Learning Turkish North Cyprus Style!

Now that you have relocated to North Cyprus perhaps it’s time to learn the lingo and at least try your hand at mastering some of the Turkish language?!  There are various ways you can go about finding the many teachers and organisations that offer classes, either privately or in groups, and in this article we will discuss all your options.

The Turkish language for many, if truth be told, is not an easy one to master as sentences are spoken backwards compared to how they are structured in the English language – and for most other Europeans it’s not any less difficult either!  Having said that some aspects of the language are simpler too, without the need for numerous endings to enable correct meaning, for example there are only two plural endings compared to the English language which has several.

Even if you can only learn the most basic phrases and sentences, it is much appreciated by the locals, so it’s well worth trying!  Many people who relocate also want to integrate themselves into the local community, so there is no better way than to learn Turkish.

Often you will see adverts in the local Cyprus Today newspaper for private tuition, but there are also organisations such as the Anglo-Turkish Association which has weekly lessons in Kyrenia that anyone can sign up for.  There also a number of language centres opening up to cater for those wishing to learn too.  They will also advertise in the local press, or you will sometimes find them posting a leaflet on the notice board outside Kyrenia Post Office (this notice board by the way is very useful for people wishing to sell privately too, so you can always have a look to find cars, furniture and other goods for sale!)

Prices for lessons do vary a lot too, so you would be wise to look into the different options available, with group classes being the cheaper option in most cases with prices ranging from 15-20ytl per session.  The language centres will charge more as that is their sole business, but they do have good facilities such as computers, books and fully equipped classrooms that enable them to offer a more professional ‘school’ approach.  You should expect to have to book a whole course of Turkish tuition rather than being able to pay lesson by lesson, so make sure you are committed beforehand!  Whichever option you take you should be provided with materials and language sheets so that you can practice at home in your own time.

You also have the option of learning before you come to North Cyprus as well, with tapes and books available from bookshops and some libraries so that you can practice the basics prior to moving here.  Of course, on researching the internet option there are also many organisations and courses to choose from too.  Many of the local bookshops in Northern Cyprus also have standard exercise books, with the ‘Lets Learn Turkish’ book by Aysan Bayramoğlu being a popular purchase, it also comes with tapes if the bookshop stocks them.

The very first thing that you will be taught is the Turkish alphabet which has 29 letters – believe us it will take a while to learn correctly as there are accents to master for some of the letters that do not come naturally!  Many people laugh at the way words sound without the correct pronunciation, for example Alsancak (to many Alsankak!) is pronounced Alsanjak, and Arcelik (to many, Arselick!) is pronounced Arjelik; and that’s just for starters!

Once you have mastered the alphabet then you will begin to learn small phrases and words to put you to the test so ensure you can pronounce the letters correctly.  Gradually you will put sentences together and learn Turkish grammar, which at times can be difficult but once learnt easily starts falling into place – and you will find that with practice it is not so difficult after all.

So, take on the challenge as it is indeed very rewarding to receive the praise from the locals when you can converse with them on their level, and you will find that you will be respected too for taking the time to learn.  Even if you are attempting to talk to a local in Turkish then don’t worry too much if you can’t get it all out correctly, they will be able to piece it all together for you!

Comments

  1. Archie selikoff says:

    I am an American who has lived in China 20 years. I would like to study Levantine colloquial Arabic.
    Any school in North Cyprus or in the South that offers this language?
    If so, I would like to spend a month or two, learning the language, preferably in NC.
    Many thanks,
    Archie Selikoff
    Zhuhai, China.

  2. cille says:

    Hey.

    I’ve been reading your article, but i can’t seem to find any links or names for where i can go and learn turkish – i do prefer the language center and i don’t mind paying.
    Can you give me some contact details, names or links of where to look?

    Thank you so so much :)

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