Intro to the Turkish Alphabet


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Overview: Turkish Letters

The Turkish alphabet has 29 letters, including many that sound familiar to English speakers.  Here’s how each one sounds.

Example

Explanation

A a

(car)
Usually* sounds like the “a” in “calm”

B b

(father)

Sounds like the “b” in “bat”

C c

(soul)

Sounds like the j in “John”

Ç ç

(very)

Sounds like the ch in “chat”

D d

(grandfather)

Sounds like the d in “dad”

E e

(bread)

Sounds like the e in “net” or the ay in “may”

F f

(elephant)

Sounds like the f in “far”

G g

(beak)

Sounds like the g in “go” or the “gy sound in “argue”

Ğ ğ

(oil)
Usually* makes a vowel longer

H h

(rooster)

Sounds like the h in “he” or “hot”

I ı

(light)

This sound is not in English, but it is close to the oo in “wood”

İ i

(relationship)

Sounds like the ee in “meet” or the i in “sit”

J j

(jet)

Sounds like the s in “measure”

K k

(cake)

Sounds like the k in “make” or the ky sound in “cute”

L l

(sink, bathroom)
Usually* sounds like the “l” in “lake”

M m

(baby food)

Sounds like the m in “man”

N n

(grandmother)

Sounds like the e in “net” or the ay in “may”

O o

(ten)

Sounds like the o in “cone”

Ö ö

(front)

There is no sound like this in English., but it is similar to the German ö.

P p

(potato)

Sounds like the p in “pop”

R r

(radio)
Usually* sounds like the t” sound that some English speakers make in “water”

S s

(you)

Sounds like the s in “sand”

Ş ş

(bottle)

Sounds like the sh in “she”

T t

(taste)

Sounds like the t in “ton”

U u

(flour)

Sounds like the oo in “boot”

Ü ü

(fame)

There is no sound like this in English, but it is close to the “ue” in “cue.”

V v

(there is/are)
Usually* makes a sound between the “v” and “w” in English

Y y

(pedestrian)

Sounds like the “y in “yes”

Z z

(difficult)
Usually* sounds like the z in “zoo”
*The Turkish alphabet is phonetic, meaning the letters usually make only one sound each.  But there are a lot of exceptions to this general rule.

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