FSI Turkish Basic
Level One now in a Digital version!
The first volume of this two-part course is an introduction to spoken Turkish representative of the 'standard' speech of educated Turkish speakers. It includes the major patterns of simple sentences, and a vocabulary of about 475 high frequency items. In Level Two, basic dialogues and structure drills are supplemented with exercises that are designed to lead the student into freer conversation. It also presents the principal grammatical patterns not covered in Level One; and has a glossary of about 2500 items from both levels, as well as narrative passages serving to introduce the style of written Turkish. Level One comes with 14 tapes or 11 CDs and a book; Level Two 13 tapes or CDs and a book. And we now have FSI Turkish 1 in a Digital Edition CD-ROM, featuring audio in MP3 format and text in PDF!
And now buy the FSI Turkish 1 Digital Edition from the Turkish Download Store and receive it today! This is the same content from the hardcopy editions, but with the text in PDF format and the audio in MP3 format.
FSI Turkish Basic -
About the Turkish Language -
Unit Structure -
Turkish 1 |
PDF and MP3 Samples of the Digital Courses
The first volume of this two-part course is an introduction to spoken Turkish representative of the 'standard' speech of educated Turkish speakers. It includes the major patterns of simple sentences, and a vocabulary of about 475 high frequency items. In Level Two, basic dialogues and structure drills are supplemented with exercises that are designed to lead the student into freer conversation. It also presents the principal grammatical patterns not covered in Level One; and has a glossary of about 2500 items from both levels, as well as narrative passages serving to introduce the style of written Turkish. Level One comes with 14 tapes or 11 CDs and a book; Level Two 13 tapes or CDs and a book.
Turkish is a language which has long intrigued scholars because of its unusual regularity, its sound, and the fact that its structure is quite different from that of Indo-European or Semitic languages. The adult student who wishes to be successful in studying Turkish needs to take a lively interest in the language to be willing to experiment with variations on the printed materials in order to increase their grasp of the system of the language, and be willing to put in long hours of practice and to receive correction. They need also to learn about the life and culture of the people who speak Turkish. This course will provide the student with only a minimal amount of such cultural information and needs to be supplemented with books, photographs, and artifacts and with as many contacts with Turkish speakers as can be managed. Nobody can teach you Turkish; you have to learn it. This course and the method of using it outlined within are intended to help you to learn Turkish, but of the elements in the learning situation, you are the most important.
Turkish is the principal language of the Republic of Turkey. It is a member, along with the related languages of Iranian and Soviet Azerbaijan and of various areas within the Soviet Union (mainly in Asia) of the Turkic group of the Altaic branch of the Uralic-Altaic language family. This Altaic branch also includes many other languages, mainly those grouped under the headings 'Mongol' and 'Manchu'. The Turkic languages are remarkably similar in structure and even in their vocabulary are as closely related to one another as the Romance group of Indo-European languages.
The population of the Republic of Turkey is about 30 million, the great majority of which are native speakers of Turkish, making Turkish by a considerable margin the largest language of the Turkic family. Among the remainder of the population of Turkey - native speakers of Kurdish, Laz, Circassian, Arabic, Greek, Armenian, Syriac and other languages - the great majority have some acquaintance with Turkish. Thus this language will serve the student for communication in all parts of Turkey, save the most isolated villages. In addition, substantial numbers of Turkish speakers are to be found in parts of Syria, Lebanon, Greece and Cyprus. Turkish can also serve the student as an introduction to the Turkic language family and provide them with a basis for establishing communication with Asian Turkic speakers as far east as Sinkiang Province in China and as far west as the Tatar regions on the Volga.
The Turkish presented in this book is representative of the 'standard' speech of educated Turks in the cities and towns of Turkey. As in any country where communication has been poor until recently, in Turkey too there is considerable local variation in pronunciation and vocabulary. However, in schools all over Turkey the language presented here is used and taught as the national standard and, if you learn it well, you will be speaking a tongue which has prestige throughout the country and which is understood everywhere. You may even have the experience of being told by Turks "you speak better Turkish than I", a compliment which you should discount heavily.
Although you will learn to read and write Turkish as you progress in this course, you will not have any formal instruction in writing, and reading of longer texts will be introduced gradually. This is because the essential skills required are to speak and to understand spoken Turkish. The writing system of Turkish is quite easy to master and closely corresponds to Turkish speech.
Language is a system of representation of 'ideas' and 'concepts' in formal symbols. These symbols are realized in communication as acts of speech which are communicative insofar as they can be understood by the hearer, and interference with communication can take place at several points. The speaker may not have mastered the symbolic system so that while what is said may be well pronounced, it will not adequately fit the language system. Again they may form sentences well in the language but pronounce them unintelligibly. Similar interference with communication can occur in the understanding of others' speech. Thus 'mastery' of a language requires an approximation of both the native speaker's grasp of the symbolic system and of the native speaker's skills in oral production and 'hearing'.
The materials of this course are designed to facilitate both the learning of specific speech skills - pronunciation and perception of speech sounds in sequence - and the learning of basic language skills - control of the grammatical and the semantic systems of the language. For this reason the course is initially oriented toward pronunciation but quickly shifts its primary emphasis to a systematic presentation of the grammar accompanied by extensive drills.
Students are expected initially to do each part of each unit orally with books closed. The printed text has four purposes:
But the student who has no difficulty memorizing without the printed text and uses the tapes of these materials for outside-of-class practice will have very little need of the printed text except for reading practice. All students should attempt to get along without the printed text as much as possible.
If the student owns a tape recorder which can record their voice on the tape as they imitate, this should be done, extensively in the early units and selectively later on. Much time can be wasted needlessly listening to one's own voice, but selective and careful attention to one's imitation of the native model can improve pronunciation, phrasing and fluency.
The typical unit consists of a dialog or other basic sentences, variation drills and lexical drills to give students practice in using vocabulary in varied contexts, questions for discussion, notes (mainly on grammar), grammatical drills and (often) a narrative.
Each unit starts with a connected dialog between two or (occasionally) more speakers. This dialog is to be practiced, memorized and acted out until it has been 'overlearned' so that the utterances and their sequence are automatic and can be done without conscious thought or hesitation.
The dialogs are examples of normal Turkish speech. They consist initially of cliche sentences which are of high daily frequency of occurrence. Later more specialized dialogs are introduced. However, a language cannot be mastered simply by learning a certain number of typical and useful sentences. Students also need to master the system of the language so that they can both produce and understand wholly novel sentences they have never heard before and may never hear again. This is a much more complicated matter than memorizing useful sentences and requires extensive drills and exercises as well as a certain amount of formal explanation.
Variation and Lexical Drills
Variation drills may be of any of the several drill types. Mostly they are sample sentences or substitution drills (providing a pattern with words to be substituted at one or more places). Lexical drills are mainly sample sentences illustrating the various meanings of a single lexical item.
In a sample sentence drill each sentence is an example of useful Turkish but is unrelated to other sentences in the drill. Wherever possible such sentences should be immediately employed in communication by creating a short dialog - such as a question and its answer - employing the given sentence. Often it will be possible to vary the given sentence by changing the subject, the verb, the time or some other part of the sentence. Thus each separate sentence can be the basis for a response drill or a substitution drill or a combination. The imaginative teacher will create such drills spontaneously, but the student is not relieved by any lack of imagination on the part of their teacher from a responsibility to experiment with the given sentences. A good homework exercise, after a few units have been mastered and enough vocabulary assimilated, is to write out variations on these sample sentences -and submit them for evaluation and correction by the teacher. This applies equally to sample sentence drills occuring in the grammar drill sections of the units.
Questions for Discussion
These consist of queries concerning the facts related in the memorized dialog plus certain questions directed to the students' own experience in similar situations. The student should not be content only to answer the latter - questions from one's own experience - but should also ask these and similar questions of the teacher and the fellow students. It is in this part of the lesson that real communication in the language about real people and true facts takes place, and this portion of the unit should not be quickly passed over. If the teacher does not dwell on this real communication, the alert student will prime himself with several questions to spring at the beginning of the next class session to extract some information from the teacher or a fellow student before the class can settle into routines.
The notes are intended to be self-explanatory. If one is working with a teacher, some explanation of the notes may be appropriate in class. However, in general, drill time in class with the native speaker should not be devoted to explanations of the grammar, and the native speaking instructor should not be expected to give explanations in English. If they are also a trained linguist and fluent in English, specific periods should be set aside for grammatical explanation and these should be kept separate from regular class sessions during which English should be used only for translations or paraphrases designed to keep the student aware of the meanings of the Turkish sentences being practiced. The cooperation of the student is required to avoid interrupting drill sessions with questions about grammar. During explanations of grammar it is always appropriate to ask how some idea is expressed, what should be said under certain conditions, when or where a particular form is appropriate, or who could be expected to use it. But the student should remember that questions beginning why are seldom appropriate. Language is a system of more or less arbitrary symbols and the student is attempting to discover how it works rather than to establish causal relationships (which are usually historic and have nothing to do with the native speaker's mastery of the contemporary language).
The drills which follow particular notes are intended to provide practice on the particular point or points discussed in the note. While the drills provided are extensive, they are clearly insufficient for proper practice of points which are causing special difficulties and may be excessive for certain points or for certain students who assimilate quickly. Many of the printed drills are capable of considerable expansion as needed.
The narrative, which is a part of many units, presents essentially the sane situation as was represented in the dialog but in expository rather than conversational style. This short story is intended to be memorized. Careful attention to the structures used will help to prepare the student for reading. Exercises which can be used with the narratives include (1) retelling the story in the student's own words, (2) retelling the story but changing the persons, times or locations of the events related and (3) telling a similar story about some personal experience.
Multilingual Books FSI Turkish Basic Course
Now in a Digital version!
The first volume of this two-part course is an introduction to spoken Turkish. It includes the major patterns of simple sentences, and a vocabulary of about 475 high frequency items. In Level Two, basic dialogues and structure drills are supplemented with exercises that are designed to lead the student into freer conversation. It also presents the principal grammatical patterns not covered in Level One; and has a glossary of about 2500 items from both levels, as well as narrative passages serving to introduce the style of written Turkish. Level One comes with 14 tapes or 11 CDs and a book; Level Two 13 tapes or CDs and a book. And we now have FSI Turkish 1 in a Digital Edition CD-ROM, featuring audio in MP3 format and text in PDF!
Turkish Download Store
Buy the FSI Turkish 1 Digital Edition now and receive it today! This is the same content from the hardcopy edition, but with the text in PDF format and the audio in MP3 format. Downloads are a single (per level) compressed RAR format file, so when you purchase, please be prepared to download a large (>100 MB) file. Software to unpack RAR files is commonly available; a free open source compression manager is available at 7zip.org. Upon purchase you will leave this site; this is normal, our download store is supplied through Paypal by a separate service provider. We accept payments for download products by Paypal, Visa, and Mastercard. And your get BIG Savings! Why are our downloads less than half the price of the hardcopy courses? Well, when you buy in downloadable format, we save, so you save! No printing, reproduction, packaging, handling, and shipping costs for us means big savings for you.
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PDF and MP3 Samples of the Digital Courses