A1 bitti…

December 23, 2011 by 17 Comments

Today marks the end of the A1 level of my Turkish.  We had the writing, listening and reading parts of the exam on Monday and the oral exam just today!  I can hardly believe that it has been three months since I started learning Turkish.  But it’s not over yet… 😉

From Monday I will be continuing with my studies for the A2 exam in April.  The hope is that I will complete that in three months too and then move on to the B1 level before the summer break.  If you’d like to know what these levels are, then check out the Wikipedia page on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

So, what can I say in Turkish?

I have had 12 hours a week of tuition in the language and we have covered all of the usual basic themes, you would expect at beginner’s level.  We covered:

  1.  Introductions, numbers, days, months, seasons and colours (the basics)
  2. What there is and isn’t
  3. What we do?
  4. Where we are (coming) from?  Where we are going to?
  5. Telling the time
  6. Talking about friends and family
  7. Talking about our home and city
  8. Using words to order events (after, before, until etc.)
  9. Food and cooking
  10. Getting and asking for help

In terms of grammar, we covered the cases and also verbs in the present and past tenses to a degree.  We can handle some verbs in the future tense because of our exposure to them in class.  Other grammar items were specific to Turkish grammar, so not so useful to highlight here.   If you are interested in seeing exactly what we covered, then a look through the first 6 chapters of Yeni Hitit will give you the complete lowdown.

We have probably come across 2000 words in that time, not all of which we know of course.  However, we do now have a good grasp of the basics to make a start on the next stage in our learning.

I have made a short video of my speaking Turkish.  I did this to mark the stage I am at now in my study, so I can go back and listen to it after A2.  I am hoping to see a marked improvement in my abilities in 2012.   I will make it live and add it in here as soon as it has uploaded and I have topped and tailed it.  😀

Studying a new language really requires quite a lot of will power.  It has not always been easy for me to commit the time and effort to my Turkish, but I do feel a great sense of achievement now that I have sat the A1 exam.

I am planning a video and a blog post about motivation to continue with language studies and to really see through with our goals.  Please share with me your experiences and thoughts as I would appreciate your input.


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This post was written by Richard


  • customic says:

    Hi Richard,

    I’m very glad to see you satisfied with your progress in Turkish! It truly is an amazing language, isn’t it? I’ve almost completed my first semester of Turkish Philology and when I assessed my own level using CEFR, it turned out that I’m already on the A2 level! However, although I would say that my writing and reading skills are quite good (A2+), my spoken interaction still needs some working on (A1). And it’s a little bit difficult to practice your speaking when you can’t really say everything you would like to! I have no problems practicing my English and German, because I talk to myself very often (when nobody can hear me, obviously), but in Turkish it’s still a challenge to say something meaningful and not too obvious (like “The bathtube is in the bathroom. I’m looking in the mirror.” etc.). Have you got any tips for that?

    As far as Turkish grammar is concerned, during the last three months we covered şimdiki zaman (gidiyorum), dolaysız geçmiş zaman (gittim), we also mentioned geniş zaman (giderim) and gelecek zaman (gideceğim). We also practiced tamlamas (Ayşe’nin köpeği). During Descriptive Grammar we discussed phonetics, pronouns, numerals and suffixes. But I guess it’s typical that at university they place more emphasis on grammar than on practical skills, but I need to work on them on my own if I really want to get off the ground.

    Take care,

    • Hello Piotr,

      Thanks for taking the time to let me know what you have covered in your course. The grammar menioned sound similar to what we have done too, except we have just started th future tense now on the A2 course. The great thing about the course is that we have to speak only in Turkish and we use it outside the classroom with other people too. As you said, the practice is definitely a must with Turkish. Good luck with your studies! I hope to hear you speakign some Turkish soon too! 🙂

      All the best,


  • Robert says:

    Wow, 12 hours a week for three months. I wish we had that kind of course where I live. Most Turkish courses here are just 1.5 hours per week for about 3 to 4 months and the groups of students are very heterogenous making it rather difficult for the instructors to present the study material in a way everybody can benefit from. I have never taken a Turkish course myself but that’s what I have heard from some friends of mine. Meanwhile, I have bought some self-study material for Turkish but so far have not had any time yet to really get started. I guess this is going to be one of my new year’s resolutions 😉 Anyway, I wish you guys all the best for your Turkish studies. You seem to be on the right track.

  • Fasulye says:

    Hoi Richard,

    Leuk dat het zo goed gaat met je studie van het Turks. Nu moet je nog even wachten voordat je je examensresultaten krijgt.

    Bedankt vooral dat je het leerboek hebt getoond in je post, want dit boek wordt gebruikt in de bekende talenschool “Tömer” in Istanbul en de eerste lessen zijn als pdf in het internet beschikbaar, dus zodoende kon ik me deze eerste lessen doorlezen. Ik vind de oefeningen goed gemaakt, ze hebben een zeer systematische structuur. Ik zou met zo’n leerboek ook heel goed de Turkse taal kunnen studeren. .

    Here is the link for everyone, who wants to have a look into the first units of the textbook “Hitit”:



  • Fasulye says:

    Merhaba Richard,

    Senin videosu dinledim ve 97 % anladım, bu çok iyi, çünkü videoda yavaş konuşuyorsun. Maalesef Almanya’da hiç bir Türkçe konuşuyamam, ama seni Makedoya’da Türkçe konuşmak mümkün. Bu daha iyi senin için.

    A2 – level için kursta başarılar dilerim!



    A little summary for those who don’t understand Turkish:

    I could understand 97 % of Richards A1 – level Turkish because he speaks slowly in the video. Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to practise my Turkish in real life in Germany, Richard is in a better situation in Makedonia.

    And I wish him good look for the A 2 – level of his Turkish course.

  • nickexile says:

    Hello Richard,

    It is definitely impressive to see how much dedication one man can put in learning multiple languages. It is obvious that you put a lot of work in your hobby, but no doubt it pays off. I wish I had the willpower to tell myself to just sit down and start working on a language! I’m currently learning German (it would be my third tongue) and whenever I can I try to grasp a few words and repeat them every couple of hours. I’m really ashamed to say that this is my fourth year with this language and I’m only capable of saying VERY simple phrases, which made me realise, that school will only make you familiar with a language, but you have to get deeper into it yourself. Does learning foreign words get easier with time? I find it quite easy to “hook up” words to different things and make abstract connections. And while they are usually ridicilous, it works rather well! I would be really grateful to hear any advice with German.

    All the best,


  • Ryan says:

    Good stuff Richard! Thanks for lettings us tag along on your journey with a non-Indoeuropean language.

  • maciej says:

    Hi Richard,
    My name is Maciej. I come from Poland. Just like you I like learning foreign languages (although so far I have managed to learn only English and French, having now almost completely forgotten the latter; mind you I am embarking on learning French in two/three months’ time again).
    I stopped learning French because I wanted to learn English to a satisfactory level first and only then to progress to another language. Having now obtained formal qualifications (I guess all qualifications are formal) and having become a certified translator/interpreter of English ( such people are called sworn translators or ‘tłumacze przysięgli’ in Poland) I want to resume my French learning quest again. With my English certificate cosily tucked under my belt now, I am more and more drawn to the French language again. I am not dillydallying as you can see or hanging about or whatever, I just know that learning a foreign language to a sufficient/fluent level, whatever for crying out loud that might be, is a bit of a challenge to say the least. So my approach to languages is very much that of ‘one at a time’. It has to take a while and will not happen overnight.
    I’ve got all the resources and I know quite well how to go about learning it, so the only thing left for me to do is to find a free little nook or cranny in my schedule and to finally get down to doing it regularly. French, French, French … I am coming…
    Anyway, enough about me.
    To the point Maciej, to the point.
    Recently I have come across one of your Youtube videos where you are speaking Polish and another one where you are outlining your linguistic plans for 2012. You say there that you plan to learn a bit more of my language in the summer, or sth to that effect. Therefore, if you happen to need any help with Polish at any stage, in whatever shape or form, do not hesitate to drop me a line or two. I will be more than happy and ever so eager to help you out.
    Thank you for the tons of useful tips and pointers you put on your Youtube site. Very useful staff and very inspirational too.
    Pozdrowienia z Warszawy

  • Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Cheers

  • ozne says:

    Merhaba Richard,
    Sanırım dil konusundaki özel yeteneğinizi söylememe gerek youk!Aksanınızı da çok iyi buldum.(Your accent is great except for slight mistakes)Türkçe hakkında söyledikleriniz çok hoş.
    I’m recording Turkish lessons and sharing on Turkish LingQ from beginner to advanced.
    Would you like to listen it?
    Türkçe konusunda yardımım olursa çok sevinirim.İstanbul’dan selamlar…

  • mlhpolling says:

    What I like from you and I consider it inspirational is that you are willing to take language tests from the lowest level and I think you are quite humble to do that as you know about 18 languages. Some people want to take language exams immediately to the B2 or even C1 level even though they just learn it casually and in a short period of time and don’t have enough capability to bear that higher certification. They do it simply because they want other people to know that they are proficient in that certain language but in fact they aren’t! They want to look cool. They can not speak or hold a conversation properly but strangely they passed that exam! I don’t know how.

    • Fasulye says:

      What Richard does with his Turkish exams is a very valuable strategy. He follows a course to a certain level – in this case A1 – and then takes a language exam on his present level. He studies seriously and is fortunate enough to have oportunities to speak the language with Turks in Macedonia. This is the genuine way how to study succesfully in a language course. I don’t have money to attend such an excellent course (language schools are always expensive!!!) but I would study my way through the A1 level up to higher levels as well. With one succesful passed exam you get a lot of confidence which enhances your motivation to study further., I know this from my own experience with language exams. Doing a language exam is not a stunt or something to impress other people but it’s a serious project and it should be prepared from a lower language level up to the higher levels.


  • soergi says:

    Hi Richard,

    I am simply amazed. In fact, I have discovered one of your videos about a week ago and it has given me quite boost of motivation to continue studying French and Spanish, which I had begun long ago. Teşekkürler!
    Impressive Turkish skills just after 3 months! Keep up the good work!
    One thing I was always wondering about, how do you memorize foreign vocabulary? I find it difficult to connect new words to (abstract) images, especially when they don’t really sound like anything I already know…? Do you have a special technique?


    • Hello Soergi,

      Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I am really pleased that you find what I put out there motivating. That is one of my main aims for making videos and writing on this blog and my SpeakingFluently Facebook page. In my next blog post, I will tackle some of my methods for learning vocabulary. 🙂

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