Turkish/Pronunciation and Alphabet/İ-R

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Pronunciation and Alphabet
← Previous: A-I İ-R Next: S-Z →

Know c, ç, ğ and ı off by heart? Good, now let's move on.

İ[edit]

/i/ About this sound Click for sound

This is the opposite of an I, it's an İ! The lowercase version is a dotted i, just like in English. It's pronounced like the ee in see, but shorter.

For example:

  • iyi /iˈji/
  • inanç /iˈnɑntʃ/
  • iğne /iːˈnɛ/

J[edit]

/ʒ/ About this sound Click for sound

Or je. Pronounced like the s in pleasure, but a more accurate equivalent of it would be the j in the French word, jour. This letter is used in Turkish words of foreign origin.

For example:

  • jeton - token
  • jilet - razor blade
  • jenerik - (film) credits

K[edit]

/k/ About this sound Click for sound
/c/ About this sound Click for sound

Or ke. Pronounced like the c in car generally before a, ı, o and u (back vowels). Before e, i, ö, ü (front vowels) like K in Kate. But of course there some exceptions. In some words of foreign origin, even if the letter comes before a, ı, o and u, it is pronunced like k in Kate. As you will see, Turkish has no Q, and therefore K is used instead of it.

For example:

  • kurt - wolf
  • kalem - pencil
  • kağıt - paper - This word is of foreign origin, and k in this word is pronunced like K in Kate. Notice the pronunciation difference between kalem and kağıt, (listen Google Translate pronunciation of these words)
  • kahvaltı - breakfast

L[edit]

/ɫ/ About this sound Click for sound
/l/ About this sound Click for sound

Or le. Pronunced l in let (clear l, About this sound listen ) before e, i, ö and ü. Before a, ı, o and u it is generally pronunced like l in luck (dark l, About this sound listen ). But of course there some exceptions as there are in the letter k. In some words of foreign origin, even if the letter comes before a, ı, o and u, it may be pronunced like l in let.

  • Did you know? In Turkish, words of Turkish origin doesn't start with the letter l. All words starting with l are of foreign origin.

For example:

  • lale (tulip) About this sound listen : This word is of Persian origin. Both ls in this word pronunced like l in let
  • kol (arm): l in this word is pronunced like l in luck.
  • lanet (curse): This word is of foreign origin. L in this word pronunced like l in let.

M[edit]

/m/ About this sound Click for sound

Or me. Pronounced like the m in man.

For example:

  • masa - table
  • mutfak - kitchen
  • mektup - letter

N[edit]

/n/ About this sound Click for sound

Or ne. Pronounced like the n in now.

For example:

  • ne - what
  • nane - mint
  • namus - honour

O[edit]

/o/ About this sound Click for sound

Pronounced like the o in oh.

For example:

  • o - he/she/it
  • otobüs - bus
  • oda - room

Ö[edit]

/ø̞/ About this sound Click for sound

Pronounced like the eu in the French word seul, or the ö in the German word schön. There is no English equivalent, but the closest one I can think of is the i in bird. The exact pronounciation is made by shaping your lips to say o (as in organ), but saying e (as in bread) instead.

For example:

  • öğle - noon
  • öğretmen - teacher
  • ölçü - measurement

P[edit]

/p/ About this sound Click for sound

Or pe. Pronounced like the p in pet.

For example:

  • parça - piece
  • peynir - cheese
  • para - money

R[edit]

/ɾ/ About this sound Click for sound

Or re. If you're wondering, "Where's Q?", in Turkish there is no letter Q.

This one's simple, just pronounce it like the Spanish and the Italians do (roll the R), but a bit shorter.

For example:

  • rahat - peaceful
  • rakam - digit
  • rakı - Raki (yup, the alcoholic drink)

This time it might be a good idea to learn i, j, and ö off by heart.

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