Turkish Language Resources

Language Learning Motivation and Planning:

Online Interactive Language Programs:
**LiveMocha: Turkish 101, 102, 201 and 202 are available.  With the free version you can go through the vocabulary lessons, test yourself, and have your writing and speaking activities checked by native speakers in the LiveMocha community.  

**Busuu: Beginner A1 through Intermediate B2 courses are available.  With the free version you can practice vocabulary, listen to recorded conversations, write texts that native speakers will take a look at and connect to a native speaker.  I like the vocabulary lessons and listening to the pre-recorded conversations.

LingQ: There are a variety of different types of exercises - to be honest, I'm not a fan of the layout and I can't get very inspired to do much on the LingQ site.  Maybe others will find it more useful.

Babbel: At this point, Babbel only has Turkish vocabulary lessons.  You can try some of them for free, but they try really hard to get you to purchase the full service.  I like these lessons because they use various different methods to review new vocabulary.

**These programs are good for learning vocabulary, but in my opinion do little for understanding grammar.  They rely heavily on interaction with other users on the website, which I am not interested in doing.  I have found them somewhat useful for getting myself to study when I am feeling a bit lazy.**

Online Grammar and Vocabulary Resources:
A completely free online resource for getting your feet wet in the Turkish language learning process.  This is actually the first resource I started using when I wanted to learn Turkish - I can't say that I used it to its full potential - so now I'm looking into it anew.
  • Best place to start: The grammar lessons are organized into "Classes", you can choose from Beginner 1 - 4 and Intermediate 1.  These classes are basically webpages with a recommended order for going through the grammar explanations and simple homework assignments to practice the new material.
  • Vocabulary: Under the "Learn Turkish" tab you can find many other resources, like a fairly long vocabulary list to get you started learning the most commonly used words in Turkish
  • For a challenge:  Under "Discovery Turkey" you will find the Turkish Poetry page - poetry written in Turkish and translated into English!  A great way to get Turkish input that can easily be understood in English.  Although just to warn, this might be better for the late beginners to intermediate language learners, as poetry is not always the most straight forward language construction. 

Learning is much easier when it is done in a realistic context , such as conversations about basic topics.  These 10 lessons all center around topics that one would encounter while travelling, like asking where someone is from, where is the hotel, ordering food, etc.
  • Format: each lesson is a conversation, you can hear the conversation but you have to click each word or phrase separately (kind of annoying) but perhaps there is a way to change that.
  • Test yourself: At the end of each lesson there are fill in the blank exercises, multiple choice and the possibility to use listening dictation for several sentences of the conversation.
  • Overall: these lessons will not take you very far, and you should have perhaps a small introduction to Turkish before jumping into these.  However, they are a good activity to add to a language learning routine.

The Manisa Turkish website is basically a grammar book in online format!  The quantity and quality on this website is pretty amazing.  It seems that the website creator author, John Guise,  just had a book published, The Turkish Language Explained for English Speakers.  I haven't explored the book yet, but it's on my Amazon Wishlist.
There is some really unique material on Manisa like:
  • Street Signs: The author shows pictures of some common (and sometimes comical) signs taken around Turkey and gives background information and translation.
  • The Talking Street Turkish, under the conversation heading has a great list of common sayings, both the "old Turkish" as well as the "new Turkish" 

The Deep Approach to Turkish Teaching and Learning:  A website created by the University of Wisconsin, there are grammar explanations, in-depth lessons and audio.  This site has material better suited for the intermediate to advanced level.  

AÇILIM TÜRKÇE: A series of online books that are interactive, beginning from basic Turkish to intermediate and including vocabulary, grammar, audio, exercises and text.  You need to create an account to get started using this resource.  Once you get into the books it is self-directed.

Online Listening Resources:
SBS Podcasts in Turkish:  Listen to or download short news broadcasts in Turkish.

The Turkish Listening Library: Another great resource from Aaron Myers, the author of the Everyday Language Learner.  You can download the "Handcrafted Audio" Podcast and pretty much find all the Turkish language listening resources on this one page.

Turkish Language Books:
Elementary Turkish 1 and 2: These were the books I used during a university course.  They are very comprehensive and full of grammar explanations and exercises.  I'm not sure how well they would work for self-directed study, but they do have all the answers in the back of the book for those learning outside of a classroom.

Turkish Reading:
BBC Turkish: Short articles written in Turkish

If you have any additional suggestions to add to this list - please send me a comment!


  1. Hi, this link might prove helpful too: http://turkishbasics.com

  2. You didn't mention Turkish Tea Time, it is my favorite pod cast and there is suppliental work on their website.

  3. Memrise.com has been an extremely helpful Turkish learning resource for me.


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