Welcome
Login:   Pass:     Register - Forgot Password - Resend Activation

Turkish Class Forums / Language

Language

Add reply to this discussion
Why is Turkish difficult?
1.       gokuyum
5050 posts
 26 Mar 2012 Mon 10:09 pm

What do you think about this topic? Do you agree? Is Turkish really difficult?

http://www.elleninturkey.com/2010/12/grueling-grammar-why-turkish-is-so-hard.html

Grueling Grammar: Why Turkish is so hard to learn

      One of the reasons I decided on Antalya, as opposed to a sunny spot in the Far East or Africa, was that I would be able to blend in to some extent. Based on the number of people who stop me to ask for directions,  I´d say that I more or less fit in visually. But I also thought that since Turkish doesn’t require learning characters or tones it wouldn’t be that difficult to learn.  Turkish, like all the other languages I speak, is composed of an alphabet whose letters combine to make words, which then combine using grammar to make sentences. How hard could it be?

     But the similarity to western European languages ends there.  Learning to speak Turkish has presented quite a challenge. As a native speaker of English I had a head start learning German, French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch. Because English is a Germanic language, many of the words are similar to their counterparts in German and Dutch. Because of the Norman Conquest there’s a strong French influence in English, resulting in many words with Latin roots. So any literate speaker of English can pick up a text of a Germanic or Romance language and find at least a few words to hang on to.

     For example, take the sentence “I read my book”. In German, “Ich lese mein Buch”. The similarities of I and Ich, my and mein, and book and Buch are obvious. In French, “Je lis mon livre” is a step further away from English, but you still have the “m” clue on the first person possessive, and once you see the relation of livre to library, the sentence is easily learned. In Turkish, “Kitabim okurum” gives you no clues at all. Not only is the lexicography unrelated, the grammar is the opposite of what we’re used to. In Germanic and Romance languages you say “I read my book”. In Turkish what you say is “Bookmy readI”. And it only gets worse from there. If the one reading the book is the man at the table you say “Tableat sitting man a book reads."

      Now that I´ve been studying Turkish for seven months I feel like I have a decoder ring that allows me to understand written Turkish.  When I come across a difficult sentence I translate it word for word in my head, noting the suffixes that indicate subject, object, possessor, possessed, etc.  I can usually figure it out.  Listening to Turkish is another matter, since I can´t press a pause button on people who talk to me.  I can and do ask them to speak slowly, and that helps.

      Hardest of all, of course, is putting these words together myself to communicate verbally.  Needless to say, I "uh" and "ah" a lot, and have even started to say "sey" ("thing") as the Turks do when at a loss for words.  Saying "um" is a no-no, as it sounds like a very nasty Turkish word for a female body part.  You see, the pitfalls are everywhere.

     Even so, I don´t understand how so many Europeans can live here for years without learning the language.  They are missing so much.  Yes, learning Turkish is difficult, but I will persevere.  A year from now, very good Turkish speakablewillbeI

suzan ahmet, Sir_Robalot, stumpy, nifrtity and Efi70 liked this message
2.       Mavili
236 posts
 27 Mar 2012 Tue 01:37 am

Really if you stick with it, and make sure you learn the basics it will start to make more sense. After only 7 months, much of it was still confusing me as well. Its different for every learner but for me, it only began to truly click recently, after i had been studying the grammar for a year. Though even after one year and 7 months, I still don´t have full comprehention and I am still at a beginner to intermediate level. 

Though the writer of the article is correct. One part of Turkish that can be confusing is the sentence structure in how its sort of backwards with verbs being last.(very different than with English) But another part which is confusing is how it is an agglutinative language which we see in how multiple suffixes can be attached to words that depending on the order of suffixes, can change its meaning. And isn´t this is how, in Turkish, you can make a whole simple sentence with one word?

Faily liked this message
3.       si++
3785 posts
 27 Mar 2012 Tue 09:31 am

Turkish is not difficult. It´s a logical language, well-structured  and easier than many other languages. Since it is learnt by newborns faster than any other languages (scentific data exist for the fact).

 

It´s only a matter of grabbing its logic then you can easily and quickly advance in learning it.

Faily liked this message
4.       gokuyum
5050 posts
 27 Mar 2012 Tue 08:30 pm

Learning Turkish can be difficult but it was not easy for me to learn English too. It was so hard first year. I was going to Anatolia High School ( a type of school that they teach you really good English). I was twelve. And first year was preparotary year. And they taught us only English everyday for a year. But my scores were low. I remember crying and saying I would never learn English. But in years I learnt it. And I got the highest scores in the class. But it was not easy to learn it. Even my parents hired a private English teacher for me for a year. English is sometimes still difficult for me.

 

Result: No pain no gain.

Leylak111 and Faily liked this message
5.       Faily
22 posts
 27 Mar 2012 Tue 10:57 pm

 

Quoting gokuyum

Learning Turkish can be difficult but it was not easy for me to learn English too. It was so hard first year. I was going to Anatolia High School ( a type of school that they teach you really good English). I was twelve. And first year was preparotary year. And they taught us only English everyday for a year. But my scores were low. I remember crying and saying I would never learn English. But in years I learnt it. And I got the highest scores in the class. But it was not easy to learn it. Even my parents hired a private English teacher for me for a year. English is sometimes still difficult for me.

 

Result: No pain no gain.

 

Keep at it friend and don´t compare yourself with others when learning.

It´s not hard, but it may take some time--practice makes perfect friend,

there is only some pain compared to speaking the Sultan´s language, Turkey´s language (Turkish!), these beautiful peoples language! There is much to gain.

Though Turks know their own language is addictive and we non-native

speakers are easily fooled by them, am I right? {#emotions_dlg.love} And they know it!

6.       Abla
3647 posts
 27 Mar 2012 Tue 10:58 pm

There are at least two things that make Turkish easy for a learner:

 

1. There are very few exceptions to keep in mind.

 

2. Turkish is very transparent on every level of language. It´s relatively simple to split a word or a whole sentence into its constituents. Transparency applies to vocabulary also: one root can give many words according to simple derivation rules.

 

Mastering grammar is vital. No effort a learner makes to understand the structure of the language is ever in vain. When you have learned the basic grammar you are ready to play the game.

 

What is difficult?

 

1. The things that you didn´t practice enough yet. Only. I may be an optimist but I believe everything can be cleared if you give it an effort.

 

2. Acchieving fluency. Impossible if you started studying as an adult. You may be able to create two three correct sentences but you will always stay clumsy, slow and funny.

 

In addition, I´d like to mention something that I have paid attention to lately. I think in Turkish the gap between written and spoken language is pretty wide. But I may be wrong.

 

 

 

gokuyum and Leylak111 liked this message
7.       Faily
22 posts
 27 Mar 2012 Tue 11:00 pm

 

Quoting si++

Turkish is not difficult. It´s a logical language, well-structured  and easier than many other languages. Since it is learnt by newborns faster than any other languages (scentific data exist for the fact).

 

It´s only a matter of grabbing its logic then you can easily and quickly advance in learning it.

 

 Just look at si++ making all those translations, whose advice will you take?

{#emotions_dlg.alcoholics} 

8.       si++
3785 posts
 28 Mar 2012 Wed 09:25 am

Here´s some opinion of someone who studies Turkish on and off:

 

Turkish is my major foreign language, and I´ve been using it off and on for many years now, including a number of years living in Turkey. I think of it as "an easy language that´s hard to learn", in other words, there are many things that make it MUCH easier than many other languages people study: no sounds that are difficult to pronounce, a simple and very phonetic Latin-based alphabet, no gender differences for nouns (except for a masculine/feminine distinction in a few words borrowed from languages like Arabic) or even pronouns, essentially no irregular verbs, etc. (This extreme regularity of Turkish, once you become accustomed to it, can even spoil you a bit in terms of other languages, which then seem very "quirky" with all their genders, irregular forms, declined adjectives, etc.)

On the other hand, very little of the vocabulary of Turkish is cognate with words from Western languages, and the morphology and syntax, especially as one gets into the longer sentences that mark most formal writing, are an entire other dimension. I think of Turkish sentence structure as a sort of mental gymnastics, which is fun to play with but takes most speakers of Indo-European languages quite a long time to become halfway familiar with, let alone to master. Even people who´ve studied the language for quite some time can get irretrievably lost in some long sentences. Simply put, "the way Turkish works", while quite regular and in fact logical, is totally alien to the way we think and speak in languages like English, and getting used to this difference is a big job that takes a lot of time and effort. As in so much in language-learning, strong and consistent motivation is essential, and you need to put in effort over time to achieve mastery.

In terms of comparison with other Middle Eastern languages, like Arabic or Persian, Turkish is probably the easiest at the beginning, but gets a bit harder, I think, as one progresses. It´s also not as rich in terms of literature or as important culturally as Arabic or Persian. On the other hand, Turkey is arguably the most socially and economically advanced Muslim country, and a knowledge of Turkish also helps one to learn the other Turkic languages spoken in Central Asia, so a good knowledge of Turkish can open the door to a lot of culturally and linguistically rewarding explorations.

Accordingly, I heartily recommend Turkish to aspiring polyglots, but with the warning that it isn´t as easy as some of the initial lessons might make it appear. As for materials, the on-line FSI course is certainly a useful resource. Other books I particularly like (since I used them a lot myself) are the book "Colloquial Turkish" by Yusuf Mardin (long out of print; not the current edition of "Colloquial Turkish"), "Teach Yourself Turkish" by Geoffrey Lewis (again long out of print, and not the current "Teach Yourself Turkish"), "Turkish Grammar" by Geoffrey Lewis, and once you´re quite advanced, the new "Turkish: A Comprehensive Grammar" by Asli Goksel and Celia Kerslake. The Redhouse dictionaries cited above, of which there are numerous different editions in different sizes, are also excellent. To my knowledge, such up-to-date and easy-to-use dictionaries are not available for Arabic or Persian, thus making Turkish in a sense the most "approachable" of the major Middle Eastern languages.

Faily and Henry liked this message
Add reply to this discussion




Turkish Dictionary
Turkish Chat
Open mini chat
New in Forums
TLC servers hacked, all user emails & pass...
admin: We removed the user password data from the servers until the issue is ...
E-T: It´s one of the things on my bu...
gokuyum: No. It doesnt make sense. You can say ... yapmak istediğim bi...
T-E
og2009: DÜNYA TOPLUMU VE FELSEFE ... okul ... felsefe ... ....
Holidays in Turkey
: ...
24 HOUR FLASH SALE for learning Turkish e-...
qdemir: ...
Grammar Textbook
qdemir: ...
E-T: I see you have done this before?
harp00n: Bunu ... daha önce de ... Bu konuda iyi olduğun ç...
T-E
og2009: ...
T-E
og2009: ...
coronavirus
og2009: ...
OUR FRIENDS
og2009: ...
Coronavirus
harp00n: ...
Random Pictures of Turkey
Add thumbnails like this to your site
Most liked