Level of English in Turkey?

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I was wondering if anyone knows what the level of English generally is in Turkey? A Turkish friend of mine told me 'you know we speak English too, right?' when I told her I was learning Turkish.

It won't change my desire to learn Turkish, but I was wondering how much truth there is to her statement.

8/13/2018, 8:54:39 PM


Relatively low compared to the European countries.

8/14/2018, 3:37:19 PM
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Depends on where in Turkey.

In the tourist areas and the big cities? Sure, most people involved with jobs that require it speak English. Or think they do anyway.

Smaller cities and villages, places where tourists rarely show up, older people and so on? Not that much.

Plus - the fact that people know your language is not a reason not to learn theirs. If you go there, newspapers and TV and radio and signs will be in Turkish. Otherwise, we should just stop learning anything besides English - after all everyone in the world is learning English these days, right (heavy sarcasm implied in case this is not clear).

8/13/2018, 9:05:27 PM

I lived in Turkey three years teaching ESL. Many Turks, especially those on the university level and who are high school graduates, are multilingual on some level in English, French or German because they are better compensated whatever their chosen professions my be. Also consider that the tourism, which requires multilingualism, is a major industry in Turkey.

8/14/2018, 5:44:47 PM

I don't agree with above. Although Turkish people required to have 9 years of English in schools, education quality is very low. Usually they know the basics and they can understand you at basic level. But speaking rate is very low. I don't know is there an statistic for this but in my circle of friends (mostly college graduates) English speaking skills are lower than expected.

But I agree that in Touristic areas you can easily live with only knowing English. Especially South and West coast, and Istanbul's touristic areas. You can do shopping but you can not have "deep" conversations about the things like the politics of the country or the history of that region.

8/29/2018, 10:19:43 PM
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