Turkish is an important and useful language, although it is not a very popular choice in the West. Turkish belongs to the group of Turkic languages, spoken by a number of nations and ethnicities spread over the enormous Eurasian steppes from the Russian Siberia to Central Asia to the Bosphorus strait separating Europe from Asia. Turkic languages are quite closely related to each other, so knowing Turkish may open doors to other similar languages. Turkish is especially close to and mutually intelligible with the Azerbaijani and Turkmen languages spoken in the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Mutual intelligibility is a term referring to the ability of speakers of different languages to understand each other without any prior knowledge of the other language.
Turkish is the official language of the Turkish Republic and it is also spoken in the northern part of Cyprus. The total number of native speakers is close to 70 million. Due to the influence of the Turkish culture across the Turkic world through educational projects, TV, music, student exchanges, and travel, many people in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and other Turkic countries can understand and speak Turkish to varying degrees, which boosts the total number of native and non-native speakers of Turkish to well over 100 million.
For many centuries up to 1928, Turkish was written down with Arabic letters. The Latin alphabet was then introduced in an effort to improve the literacy of the population, modernize the country, and bring it closer to Europe. This means you will be able to read Turkish without much trouble. Understanding it, however, is a different story, for Turkish is not one of the Indo-European languages and it is not related to the rest of the European languages. Of course, modern Turkish uses many of words borrowed from European languages such as “ambulans,” “ansiklopedi,” “demokrasi,” “fotokopi,” “otobus” and various others. Examples of Turkish loan words in English include coffee and yogurt.
Here are a few reasons that you may want to learn Turkish: because you are genuinely interested in the country and its culture, because you often go there (Turkey is one of the main tourist destinations for Europeans), because you are thinking of doing business in Turkey, or simply to take up an intellectual challenge. In any of these cases we at 24Houranswers.com are happy to help you.
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