turkishSpoken by over 63 million people worldwide, Turkish is the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages, which also include Azerbaijani, Türkmen, Uzbek, Kazakh, Kirghiz, and Uygur, spoken across a vast area of Asia ranging from the Caucasus Mountains to the Western part of China.  It is the native language of 90 percent of the inhabitants of Turkey, and a substantial minority in Cyprus, with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania and other parts of Eastern Europe. Turkish is also spoken by several million immigrants in Western Europe, particularly in Germany.


Turkish has a very regular structure, based upon suffixation, which differentiates it sharply from the majority of European, and also from both Arabic and Persian, languages with which it shares a long history of influence and borrowing.  Other features of Turkish include vowel harmony and extensive agglutination. Turkish has no noun classes or grammatical gender. The basic word order of Turkish is Subject Object Verb. Turkish has a T-V distinction: second-person plural forms can be used for individuals as a sign of respect.  In 1928, the Ottoman script was replaced with a phonetic variant of the Latin alphabet.

Turkey’s membership in NATO, its application for membership to the European Union, its status as a secular state with a predominantly Muslim population, and its rapid economic growth of the past decade, have made Turkish an increasingly appealing language to undergraduates in the US and Europe.

If you are interested in taking Turkish at Rutgers, the Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures currently offers Turkish through the advanced level (300).