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Does one need to be fluent in Turkish?

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Fredericksburg...
posts: 15
Does one need to be fluent in Turkish?

I am contemplating a solo independent trip to Istanbul in the spring.

As a rule when I travel overseas I like to speak some of the native language, however I don't know any Turkish and will have to start from scratch. Can a traveler get around Instanbul and western Turkey with very very basic Turkish (what I can l learn in about 5 months) and a whole lot of English.

Washington DC...
posts: 148
reviews: 2
11. Re: Does one need to be fluent in Turkish?

We know no Turkish and had a phrase book with us when we went in November. But, aside from a few nice phrases (hello, thank you etc.), I did not use the phrase book at all. As a matter of fact, I think that my attempts to speak Turkish actually hindered communication, because everyone in the tourist areas speaks English or other European languages.

There were a few problems with taxi drivers who speak only Turkish, but those were fairly easily resolved. I did find, that because I have never formally studied Turkish, the phrases that jumped out when I tried to speak in Istanabul were not the Turkish I had memorized, but the languages I have studied! Even Spanish from junior high!

I think it would have helped immensely if I had listened to Turkish and practiced the phrases before we traveled. And if I venture outside of a tourist area, I would definitely want to be able to understand and speak more.

Perrysburg, Ohio
posts: 3,174
reviews: 21
12. Re: Does one need to be fluent in Turkish?

nkt, you are a hoot! You make me laugh.

13. Re: Does one need to be fluent in Turkish?

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