How To Learn Turkish Using An iPod

avatarMille Larsen
3 mins read

This year started with me settling into a new apartment, frantically working to finish my Italian eBook, and then leaving the country! I'm away from home, away from my computer and all the things that I use to learn, but that's not stopping me. I'm already learning some interesting things about Turkish, thanks to my iPod!

The first thing I did to start the new mission this year was switch the interface language on my iPod to Turkish. And that has allowed me to make several interesting discoveries.

The first thing I see when I press the button is Apple's signature "slide to unlock" screen, only now it says "Kilidi aç". When I type that into Google Translate, I can press the "Listen" button to make sure I'm pronouncing it correctly. But I can also learn something interesting.

The translation is "unlock", but there are two words there! I'm already learning something interesting about this new language. If I split those two words onto separate lines, the translation changes to "lock open." Aha!

Surely there's some kind of grammatical verb tense here to indicate the imperative, and I do not yet have any idea what that is. But I do now know that kilidi refers to locks, locking, or a lock, and refers to opening. And this will help me as I go forward in this language.

I've also found a decent offline English-Turkish dictionary for the iPod. An offline dictionary is an absolutely essential tool because you're not always going to have the internet in front of you — especially at those moments when you're actually trying to use the language!

When I installed the app (Sözlük, which apparently means dictionary) I was greeted with Apple's usual "Enter your iTunes password" dialog box, only now it's in Turkish, and the buttons say Vazgeç and Tamam, which I know by their positions to be "Cancel" and "OK". I've installed a few apps recently, so I've seen these words a few times now and I'm starting to remember them.

Another word I'm seeing a lot is Kapat, which is the single button shown on dialogs which don't require input. Obviously, then, this word means "close". Of course I can confirm that with a quick journey to Google Translate or by checking it in the Sözlük app.

This is just a handful of the things I've learned already just by switching my iPod interface! I'm also discovering some interesting grammatical features, which I will write about soon. I can see already that this year's experiment isn't going to be very difficult at all.

Maybe you don't have an iPod. Maybe you have an Android device, or some other piece of technology that allows you to switch your interface language. Do it! You'll instantly start being exposed to new vocabulary, and learning by using the language instead of by studying it.