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The 17 Best (And Worst) Online Courses For Learning Turkish

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Whether you want to learn Turkish for travel or your job—or just your education—there are many ways to start picking up the language. Going from basic skills to advanced conversation in Turkish can seem intimidating, though.

The good news is that there are fantastic online courses for learning Turkish. You can learn at your own pace and in your own style. Here, we’ll explain which ones are our top-tier choices—your best bets—plus second-tier options with runner-up picks. Finally, the third tier includes the course offerings that fall flat in one way or another.

Let’s start with our favorite courses that offer excellent instruction and quality for people studying Turkish.

Top Tier

These are our top recommendations for students aiming to learn Turkish fluently.

Babbel

Strong instruction methods for beginners on up

Price: Personal plans start at $12.95/month or $6.95/month for a full year

Babbel is a strong all-around course for beginning Turkish speakers. The style is similar to other platforms, but the content is solid overall. Pricing is doable, too, making Babbel one of the most affordable and thorough options.

Good learning strategies and progressive lesson structure mean you pick up skills as you work through the material. At a certain point, you will need more challenging supplements, but Babbel will take you pretty far before that point comes.

Pros:

  • Lessons build on each other, making your learning progressive.
  • You can swap your learning plan around, focusing on specific skills or vocabulary.
  • The content has game-like elements and is engaging.

Cons:

  • Advanced Turkish speakers might want more of a challenge.
  • Voice recognition software isn’t the best.

See our full, in-depth review of Babbel here.

Visit Babbel

Language Transfer

Effective methods for reinforcing language skills

Price: Free

We can’t really complain about a resource that’s free, and Language Transfer ticks most of the boxes on our list, anyway. The audio courses offer a good foundation in Turkish, and you’ll get thorough instruction on Turkish grammar and all the basics.

With the free audio components, you can start speaking Turkish almost immediately. The creator, Mihalis, teaches a student the language in a manner that’s somewhat similar to Michel Thomas, though better and free.

Pros:

  • Totally free, so well worth the time to check it out.
  • Each lesson is super-efficient and snappy to work through.
  • Heavy focus on grammar and how the language works.

Cons:

  • The learning path doesn’t follow a set guideline, which can be confusing.
  • There are fewer lessons for Turkish (only 44) than for other languages.

See our full, in-depth review of Language Transfer here.

Visit Language Transfer

TurkishClass101

Podcast-style learning at your leisure

Price: Basic subscriptions start at $8/month and range up to $47/month

TurkishClass101 is a podcast format language course that relies on audio as its primary instructional method. When you’re first starting out, listening to the dialogue is a helpful way to learn—and there’s a lot of English used among the Turkish phrases you’re learning.

There’s good coverage of cultural elements and grammar, but there aren’t many video lessons. A lack of written/reading material may also be a concern as you progress through the levels. That said, it’s an affordable enough resource that adding supplements shouldn’t be a problem.

Pros:

  • Audio-focused podcast format helps you to understand Turkish quickly.
  • A lot of cultural information and thorough grammar instruction helps you start strong.
  • You get listening practice by listening to ‘natural’ conversations.

Cons:

  • The focus on audio means written components take a backseat.
  • Especially at the introductory level, there’s a lot of English used, which could be frustrating for some learners.

See our full, in-depth review of TurkishClass101 here.

Visit TurkishClass101

Pimsleur

Instruction that will get you speaking Turkish fast

Price: Subscriptions cost $14.95 to $19.95/month. Unfortunately, subscriptions aren’t yet available for Turkish, but hopefully that will be added soon. Purchasing the level 1 course costs $119.95.

Pimsleur is a strong resource for many languages, and we favor it for Turkish, too. The app makes it convenient to study anywhere, though it would be nice if Turkish was included in the subscription option.

You’ll get a lot of cultural instruction plus in-depth study in grammar and pronunciation. The course contains 16 hours of material, which is 30 lessons’ worth to get you closer to Turkish fluency in a short amount of time.

Pros:

  • The app is a handy way to study no matter where you are.
  • In-depth cultural and pronunciation information gives you a strong foundation in Turkish.
  • The focus is on the audio components, so you start speaking immediately.

Cons:

  • The lessons can feel kind of repetitive over time.
  • You might need a supplement for reading and writing.

See our full, in-depth review of Pimsleur here.

Visit Pimsleur

italki

Tutoring help for all abilities

Price: Starts at $4/hour with an average of around $10/hour (ranges up to $50/hour)

italki is one of our favorite resources because it addresses various learning styles and needs at fair prices. With italki, you can choose either a teacher or a tutor for one-on-one sessions. Teachers usually have a degree and professional experience, while the tutors are often native speakers or those with advanced speaking skills.

You can schedule time slots to meet with your instructor and outline what you want to learn. Whether you want to practice conversational skills or study more complex grammar, you can find a teacher who can provide the appropriate lessons.

Pros:

  • You get customized instruction during each session—and scheduling is flexible.
  • You can do trial lessons with most instructors to see if it’s a good fit before committing to full-priced sessions.
  • You can find language exchange partners, among other features, in their community section.

Cons:

  • Payment is via italki ‘credits,’ so you need to make that conversion when figuring out pricing.
  • Popular teachers can get booked up, so you might need to plan your sessions in advance.

See our full, in-depth review of italki here.

Visit italki

Hands on Turkish

A free option for introductory Turkish

Price: The beginner version is free, and the paid version is £49 plus tax for an annual subscription

Hands on Turkish stems from a project that wants to promote people learning Turkish for personal and business purposes. The highlight here is the free beginner’s version (First Steps in Turkish) that anyone can download and use. Hands on Turkish is the full version with business vocabulary and other perks. We recommend giving the free version a trial run before paying for the full course – which we haven’t yet had the chance to try.

In the free version, you’ll learn basic phrases and pronunciation with 12 hours of coursework. The paid course involves 120 hours of lessons and leads to Level A2 fluency.

Pros:

  • Both versions offer audio and written components to reinforce skills.
  • Audio is the focus, but there are reading and writing components, too.
  • The paid course leads to achieving a Level A2 ranking.

Cons:

  • The focus of the paid course is on business Turkish, which might not be applicable for all students.
  • You have to access the materials from the dashboard; there’s no app or downloadable content to take with you.

Visit Hands on Turkish

Tier 2 – Runner-Up Courses Good for Learning Turkish

Tier 2 courses are still decent resources, but they have a few more downsides than the top tier options.

Memrise

Specialized lessons that are budget-friendly

Price: Free, premium plans are $9/month

Memrise is the perfect introduction to Turkish for budget-minded learners. The course also offers a paid option, but the free version grants you access to user-generated flashcard-like decks. You can focus on specific vocabulary and grammar skills and even detailed themes.

It’s not a course that can teach you all aspects of the Turkish language, but as a tool for growing your Turkish vocabulary, it’s excellent.

Pros:

  • User-created decks offer specialization in specific subjects.
  • The free content always changes, with users adding more ‘decks.’

Cons:

  • There’s no progression since the resources are standalone components.
  • You might have trouble finding advanced content.
  • As ‘decks’ are user-created, some are worse than others.

See our full, in-depth review of Memrise here.

Visit Memrise

Duolingo

Game-like instruction for beginners

Price: Free

Duolingo does a great job of making learning fun and accessible, which is important for beginners. As you start picking up basic Turkish phrases and grammar, you’ll earn badges and complete goals. The platform offers enough instruction to give you a basic understanding of Turkish, but once you get the basics down, you might hit a wall.

It’s ideal to complement your study with some other resources—like tutoring with italki or even a more grammar-focused course. But for beginner Turkish speakers, Duolingo is a decent enough platform to get started on.

Pros:

  • The format is fun and interactive, especially for beginning Turkish speakers.
  • The game-like elements get students to study regularly.

Cons:

  • The source isn’t a standalone tool for becoming completely fluent—you’ll need practice somewhere else, too.
  • Audio quality is text-to-speech which can lead to awkward pronunciation if you model your speech after it.
  • Grammar explanations are insufficient.

See our full, in-depth review of Duolingo here.

Visit Duolingo

Turkish Tea Time

Casual podcast courses from real people

Price: Some content is free; subscriptions are $10/month

Turkish Tea Time is a podcast run by Justin & Büşra, so you get to listen in on natural conversation while learning Turkish. They offer free lessons at each level so you can check things out before subscribing. But there is free content to be found on their site—you just have to sift through the pages.

The content includes instruction, audio, downloads, and speech recognition exercises. There are over 100 lessons available, and your subscription includes access to all existing and upcoming content. Subscribers also receive translation help, graded reviews, and the opportunity to ask questions and get answers from the course developers.

Pros:

  • Sample lessons are available at each level so you can try it out before buying.
  • The team includes native speakers and Turkish learners, including teachers, so you get to hear native speakers in some of the audio.
  • There’s a lot of material to work with, and it covers audio and reading exercises.

Cons:

  • The online resources are a bit scattered; it would be nice if there was a cohesive app for everything.
  • Not everyone who runs the podcast is a native speaker or credentialed teacher, so you can expect some minor mistakes/gaps.
  • There’s not been any new content since 2017, though the creators still support users on the site.

Visit Turkish Tea Time

Turkish Language Class

Older, community-based learning

Price: Free

Turkish Language Class is interesting because it’s almost a crowd-sourced language learning tool. The forums are quite active, though the website is a bit dated, and language learners collaborate to further their study. People can even sign up to teach Turkish, uploading lesson plans and supporting students.

You can use free materials to study on your own or follow learning groups at levels ranging from beginner to intermediate. Forums are also a great source for connecting with other Turkish speakers, learning about the culture in Turkey, and getting translation help.

Pros:

  • A translation forum lets you get help from other Turkish learners.
  • The courses are self-guided so you can study at your own pace.
  • It’s completely free, so you can use it as a supplement for reading practice.

Cons:

  • There doesn’t seem to be an audio or video component.
  • User-generated content/support isn’t always reliable or precise.

Visit Turkish Language Class

Mango Languages

Decent course quality

Price: $7.99/month for one language or $17.99/month for all languages

Mango Languages is often lumped into a category with Duolingo, Babbel, and other similar resources. While we prefer the other options, it’s still a solid enough course. And although it’s not particularly expensive, a lot of libraries offer subscription access for free, so it could be worth checking out.

The format is interactive with various exercises. However, since Mango does so many languages, they seem to rely on the same format and structure for each one. That might be helpful if you’re trying to pick up more than one language, though.

Pros:

  • Some libraries offer access for free.
  • The format is interactive and feels like gaming.
  • You can access all languages—over 70—with a single subscription.

Cons:

  • The price is prohibitive unless you get it for free in your community.
  • All the courses get repetitive since they rely on the same instructional methods for each dialect.

See our full, in-depth review of Mango Languages here.

Visit Mango Languages

Glossika

Listen and repeat style audio drills

Price: $30/month, $299.88/year

Another good tool for learning more than one language, Glossika has some strengths—but also some drawbacks. The price is a deciding factor for a lot of students since it’s pretty steep. Still, the instruction quality is decent, teaching primarily through audio drills.

If you really want to focus on Turkish, though, there are more affordable resources that stand alone. For learning multiple languages, Glossika might be a decent deal.

Pros:

  • One subscription gives you access to all the languages Glossika offers.
  • The audio resources are strong for every language.

Cons:

  • The price is high – especially for those only learning one language.
  • Each lesson repeats the same structure, which can get boring.

See our full, in-depth review of Glossika here.

Visit Glossika

Tier 3 – Just Passable Courses for Learning Turkish

We don’t wholeheartedly endorse these Turkish courses, but they’re worth mentioning as a cautionary note.

uTalk

Get started… but not much else

Price: $2.99/month on a monthly subscription, $1.00/month if you subscribe for two full years

uTalk is a low-cost subscription course that features Turkish plus over 100 other languages. The app and software are intuitive and user-friendly, so you can get in and start learning phrases right away. But the fact is that you probably won’t learn much more than that.

uTalk focuses on memorizing set phrases and keywords, rather than teaching the Turkish language in a holistic manner. You need to know the basics before you can move beyond beginner level, and uTalk won’t take you there.

Pros:

  • The mobile app and software are handy for traveling and still getting your study time in.
  • In-app features are user-friendly, and there’s a lot of content.

Cons:

  • There’s really no grammar instruction or skill-building.
  • You’re mostly memorizing phrases and set keywords.
  • Some exercises feel pointless, especially since the ‘games’ don’t always correlate with what you’re studying.

See our full, in-depth review of uTalk here.

Visit uTalk

Busuu

Course quality varies significantly across languages

Price: $8.33/month with a minimum 3-month subscription

Busuu is popular, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth the cost. We tested Busuu for Chinese, German, and Italian. The German and Italian courses were pretty solid, but the Chinese course was really bad. As we haven’t yet tried it for Turkish, it’s hard to say exactly where it’d fall, but we’d be hesitant to recommend it.

Busuu does have some cool language exchange features, where learners are prompted to write or speak as part of each lesson – an awesome feature that I wish more courses included.

Pros:

  • There’s a language exchange platform that incorporates into the regular lessons.
  • Writing is a part of the course from the first lesson, while a lot of other courses don’t ever worry about writing at all.

Cons:

  • Sometimes the lesson structure doesn’t make much sense.
  • There’s hardly any grammar or pronunciation instruction, which isn’t beneficial for beginners.

See our full, in-depth review of Busuu here.

Visit Busuu

Rosetta Stone

An expensive and inefficient way to learn a language

Price: $79 for 3 months or $249 for two years

Rosetta Stone used to be a household name for studying every language out there. But these days, their methods and materials feel dated—and overpriced. The picture-matching that’s their primary teaching strategy gets old fast, and it limits how much grammar and pronunciation you manage to learn.

There is some reading and writing incorporated into the lessons, but not often enough to break up the monotony of the picture-matching. It feels a bit juvenile, and really, at this price point, we expected more.

Pros:

  • The lessons start out simple enough that kids can start learning phrases/words.
  • A speech recognition tool checks your pronunciation at certain points.

Cons:

  • The price is way too high for what you get (and only one language is included at that cost).
  • As no English explanations are included, otherwise simple concepts become complicated.
  • We don’t think the format is engaging at all.

See our full, in-depth review of Rosetta Stone here.

Visit Rosetta Stone

Mondly

Doesn’t stand out compared to similar competitors

Price: $9.99/month to $47.99/year for one language

Mondly teaches languages in the same way as many other courses, but falls short in several areas. It’s not necessarily a bad course, it’s just that other courses are better. They do some unique things, such as their chatbot, VR, and AR applications, but for now, those feel more like a gimmick than an efficient way to learn a language.

As all languages are taught in a similar manner, some important concepts are ignored.

Pros:

  • Mondly covers a lot of vocabulary.
  • Some unique challenges/quizzes mix things up every now and then.

Cons:

  • A repetitive format makes practicing Turkish a bore.
  • The lessons don’t always progress in the most logical manner.

See our full, in-depth review of Mondly here.

Visit Mondly

Transparent Language

Too expensive for basic methods

Price: $24.95/month or $149.95/year for one language. $49.99/month or $249.95/year for all languages.

Transparent Language seems like they’ve got it going on. There are a ton of language options, they concentrate on pronunciation with a recording tool, and the price point must mean they’re serious about good instruction. Right?

Not exactly. Transparent Language falls short with Turkish (and other languages). It’s not the best with actual instruction. Instead, the priority is memorizing vocabulary, which could be helpful as a supplement, but not a standalone course at this price point.

Pros:

  • The recording tool for checking your pronunciation is kind of fun.
  • There’s a long list of languages you can study—if you’re willing to pay.

Cons:

  • You’re mostly memorizing vocabulary rather than building skills.
  • The price is so high—and unjustified for what’s offered.
  • It’s repetitive and boring over time.

See our full, in-depth review of Transparent Language here.

Visit Transparent Language

Final Thoughts on Turkish Courses

Learning Turkish presents a unique challenge for many language students. Fortunately, with our guidance, you can start developing your skills efficiently and thoroughly with a course that’s the perfect fit. The right resources can make a significant difference in the speed of your progress—and the depth of your abilities. Have a recommendation to share for learning Turkish? Leave us a comment below.

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Comments (1)

I am refreshing my knowledge of Turkish after a long lapse as prep for an upcoming trip to Turkey. I lived/attended college in Istanbul for 2 years, and I have also studied Arabic and Persian. I have a strong foundation in Turkish grammar, but vocabulary, pronunciation, and above all listening skills need refreshing.

Each person has different needs and tastes. Here are some comments.

1. Hands On Turkish : Requires Flash. Automatic disqualification for security reasons.
2. Babbel: I just signed up for a 1-month free student trial (available to students during Pandemic), so I don’t yet have opinions.
3. Language Transfer: Podcast based, not for me.
4. DuoLingo: I have used it in the past, and their approach may work for my needs.
5. Rosetta Stone: Just finished a trial. The fact that they use no English at all was attractive. Native speakers spoke at a slower than normal pace, which was useful at first for a refresher. I found a few errors in responses where they would not accept the correct response. Will not be going on to paid subscription.
6. Transparent Language: Actually my favorite so far, in part because of its strong feedback on pronunciation through sound graphs. Relentless repetition is useful when you are trying to nail pronunciation. Native speakers speak at a normal conversational pace. Too soon to tell if it will go far enough to meet my conversational communication needs.
7. Glossika: Didn’t fit my learning style.
8. Pimsleur: I can’t put my finger on it, but wasn’t a good fit for my needs and learning style.

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