If you looked at 5 Reasons to Love Turkish you will remember that Turkish is a wonderful language to learn: it impresses native and non-native speakers alike, it is easy to pronounce, its words are generally short and memorable, and it designates no gender to nouns, or even to pronouns—he, she, and it are all o!
Five more reasons to entice you to learn Turkish:
6. It has an extremely regular grammar.
A Francophone journalist recently told me that he and his colleagues had to keep a French grammar book on hand for proofreading, because they could never be sure about those pesky grammar exceptions and exceptions to exceptions. Not so in Turkish.
The grammar is different than that of Germanic and Romance languages, sure, but it is regular.
Take simple past tense for example. In English:
Go -> went
Come -> came
Drink -> drank
Eat -> ate
It’s ridiculous! The poor learner of English has to memorise each of these past tense forms. In Turkish:
Git (go) -> Gittim (I went)
Gel (come) -> Geldim (I came)
Iç (drink) -> Içtim (I drank)
Ye (eat) -> Yedim (I ate)
You can see the rule in a moment: add –tim or –dim. The –ti or –di indicates past. The –m indicates “I”. To decide between the two options, you just follow one consistent rule about sounds that belong together. Speaking of which…
7. It follows “vowel harmony”.
ev (house) -> evler (houses)
adam (man) -> adamlar (men)
With just two examples, you know to make plurals in Turkish (add –ler or –lar). If you look closely, you can figure out how to choose between the two endings.
The “e” in ev wants another “e”. The “a”s in adam want another “a”. These vowel sounds simply sound better together. Speak a little Turkish, and you may return to English only to wonder how we put up with so many strange sounds shmushed into single words.
8. It takes words from French and makes them easy to say.
If you have struggled with French pronunciation, let Turkish help you sound it out.
9. It takes words from other languages, too—Arabic and Persian especially.
بسيط basit (basic)
أبيض beyaz (white)
برابر beraber (together)
سياه siyah (black)
One major benefit of drawing from these foreign languages is that Turkish maintains a rich word bank of subtly different synonyms; Turkish still has kolay (easy, simple), ak (clean, pure, white), birlikte (as one, together) and kara (black), in addition to the adopted words. English is similar—descend/go down, academy/school, encourage/cheer—and the result is the same: you can play with the differences.
10. It is full of lovely sayings for daily use.
Ellerinize sağlık. “Health to your hands.” Said to the person who cooked a meal for you. I interpret it as ‘May your hands be healthy so you can continue to make delicious food.’
Kolay gelsin. “May it come easily.” Said to anyone working.
When you venture down the very enjoyable road of Turkish, kolay gelsin.