Expressing yourself in Turkish: 3 basic sounds
You’ve heard Turkish is a difficult language to learn? You’re wondering how you’ll be able to communicate as soon as you set foot on Anatolian grounds?
Be reassured, it’s not as hard as it may seem at first sight; or rather at first sound. Bear with me for three minutes and you’ll see communicating in Turkish can be easy as pie.
First of all, be prepared to using a higher number of facial muscles than you usually do. Turks like to emphasize their statements with mimics and gestures.
As a warm up, practice raising your eyebrows while opening your mouth and slightly dropping your chin. Very nice.
Now go on to smoothly moving your head from left to right and back for about three times while smiling. You may also raise your right hand at the same time as if you were holding an apple that you would take a bite off, keeping it at ten inches from your face. That’s it.
And now I’d ask you to slowly bend your head and upper body backwards as if you were sitting in a rocking chair. You widen your eyes and sharpen your lips at the same time.
How many letters does the Turkish alphabet have? The answer is 29. BUT: You can survive with only 3 (!) of them. A, E and O. Forget about all the rest of them.
A in the expression Aa! (pronounce fast Ah!Ah!) is used for expressing surprise. Now here’s where your warm up comes in. Raise your eyebrows, open your mouth and slightly drop your chin as you pronounce this vowel twice. In English “Really?” or “I can’t believe this!” are often used in such a context.
E in the expression Eeeee? (pronounce Eehee!) comes in handy when you would like to ask the person you’re talking to to go on with their story. Eeeee? may be translated as “Soooo?” or “And theeeeen?”. Don’t forget to smoothly move your head from left to right and back for about three times while smiling and doing the apple gesture.
O is featured in the expression Ooooo! and basically is an indication of praise as if to say “Well done!”. Again, while letting the sound slip through your lips, slowly bend your head and upper body backwards as if you were sitting in a rocking chair. You may alternatively also slightly shake your shoulders backwards and forwards.
That’s basically it. Three vowels, three usefully everyday life expressions.
Got it? So now practice this a few more times and you’re ready to go to Turkey.
See? You’re fluent! Ooooo!