Turkey is a beautiful country and has played a pivotal role in world history in several different periods. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Turkish language is so widespread.
With over 80 million worldwide speakers, it is the most common tongue in the Turkic family.
There are strong communities of people who speak the language in countries including:
Turkish migration has been going on for centuries, all the way back to the Byzantine empire, and probably before. As a result, Turkic peoples have left their stamp on a great many countries. You’ll find traces of Turkic words in many diverse countries, from Europe to China.
Turkish was originally written using the Ottoman script, which borrowed heavily from Arabic. In 1928 there was a wave of reforms, which included the switch to the Latin script. The change is a welcome one for English-speaking students – with a familiar alphabet, there is one less barrier to learning.
The phonetics are very different from English – vowel harmony and agglutination (forming words from pieces that are always pronounced in the same way) are important features.
In English, we also form words from smaller pieces. The difference is that we change the way these pieces are pronounced based on the type of word. That doesn’t happen in Turkish, and you will have to overcome your natural tendency to do so.
On the other hand, there are less complex grammatical forms and rules with exceptions to learn. In this sense, the language is much more straightforward than English.
Once you get the hang of the way Turkic languages work, you’ll also find it easier to learn other languages – Korean, Japanese and most central Asian languages work the same way.
Learning the Turkish language is rewarding in more ways than one – you open the door to a culture rich with history, and you gain an increased ability to learn multiple Asian languages at the same time!
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