Turkish FAQs

A list of frequently asked questions concerning Turkish and learning Turkish. If you don't find the answer to your question, please get in touch, we're happy to help!

Where is Turkish spoken?

Turkish is the official language of Turkey as well as the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Turkish is also spoken by small groups of ethnic Turks in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania and some other regions of Eastern Europe. Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, and France have large Turkish immigrant communities, the most populous Turkish community being in Germany. In Azerbaijan and some ex-Soviet republics Turkish is spoken too.

How many people speak Turkish?

With a little over 79 million native speakers, Turkish is the 20th most spoken language in the world. However, not many people speak it as a second language, especially compared to some other languages, - around 380,000.

What makes Turkish difficult to learn?

Depending on your native language, Turkish can present quite a few difficulties. It has a sentence structure different from most Western languages and it uses quite a lot of suffixes and inflections to convey relationships between words in a sentence.

Another peculiarity of Turkish is vowel harmony: this means that words can contain only ‘front vowels’ (e, i, ö or ü) or ‘back vowels’ (a, ı, o or u), and these vowels cannot be mixed.

On the other hand, Turkish is relatively logical and gets much easier as soon as you get used to its peculiarities.

Is Turkish the same as Arabic?

Short answer: it is not. Turkish and Arabic even belong to different language families: the Turkish language originally comes from Central Asia (Altaic), whereas Arabic is a Semitic language, which means its grammar, as well as the core vocabulary, is different.

There are some words in common because the Ottoman Empire included a lot of Arabic speaking countries and there are borrowings - about 10% of Turkish words come from Arabic.

What is the difference between Azeri and Turkish languages?

Historically, Azerbaijani and Turkish speakers have been able to communicate with relative ease. According to some estimates, Turkish and Azeri are about 60% mutually intelligible, even to those with no prior exposure. Grammar and pronunciation are quite similar, although, there are variations, and Turkish and Azeri share a lot of core vocabulary. Speakers of the two languages can communicate and understand each other to an extent.


Turkish Vocabulary Books

Learn Turkish - Quick / Easy / Efficient

Learn Turkish - Quick / Easy / Efficient

This vocabulary book is a curated Turkish word frequency list with 2000 of the most common Turkish words and phrases. Following the Pareto principle (80/20 rule), this book is built to streamline the learning process by concentrating on the core words and sentence structures. The result is a unique book ideal for driven learners and language hackers.
Turkish Vocabulary Book

Turkish Vocabulary Book

This Turkish vocabulary book contains more than 3000 words and phrases and is organized by topic to make it easier for you to pick what to learn first. It is well suited for learners of all levels who are looking for an extensive resource to improve their vocabulary or are interested in learning vocabularies in one particular area of interest.

Turkish Flashcards

Turkish Quizlet Flashcards

Turkish Quizlet Flashcards

These Turkish flashcard sets contain 1300 of the most important Turkish vocabularies sorted by topic. Each set represents one topic which allows you to dive deeper into areas depending on your priorities and interests.

Free Learning Resources