Turkish/Pronunciation and Alphabet/A-I
The alphabet in Turkish is based on the Latin alphabet. However, the pronunciations of the letters are a little different from English, and there are also some perhaps unfamiliar letters included, too. So, let's start learning the Turkish alphabet!
|/ɑ/||Click for sound (help·info)|
Letter is named as 'a'. Pronounced like the a in arm, but shorter. It's the most common letter in Turkish. Considered as a 'back vowel'.
- Ankara /ˈɑnkɑɾɑ/
- akvaryum /ɑkˈvɑɾjum/
- aktif /ɑkˈtif/
- Asya /ˈɑsjɑ/
- Avrupa /ɑvɾupɑ/
- Amerika Birleşik Devletleri /ɑmeɾiˈkɑ biɾleˈʃic devletleˈɾi/
|/b/||Click for sound (help·info)|
Named as be. Pronounced like the b in big. Detones to 'p' in end of the word.
- bar /bɑɾ/
- baba /bɑˈbɑ/
- başarı /bɑʃɑˈɾɯ/
- bir /biɾ/
|/dʒ/||Click for sound (help·info)|
Named as ce. Now things have started to go different, here! Be careful, in Turkish, c is pronounced sort of like the j in jelly. Detones to 'ç' in the end of word.
- cep telefonu /dʒep telefonu/
- cam /dʒɑm/
- cin /dʒin/
|/tʃ/||Click for sound (help·info)|
Named as çe. This is pronounced like the ch in chocolate.
- çan /tʃɑn/
- çam /tʃɑm/
- çene /tʃeˈne/
- çay /tʃɑj/
- çocuk /tʃoˈdʒuk/
- Çin /tʃin/
|/d/||Click for sound (help·info)|
Named as de. This is pronounced like the d in delight. Detones to 't' in the end of the word.
- Danimarka /dɑniˈmɑɾkɑ/
- deniz /deˈniz/
- dergi /deɾˈɟi/
- dün /dyn/
|/e/||Click for sound (help·info)|
|/ɛ/||Click for sound (help·info)|
|/æ/||Click for sound (help·info)|
Named as e. This letter has three allophones (i.e. this letter can be pronunced as three different sounds under different conditions.). All of the sounds are similar sounds. The first one is more like i (i.e. it is closer), the second one is a bit like a and the last one is more like a (i.e. it is more open). Although it never changes the meaning of the word if pronounced wrongly, it is very important to pronunce /e/ and /æ/ correctly, in order to have a native-like pronunciation. /ɛ/ is a sound between (closer to /e/) them and it is not distinguished generally.
- /æ/ sound occurs before l, m, n, r in situations where the sequences er, em, en and el are not followed by a vowel. It is similar to a in hand. For example: belki /bælcʰi/ listen (help·info), pergel /pæɾɟæl/ listen.
- /ɛ/ occurs in wordfinal position. For example, metre /metrɛ/ listen (help·info) (compare /e/ and /ɛ/ while listening this audio file, they are very similar sounds, but /æ/ and /e/ are not).
- /e/ occurs elsewhere erkek /æɾcʰecʰ/ listen (help·info). All three occur in words such as gezegende /gezegændɛ/, defterde /deftʰæɾdɛ/ .
- egzersiz /eɟzæɾˈsiz/
- ekmek /ecˈmecʰ/
- elma /elˈmɑ/
- enerji /enæɾˈʒi/
- ev /ˈev/
- el /ˈæl/ some people pronunce it as /ˈel/
|/f/||Click for sound (help·info)|
Named as fe. This is pronounced like the f in forget. It's a rare sound and only in loanwords (mostly Arabic).
- fakir /fɑˈciɾ/
- faks /ˈfɑks/
- fare /fɑːˈɾɛ/
- fikir /fiˈciɾ/
- Finlandiya /finˈlɑndijɑ/
- Fransa /ˈfɾɑnsɑ/
- futbol /ˈfutboɫ/
|/g/ (with back vowels, i.e. a, ı, o and u)||Click for sound (help·info)|
|/ɟ/ (with front vowels i.e. e, i, ö and ü)||Click for sound (help·info)|
Or ge. This is pronounced like the g in go with back vowels and like the g in guitar with front vowels. Detones to 'k' in end of the word.
In Turkish, this is referred to as yumuşak "g" (soft "g"), because technically that's what it is! It can never be used at the beginning of a word, but simply lengthens the previous vowel. Think of it as the Turkish equivalent of the gh in through.
|/h/||Click for sound (help·info)|
Or he. This is pronounced like the h in heaven.
|/ɯ/||Click for sound (help·info)|
This is another one to watch out for! It's not pronounced like an i! As a matter of fact, the lowercase version of this is a dotless i (ı). It has no exact English equivalent, but is pronounced like the e in legend or i in cousin. The exact pronunciation is made by shaping your lips to say e (as in bread), but trying to say u (as in you) instead. It's hard, but no harm in trying!
Other similar English sounds: seven, the, idiot, colonel, expedition
- ılık /ɯˈɫɯk/
Try and learn those off by heart, particularly c, ç, ğ and ı!