Merhaba! (Hello!) One of the Turkic languages and the official language of Turkey and Northern Cyprus, Turkish is spoken by around 90 million people worldwide. Smaller groups can be found in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania and other parts of Eastern Europe, and Turkish is also spoken by several million people of immigrant origin in Western Europe, particularly Germany.
Turkish Fun Facts
The 2006 Nobel Laureate in Literature, Orhan Pamuk (born 1952) is the most famous Turkish author of our time. He’s widely read in the English-speaking world and his works have been translated into over 50 languages.
Language for good eating—A number of Turkish words for food are well known in English, including baklava (baklava), döner kebap (doner kebab), şiş kebap (shish kebab), and yoğurt (yogurt).
A versatile word: There is an adjective in Turkish, kabakçıl, which means open minded or progressive. But the root of the word, kabak, literally means zucchini. As an adjective, kabak can also be used to describe a bald head (kabak kafa), or the feeling of being exposed or stupid (kabak gibi ortada kalmak). There is also a well-known dish from the Agean Region of Turkey, kabak cicegi dolmasi, stuffed zucchini blossoms.
Inside the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. This famous building was first an Eastern Orthodox basilica then a mosque and now a museum. Photo submitted by Die For Metal !.
Hot air ballons floating above Cappadocia in the mountainous Nevşehir Province. Photo submitted by sphis24.
Busy and vibrant Istanbul at night. Photo submitted by Nazlı Tursun.
Turkish and the Livemocha Community
- Almost 3% of Livemocha members speak Turkish
- Nearly 60% of Turks on Livemocha are learning English. About equal numbers of Turks – about 8% each - are also learning German and Spanish
- The top 5 countries with Livemocha members learning Turkish are Turkey, the US, Russia, Egypt, and the UK.