Learning Travellers Turkish?

Jul 28th, 2008, 09:05 AM
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Learning Travellers Turkish?

Hey Gang,

Doing my best to learn some Turkish prior to our two week trip, but I'm failing miserably. I tried the Rosetta Stone program and it's an excellent resource but I don't think it's what I want. After much effort I now know the words for the colors, cars etc. and kitty (kedi).

What I want is basic travellers phrases. "Where is?" and the words needed to understand the answer, "How much does this cost?", "Where's the biffy?", "Check please.", "I'm sorry I don't speak Turkish well". The please and thank you pleasantries. That sort of thing.

Does anyone have a resource or language program they have used that fits the bill? I'm sending the spendy Rosetta Stone back. Help!

Many thanks, the turnip
turnip is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 09:31 AM
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I just used what was in the back of my guidebooks and a CD I found on clearance at a travel bookstore, so I cannot make a specific recommendation. There's one on Amazon that I considered called "Just Enough Turkish" that looks good. Lonely Planet makes one too, but the print in their language guides is too small!

My advice: learn the numbers! That was the thing I was best able to conquer--and the most useful.
You also might want to check out
(limited vocab, but pronunciation cues)
Good luck--it's a neat language and knowing a tad will add a lot to your visit!
yorkshire is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 11:08 AM
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If you don't have the time or talent (speaking for myself) to learn the local language, learn this one phrase thoroughly and correctly in Turkish. Practice it until it rolls off your tongue and you feel confident. Say it with a sheepish smile...

"I'm sorry I do not speak XXX. Do you speak English?"

That will be more helpful than stumbling around unless you have time to get at least a fundamental grasp of alanguage.
suze is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 03:03 AM
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turnip is offline  
Aug 1st, 2008, 08:48 AM
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Might help..... Also have a small travel size dictionary and use where you need.

propertravel is offline  
Aug 1st, 2008, 08:54 AM
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Why don't you just buy a Turkish travellers phrasebook, there are plenty out there (Berlitz, Lonely Planet, Eyewitness, etc. all have them).
Christina is offline  
Aug 1st, 2008, 09:00 AM
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Try www.travlang.com

It's a great site and it's free.

The section I use is Travlang's Foreign Language for Travellers. Just select English as the language you speak and Turkish as the other language. It gives you a selection of basic phrases and when you click on them, you can hear the audio file. I find it very useful to hear how a native speaker would say a word - often quite different to the way I would have said it! I write a list of the phrases that will be useful but I write it phonetically.

Hope this helps.
KayF is offline  
Aug 1st, 2008, 09:01 AM
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I've no further suggestions because I personally have had no luck trying to self-teach language at home. My only successes have been going to a class at the community college and learning while I'm actually IN the country attempting to use the language.

suze is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2008, 03:49 AM
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A little update.

I invested in Rosetta Stone and was greatly disappointed. I simply don't have the time to truly learn the Turkish language. I want to learn enough to show respect to the Turkish people I meet and to help me get by on my two week vacation. After about a month with Rosetta Stone I had learned the words for man, woman, plane and kitty. When they started drilling down and teaching me things like 'pink car' I realized it was time to cut my losses. I must say that when they say they offer a no hassle money back guarantee that they weren't kidding. The refunded my money promptly and without argument.

Attempt #2 was with "Basic Turkish: Learn to Speak and Understand Turkish with Pimsleur Language." I purchaed it from Amazon for $16.50 or so. BINGO! Now this was what I was looking for. It was extremely helpful. Turkish is totally different from anything I have ever learned before. I mean growing up in Minnesota you learn a little German, hear plenty of Spanish and even some French. I knew zero Turkish and it all sounded totally foreign. The sounds were different, everything was new. The Pimsleur program worked however. I hit the 1st three lessons hard but got discouraged when they spent an hour teaching me to say "Are you a Turk?". Honestly who would ever use that phrase? I'm IN Turkey for crying out loud, of course they're Turkish.

Anyway, it took some time but I felt pretty good about at least knowing some basic phrases. The real payoff was when I would try out my VERY limited Turkish and people would look at me in total surprise. Time after time I was asked questions like "How are you coming to speak Turkish?", "Are you living or working in Turkey?", "Have you visited before?" I gotta say that that felt really good. And no, the people paying me compliments were not just trying to sell me a carpet.

I wasn't able to learn a lot of Turkish but with what I did learn I was able to communicate and show respect for my Turkish hosts. When I explained to a woman at a travel agency in Cappadocia why we had worked hard to learn at least some Turkish prior to our visit, she got the biggest smile on here face and commented how thoughtful that was.

Mission accomplished.

Two thumbs way up from the turnip for Simon and Shusters's - Basic Turkish: Learn to Speak and Understand Turkish with Pimsleur Language.
turnip is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2008, 04:03 AM
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turnip, you rock! Sorry I missed this post earlier but congrats on doing something that makes the world a little smaller!

Did you do a trip report?
TDudette is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2008, 04:11 AM
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Hi. I'm also wondering if you did a trip report. If you did could you post the link to it here. If you didn't would you consider at least giving us a few highlights. Thanks.
isabel is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 12:38 AM
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I'm working on a trip report but life keeps getting in the way. I'll keep working in it. Do an occasional search for "turnip" and you'll see it.
turnip is offline  
Nov 5th, 2008, 08:54 AM
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P_M is offline  
Nov 5th, 2008, 09:22 AM
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Way to go, turnip. Good for you!
StCirq is online now  

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