We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Does one need to be fluent in Turkish?

Level Contributor
17 posts
Save Topic
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...
Level Contributor
148 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
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
Level Contributor
3,165 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
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?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 10:18 pm, September 12, 2009