Common Turkish words: facts and figures

The Turkish language is one of the most passionate languages in the world and its beauty lies in its words.

The Turkish language is estimated to be made out of a total of 150000 words with the largest Turkish dictionary having over 100000 words. This can seem a really big and frightening number to someone wanting to start learning Turkish, but here's the good news: you only need to know roughly 5% of the total words to be fluent in Turkish. This translates into knowing only the 5000 most common Turkish words in order to be able to have fluent conversations in Turkish.

What’s even more encouraging is that knowing as little as 100 words helps you understand half of the words in an article or book written in Turkish. Learn the most common 1000 words and you get to a 75% understanding of texts in Turkish. Also, each new word you learn helps you guess the meaning of up to 50 words you have never seen before. This means that knowing only 1000 words helps you guess up to 50000 Turkish words. Doesn't seem that frightening now, right?

Top 10 cool and common Turkish words pronounced by native Turkish speakers

1. Merhaba. = Hello.

Let's naturally start with "Merhaba" which means "Hello" in Turkish. This is one of the most known words in Turkish and a great way to start a conversation with someone from Turkey. Click play below to listen to the actual pronunciation:

Merhaba.

2. Aşk = Love

Love is a universal feeling and we definitely had to talk about it here. Turkish people have a lovely way of saying they love someone or something through the word "aşk". Hear it in action here:

Aşk

3. Mutluluk = Happiness

When there's love, there's definitely happiness. We are all chasing "mutluluk" as Turkish speaking people would say. Listen closely and you might just get some “happiness” in your life today:

Mutluluk

4. Kedi = Cat

Let's talk pets. There are two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. We are going to talk about cats first or how people in Turkey would say: "kedi". Listen to how it sounds like:

Kedi

5. Köpek = Dog

But let's not forget our lovely and loyal companions, dogs. A dog in Turkish is "köpek", a really useful word for dog lovers worldwide. Here is how you would pronounce it:

Köpek

6. Gülümsemek = Smile

Now it is time to smile or how someone from Turkey would say "gülümsemek". Smiling makes us happy and helps us stay healthy, so that's why we all need to smile every day. Here's the Turkish pronunciation:

Gülümsemek

7. Türk = Turkish

Next, let’s see how people in Turkey say “Turkish”. The correct answer is "türk". Listen to how a Turkish speaker would pronounce it:

Türk

8. Evet. = Yes.

Yes, we have arrived at number 8 where “yes” is the subject to be discussed. Turkish speakers say “yes” by simply saying "evet". Enhance your understanding by listening to how a person from Turkey would pronounce it:

Evet.

9. Teşekkürler. = Thank you.

Thank you for reading this far or should I say "Teşekkürler" as they say in Turkish. Here's a native speaker thanking you in Turkish:

Teşekkürler.

10. Güle güle. = Good-bye.

No polite conversation can end without a good old goodbye or "Hoşçakalın!" how Turkish people usually say. Now it's time for a delightful Turkish voice to say "Goodbye" to you:

Güle güle.

Improve your Turkish vocabulary online

Online language courses nowadays are fun, effective, affordable and use the latest technology to teach you a new language. This makes them a great solution to build your vocabulary. Meet Mondly, one of Apple’s best new apps of 2016 helping millions of people around the world learn a language. Our expert linguists have selected the most common Turkish words so you start by learning what’s really important. No more learning random words you will probably never use in real life.

Each Mondly lesson revolves around a certain theme or situation: from family to colors to animals or shopping related lessons. You quickly get immersed in different situations like ordering food in a restaurant, booking a hotel room or having a casual talk with a native speaker you’ve just met. Organizing the lessons into themes makes learning Turkish words a lot easier by creating powerful associations in your brain.

Turkish words spoken by native speakers

It’s been proven that you learn any language faster when you hear natives speak. That’s why our linguists have made listening to natives an essential part of the learning experience. All phrases within the app are recorded by professional Turkish speakers so you can sit back and absorb the correct pronunciation of the most common Turkish words effortlessly.

Now, let’s explore the ultimate goal of learning Turkish: having real conversations. That’s exactly why we’ve made speaking exercises an essential part of our lessons so you can practice the cool Turkish words you just learned. You have to try our Voice Chatbot, a computer program so advanced you can actually have an intelligent conversation with. Just engage in a conversation and you get asked questions, you respond and the Chatbot understands what you're saying and continues the chat. It’s a remarkable technology that made millions of people fall in love with Mondly.

Image showing the Turkish words you can learn with Mondly

Did you know?

The Turkish language is a so called agglutinative language. This means that there is a root word and you “glue” to it a prefix in the beginning or a suffix at the end to form the final word. As a result, you can end up with really long words.

No wonder that the longest Turkish word has a whooping 70 characters and is this bad boy: “muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesine”. The word is derived from the root noun “muvaffakiyet” which means “success” to form what in other languages would mean a whole sentence. In literal translation, this huge word means “As though you are from those whom we may not be able to easily make into a maker of unsuccessful ones”. It doesn’t make much sense in other languages and even Turkish people have a hard time pronouncing it so don’t worry about it. You don’t have to learn such words to be fluent in Turkish.

A more common long word that Turkish people can actually pronounce is "ademimerkeziyetçilik". The words has “only” 20 characters and it means “decentralization”

The benefits of learning the most common Turkish words first

Make Turkish learning fun and easier

Starting with the Turkish basics means you will begin by learning the easiest words first and gradually increase difficulty. This way you will feel great while learning and see how your language knowledge broadens.

Have basic Turkish conversations in no time

You'll be able to speak to someone from Istanbul or Ankara about regular topics like weather, politics or family. This will make you confident in your Turkish skills and eager to learn more.

Become fluent in Turkish faster

By learning the most common Turkish words first you are learning the smart way. Why learn the most unusual words in Turkish when you might never use them in real life?

You improve your Turkish vocabulary

Each new Turkish word you learn piles up until your vocabulary builds stronger and stronger. Each lesson gets you one step closer to fluency.