Wow, what a doozy Turkish was! I had a lot of mistakes with it the second time around, but it was such a blast learning more about it! I want to give a HUGE thank you to my friends Ertuğ, Gökçe and Umut for practicing Turkish with me and giving me lots of helpful feedback!
As I try to explain in the video, I think the biggest barriers for people learning Turkish are the vowel harmony system and learning how to conjugate verbs. For vowel harmony, Turkish words can either have front vowels (e, i, ö, ü) or back vowels (a, o, ı and u), but never both. If you compare öğretmen (teacher) and akıllı (wise), you’ll notice they have the same type of vowels.
Learning to conjugate verbs is actually simpler than I originally thought as well. Turkish verbs have a root and then a -mak or -mek ending, which indicates that it’s an infinitive (e.g., sevmek, to love). To alter the verb to reflect person and tense, you simply add stems. So, to say, “I love” we would add -yor to the root sev- for present continuous tense and -um after that to show first person, making the verb seviyorum. One thing I did leave out is that a buffer letter is sometimes added after the root (in this case, it’s “i” since the word has front vowels). This is pretty much how verb formation works in general.
Make sense? Well, maybe not at first. But I think I got the hang of it at least!