Turkish 101

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Turkish pronunciation looks daunting to non-native speakers, as many of the words are very long and look like tongue-twisters. With a bit of practice, however, it becomes much easier.


The Turkish vowels are

  • A - a short sound, as in the English car
  • E - a short sound, as in the English pet
  • İ - the sound in the English meet and at the beginning of İstanbul (ees-tan-bul)
  • I - a "neutral" sound with no real equivalent in English. The closest sound is the "uh" which replaces the "e" in the second syllable of open
  • O - as in the English order
  • Ö - pronounced as in German, a blend of "o" and "e", with lips rounded
  • U - short as in the English put
  • Ü - pronounced as in German, make a sound like "ee", but round your lips like you are going to say "oo"

Remember that, in lower case, the two letters İ and I look different as well. The lower case form of İ is i , while the lower case form of I is ı .

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