Feeling like you’re hitting a plateau in your journey to learn Turkish? Or are you dreading going through another boring standard lesson in your textbook?
Well, how about trying to learn Turkish by reading Turkish books for beginners?
Reading books is a great approach to learning languages at any stage. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced learner, reading can help you become more fluent in and have greater command over any language.
With Turkish, this is no exception!
Read on to learn more about why reading Turkish books should be a part of your language learning plan, tips for choosing the right book for you, and 10 of the best Turkish books for beginners!
Turkish Books For Beginners
So without further ado, here are the ten best Turkish books for beginners.
1. Short Stories in Turkish for Beginners by Olly Richards
Short stories are a great way to learn to read in Turkish as a beginner. That’s why I've compiled eight short stories in Turkish for you to read!
The stories are fun and exciting, and are designed specifically for beginner learners of Turkish to improve their reading fluency and to be exposed to what spoken Turkish sounds like in real life.
Whether it be science fiction, crime, or history, there's a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy!
But better yet, each story comes with an accompanying glossary and bilingual list for new words, a full plot summary, and comprehension questions to help you better understand the stories.
If you’re looking for a new and fun way to learn Turkish, then check it out here.
2. Turkish Short Stories For Beginners By Lingo Mastery
Here’s another short story compilation to expose you to even more short stories in Turkish by Lingo Mastery. The book contains 20 easy-to-read short stories that can help expand your vocabulary!
Besides the fact that the stories expose you to realistic dialogues, the book contains summaries in Turkish and English, and accompanying questions that help you assess how much of the story you understood.
The stories will give you just the right amount of challenge to help you stay motivated to keep reading more!
3. 101 Deyim 101 Öykü (101 Idioms 101 Tales)
Nothing will expose you to Turkish idioms in the way that this book will!
Written by Süleyman Bulut, 101 Deyim 101 Öykü tells the stories that led to the creation of 101 idioms used in everyday life!
The book is originally a Turkish children’s book, making for simple, short, and easy-to-read stories that make it easy for any beginner of Turkish to pick up new vocabulary and phrases.
Check it out here!
4. Turkish Short Stories for Beginners by Foxton Books
If you’ve run out of short stories to read in Turkish, here’s another useful compilation of Turkish short stories for beginners, this time by Foxton Books.
Foxton’s book also comes with lots of useful visuals that help you guess the meaning of the text without flipping through a dictionary to check the definitions of every other word.
The compilation also includes comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary quizzes at the end of each story to drill you on the new words and structures you’ve learned!
5. Nasreddin Hoca Hikayeleri (Stories of Nasreddin Hoca)
Nasreddin, who? Nasreddin Hoca (teacher) was a scholar and judge who lived in what is now modern-day Turkey in the 13th century.
His encounters in daily life have become an inspiration for funny fables with everyday lessons for kids.
Nasreddin Hoca Hikayeleri are a series of stories capturing Nasreddin’s everyday adventures with children, neighbors, teachers, and more!
Each story is less than a page and structured around a joke, making it great reading material for beginners. Since it is written for children, the stories are simple enough for any beginner to pick up new vocabulary and Turkish grammar structures.
6. Five Short Stories To Learn Turkish For Beginners, Intermediate, & Advanced
Unlike the other short story compilations, this collection of stories is great not just for beginners, but also for intermediate and advanced learners of Turkish!
The best part is that the book also includes translations of the stories into English to make it easier to read for fluency.
This book is just the first of a series of three volumes of short stories. If you enjoy the first volume, then you can continue with the second and third volumes! Check out the book and the subsequent volumes here.
7. Küçük Prens (The Little Prince)
Though it’s not originally a Turkish book, you can’t go wrong with Küçük Prens! The Turkish translation of The Little Prince is accurate and widely read by all ages in Turkey.
Since you’ll likely already be familiar with the story, reading it in Turkish is a great way to build your reading fluency.
Though it’s not necessarily the first beginner book you might want to read, it’s something that you can work towards over time.
Written by the renowned Turkish author Ömer Seyfettin, Yalnız Efe is a children’s book which tells the story of a girl called Kezban and her struggles to seek justice.
The story is commonly taught in Turkish schools, and is considered one of the 100 most important stories in Turkey.
While the grammar might be a bit more daunting than other books, there’s no reason why you couldn’t try reading it a couple months after learning some basics!
9. Sevdalı Bulut
Sevdalı Bulut is also a great way to read up on some of the 100 greatest stories in Turkey.
Compiled by the famous poet Nazim Hikmet, this book compiles a series of famous folktales in Turkey.
As the book is written with kids in mind, it makes for simple reading that can help you expand your Turkish language abilities.
The accompanying illustrations also make for entertaining reading and allow you to infer the meaning of the text!
10. Turkish Short Stories by Damla Ünal
The last book on our list is another compilation of short stories in Turkish!
Prepared by a Turkish language teacher, this book is designed to help teach new grammar structures and vocabulary!
This book can be an ideal choice if you prefer reading e-books instead of print books. Check it out here!
Why Read Turkish Books For Beginners?
Alongside listening, speaking, and writing, reading is one of the foundational skills for learning a new language. That's why reading, and especially reading stories is the foundation of the StoryLearning® method.
If you’re deep in your journey to learn Turkish, then reading Turkish books for beginners can be a great way to make leaps and bounds towards fluency!
How exactly can reading in Turkish help you become fluent?
Here are some reasons:
- New words: You’re more likely to be exposed to new vocabulary that you otherwise wouldn’t have heard if you were only practicing listening or speaking. Written language is ultimately different from spoken language, so you’ll likely learn new idioms, Turkish phrases, and versions of different words.
- Using words in context: Reading allows you to learn new words in the context it would typically be used, which is a more effective way to learn and remember new vocabulary words. Forget the flash cards – reading will help ingrain the new words in your brain!
- Grammar and spelling fluency: By reading, you also give yourself time to apply and better understand the Turkish grammar rules that you learn in your Turkish language class or from textbooks
- Makes language learning fun: Most importantly, reading books can re-energise you to learn Turkish, and provide you with a break from monotonous exercise drills and boring dialogues in textbooks.
Since reading is so critical for language learning, it’s important to try and read in Turkish even if you aren’t an avid reader in your own native language.
How To Choose The Right Turkish Books For Beginners
Now that you know how important it is to practice reading Turkish books for beginners, you might ask how you can pick the right book.
Here are some pointers:
Pick Something That Interests You
The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing the right book is that the book should be interesting to you! There’s no point trying to focus on reading a book that you’re unexcited by.
Considering this, it’s good to ask yourself before getting started with reading what kinds of topics you want to become more fluent in when learning Turkish.
For example, are you looking to speak with locals about Turkish history? Or are you interested in using Turkish for business or trade? Pick books that relate to your interests!
Consider Your Level
It’s also important to consider your level of Turkish when picking a book. There’s no point trying to read a book that is beyond your current level of language comprehension.
Instead, think about finding a book that is not too challenging to understand, but still gives you enough of a challenge so that you learn new words and grammar structures.
Pick Books Originally Written In Turkish
Turkish grammar structure is unique from English and other languages.
This means that in the process of translating books from languages like English into Turkish, certain features of Turkish grammar that are typically used in books written in Turkish can be lost.
Because of this, you might want to find books that are originally written in Turkish, because it’ll help expose you to Turkish in its most commonly-used form.
Take It Easy
Reading ultimately can take a lot of focus and energy. Because of this, you might want to avoid reading something that is overly long.
Try starting with short stories, and building up your reading fluency to eventually read short books!
Picking a book that fits your interests, is at the right level for you, and isn’t overly long is what defines the StoryLearning® approach!
Time To Get Reading In Turkish!
That wraps up this list of the 10 best Turkish books for beginners!
I hope that this list has given you some ideas of how you can start practicing reading in Turkish. Find a comfortable couch or cozy cafe to get reading!
The most important thing is to persevere. The more you read, the easier and more enjoyable it will get over time.