is it hard or easy to learn Turkish?

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is Turkish hard to learn ?

Those who don’t know any foreign languages often think, “Wow, this language seems so silly” when they see words, meanings, and pronunciations in other languages. People usually find their native language to be the most logical. Turkish is one of those languages that can lead to similar reactions, especially for foreigners and those just starting to learn Turkish. Sometimes, even for me. 😀

“Türkçeyi feriştahın gelse hemencecik öğrenemez, anladın mı moruk?” 🙂

“If your ferishtah comes, he won’t be able to learn Turkish right away, do you understand, old man?” 🙂

Is it difficult to learn the Turkish language?

Learning Turkish is often considered “one of the most difficult” languages to learn for foreign individuals when compared to other languages. Or at least, it is thought to be so…

For example, for a German, learning Turkish might be challenging.

For a German, descriptions and expressions can initially appear meaningless and complex.

As a matter of fact, you can describe something in Turkish with just a few words that might take a sentence or two in German. It’s quite a privilege, isn’t it? 🙂
For people like me who are a bit lazy, it’s a “top-notch” language. 🙂

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When you’re around friends who are just starting to learn Turkish, try to avoid using idiomatic expressions that might confuse them.

For instance, after a meal, if you say, “The food was really delicious; Ayşe’s hand is very tasty,” your friend might immediately think, “Did we eat Ayşe’s hand for it to be tasty?” 🙂

One of the most confusing and challenging aspects of learning Turkish is the use of different words that convey the same meaning.

For example, “Senin adın ne?” (What is your name?) and “Senin ismin ne?” (What is your name?) both mean the same thing, but you might have learned it as “Senin adın ne?” and feel like you haven’t quite grasped Turkish yet when someone asks you, “Senin ismin ne?”

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Of course, this phenomenon exists in other languages as well. However, someone who is new to learning Turkish might initially think it’s unique to the Turkish language.

Let’s talk about another aspect that can make learning Turkish seem quite challenging. 🙂

The abundance of colloquial expressions in Turkish can be another reason that makes learning the language a bit more challenging. The situation can become a bit more complicated when you encounter multiple expressions and descriptions that carry the same meaning.

For instance, a sentence you might learn in language education, “Orhan, yan taraftaki mağaza çalışanıyla konuşuyor.” (Orhan is talking with the store employee next door), may not be the way it’s expressed in real life. In that moment, you might question the Turkish you’ve learned. 🙂 But don’t worry! This is a temporary phase, and after a short while, you’ll overcome it.

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Let’s give an example:

You go to a neighborhood, ask where Orhan is, and the response you get is,

  • “Orhan yandaki mağaza çalışanıyla muhabbet ediyor” (Orhan is chatting with the store employee next door), or
  • “Orhan, yandaki dükkan çalışanıyla çene çalıyor” (Orhan is chitchatting with the store employee next door), or even
  • “Orhan, yan tarafta laklak yapıyor” (Orhan is chit-chatting away next door) may be used.

Then, you might think, “Wow! Maybe I haven’t actually learned Turkish.” 😄 It’s a challenge that will eventually be overcome. This phenomenon exists in other languages as well, but it might be a bit more pronounced in Turkish.

Here’s the scene where the movie gets hilarious! 😄

Öte git = (Used to mean “go forward” or “move away” to some extent.)

Beri gel = (Used to mean “come closer” or “come this way” to some extent.)

Öteberi = (Refers to various and insignificant, small things. For example: Bought a bunch of öteberi from the store.)

You see, no need for explanations. It’s a fantastic language. 😄 Take this “öte-beri” and use it as you like. 😀

While these expressions may not be commonly used everywhere, if you love traveling and exploring new places, you’re likely to come across them. Of course, you don’t need to learn these when you’re just starting to learn Turkish, and you shouldn’t even try to. You can tackle them later. 🙂 Your local surroundings shape your language.

Learning the Turkish language can vary depending on a person’s native language, learning ability, and learning methods. Turkish is generally considered to be a language of moderate difficulty by linguists, but several factors can make learning Turkish easier or more challenging:

  1. Language Background: Turkish can be easier to learn for those who are related to other Turkic languages or similar languages. However, if you speak a language from an entirely different language family, it may require more effort.
  2. Language Aptitude: Your language aptitude can affect your process of learning a new language. Some people have a natural talent for language learning, making it easier to learn Turkish.
  3. Learning Methods: Using effective language learning methods can facilitate the learning process. Resources like language courses, immersing yourself in a Turkish-speaking country if possible, and using language learning apps can be helpful.
  4. Motivation: Motivation is a crucial factor in the language learning process. The more motivated you are, the faster and more effectively you can learn.

Turkish can present some specific challenges due to its grammar structure and vocabulary, but with regular practice and patience, these challenges can be overcome. If you want to learn Turkish, it’s important to find the right resources and methods that work for you and to practice regularly.

This article is for commentary purposes only. It does not contain professional information or techniques.

Some comments made on the internet;

"What makes Turkish challenging is not its grammar structure but the ability to fit numerous meanings into a single word and its highly flexible and freeform nature. Regardless of where and how you use a word, you manage to convey your intended message. However, explaining this to someone who doesn't speak Turkish can be quite difficult. Someone who grasps this concept can easily learn Turkish. Unlike languages with gender distinctions like he/she/it, our language relies on a single word, "o," but try explaining that to someone who doesn't know it. 


"Learning Turkish is a challenging task. Being an agglutinative language, it both streamlines Turkish and makes it a complex language to learn."
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