https://www.duolingo.com/NeridaPeters

Why I'm bad at listening to Turkish

NeridaPeters
  • 25
  • 19
  • 13
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3

I have just taken my first step in improving my Turkish listening skills. I know what my problem is!

Until now, I have learned all my Turkish from Duolingo, so my reading and writing are much better than my speaking and listening. Although my listening skills are weak, I have no trouble recognizing words and simple sentences. The problem is that as soon as I have to listen to a longer sentence, I can't understand anything other than the first and last few words. The middle of the sentence is a blur. It feels like I lose concentration in the middle and then my concentration comes back for the end of the sentence.

Here is my problem. Turkish is an SOV language. When Duolingo gives me a sentence to translate, I immediately look at the last word of the sentence because that's where the verb is, and there is also information about the subject, which might be omitted from the sentence. Then I look at the rest of the sentence. I divide it up into grammatical pieces and put it back together. It turns out that I am dealing with Turkish as if it is a puzzle where I put the pieces together. That works very well for reading and writing. Unfortunately, it doesn't work for listening.

Of course, I am going to do as much listening as I can to improve my skills. I would, however, like advice on how to practice listening so that I get into the habit of listening and understanding. If anyone has any ideas, I would be very grateful.

2 years ago

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/nicolas_jk
nicolas_jk
  • 22
  • 11
  • 4
  • 148

I made my biggest progress with listening comprehension when I started watching movies with subtitles. That was for English though, where much more material is available. My Turkish isn't good enough to do that yet, but I plan on watching TV series that I can buy on DVD.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeridaPeters
NeridaPeters
  • 25
  • 19
  • 13
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3

Excellent idea. I will have to see if I can get hold of some DVDs with subtitles. It will probably take a long time before I understand anything, but I'll gradually get a feel for things.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PookaGar
PookaGar
  • 18
  • 16
  • 14
  • 13
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 7

I'm in the same boat; I've recently finished the course, and the listening just destroys me. Something on my list to try is Magnificent Century (Muhteşem Yüzyıl), which they name-drop in the course; it's a costume historical drama, and the 1.5 hour episodes (or at least several of them) are available on YouTube with subtitles if you search for them. Exhibit A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qTUTbIN82w

Note: parts of the dialogue are in Russian, but the subtitles indicate it. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ektoraskan

I recommend you watch any random Turkish video, doesn't matter which one, and try and transcribe everything you hear. Whenever you can't catch something, ask here on the forums and people will help. You can ask me on my stream as well.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeridaPeters
NeridaPeters
  • 25
  • 19
  • 13
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3

Transcribing what I hear is an excellent idea. I probably won't use authentic materials yet. I've got some materials for learners. I'll try transcribing that first. Thank you very much for your offer of help.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/orde90
orde90
  • 11
  • 10

I recommend http://tr.euronews.com/. They have audio and video support along with the news text so you can follow the audio with the transcription.

It really takes time for your mind to get used to the words and instantly recognize their functions. Now you have to put in an effort to make sense of the words and it is very difficult in Turkish because of the word order. What I'd suggest is just think of a sentence as two parts. The first part is details like subjects, objects, adverbs and etc. The second part is the verb and the subject which is the most important part as you said. Don't worry about the first part, and don't analyze the words and don't try to understand it completely. Just try to keep in mind what you hear and use it to guess about the meaning like a puzzle and then focus on the second part. Try to understand the second part really well. At the end try to merge the meanings you got from these two parts.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeridaPeters
NeridaPeters
  • 25
  • 19
  • 13
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3

Thank you for the link. I'm definitely not ready for news yet, but I'll save that link and I'm sure that I'll use it when my language skills improve. For the moment I'll stick with easy material where I am familiar with all the words.

Word order is definitely confusing. Japanese is also an SOV language, but it's much easier than Turkish because at the end of each part of the sentence there is a particle which indicates the function. With Turkish, not only do I have to listen to each word, but I have to deconstruct each word because so much information gets included at the end of each word. On top of that, the unfamiliar word order means I get lost in the sentence. There's just too much for me to keep track of all at once.

I'm sure I will get the hang of it eventually. I hope. Maybe...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/orde90
orde90
  • 11
  • 10

I agree! But still when I look at the news I usually see the daily language. By the way I wrote my advice in a hurry so I couldn't express well what I meant. I just edited it. As far as I can tell from my experiences with other languages I can say that it will be okay with practice. English is also strange to us at the beginning like Turkish is to you. But now this reverse order seems very natural to me. Good luck!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeridaPeters
NeridaPeters
  • 25
  • 19
  • 13
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3

Actually, one of the benefits of news is that they tend to use a more formal style which is often easier for beginners to understand. Even though I won't understand everything, I will still hear lots of things I can understand. Maybe I'll try it.

It's good to know that other people can overcome this word order problem (in either direction). Thank you. I feel a little more confident now.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YektaDogan
YektaDogan
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 2
  • 17

As you said, the difference of the sentence order might be difficult to a non-familiar grammer structured language's native speaker such as English or any other European languages. But in Turkish, this order is not very strict, you will be understanded by many. You can throw the words in a sentence for first levels :) Even we, native Turkish speakers often do not obey this SOV rule in daily langauge. Of course learning in this way and obeying will be better but I mean do not hesitate to make any mistake on this rule.

Watching movies might be the best way to learn the pronounciations as the others said but sometimes it is hard to spend time on a 2 hour lasting movie. I can add an other and practical method, listen Turkish music while reading lyrics. You can use Musixmatch app. for this. This app. automatically gets the lyrics of the music on your phone via internet, you dont have to search or add them. I am using this method in Spanish and it helps me a lot.

Kolay gelsin :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeridaPeters
NeridaPeters
  • 25
  • 19
  • 13
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3

I am always surprised how much bad grammar people can understand. As long as I use the right words, people can usually understand. It is better to speak correctly where possible, since I want to speak beautiful Turkish. I'm not really worried about this aspect of the language.

With listening, it's different. I need to understand the rules because I will mostly be listening to Turkish people. I agree that watching a movie for two hours is too long. When I am doing listening practice from movies, I usually only watch for about 10 minutes at a time. I give myself listening tasks. For example, today I will listen for future tenses, or today I will try to listen and find 5 new vocabulary words. If we use movies in this way, they can be very helpful.

Thank you for showing me this app. I will have a look at it. I have lots of Turkish songs on my computer. I'll transfer them to my phone and see how it works. That might be fun. At the very least, I will be able to sing along!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sainio
sainio
  • 22
  • 20
  • 20
  • 18
  • 15
  • 14
  • 12
  • 12
  • 8

I have no suggestions other than what you've already heard, but I completely sympathize. I can pick out lots of words (especially when I'm listening to news anchors, documentary narrators, and politicians), but I have trouble working out the meaning of the sentence, because the word order isn't yet automatic to me. I tend to get the locations (because they're readily recognizable), and the verbs (because they're at the end of the sentence), but a lot of the rest gets by me.

Hilariously and frustratingly, I'll regularly miss an entire sentence, and then catch a "yaptı" or a "gidiyor" at the end. So that's great: I know somebody did something, or is going somewhere! (I have no idea who. Or what. Or how. Or with whom. =) ) To Ektoraskan's point, these are always videos, so I really need to get in the habit of stopping, rewinding, and transcribing.

Anyway. No brilliant advice from me (though I plan to follow a lot of the advice in this thread), but you're not alone! =)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeridaPeters
NeridaPeters
  • 25
  • 19
  • 13
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3

It is good to know that I'm not alone.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ShmickMick

I found these 5/6 minute comic-cartoons (as opposed to full-length TV shows/series) which I think will be good for me for a while (there are more by the same user in the "Related Videos" section):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a53tz7ABko4

Check them out! :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeridaPeters
NeridaPeters
  • 25
  • 19
  • 13
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3

I will. Thank you. Short is definitely better!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SultanDemol

watch the recep ivedik movies :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeridaPeters
NeridaPeters
  • 25
  • 19
  • 13
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3

I'm not in Turkey. I have no idea about these movies. Can you give more details please? I can ask someone in Turkey to buy me DVDs, but I need to know what to ask.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SultanDemol

hi, i first watched on youtube, but as i liked them i then did a search online... https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=recep+ivedik+full

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeridaPeters
NeridaPeters
  • 25
  • 19
  • 13
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3

Thank you. I'll check it out.

2 years ago
Learn Turkish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.