Many eager wanderers deem Turkey a dream destination, but do you know what will make your Turkey getaway even more memorable? Learning the Turkish language! Imagine haggling your way through the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Or marvelling at Cappadocia’s hot air balloons and befriending locals! Having a command of the Turkish language will certainly be handy in these situations.
Wondering where to start? Don’t fret. We rounded up the best apps to learn Turkish, plus some fun facts and basic greetings. Let’s begin.
Fun facts before learning Turkish
Before we equip you with the best apps that will help you master the language, here are some fast facts to encourage you to learn Turkish:
- How many people speak Turkish? More than 63 million people all over the globe. That’s a lot!
- Is Turkey the only place you can use the language? The answer might surprise you — no. To learn to speak Turkish is to open yourself to the possibility of communicating effectively with native speakers in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Germany, Bulgaria, and Romania, to name a few.
- Is Turkey easy to learn? Not quite. New language learners attest that it’s a bit more complicated than, say, German or French but its use of the same Latin alphabet as English helps.
- While it uses the same Latin alphabet English speakers are familiar with, the Turkish alphabet employs more diacritic marks. These are the tiny slashes and dots you sometimes see above certain letters.
- What language is closest to Turkish? Azerbaijani! Both are classified as Turkic languages. And you’re in luck, because they say Turkish is the easiest Turkic language you can take up.
- Why learn Turkish? Because it’s spoken in various parts of Central Asia and Eastern Europe. If you travel to the places a lot (or are planning to), a decent grasp of the language would definitely be advantageous.
Now, if you’re wondering where and how to start studying Turkish, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered these best apps to learn Turkish, in time for your next trip. Hadi gidelim — that means let’s go!
Best apps to learn Turkish from scratch
Babbel is one of the world’s most respected language learning institutions that innovate tried-and-tested linguistics methods through technology. This makes it one of the best apps to learn Turkish. It’s along the ranks of Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, and Memrise.
What we like about Babbel is it dedicates an entire language learning course for users looking to learn to speak Turkish and advance their literacy level. Babbel recommends signing up on their website for their complete Turkish course and supplementing the lessons with their mobile app for learning Turkish. The best part is they offer courses for all levels, so you can determine your starting point.
We love Babbel because it’s immersive and intuitive, meaning the app studies that way you learn so that it complements your pace. Speech recognition features also let you work on your pronunciation any time. Babbel stands by its tagline, “Language for Life,” so you’ll encounter lots of practise dialogues where you can apply the Turkish vocabulary you’re building along the way. Practical and easy, Babbel is one of those programs that let you speak with locals in no time.
Price: $6.95/month if you subscribe for a year; $7.45/month if you subscribe for six months; $8.95/month if you subscribe for three months; $12.95 if you subscribe for just one month.
2. Learn Turkish Free by Mondly
Another language learning go-to, Mondly develops specific apps for whatever language you want to study. And most users find that it acts like a private tutor you can bring with you everywhere. If you’re wondering how to learn Turkish in 10 days, Mondly’s Learn Turkish Free is one of your best bets.
Although it mostly mimics conversations and dialogues, Learn Turkish Free combines this approach with an almost classroom setting, where you can quickly pick up core words to learn the basics of conversational Turkish. Like Babbel, this mobile app for learning Turkish comes equipped with adaptive learning and speech recognition that lets users practise diction as many times as needed. At the end of each session, you can track your progress by checking on your personal statistics.
Want to engage in healthy competition? Access The Leaderboard, a feature that connects you to other people trying to learn Turkish through the same app. If you’re not in it to win it, then simply interact with members of the Mondly community to meet like-minded folks with a passion for learning new languages!
Although this is one of the best apps to learn Turkish free, do note that some features are only unlocked if you purchase a premium account. What’s more, if you sign up for Mondly Premium, you get complimentary access to the Mondly for Kids app — a great plus for parents!
Price: $9.99 for a monthly subscription and $47.99 for an annual subscription. Watch out for promos that will give you all-languages access!
Among all the apps for learning Turkish, Busuu is perhaps one of the very few that has a specific course for people preparing for a trip to Turkey. Aside from its “Complete Turkish” course, Busuu also offers “Turkish for Travel,” which focuses on “language essentials you’ll need on a holiday — from asking for directions to making a reservation.”
Either way, Busuu promises to take only 10 minutes of your day, should you wish to keep your sessions swift. But don’t be fooled; in that short amount of time, you’re taught the foundations you’ll need for optimum language literacy. For example, flashcards that seemingly just add to your work bank are followed by Turkish language rules and a few exercises that will help you apply them. If you’d like to spend more time mastering Turkish, Busuu lets you tailor a study plan that works for your schedule, whether you’re looking to write or speak better in Turkish.
Through Busuu, you can also reach out to native Turkish speakers and seek their expertise on the matter. The Busuu community is a great way to sharpen your aptitude for the language and make friends, so joining it is definitely a win-win. While you can learn Turkish online through the Busuu website, don’t forget to download its mobile app for learning Turkish. That way, your next lesson is only a tap away.
Price: $9.99 for a monthly subscription; $79.99 for an annual subscription; $89.99 for Premium Plus.
4. Innovative Language 101 – TurkishClass 101
Innovative Language 101 is another mainstay in the language learning scene. But instead of relying solely on illustrations and games, it makes use of audio and video lessons. Now, most people think that this takes more time in a day, but learning how to speak Turkish with Innovative Language 101 is a flexible affair. Your video and audio lessons can last anywhere from three to 15 minutes per session. That’s not bad, considering all you have to do is listen to the module and apply what you learned!
With Innovative Language 101, you’ll have four options after a seven-day free trial: a basic account, premium access, premium plus, and a mobile-only subscription. If you want to depend only on a mobile app for learning Turkish, then the mobile-only subscription should suffice. But if you’re looking to take advantage of sterling, truly interactive perks like getting a personalised program AND access to one-on-one sessions with an actual language instructor, then go for the Premium PLUS subscription.
Price:$9.99/month per language for mobile-only access;$46.99/month per language for premium plus access;$24.99/month per language for premium access ; $7.99/month per language for basic access.
5. Learn Turkish by 50Languages
You might be wondering why the company behind this mobile app for learning Turkish is called 50Languages. Simply put, you can learn Turkish with 50 languages — not just English! This is a great feature that comes in handy for native speakers of other languages spoken across the globe. You can now learn to speak Turkish using your mother tongue!
Learn Turkish by 50Languages requires no prior language learning experience. It will lay the foundation for correct grammar and an impressive vocabulary. This includes familiarisation with the Turkish alphabet; so if you’re looking for an app to learn Turkish and apply its alphabet and diacritic marks in writing, 50Languages is a great option. Aside from these basics, Learn Turkish by 50Languages also trains its users to use Turkish conversationally through audio files and sample conversations that are useful to real-life situations. You can replay these audio lessons anytime, so you can polish your pronunciation skills.
Note, though, that the entire Learn Turkish course has 100 lessons, and the free version only gives you access to 30 modules. While this makes 50Languages’ offering one of the best apps to learn Turkish free, we highly recommend paying for the complete course for maximum language retention.
Price:$2.99 and above for every additional lesson you purchase outside of the complimentary 30 lessons upon downloading.
Best apps for learning Turkish words
6. Learn Turkish Words — Blarma
Since we’ve already suggested apps for learning Turkish grammar, the next three apps are more for boosting your vocabulary. This is a must if you want to learn to speak Turkish like a true Turk!
Learn Turkish Words by Blarma conditions your brain to memorise at least five new words per day. What’s great about this app is its flexibility; you can adjust your daily lessons depending on your learning curve and capacity for long-term word retention. That said, you can speed things up and allow the app to teach you as many as 15 new words per day! Learn Turkish Words by Blarma uses various media to supplement their lessons: short videos, games, audio support, and eye-catching visuals, to name a few. Lessons through this app are quick and easy, and you can try themt out for free for the first five days of use.
Price: $6.99 for a one-month subscription; $13.99 for a three-month subscription; $19.99 for a 12-month subscription.
7. Learn Turkish language and words for free by Drops
One of the most efficient and reliable apps to learn Turkish words, Learn Turkish language and words for free by language learning website Drops promises that it won’t take more than five minutes of your time everyday.
Plus, Drops banks on the effectiveness of visual learning; the app is 100% illustrated! So if that sounds like more your thing, then their cute icons, pictures, and artworks will absolutely delight you! Its Learn Turkish app features a multitude of puzzles, games, and mnemonic association activities that will turn language learning into a fun, breezy part of your daily grind. Sometimes, learning a new language could feel like a chore, but this is never the case with Drops.
Just remember that Drops focuses on enriching your vocabulary. They aim to develop a stout work bank, so don’t expect grammar lessons here. You do get access to modules under Travel Talk, a feature where Drops teaches you basic words, phrases, sentences, and expressions perfect for the trip setting.
Price: Premium add-ons start at $9.99, but a premium account that allows you unlimited access to all languages offered by Drops costs $79.99.
8. Learn Turkish Vocabulary
Improve your Turkish word bank with Learn Turkish Vocabulary, an app that will cover all bases from nouns to verbs and adjectives! With this mobile app for learning Turkish, you’ll get your fill of flashcards and games as you make your way through several phrasebooks and word lists. A quirky feature follows the format of some online dating apps: swipe right if you’ve mastered the word; swipe left if you still want to see it for further retention. Learn Turkish Vocabulary also lets you hear the words’ proper pronunciation as well as track your progress with each leave you pass.
Price: Initial download is free, but add-ons cost anywhere from US$2.99 to US$5.99.
How do you greet someone in Turkish?
Now that we’re at then end of this list of awesome apps to learn Turkish, we can fortify your resolve to learn the language by tackling a few must-know greetings and expressions:
- Merhaba (mer-ha-ba) – Hello!
- Iyı günler (ee-ee, goon-ler) – Have a good day.
- Teşekkür ederim (tesh-ek-ur, ed-er-im) – Thank you!
- Günaydın (gew-nahy-duhn) – Good morning!
- İyi akşamlar (ee-ahk-shahm-lahr) – Good evening.
- Allaha ısmarladık (ah-lahs-mahr-lah-duhk) – Goodbye.
- Rica ederim (ri-ja, ed-er-im) – You’re welcome.
What’s next? Level up by mastering these 40+ essential Turkish phrases for tourists! When you’re done skimming through that, make sure to download the best apps for learning Turkish. Go back to the top of this list and take your pick. Rica ederim!