Life in Turkey

Seven Free Ways to Learn the Turkish Language Faster

Here are a few useful tips to learn the Turkish language faster (and easier):

They are all free of charge and can be implemented in your free time.

In this way, you can easily integrate them into your daily rhythm.

They will definitely help you out,whether you want to learn Turkish for university, prepare yourself for immigrating into Turkey or just for fun.

Learn the Turkish language

I enjoy searching for things that make life a little bit easier. This of course includes helpful tricks to learning languages ​​faster.

I am currently learning a new language myself, Russian. Here, I am writing about Turkey. That’s why tips to learn the Turkish language have come to my list of topics. Most of these helpful tricks can be implemented for all languages.

If possible, implement some of my ideas in the following post. You will notice that progress very quickly. They are really not terribly complex. For just a little effort, you will see the results!

I have not discovered the Holy Grail. You will still have to stay tuned in and push yourself to try speaking and using the language. This is by far more important than anything else! These little tricks and gimmicks will help you learn the Turkish language.

1. Free language software and apps

The Internet now offers many practical and, above all, free ways to learn languages. In the past, language students had to pore over textbooks and vocabulary books all night long.

There are now language apps that can teach you Turkish in a playful, enjoyable way.

Learning languages on a smartphone or notebook has many advantages. You can easily find time to study on a daily basis by opening your mobile phone on a  15- or 20-minute break.

Four apps that can really assist you. I will briefly explain to you how they work in principle.

Duolingo – the best 100% free voice app

Duolingo is a 100% free app that can be used on a smartphone or via a web version on a notebook computer. It is currently my all-time favourite language app.

Duolingo can teach  you Turkish in a playful way. Learning tasks are divided into daily portions. Every day, you will be reminded of this by the app. Every day there is a new lesson for learning vocabulary and grammar rules. The whole premise is set up to work like a game. As your knowledge increases, a new level will be unlocked. You are allowed to repeat the lesson until you have mastered it.

Of course, learning is repeated over and over again. This allows you to continuously train and consolidate your language skills.

You can track your learning progress online whenever you like. You can even share your status with others in the app’s community. That is an additional incentive. A little competition encourages personal ambition.

Interaction with other learners keeps things interesting. This helps with long-term motivation.

Duolingo is completely free of charge.

You can learn the Turkish language every day in your spare time.

Duolingo, as a playful online course, introduces you to different levels of language skills. You can start either as an absolute beginner or as an advanced learner.

Hands-on Turkish

Hands-on Turkish is an EU-funded project. It is intended to improve Turkish language skills in EU countries. All courses offered on the website and the app are free of charge.

The courses consist of around 80 hours of learning content. This includes more than 600 hours of audio and 300 articles.

Hands-on Turkish will teach you the basics of the Turkish language. It’s ideal for visiting tourists as well as for studying the culture and business etiquette of Turkey.


You don’t have to pay anythingYou don’t even have to log inThey offer a Beginners course (First Steps in Turkish)…as well as an Advanced course (Hands-on Turkish)Information about the Turkish culture is included in the learning material.App & web-based content so you can access it virtually anywhereA vocabulary of business terms as well as social idioms aid in seamless assimilation


Busuu is a social network for learning languages. Believe it or not, 50 million people are now taking part in Busuu. This platform offers a wide variety of languages ​. So, here you don’t have to just specialize in the Turkish language.

To start off, you need to create a user profile and add the languages ​​you want to learn. Language lessons can be worked through on the app or the website. You can choose your own pace, according to your needs.

Similar to Duolingo, the content is structured in a playful way. This creates a constant incentive to keep learning something new.

For some years now, Busuu has also been offering a paid premium membership, which enables you to activate additional functions and more learning content. These functions are not essential for learning basic language skills.


  • Free basic membership
  • App with travel packages for different countries (commonly used idioms and other expressions)
  • Learn a new language on a social network
  • The learning content at A1 to B2 level deals with over 150 topics of daily life.


Babbel is a type of software developed in Germany for learning languages ​​online. The company is still headquartered in Berlin.

Just like Duolingo and Busuu, the content is very detailed. It ranges from courses for beginners to very advanced language skills. Correct pronunciation is conveyed through sound recordings. Spelling, vocabulary and grammar are all taught through the Babbel website and app.


  • Free trial
  • Paid extended membership
  • Particular importance is placed on correct pronunciation
  • Both app & web content
  • Audio content


LinqApp is a social network which provides words, phrases and texts translated by native speakers for free.

When you register, you provide your details, namely, about what your mother tongue is and which other language skills you can offer. Next, you enter languages ​​that you want to learn.

Once you register, you can start right away. For example,  you can ask a question, which will be sent to everyone else who speaks your language and the language you are trying to learn. This way, everyone  takes turns supporting one other in learning languages.


  • Help with checking translations
  • An easy and free way to translate texts into another language
  • Both web version & app
  • Get assistance from other learners

2. Turkish conversation (language partner)

Searching for “Turkish conversation” (language partner) is an easy way to converse in a foreign language. Let’s say that you’re looking for a conversation partner who would like to learn German and can teach you Turkish in return.

You can easily find a language partner over the Internet. It doesn’t matter whether you hang out with him or just chat together on Skype.

Apps like the TandemApp and Hellotalk will help you with your search. There are also online portals that specialize in networking language or tandem partners, such as

Most universities in Germany or Turkey need “Turkish conversation” or “German conversation” exchange partners. Sometimes, you can even get paid. The only thing you have to do is talk to someone in German. On the other hand, you won’t have to pay to learn the Turkish language, you give language lessons in German. This is a win-win situation for both participants.

So, start looking for your language partner right away! As a result, you might even make  a new friend or an acquaintance.

3. Change the language setting on your devices to Turkish

This is one of the easiest ways to learn the Turkish language. Simply change the language settings of your mobile phone and notebook to Turkish.

You can do the same on Facebook and other social networks. Make sure that you know how to switch back  to your mother tongue at any time.

Notebook and computer on a table with a phone

Notebook, computer, mobile phone, …

4. Place sticky notes all over your home

It’s definitely old-school but very effective! Buy some post-its and write the vocabulary you want to learn on it.

How does it work? Well, first you write the Turkish name for “refrigerator” on a post-it and stick it on your fridge. You do the same with all the other items in your home. In this way, you will ideally see these little pieces of paper several times a day. It won’t be long before you start to memorize the words.

The next step is to write on post-it’s those vocabulary words that are difficult to remember. Stick them in places that you will see most often. So, that means on the fridge, the bathroom mirror, anywhere you look everyday…

Later on, you can also write post-it’s with grammar rules. But first you must learn all the words for the objects in your apartment. Everything in sequence, step by step!

You will notice that your learning progresses in a very short period of time.

5. YouTube videos

YouTube offers much more than entertainment with music and films. There is a lively community that deals with advice and guides on a wide variety of topics.

Fortunately, many people in Germany and Turkey have an excellent command of both national languages. This medium will provide you with a wide range of videos to help you learn.

YouTube videos are one of the best ways to practice pronunciation. After all, they are mostly narrated by native speakers from different parts of Turkey. This does not occur in the current craze of online crash courses for languages. They usually contain a few CDs of voice recordings. However, these voice recordings are spoken by standard speakers.

However, the different speakers on YouTube will give you a better feel for how everyday Turkish language sounds. You’ll discover how it’s really spoken in Turkey. In the beginning it might be a little harder for you than the standard words. But in the long term, it will pay off in spades.

6. Turkish films

Apart from the well-known illegal sites, you can find Turkish films and series  on YouTube.

It is easiest to watch well-known films with the Turkish translation subtitles. This allows you to absorb the language in a subtle way without having to overly concentrate..

In Turkey, you have the additional advantage of selecting Turkish   TV or radio channels. It doesn’t matter if you barely understand a thing at first. That will change quickly over time.

Of course, you can also order a few Turkish films. Amazon currently has the greatest selection of films.

7. You want to learn the Turkish language ? Motivation, motivation, motivation !

Why do you want to learn Turkish? The most important thing is to get in touch with the underlying motivation for learning. Is it your parents’ language? Do you live in Turkey now? Do you need to learn the language for school or a job opportunity?

Basically, the reason doesn’t really matter. The most important thing is the motivation that fuels you to learn a foreign language, like Turkish. I have a few pieces of advice for that. They have made a difference on my journey of learning new languages.


Motivation doesn’t help you if you don’t have patience. You want to learn a new language. This is a process that takes a certain amount of time. Constantly try to keep adding new words and phrases to your knowledge base. Small successes increase motivation. Don’t try to learn Turkish perfectly within the next few months. Aim for progress, and find achievable goals every day.


Perseverance comes with patience and small successes. As soon as you notice that you are starting to improve, perseverance comes by itself. Schedule a fixed study time for yourself. Apps or conversation partners will help you stick with it. Don’t worry if things don’t go as quickly as you would like. This is not a problem. You don’t have to compare yourself to others. Do your own thing.

Make your goals known

Tell your friends and acquaintances your goals. They will remind you about it, time and again. This makes it easier for you to stick to your plan. It’s no fun to admit defeat when they ask you how you are progressing. This puts a little pressure on you, which can cause stress. That’s why giving yourself a reward for completing your personal to-do list makes more sense.


After achieving your goals, you deserve a reward. A friend or partner might be able to help you with this. A few little things are enough to motivate you to keep going. You’ll know best what they could be.

Realistic goals

You should have a goal in mind. Why do you want to learn Turkish? What is the result? What will that bring you success and satisfaction on your journey to language fluency?

Instead of goals, it is better to set yourself some tasks. That brings me back to the topic of working in small steps. I’ve summarized a few tasks for you as a to-do list. Try it!

Your to-do list as a beginner

I’ve put together a to-do list for the next three months. Stick with it. You will notice that you are succeeding  within a very short period of time.

Download one of the free apps. (Set a particular time to study at least ten minutes a day.)

Find an online conversation partner. Create a profile for this and start looking!

Learn 5 to 10 new words every day. You can master 450 to 900 words in only three months! That will be enough to communicate in the most common everyday  life situations.

Memorize the most important questions and expressions. The app will help you with this.

Learn three different tenses.

To-do list for advanced usersDown load one of the free apps and take a placement test. Set the app and study for at least ten minutes a day.

Find a conversation partner.

Learn a new grammar rule every two weeks

Start by watching movies and television series in Turkish

Read the news in Turkish every now and then

Learn 5 to 10 new words every day, from films and newspapers.

Start to learn the Turkish language now

Mastering a foreign language offers you many advantages. No matter whether you are learning Turkish for school, travel or as a new emigrant.

You don’t just learn the Turkish language. You also begin to understand the people and culture of Turkey much better.

This will help you to feel more comfortable when you come to Turkey. These normal exchanges with native speakers remind you of the difference that knowing a language can make. I’m just talking about bargaining for a couple of cucumbers in the bazaar. There are many other situations when knowing a few words in Turkish can really help you.

So, take your time and try to master a few words. With a little consistency, you’ll find that it really isn’t so difficult. Make a simple goal to guide you. Every day, five or ten words are enough. You can also throw in a grammar rule every two weeks.

If you keep this up for about three months, you will acquire a good feel for the  language. You can also supplement your knowledge by downloading a few apps on your smart phone, such as Duolingo, Busuu, LinqApp or Babbel.

To learn the Turkish language a playful endeavor. The apps remind you to pick up your phone and learn something new every day. This really helps, if learning a language is important to you.

Get started right now! Don’t wait till tomorrow, start immediately! The longer you wait, the harder it gets!

So, before you go to bed tonight, make sure to implement at least one of my tips!

10 Best Apps to learn the Turkish language [free & paid]

I like to check out new apps to learn the Turkish language.

Listed below are, in my opinion,  the 10 best language learning apps. The list includes 100% Free Apps, Freemium Apps, and Premium Apps.

Eight out of 10 apps function in the German-Turkish combination, while only two have English-Turkish as an option.

All apps are suitable for beginners with no prior knowledge.

1. Babbel

Babbel’s Turkish courses are suitable for beginners and advanced learners (B1). After registering for a fee, you can get started learning the basics of the language. At first, you will hear new words, expressions and sentences. Then, you will have to repeat them, assign pictures to words and type them into the app yourself.

Babbel’s voice input is a definitive plus. After you speak the word, you receive pronunciation feedback from the app. In general, Babbel focuses on learning vocabulary and grammar. The app simulates classic school learning. As in all language learning apps, gamification (learning through play) is used, awarding points for progress and an active community with a learning partner. All these tools ensure continued motivation.

The price of € 12.99 for a monthly subscription or € 5.99 per month for an annual subscription is pretty fair. Always be sure to buy your subscription through the Babbel website. If you purchase Babbel through the app, you’ll have to pay a surcharge for the app store.


My favourite app is a combed website and app. The reason I like‘s free courses so much is because of its simple explanation of Turkish grammar. Unfortunately, this only works on the desktop version of Nevertheless, it’s a big advantage compared to the other apps. You can concentrate on learning vocabulary, sentences and grammar in a more playful way.

I made the greatest amount progress with a few concentrated hours studying the grammar lessons from You will learn the rules of sentence structure, new words and idioms.

A big disadvantage of is that the app only works in the English-Turkish pairing and no German translation is available. Many Turkish terms cannot be learned by using the English language. Without this drawback, I would have definitely placed first on my list.

3. Duolingo

Duolingo was the first app I used for learning Turkish. I still have it installed. You can use Duolingo for free with advertising banners or you can purchase a monthly subscription which is ad-free.

The app relies on playful learning with continuous new levels and points (lingots). You will learn words with pictures, important sentences and the basic rules of Turkish grammar (but only in the English browser version).

Unfortunately, many of Duolingo’s sample sentences are not exactly practical. For example, at the beginning of the course, you will learn the Turkish word for giraffes. You will only be able to order a glass of water much later on. Then there are sentences that never appear in a normal conversation. You can only activate specific topics such as “Travel” by completing previous levels or by taking a placement test.

Duolingo provides a free introduction to learn the Turkish language. That’s why I still recommend the app, which I rate in third place. I would recommend another app for advanced and motivated learners.

4. Mondly app

Mondly covers everyday life situations in separate units. These include “restaurant”, “hotel”, “sightseeing”, “shopping” and “small talk”. I also find the special courses for the hotel industry useful.

In practice, Mondly mixes up all of the learning methods. It assigns vocabulary to pictures, teaching sentences from certain situations, repeating basic content on an ongoing basis. The chatbot is innovative. By using the artificial intelligence, you can exchange ideas on topics like greeting, restaurant, hotel, cards, entertainment, shopping, meeting and taxi. Unfortunately, the bot may give you similar problems like all the similar apps in the field of language. Voice input and the recognition of whole sentences is sometimes off-track. If you don’t use a learning partner, Mondly is the next best option.

Language learning situations like in a video game make learning even more fun. You enter a room in a kind of video game scenario and learn new words. Unfortunately, some of the words have no real practical relevance for beginners. For example, “Fil” in Turkish means “elephant”. But beginners will have very little need for it.

Gamification with ranking lists and points within the app ensure long-term motivation. Daily challenges and lessons in the “Repetition Manager” also help.

One year with Mondly costs € 47.99 if purchased directly from the website. In the app, Mondly adds a fee from the app store.

5. Busuu app

With Busuu, you will learn Turkish based on the topics of travel, beginner, medium or advanced. I find the Travel option to be particularly practical, because a lot of people learn Turkish for that very reason.

The language levels are divided into units with 10 to 20 lessons each. You will learn 15 new words, phrases and idioms per unit. Tests within the app only function in the premium version of the app.

The idioms are very practical. In quizzes, Busuu regularly invites  you to sign up for the premium version to test your knowledge. As with almost all the other apps, gamification is a core part of Busuu.

Flash cards, writing exercises and corrections made by native speakers are available in the free version. Busuu has hidden the price of a premium membership on the website. The least expensive version costs € 9.99 per month for three months. If you buy a 12-month membership, it will cost you the equivalent of € 5.83 per month.

6. Rosetta Stone to learn the Turkish language

Rosetta Stone is ranked among the upper class of language learning apps. NASA and TripAdvisor use this app for their employees. The Dynamic Immersion Method from Rosetta Stone promises to teach its students without vocabulary training and mastering the rules of grammar. Learning Turkish with the Rosetta Stone should work in a similar way as if you were learning the language onsite in Turkey.

Dynamic Immersion only works with images and descriptive sentences. The app aims to imitate the process of learning mother tongue languages as when you were a small child. For example, you see the picture of a drinking girl. You describe what is in the picture. The answer is: “The girl is drinking” (you enter that in Turkish, of course).

With this method, you automatically learn vocabulary, sentences and grammar. A selection based on topics such as travel, restaurants or business helps you learn the right content. In addition to the app, you also receive a book with special vocabulary and idioms for restaurants and hotels.

If you have some previous knowledge, Rosetta Stone is not recommended. It takes a long time to repeat all the initially important things with pictures. In that case, you are better off starting with Rosetta Stone Advanced. This works together with an online placement test that determines which level you belong.

I personally dislike the complete lack of grammar rules. Intuitive learning is good because you do learn a lot of things automatically and subconsciously. Still, by using basic grammar rules, everything tends to go faster. Hint:  The free version of is an excellent accompaniment to the Rosetta Stone app. By combining the best of two apps, you are likely to have some real aha moments.

Rosetta Stone is recommended for anyone looking for a premium app. The monthly subscription of 36 € is, of course, much higher. There are also four online lessons per month. Still, you would pay more for a normal language course.

7. book2 from 50 Languages

book2 is a Freemium app from Goethe Verlag. The first 30 sections of content in the app are free. Any additional learning material in the app must be purchased. The free content is aimed at beginners. This includes audio files narrated by native Turkish speakers filled with frequent sentences.

In the beginning, the sample conversations, spoken dialog and vocabulary make sense. If you’ve been learning Turkish for some time, I don’t recommend the free version. I haven’t tried the paid content, so that’s why I can’t give an opinion on this option yet.

The dusty look of 50Languages is a little ​​irritating at first. If you can get past that, it’s about the content. Stick with the text and you will be absolutely fine. If you’re looking for audio files and lessons for beginners, by all means check out the website.

8. Google Translate

Google Translate is not considered a classic language learning app. It does, fairly efficiently translate words and sentences. While visiting a hairdresser, I once asked it what “shaving a beard” means in Turkish. By entering the grammatically clean sentence in German, Google Translate will give you the sentence in Turkish. This usually works about 95% of the time. This is sufficient to communicate with your conversation partner in practically all situations.

With the smart phone app, I have been able to enter completely translated inquiries into many other languages. It is also a practical aid when learning a Turkish course. If a word or phrase is new, just enter it into Google Translate.

With the Translate app you can also take photographs of Turkish sentences or film them with the camera. The app gives you the right translation. This can be very useful in restaurants, bus stops and other similar situations. Here is the link to the Google Translate app, including a list of all its functions.

9. Searching for a conversational partner

In theory, apps do a good job of teaching you how to learn the Turkish language. Learning partners take you to the next level. In practice, you can talk to them and polish your skills.

Babbel and Duolingo provide you with a search function for conversation partners who are also using the app. There are also dedicated apps who focus on helping you find a language partner. Let me introduce you to three of them:

  • HelloApp: free chat and search for native speakers around the world.
  • TandemApp: search for paid language partners.
  • connects language students with native speakers in face-to-face meetings. The site is a bit wobbly, but it works.

10. Turkish keyboard app for Android and iPhone

These language apps have an additional keyboard for Turkish letters. At first, it looks like a  good solution, but in the long run, it can be very annoying. Besides that,, it only works within the app. This can be solved for free with a Turkish keyboard app, which also corrects spelling mistakes with the auto-correction function.

Android: download the free Gboard app. Set Turkish as the second language. With one click of a button you can switch from the German to the Turkish layout. Some new versions of Android also have a decent multilingual keyboard preinstalled.

iPhone: here is Apple’s statement on multilingual keyboards.

My conclusion on the Turkish apps:

About four years ago, I wrote a post about learning Turkish with apps. At that time, there was only a limited supply of apps and online courses. At that time, most of the apps only worked in English-Turkish.

In the meantime, that has changed. Thankfully, other language pairs have found their way on the market. There are also some inexpensive alternatives.

Overall, the offering of language apps has become larger and clearly, more professional. I was still using Duolingo when it was in the beta phase in English-Turkish. Since then, the app and the course content have become much more sophisticated.

Paid apps have advantages over their Freemium and completely free versions. They are still an excellent addition to Turkish courses and everyday learning.

If you have any first-hand experience using language apps, feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

This will be of great interest to anyone who is searching for an app.

Curiosities of the Turkish language

This article will accompany you, I hope, as you become more familiar with the Turkish language. Would you be surprised if I told you that more than 100 million people around the world speak Turkish or one of its variants? There is no reason to think that you will not succeed. Of course, it is a very different language from Latin languages, and its grammar and syntax are so different that at first glance, it seems impossible to deal with.

The Turkish alphabet

You might have discovered the Turkish language somewhat by accident, thanks to a Turkish television series. You might have been surprised to see that it has nothing to do with the Arabic language. In fact, many people think that Arabic is spoken in Turkey. As you will see, it is a completely different language.

The Turkish alphabet consists of 29 letters. The letters Q, W and X are missing, but we have extra letters, which correspond to linguistic needs, such as ç, ğ, ı, ö, ş, ü.

Turkish writing is perfectly phonetic, so each letter corresponds to a sound and consequently each word is written according to how it is pronounced. But the pronunciation of some letters can makes the language a bit different.

The real challenge is learning how to pronounce sounds you’ve never heard before, like ğ or ı (the dotless i). To pronounce the word “değer” for example, I will tell you to pronounce “de’er”, this ğ is a kind of thousandth of a pause in the word, or as some would say, it prolongs the previous vowel.

As for ı, there is no such sound in the Latin alphabet. It is a guttural sound. It can only be learned by hearing it and repeating it, over and over again until you get it right.

In 1928, the Turkish alphabet was adopted thanks to the reforms initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. By finally abolishing the Arabic alphabet, the Latin alphabet was found to be much more suitable for Turkish phonetic transcription (with a few modifications, as indicated above).

Gratis survival lexicon

After this short presentation of the Turkish language, I invite you to download, for free, a small survival lexicon that I have prepared for you. I hope it helps you learn and enjoy the Turkish language.