Turkish language learning aids

All about the Turkish language: learning aids, reviews and comments on courses, books, teachers--anything having to do with this wonderful language.

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Turkish language learning aids

Post by flitcraft » Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:32 pm

I've invessted in three sets of Turkish langauge tapes, of which two were useful and one terrible. Let me start with the awful one--the Language 30 Turkish tapes. They consist of a person reading sentences, then the sentences are translated. Nothing to help you understand how the language is put together. So, you're stuck with only the sentences you've memorized. And, frankly, most of them are too long to repeat when you don't understand the structure of what you're trying to say. And in some respects, the phrases are inappropriate--many of the requests are phrased using the intimate second person rather than the formal second person. (It's hard enough in Turkey for women travelers not to give the wrong impression about one's availability, but I would think using the intimate second person pronoun in asking a stranger for directions would be misinterpreted...) Completely useless except to give you a sense of Turkish pronumciation.

Now on to the winners. Teach Yourself Turkish Audiopackage by Asuman Celen-Pollard is a remarkably good course with exercises to test your developing understanding of the structure and vocabulary of the language. Although it is reasonably focussed on "tourist language," it goes beyond those situations. The accompanying book is the best part of this set; the downside of this course is that it is hard to use the tapes on their own--like in your car while commuting. They really do depend on the text of the coursebook. Still, for a broad-based and thorough introduction to the language, I thought this set was very strong.

The other winner was Conversational Turkish in Seven Days. Now, don't take the seven days thing literally--it's just a device by which they divide the course materials into 14 sections, each corresponding to the morning or afternoon of a day. Each section of the tape deals with a different situation of interest to tourists--ordering meals, reserving a hotel room, having car trouble, taking a dolmus, getting emergency medical care, etc. On the taoes, you are given short sentences to repeat and then a dialogue to listen to that incorporates some of the target sentences or variations on them. Each section introduces one of two grammatical points as well. Then the section concludes with an exercise in which you are asked, a sentence at a time, to have a conversation with a Turk about something--you have time to say your part, then you get the right answer, then the Turk responds to you, and so forth. The strong points here are that the language examples are specifically geared to the needs of a traveler and that the tapes can be used without referring to the accompanying book. Ideal for the commuter to learn Turkish in the car. The book is less thorough than the Celen-Pollard book, but it does include most of the basic grammar and its slim enough to tuck into your bag for those long bus rides.

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Post by papillon » Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:59 pm

i currently (for like the past year...when i get to it :oops: ) have the Teach Yourself Turkish book as well. I agree it is very helpful with the lessons and quizzes which are put in a more practical sense than most.

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Post by samikenina » Sat Feb 25, 2006 9:55 pm

one of the easiest sites to learn is manisa turkish...its by an english man who does it for a hobby...so its not commercial..
i hope im not out of order suggesting this on this site??

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Re: Turkish language learning aids

Post by Paz » Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:09 pm

flitcraft wrote: Now on to the winners. Teach Yourself Turkish Audiopackage by Asuman Celen-Pollard is a remarkably good course with exercises to test your developing understanding of the structure and vocabulary of the language. Although it is reasonably focussed on "tourist language," it goes beyond those situations.
I found that book excellent too! A good combination of grammar and practical Turkish.

I think it's always a good idea to buy a few books if you're learning a language. They all have different emphases and are stronger in some parts than others.


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Post by steve » Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:45 pm

I'm always on the lookout for new tapes. Coloquial Turkish (the new glosssy book rather than the excellent 1960s textbook) is also good. In my opinion the best tourist/starter tape set is Linguaphone PDQ Turkish - it's excellent quality and in a different league to the others. The only problem is that there is no level two - this is the only Turkish publication they do, which is a shame.

carol quigley
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Post by carol quigley » Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:51 am

For Samikenina,

Please could you let me have the site for Manisa Turkish?

Thank you vert much :D

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Post by suppiluliuma » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:25 pm

carol quigley wrote:For Samikenina,

Please could you let me have the site for Manisa Turkish?

Thank you vert much :D
I'm not Samikenina but here you are :


Pardon Samikenina :D
Come whoever you are...
just come as you are

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anyone who needs someone to practice their Turkish with!!!!

Post by rlbrod » Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:10 pm


I came across the following website:


Its an online community which you can register if you want to learn and/or continue to practice Turkish,you can register for free or pay about 24$ PA for extended membership(you can then choose who you contact- you can specify country,age etc) and in return you can correspond with another user, the only catch is that they'll want to learn English, or any other language that you're fluent in. You do this by text chat/email/skype.

There seems to be a large community registered.

Don't also forget our moderator Sinan's turkish language website!!! mp3's and everything!!


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Re: Turkish language learning aids

Post by ckdexter » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:53 pm

I'm using Pimsleurs audio course, and like it alot. It's accessible, entertaining, not too rough on my terrible memory, and usuals natural cadences and talking speeds.

The good side is that there's a lot of repetition without it feeling repetitive or boring, so it sticks. The downside is the same as all Pimsleur courses: the quantity that you learn is very, very small. But you learn it well. I like it for a starting point, so I feel confident with the more sizable material courses.

I'm also using Beginning Turkish, a computer course. It's much more detailed and exhaustive, but I don't like it much so far. It really is just a lot of very complex pieces of reading with audio, but without introduction, explanation or guidance. There are exercises, but they're not too helpful, and it takes you to difficult material way too fast. I don't recommend it.

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Re: Turkish language learning aids

Post by heraclitus » Sun May 01, 2011 6:43 am

Here is another strong recommendation for the Pimsleur Turkish course (unabridged - 15 CDs.) I've used Pimsleur to learn (or, at least, get a running start at learning) ten foreign languages over the years. They are expensive (check your library's holdings.) Even if you go through complete, multi-volume series (e.g., French, Spanish,Mandarin, etc.) you will not acquire a large vocabulary nor will you get much beyond the present tense. (Though you may get some exposure to simple past and future tenses.) With effort, what you will acquire is: a serviceable if rudimentary vocabulary, proper pronunciation, and a reasonably painless sense of (sometimes exotic) grammar and word order. In other words, it will get you started. There are a host of other learning materials to get you to the intermediate stage.

The unabridged Pimsleur Turkish will leave you with a vocabulary of about 400 words. Most of these are practical and highly useful words, though I often wish that they spent more time on traveler's vocabulary and less on small talk/chitchat. (This complaint applies to ALL Pimsleur courses.) Learning the basics of "vowel harmony" is surprisingly painless so you have a decent shot at constructing a properly phrased yes/no question. The same applies to issues of word order -- quite different from English. Still, in the end, I needed a larger "traveler's vocabulary. The "Teach Yourself Turkish" package by Celen-Pollard was very helpful in getting my functional Turkish to about 800 words. Not great, I'll grant you, but enough to get the warmest possible appreciation by virtually every Turk I met.

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