Learning languages is a skill that, like everything in life, some people are better at than others. You may find you pick up Turkish relatively easily, while others might be immersed in it for years and still struggle to remember more than a few basic phrases.
No matter how much you want to move to Turkey, The prospect of living somewhere when you don’t speak the language can be daunting. From shopping for groceries to filling up your car with fuel, as soon as we interact with other people we need to communicate. Without the words you need, it’s easy to feel at a disadvantage. So, What do we do?
It’s a good idea to try to learn Turkish, especially if you plan to live here full time. In some areas, the belediye – the local council – runs formal courses for foreigners, or you might prefer a private tutor who will teach you one-to-one. Casual group gatherings are sometimes held in bars over winter to improve conversational skills, so ask around where you live; if you can’t find one, you could always suggest it.
There are also some great apps for learning turkish such as Doulingo, Memrise and Busuu. The beauty of the app is also that you can learn whenever and wherever you want even before you make the move
You’ll find you’re often asked for your name, telephone number and where you live. This doesn’t just apply to official business – it happens in shops, too. Having your details on a piece of paper or as a note on your phone can stop you getting flustered as you try to remember Turkish pronunciation or numbers.
If you’re living in a popular resort area, such as Antalya or Alanya, you’ll find a lot of people speak English to some degree. This makes everyday life relatively easy. You’re more likely to encounter problems when you deal with bureaucracy, as the majority of officials speak Turkish only.
There are people who offer professional assistance and translation services, which can be helpful for hospital visits, applying for your resident’s permit and similar tasks. If you’re buying property in Turkey through us, we help with the formalities and give our customers as much assistance as they need.
Above all, Stay calm.
It’s easy to panic when you’re in an unfamiliar situation. Take a deep breath and remember most people want to help, especially if they can see you’re trying. They’re not waiting for you to get it wrong and will do their best to understand.
Avoid the peculiarly British habit of simply repeating yourself in English more loudly and slowly. Remember the majority of communication is non-verbal, so gestures, body language and facial expressions will all help. A smile and a friendly attitude go a long way.