The Turkish pronunciation
Unlike in English, Turkish words are pronounced as written. The pronunciation of the Turkish characters in the alphabet is mostly similar to the characters in English. So, pronunciation in Turkish is simpler than in English.
- 1.Pronunciation of the letters
- 1.1.Double consonants
- 1.1.1.Example table
- 2.Word stress rules
- 2.1.The last syllable
- 2.2.Stress move to the last suffix
- 2.3. Unstressed suffixes
- 2.4.The vowel harmony in Turkish
- 2.5.Vowel harmony applied in the plural suffixes
- 3.1.Mark the words exercise on the pronunciation
- 3.2.Multiple choice exercise on the vowel harmony
Pronunciation of the letters
|Word||Pronunciation of the first letter|
|araba (car)||as the a in 'park'|
|bebek (baby)||as the b in 'bank'|
|cep (pocket)||as the j in 'jam'|
|çikolata (chocolate)||as the ch in 'cheap'|
|doğru (true)||as the d in 'dangerous'|
|ekmek (bread)||as the e in 'enjoy'|
|farklı (different)||as the f in 'film'|
|görmek (to see)||as the g in 'got'|
|hece (syllable)||as the h in 'hush'|
|ıslak (wet)||as the ı in 'cousin'|
|ilişki (relationship)||as the i in 'sit'|
|japon (japanese)||as the s in 'measure'|
|köpek (dog)||as the k in 'keep'|
|lamba (lamp)||as the l in 'land'|
|masal (fairytale)||as the m in 'make'|
|neden (reason)||as the n in 'normal'|
|oda (room)||as the o in 'owen'|
|örtü (blanket)||as the i in 'dirty'|
|pilav (rice)||as the p in 'pink'|
|renk (colour)||as the r in 'ride'|
|sevgi (love)||as the s in 'some'|
|şans (chance)||as the sh in 'shoe'|
|top (ball)||as the t in 'task'|
|uçmak (to fly)||as the u in 'put'|
|ümit (hope)||as the ü in 'über'|
|vahşi (wild)||as the w in 'when'|
|yoğurt (yoghurt)||as the y in 'young'|
|zor (difficult)||as the s in 'as'|
The pronunciation of double consonants and single ones are different. Double consonants are pronounced with a delayed release and has the effect of a long sound. The pronunciation can change the meaning of a word.
|Single consonant||Double consonants|
|beli (his/her waist)||belli (obvious)|
|eli (his/her hand)||elli (fifty)|
|atın (your horse)||attın (you threw)|
|yeti (faculty)||yetti (enough)|
Word stress rules
According to the place of the stress, words can change their meaning in the sentence. Placing the stress in the correct position in a word is very important. General rules for stress placement in Turkish words are as follows:
1. The last syllable
In most cases the last syllable is stressed.
- kısa (short)
- kalabalık (crowded)
- çekingen (shy)
- kadın (woman)
Exception: words that don't have final stress:
- some place names: Özbekistan (Uzbekistan), Londra (London)
- some words which are foreign origin: banka (bank), radyo (radio)
- some adverbs: yarın (tomorrow), hemen (immediately)
2. Stress move to the last suffix
The stress moves to the last suffix, when the words that has the final stress gets a suffix.
- pencere (window)
- pencereler (windows)
- pencerelerde (at the windows)
- pencerem (my window)
- pencerelerimin (of my windows)
3. Unstressed suffixes
When the word ends on one of the unstressed suffixes (-ce, -dir, -me, -madan, -se, -ken...), then the stress takes part before that suffix.
- Sessizce bekledim. I waited quitely.
- Keki yapmadan gitme. Don't go before making the cake.
- Okuldadır. He must be at school.
- Bugün eve gitmedi. She didn't go home today.
The vowel harmony in Turkish
The Turkish alphabet consists of eight vowels and these are: ''-a, -e, -ı, -i, -o, -ö, -u, -ü'' This letters are divided into two groups:
|Back vowels||-a, -ı, -o, -u|
|Front vowels||-e, -i, -ö, -ü|
When the word's first syllable includes one of the back/front vowels, the folowing syllables should continue with the back/front vowel too.
Examples with back vowels: yatak (bed), kapı (door), dudak (lip), burun (nose)
Examples with front vowels: çiçek (flower), böcek (bug), üzgün (sad), yemek (food)
There are however exceptions:
- anne (mother)
- tiyatro (theatre)
- badem (almond)
- kahve (coffee)
- hangi (which)
Vowel harmony applied in the plural suffixes
There are two plural suffixes in Turkish: -ler, -lar. When the last vowel of the noun is one of the following vowels ( -a ,- ı, -o, -u ), the '-lar' suffix is used and when the last vowel of the noun is one of the vowels (-e,- i, -ö, -ü ) the '-ler' suffix is used.
|Use (-ler/-lar)||the last vowel|
|'-lar'||-a, -ı, -o, -u|
|'-ler'||-e, -i, -ö, -ü|
Examples with the '-lar' suffix
- oyuncaklar (toys)
- çocuklar (children)
- hayvanlar (animals)
Examples with the '-ler' suffix
- çiçekler (flowers)
- bitkiler (plants)
- belgeler (documents)
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Hands down one of the best teachers I've had the pleasure of working with. Very knowledgeable in all aspects of Bulgarian (grammar rules, expressions, ...) but also in both English and French, which helps whenever you have a more in-depth question on the how or why something is the way it is in Bulgarian. Furthermore he has his own material and always comes prepared, but he is equally open to changing the subject of a lesson to suit your needs. He is patient, positive and not too scholarly, which is what you need as an adult learning day- to- day Bulgarian.I have been working with him for 18 months now and still look forward to our lessons every week.
An's Bulgarian has tremendously improved since she gave it go a year and a half ago. Of course, It goes without saying that I am pleased to work with such an enthusiastic learner who is living proof that, through hard work and perseverance, everyone can succeed in their language goals. An, you are now an independant user of the language who is able to successfully lead real-live conversations. Pat yourself on the back.
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Thank you for your feedback, Brandon! I am very happy to know that you are so satisfied with the lessons. I've always believed that you could make it and I am glad that we never gave it up. The right attitude and a high level of perseverance have been the keys to your success. It has been a pleasure to be your guide in your learning process. I know that you can do much more, so let's continue towards a next level!
Again a lesson full of fun anf full of learning opportunities. I really like Angels patience and ability to adapt to my learning process.
This student is one of the best ones I ever had in my long teaching career. She is always so diligent and willing to learn more and more. I am so happy to work with her and see the immense progress she has made since we first started working together. Thank you Silke!
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We are an Italian family residing in France for 3 months, we have two 10 year old children who have just started attending CM1. We asked Natalia to give the children two lessons a week to speed up their learning. We are super happy with the choice. Nous sommes une famille italienne résidant en France depuis janvier, nous avons deux enfants de 10 ans qui viennent de commencer la CM1. Nous avons demandé à Natalia de leur donner deux leçons par semaine pour accélérer leur apprentissage. Nous sommes super contents de Natalia. We are an Italian family living in France since 3 months, we have two 10 year old children who have just started attending CM1. We asked Natalia to give the kids two lessons a week to speed up their learning. We are super happy with this choice.
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Fabia is a very nice student and learns very quickly. It is a pleasure to teach her as she really likes to learn a difficult language like Portuguese and improved a lot.
It was very nice to take a lesson from Theano (Anny). She is adaptable to the student's level and is prepared to help the student as necessary. She is a friendly and caring teacher!
Σ' ευχαριστώ πολύ Μέγκαν! I'm glad you had a good experience and that you enjoyed it. Your excitment about learning greek motivates me even more :)
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Karin was attentive, transmiting her positivism and helping me with every doubt I had.
She really focus on teaching how to pronounce and talk a language, so this is really interesting for me, to practise it & be able to use it in my day by day.
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She started the class with some "games" to get to know eachother and then we discussed about an article she provided. The time of the class passed really fast and I learned new vocabulary.
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Dear Silvia, thank you very much for your feedback! It's a real pleasure to have classes with you, and I hope you find them useful!