When learning a new language like Turkish many will tell you that full immersion into the language is the quickest and best way to learn. Something like the Language Hacking Guide by Benny Lewis is a great advocate for this.
And they are not entirely wrong, speaking to many expats living in Turkey the main reason for their fluency in Turkish is through the absolute need to learn and be able to communicate with their other half or to work or just to survive in Turkey.
Those that haven’t but are living here in Turkey tend to still manage to surround themselves with English or their mother tongue and never quiet learn or become fluent.
Immersion isn’t always practical for many especially if you are living in another country other than Turkey or you are in a household like mine where English tends to be the predominate language and not matter how hard we try we always fall back to speaking in English. Very bad I know!!
So if you can’t fully immerse yourself in Turkish what can you do? Here are some of my ideas in which by changing a few things you do every day you can progress your Turkish slowly but surely.
Instead of sitting down to read a book, newspaper, magazine or hanging online do an hour of Turkish reading, read children’s books in Turkish, read the news online in Turkish or study your grammar.
Change the music you listen to Turkish music, there are lots of different styles of music that should suit anyone taste.
Instead of watching an hour of TV watch a some Turkish TV or Turkish Movies, you can find lots of Turkish films and TV on You Tube.
If your living in Turkey go out and start little conversations, don’t just hand the money over at the till when out shopping, say hello and how are you, ask your Turkish friends to do some conversation Practise. If you don’t live in Turkey ask any Turkish friends to skype with you, find out if there is a Turkish community in your area and if anyone is willing to help you. There are also language learning sites online where you can find people willing to chat, just be careful with who you talk to.
Find a Turkish class in your area both at home or in Turkey, you can also find teachers online if you can’t find a class nearby. This will help motivate you.
Things like changing the language on your mobile and pc can help.
Label items in your home with the Turkish words, and instead of thinking coffee, milk etc think Kahve, Süt and so on, this will help you begin to become fluent as you automatically know that coffee is Kahve and you can build from there.
Write out sayings and daily phrases and start memorising the them for future use.
Keep a language diary so you can write out words you don’t know or phrases you forget so you can look them up later and learn them.
Spend 10 minutes everyday and learn a block of words to improve your vocabulary.
By doing these little steps you will start to learn a little more everyday, it will of course take longer than using immersion but eventually you find Turkish becoming easier until you reach a reasonably level and you can hold a small conversation and from there you can head to becoming fluent.
Remember if it was that easy to learn a language we would need all the books, methods and groups to help us learn. But commit to learning and dedicate some time everyday and you will learn.
What’s your top tips for learning Turkish??
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