The Turkish Alphabet
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The Turkish Alphabet

The Turkish Alphabet

Voice sounds are separated into two main groups, consonants and vowels.

When there is no obstacle to a voice then the sound is called a vowel.

  • Consists of twenty-one consonants and eight vowels.

  • The Turkish alphabet is phonetic as each letter always retains it own sound.

  • In English the sound of the letters can change: a does in fat, fate, fare

  • Turkish has no such pronunciation change to letters of the alphabet.

  • Letter Y is considered as a consonant in Turkish.

Turkish Adjectives:

Adjectives and adjectival phrases precede their noun and do not agree in number.

Turkish is a descriptive language : adjectives abound.

If Turkish can make something into an adjective then it will do so.

Being an descriptive language an adjective or adjectival phrase always preceded its noun:

kara kedi a black cat as in English.

Turkish makes great use of adjectival phrases and clauses to describes nouns, actions and thoughts.

In English we may say:

The black cat with the long tail which is sitting on the mat looks hungry.

Turkish describes the cat not only as black, but also where and upon what it is sitting together with any other attributes, such as its long tail:

  • Minderin üstünde oturan uzun kuyruklu kara kedi aç görünüyor.

  • On the mat which-is-sitting long tailed black cat hungry looks.

In Turkish the subject and object are described adjectivally with regards to place and disposition.

Once all the describing is done, the verb is placed last in the sentence.

Turkish Vowel Harmony:

The majority of Turkish Vowels are always pronounced quite short.

There is no lengthening of vowels.

For Turkish learners this sometimes makes understanding difficult.

There is little and light stress in Turkish pronunciation.

Turkish has eight vowels.

Four pairs (A-E I-İ O-Ö U-Ü)

Their corresponding front / back, and rounded / unrounded sounds form the basis for vowel harmony rules.

The 4 A-Undotted Vowels a ı o u are pronounced the back of the mouth as English.

The 4 E-Dotted Vowels e i ö ü are pronounced at the front of the mouth as French.

Vowel Harmony Reference

  • A-UnDotted Vowels follow each other.

  • E-Dotted Vowels follow each other.

All original Turkish words are pronounced either:

  • Entirely containing A-UnDotted Vowels:
    kapılar doors
    bulmacaları their crosswords

  • Entirely containing E-Dotted Vowels:
    evlerinden from their house
    köylüler the villagers.

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