Currency / Language


BLOG Can You Live In Turkey Without Knowing Turkish?

16 July 2021 / Lifestyle

9 Good Reasons to Learn Turkish

So, you want to live in Turkey but do not know any Turkish and wonder if this dream is doable or a mad idea. Well, the answer will depend on your lifestyle. If you want to enter the workforce and build a career, knowing fluent Turkish is essential. You will need the skill to complete the job and form relationships with your colleagues. However, if you plan to live in a tourist town where locals speak languages like English, German and Russian, it is possible to live a comfortable lifestyle without knowing Turkish.

We need only look at the existing expat communities of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts to see this. Places like Antalya, Fethiye, Marmaris and Bodrum have many locals that speak foreign languages, hence easily converse with foreigners. When expats need to understand the language, like hospital visits or legal paperwork, they hire a translator. If you live in a non-touristic town, like in the north or east, you will need to know Turkish, as locals rarely speak foreign languages. But regardless, there are many benefits to learning the Turkish language when you move to the country.

9 Good Reasons to Learn Turkish

  1. It will make a move overseas smoother and help you adapt quicker
  2. Make Turkish friends outside of expat circles, therefore widening your social skills
  3. It will be easier to understand Turkish culture.
  4. Boost your brainpower. Scientists proved people who learn a second language also improve other skills like problem solving and memory.
  5. Boost your morale and make you feel more confident
  6. Travel off the beaten track to discover Turkey away from the tourist places
  7. You will be able to use Turkish websites like Hepsi Burada without an online translator.
  8. By learning the Turkish language, you will understand how Turkish people act and speak and regional dialects.
  9. Improve your day to day living through simple conversations like shopping and using public transport.

5 Useful Hacks to Learn Turkish

  1. One Word A Day: So, you decide to learn Turkish and feel overwhelmed about starting. So, go simple and commit to learning one word a day. Group words into categories like numbers, days of the week, fruit, vegetables, body parts, Turkish greetings and expressions, household items etc. By the end of the year, you will know 365 words and probably notice a few more through day-to-day living because the brain starts to adapt.
  2. Listen Up: The Turkish language is based on a phonetical model; hence words are always pronounced exactly how you would read them. So learn the alphabet first, and you will be able to see a Turkish word and get its pronunciation right the first time.
  3. 80/20 Rule: One hack used by language learners worldwide is the 80/20 rule known as the Pareto principle. This states that a small number of words are the most used, and you will hear them often in day-to-day conversions. Google, most common Turkish words and put them down as your one word to learn a day.
  4. Full-Time Course: Another choice is to set aside a month of your time and commit to a full-time course with paid lessons. The benefit is receiving tuition from expert language teachers and meeting other people with the same goal in mind.
  5. Duolingo App: Ah, this app must be one of the best tools for learning Turkish. Offering free and paid versions, Duolingo helps you to speak, read and listen in Turkish. Imagine being able to pick up a Turkish newspaper and know what is going off in the country. Using a reward-based system, you can learn Turkish at your own pace but with guidance. This is our favourite way to learn.


So, to answer whether you can live in Turkey without knowing Turkish, the answer is yes, but it is advisable to learn at least one word a day to enhance your lifestyle. An excellent place to start is these common expressions used by Turks. From the simple hello to terms of endearment, learn these to make friends quickly and easily with Turkish people. Also read our article about Turkish culture and traditions, that every expat moving to the country should know.

Related Properties


4 Bedrooms Villa for Sale

map pin icon Antalya


1 Bedrooms Apartment for Sale

map pin icon Dalyan


3 Bedrooms Villa for Sale

map pin icon Antalya


1 Bedrooms Apartment for Sale

map pin icon Alanya


3 Bedrooms Apartment for Sale

map pin icon Antalya

Download Turkey Homes Mobile Application