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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MazBalay

Interested in Turkic Languages? Here are some tips from a novice :)

Hi everyone,

I’m a native English speaker and I've been dabbling in various Turkic languages for the past few years. Since Duolingo launched their new Turkish course last week, I thought I'd share some tips with anyone that’s interested in learning from the broader Turkic language family!

1) Learn Turkish first! It has easier sounds, it’s written in the Latin script, it’s phonetic (the written language mirrors the spoken language) and its grammar provides a stepping stone to the more obscure grammar of the other Turkic languages. Also, by learning Turkish first, you can access more information on Turkic languages, which is the most important thing!

2) Get familiar with the Cyrillic script or Persian/Arabic script, depending on your target language. Most Turkic languages were influenced by Russian or Persian (or both!), and so their languages tend to use one (or, again, both!) of those scripts.

3) Make use of YouTube! It turns out that YT’s is a great source for music, TV shows and movies in Turkic languages (especially Uzbek movies in my experience), which helps you get use to their sounds and intonations.

4) Learn one Turkic language at a time - because their grammars are so similar there’s a chance that you’ll mix them up, and it becomes more difficult to re-correct your mistakes if you don’t identify those mistakes earlier on (as I’ve done with Uzbek and Kazakh, and with Kazakh and Tatar).

5) There are some beginner-level materials in English, for anyone interested in diving straight into Turkic languages, with or without prior knowledge of Turkish or any other SOV language (although this would help). Good places to start include: UzbekBrian, a blog by an American teenager learning Uzbek, and the YouTube channel of Maksat Imangazi, a native Kazakh teacher who teaches Kazakh through English.

6) Get a penpal who speaks a Turkic language! I found iTalki a great website for finding penpals (mainly in Germany) who speak Uzbek and Turkish.

Good luck to all you Duolingo Turkish learners and if you're interested in the "Türk Dünyası" (Turkic World) then "Sau bulığız!" (I’ll let you guess what language that is!)

April 3, 2015

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AhmetYlmaz739827

I recommend to use www.penpaland.com its a language exchange-based website popular in turkey.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arin.Sara

Teşekkür ederim! Thank you! Grazie!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HakeemEvrenoglu

I was thinking about posting this earlier today, but I didn't... but as you touched in this point, I'll use your post for that. =]

If I complete the Turkish tree in Duolingo, how much can I understand of Azerbaijani language? Is it possible to read some basic phrases, or is it necessary to study a little more to start reading it superficially?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selcen_Ozturk

You can certainly understand basic phrases. Turkish is very close to (of course still different enough to be a separate language) Azeri. You can especially understand the written language better, the accent is different so it takes time to get used to it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HakeemEvrenoglu

Oh, nice! Thank you very much for the explanation ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selcen_Ozturk

Sen de sağ ol :) May I ask what your native language is?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ForgedbyHistoria

I've confused spoken and written Azeri with Turkish a few times. Are the differences between the languages similar to the differences between Spanish and Portuguese?

edit-Since I've been down voted let me clarify what I thought was a simple question. Is Turkish and Azeri similar in the way Spanish and Portuguese is similar? Or is Azeri and Turkish even closer to mutual intelligibility than Spanish and Portuguese?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selcen_Ozturk

I haven't really learned these two, but I heard before they are very close and people usually understand each other without really learning the other language. So the answer is , probably yes, at a similar level :) They might be even a bit more closer.

Also it depends on where you come from,Turkish spoken in north-east of Turkey is very very close to Azeri (near the border)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ektoraskan

Expanding on this:

I have the impression that Azeris are better at understanding Turkish than the other way around, probably due to the proliferation of the Turkish Media being broadcast there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selcen_Ozturk

exactly! I once read that the government (or someone in charge of TV broadcasting) decided to stop showing undubbed Turkish TV shows because they affect the language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jvdn.aze

Yeah. It's true. About 10 years ago you could watch undubbed Turkish series on any Azerbaijani channel


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MazBalay

From what I've heard, Azeri and Turkish are very close in terms of mutual intelligibility, but I haven't studied Portugueseso I couldn't tell you honestly if they're closer than Portuguese is to Spanish :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/orde90

if you have learned turkish as a second language it may feel like portuguese after spanish. but if turkish is your native language it's much easier because they share lots of vocabulary yet many of azeri words correspond to local or archaic versions in turkish or vice versa.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterOver

Azeri is very close to Eastern Anatolian Turkish dialects, and it's even more similar to the Anatolian Turkish which was used before Kemal Ataturk removed a lot of Persian and Arabic words from the language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MazBalay

My native language is English but I speak Urdu with my family, and they're originally from India :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/human698

My native languages are 4: Turkish, Tatar, Bashkir and Russian, and I speak them all! Also, when I came to Turkey I didn't know any Turkish, but when I started learning turned out it was VERY close to Bashkir language (even closer than Tatar), and I started speaking Turkish easily after less than 2 years! So, if you are a native Tatar or Bashkir speaker, Turkish will be very easy for you to learn! Good luck! Kolay gelsin! Уңышлар! Уңыштар!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/human698

"Sau bulığız" is definitely written in Tatar, I immediately guessed it, as it is my native language :)))

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