Intermediate Turkish Textbook Unrecommendation

coverReview of Yabancılar için Türkçe, Book 2

I picked up this book at the Kızılay branch Dost Bookstore in Ankara. It is, unfortunately, one of the only intermediate-level Turkish textbooks I’ve found at bookstores in Turkey.  As on Amazon, most Turkish books for foreigners are either travel phrase books or beginner texts.  If you have, however, breached the intermediate level and are studying Turkish on your own, I would recommend using Modern Turkish and going through a Magazine (I currently have Istanbul Life), kids book, kids TV program, or the news, unless you have a better book to recommend. I would not recommend buying this book.
Here’s Why:

  1. Absolute Lack of Explanations: The book is completely in Turkish, which could be good – if there were also explanations in Turkish.  Instead they just give a few examples of each point, often without enough context to fully understand grammatical nuances.
  2. dialogue pageIrrelevant Material: Most of the material in the book is boring and inapplicable, fake ‘scenes’ conjured up by textbook academics: platitudes about the strengths of motherhood, outdated discussions about the pros and cons of online shopping, and introduction to the history and character of Anatolian kangal shepherd dogs. Applicability: approaching zero.
  3. The Exercises: I bought the book because it had more exercises and came with an answers key.  However, the exercises are generally repetitive, boring, and non-skill building (like filling in the blanks directly from the text, matching words, answering dozens of True/False, and using the same pattern to write twenty sentences).  In many chapters, a slew of grammar points are introduced, but only one or two of them are tested in the exercises.
  4. Errors: It would appear that some substantial changes were made to the texbook after the finalizing of the answer key, as some page numbers don’t correspond between the two and even answers for whole sections of exercises are missing from the answer key.

In short, it’s not a very helpful textbook.  After forcing myself through thirteen chapters I’m not sure I learned that much – and I certainly didn’t enjoy it.  For a better list of Turkish resources, visit my Turkish page.  Unfortunately, I’m still looking for good intermediate material.  However, while trying to find an online link to this book, I did find free downloadable copies of several other textbooks (though all elementary-high beginner)

Other textbooks: I just found a (Free!) PDF of these books online:

Istanbul Turkish for Foreigners (A1)

Istanbul Turkish for Foreigners (A2)

Istanbul Turkish for Foreigners (B1) (just the first chapter unfortunately)

Açılım Türkçe Ders Kitabı (1)

Açılım Türkçe Ders Kitabı (3) (first 40 pages only)

Izmir Turkish for Foreigners (A2) (excerpt only)

FSI Turkish courses, 1 and 2 here.  While I’m rather put off by the impossible to read typewriter set, I will check out the second book and write a review post.


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