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The Turkish Alphabet

Turkish is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 70 to 80 million speakers, mostly in Turkey.  Significant groups of Turkish speakers exist in Cyprus, Bulgaria, Greece, as well as in Europe. Turkish is the official language in Turkey, Northern Cyprus, and Cyprus and recognized as a minority language in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Iraq, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Romania. If you want to know a little more about the Turkish language before starting to learn it, consider watching The Turkish Language  from the LangFocus channel.

Turkish used to be written with the Arabic alphabet from about 900 to 1928. In order to increase literacy in the country  and to modernize Turkey,  the Latin alphabet was introduced and adopted after 1928.  The Turkish alphabet has 29 letters, seven of which (Ç, Ş, Ğ, I, İ, Ö, Ü) have been modified from their Latin originals to reflect the actual sounds of spoken Turkish. All in all there are 21 consonants and 8 vowels. The letters Q, W, and X of the basic Latin alphabet do not occur in the Turkish alphabet.  This modified alphabet represents modern Turkish pronunciation with a high degree of accuracy and specificity. 

The Turkish alphabet is actually quite easy to learn because it is so similar to English.  Nevertheless, you should familiarize yourself with the new sounds. To accelerate learning, we recommend that you start learning the letters and sounds of Turkish  already during the summer.


There are quite a few videos and apps to help you review the Turkish alphabet. They are good options since they frequently combine both audio and written instruction for a well-rounded approach giving you a more practical experience using the new letters.  You could start right now: here is a simple Turkish alphabet presentation.


Another good way of practicing the letters over and over again and quiz yourself  is on your smartphone. Try it out and realize how much fun it is and how much you learn.