Turkish lessons

Proudly displaying our certificates

Proudly displaying our certificates

Something that’s really wonderful about OU is the number of lectures on any topic imaginable that are free and open to the public. Recently, I’ve learned that lectures aren’t the only free opportunity to learn. There are also free classes.

When I found out that a free Turkish class was being offered this semester, I jumped at the chance. I would love to visit Turkey, and since learning one foreign language since last semester has been fun, I decided to tackle another.

The classes, hosted by the Turkish Student Association and taught by Gorkem Guloglu, are held in a classroom on the first floor of Price on Tuesday evenings. At the beginning of the semester attendance was high, but since then it has dwindled. Fortunately, the lower attendance has allowed me and the other dedicated students there to practice our conversation one-on-one!

German is the only foreign language I’ve made much progress in, so I’m using it as a frame of reference for learning about other languages (I feel like I know more about German grammar than English grammar!). I’ve found myself comparing Turkish to German quite a bit. They’re not at all similar except for a few letters in the alphabet that make the same sound.

A few things about Turkish that are really nice:

  • Vowel harmony. The vowels added to the end of words vary based on the vowels contained in the words. As a result, words flow easily from the tongue.
  •  No definite articles.
  • Nouns don’t have genders.

In a way, I can see how it would be easier to understand, but as a native English speaker, some things are tricky. I struggled with verb conjugations.

A couple random things I find cool: Çay, pronounced like chai, is the Turkish word for tea. Aslan is the word for lion. And seni seviyorum means “I love you” but Seni sevmiyorum means “I don’t love you.” One letter makes all the difference.

I want to keep learning Turkish through Duolingo and maybe through another class offered next year because it’s a beautiful, harmonious language and because I intend to go to Turkey at some point in my college career.

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