Turkish Pronunciation Rules – Turkish Language for Tourists

by Istanbul Trails

in Basic Turkish for Tourists, City Trip

As I already mentioned in the introduction to this Turkish Language for Tourists post series, Turkish is a phonetic language. This means that, by learning a few basic rules, it’s easy to pronounce the Turkish words correctly.

Turkish Alphabet

In order to create a phonetic language, a few changes were made to the Latin alphabet. The letters Q, W and X were disregarded and six additional letters were added: ç, ğ, ş, ö, ü and ı (undotted i). So, the Turkish alphabet is made up of eight vowels and twenty-one consonants.

Turkish Pronunciation

  • Basic rules
    • each letter is pronounced – e.g. your buddy Mehmet is pronounced ‘mehh-met’ and not ‘me-met’.
    • vowels don’t combine to form diphthongs – e.g. eye, boy, and cow in English
    • consonants don’t combine to form other sounds – e.g. th, gh or sh in English
  • Pronunciation of special characters
    • c – as the j in joker
    • ç – as the ch in child
    • g – as the g in garlic
    • ğ – this letter is not pronounced but lenghthens the preceding vowel
    • i – a short i, as in sit and tip
    • ı – as the u in butter
    • ö – as the u in fur
    • u – as the oo in book
    • ü – as the e in few
    • ş – as the sh in she

What's Next

Leave a Comment

Previous post: Basic Turkish Words and Expressions Every Tourist Heading for Istanbul Should Know

Next post: Numbers, Days, Months & Seasons – Turkish Language for Tourists