When learning a foreign language, textbooks are great tools to decipher the grammar and the logic behind the language.
However, when you eventually start practicing, you’ll see that the spoken language is a little different. Mastering everyday language is the ultimate goal of learning a foreign language properly, in a way that will serve you.
Developing an understanding and managing the use of filler words is a good example of the many benefits of exposure. It would do an injustice to underrate filler words in any language when it comes to speaking with fluency.
The truth is that foreigners who speak Turkish using filler words are psychologically perceived as “fantastic speakers” by the locals, due to their high level of adoption.
Commonly used filler words and phrases in English such as like, you know, well, hmm, literally, simply, basically, and so on are best observed when listening to natural conversations between people or in daily life.
Similarly, Turkish filler words such as ya, aslında, şey, eee, yani, falan filan, etc. are nearly impossible to come across in a textbook, and yet, are important.
Through podcasts, you may learn the language’s pattern, pronunciation, and articulation by listening to native speakers. As your unique comprehension of spoken language develops, it will become simpler for you to follow conversations in daily life.
Our golden advice on pronunciation is to practice the dominant sounds that don’t come to you easily. If you have difficulty pronouncing the letter R and sound like a native French speaker even after many years of learning Turkish, you probably haven’t put enough effort into it.
As you listen and practice, you will get a command of the language by developing a variety of abilities through exposure. That is why, listening to podcasts and audios of the foreign language you aim to learn helps establish the holistic ground for learning.
Turkish Podcasts for Beginners
Some of the most popular and value-based podcasts for beginners to learn Turkish as a foreign language are:
With fascinating facts about the language, culture, and people of Turkey, FluentinTurkish teaches authentic Turkish.
You can sign up for one of our academically designed courses offered by qualified instructors online if you’re serious about learning. Our group courses cost only $10 per hour, which makes them affordable. If you’d like a more specialized experience, we provide private sessions tailored to your needs and skill level.
In addition to our conventional courses like A1 and B2, we also provide movie classes (B1 and B2) designed for intermediate students. Through listening and seeing, you can practice Turkish in these classes. Visit the page for our Turkish classes for more information. Additionally, you may book a free consultation with us to ask any questions and take a test to measure your present proficiency in Turkish. Don’t hesitate to reach us out, we are happy to meet you and assist!
Pros: Expect beginner-friendly podcasts designed to provide real conversations and a fun learning experience.
Cons: They mostly do lessons on Zoom with highly experienced native teachers rather than putting a large podcast library out there.
Price Range: FluentinTurkish only charges $10 per hour for live learning experiences with professionals.
In this podcast series, you can find conjugations and answers to some of your questions for the bigger picture to make more sense.
Pros: The podcast series is around a Turkish woman teaching Turkish to her Spanish partner, so it’s never boring.
Cons: Does not necessarily cater specifically to complete beginners.
Price Range: Prices vary depending on how much iTunes or Spotify charges in your country or region.
This is a membership based podcast series. In each podcast, presenters discuss a certain topic such as greeting and conversations at a family dinner, etc.
Pros: The presenters make it as fun as possible for a smooth learning experience.
Cons: Again, you may find a few beginner-level episodes, even though it is not specifically aimed at complete beginners.
Price Range: You can become a patron on Patreon for full access and on offer are 3 different Tiers of 5, 8, and 12 Euros per month plus taxes.
Linguaboost offers audio courses for those who are just starting out or are having trouble learning Turkish. From the very first session, the goal of this course is to develop your conversational Turkish.
Pros: Learners can purchase each volume separately. The second volume is about the fıiller words we mentioned earlier.
Cons: We are not sure if it’s successful in terms of localization. When we analyze the set of conversations in different volumes, it all sounds a bit like a set of audio translated from English because no one ever asks “what do you need?=neye ihtiyacın var?” or “how was your week?=haftan nasıldı?” in Turkey.
Price Range: It’s $19.90 for each volume with occasional limited-time offers.
This is a set of 12 podcasts that cover basic grammar rules, the history behind some of the expressions, and language basics.
Pros: It’s a free tool you can try and if it works for you, great!
Cons: Not a comprehensive podcast one can rely on to learn the language.
Price range: By donation.
Refreshed with a new episode every two weeks, this is a quality podcast to learn about the history and culture of Turkey.
Pros: This podcast might help you be ready to listen to other podcasts in the future that are targeted at intermediate and advanced learners by teaching you about Turkey’s identity concepts.
Cons: As the name suggests, Turkey Book Talk is not about language learning.
Price range: You’ll need to subscribe to Podbean. On offer are; a free plan limited to 5 hours total, a $9/mo plan, a $29/mo plan, and a $79/mo plan depending on your needs.
Podcasts for beginners to learn a foreign language are in fact seldom due to the natural flow of learning. Even if just partially, you should be able to understand the conversations in a podcast to add to your existing knowledge. Otherwise, as mentioned above, we find that podcasts are most useful for complete beginners to develop familiarity with the phonetics of the language and learn vocabulary.
Turkish Podcasts for Intermediate Students
All of the resources mentioned for beginners also cater to intermediate students. There are a couple of more we would like to mention here:
They mostly offer short audio (and video) lessons. Each lesson has a specific goal. Students therefore can choose from a range of vocabulary, grammar, culture, or travel focused audios.
Pros: Great for listening on the go.
Cons: We couldn’t figure out why at least half the lessons are in English. In our humble opinion, good teaching is achieved when language professionals can transfer knowledge in a foreign language.
Price Range: Different plans are on offer ranging from $4 per month to $23 per month.
This podcast is presented by Turkish native students and instructors. The complexity of the episodes varies, but most of them are for the intermediate level.
Pros: There are more than 100 episodes accessible, many of which are about 20 minutes long.
Cons: The podcast is no longer updated every day.
Price Range: You will need to become a Player FM member to get access to this podcast and prices may vary depending on your region.
Developed by the Nile Learning Center in Egypt, Turkish stories are podcasts based on storytelling.
Pros: The storytelling technique is a great way to learn a language for those who seek a holistic comprehension of the culture at the same time. You can find many intermediate-friendly podcasts here.
Cons: Mostly AI and robotic-sounding voice artists have been used, bringing down the value and joy.
Price range: Available on all major podcast apps, the price depends on the app and plan you chose.
Why Choose Podcasts for Learning Turkish?
Although people learn in different ways, learning a foreign language has a lot to do with mimicking native speakers. Your pronunciation, vocabulary, and general command of the language will therefore improve by tuning in to Turkish language podcasts.
Listening to podcasts will also help you understand the use of various grammatical principles and ways everyday people construct phrases in Turkish.
For a richer learning experience, you can keep an awareness of any unfamiliar terms being used in the podcast you’re listening to.
The Psychology of Positive Feedback
No matter how high or low you rank in language exams, what native speakers think of your Turkish language skill is important. This is true for any other language too.
An interesting fact is that in the beginning, you may only be able to build a few sentences in Turkish. But if your pronunciation and accent mimic native speakers, and you are able to use some common filler words here and there, natives will think that you are a very talented and smart individual, born to speak Turkish!
It is in fact very important to get praised and motivated genuinely when learning a foreign language. When you get a compliment, it is your strengths that are emphasized. You become more self-assured, feel less shy to get involved in conversations, and are more receptive to learning new casual language to keep receiving compliments.
Adopting neutral but proper pronunciation is quite important because you may be speaking perfect Turkish grammar-wise, and build complex sentences. BUT… If your pronunciation is bad and it doesn’t require any guesswork to tell that you are a francophone, the vibe you give to the outside world is that you’re not putting enough effort into it.
If most people who speak a foreign language were not able to pronounce words correctly, they would all take lessons from a speech pathologist. That’s certainly not the case, and thus, it’s about not trying hard enough.
If you expect people to guess what you are saying because you have a strong accent that is far from Turkish sounds, they are the ones who need to pay a lot of attention to understand you. This isn’t an ideal scenario to learn Turkish or any foreign language properly.
Here, we recall a language course ad on TV where a US submarine calls May Day when in German waters. The US official announces on the radio:
- “May Day! May Day! We are sinking!”
German marine control responds:
- “What are you thinking about?”
Another example is the typical tourist mindset when a foreigner suggests nicknaming a Turkish person just because they are unable to pronounce their name.
- Can I call you Jas because I can’t pronounce Yasemin?
Our two cents here is; don’t be that person☺
You’re not here to change things, you are here to learn. Podcasts and audios are therefore powerhouse tools to help you overcome a variety of language problems before they arise.
Tips for Listening to Turkish Podcasts
You might have got our point by now that we find podcasts very useful to learn Turkish. Below are a few hints to optimize the depth of your learning through podcasts and audio:
- Remember that being consistent and making podcast listening a part of your daily routine is key.
- Pausing the podcast to repeat words and sentences is important. You can choose to listen at a slower speed if you need to until you get a good grasp of the correct pronunciation.
- It’s natural to hear words you are unfamiliar with. Trying to guess what they may mean according to their use in the sentence is great brainwork. You can then check the dictionary definition.
- For complete beginners, it’s time well spent blankly listening to podcasts, just to tune in to the language.
- Paying attention to your own perception of written and spoken language is also key. Listening to podcasts helps a lot to avoid situations.
Turkish Podcasts for Advanced Students
Becoming an advanced-level Turkish speaker is no joke. If you feel that your level is advanced, you should be proud of yourself!
At this stage, feel free to listen to any podcast. We would highly recommend exposing yourself to a more sophisticated vocabulary by opting for educational, scientific, travel, or hobby-based podcasts. You can also choose to listen to daily news which will keep you up to date with current affairs in Turkey.
Regardless, some of our favorite podcasts for advanced learners are Dünyaya Fırlatıldık, Nasıl Olunur, and Anlatamadım among others.
Popular Turkish Podcasts
Although Turkish people are big in conversing around economy, and politics, when it comes to podcasts, educational resources lead the charts. Here are the most popular Turkish podcasts with the highest number of listeners1:
10. Ortamlarda Satılacak Bilgi: Podcast series about culture, art, literature, philosophy, psychology, personal development, film, and more.
11. Psikopatika: Mostly touching on topics around authenticity, and self-discovery, Psikopatika podcasts also recommend books and movies.
12. Merdiven Altı Terapi: Unbiased random stories that Turkish people somehow relate to. It’s hosted by a female presenter who is originally a dentist by trade.
13. Meksika Açmazı: This is a comedy with episodes around how people get out of difficult situations.
14. Kendine İyi Davran: Translating into “Take Care of Yourself”, presenter Beyhan Budak provides advice to live a more fulfilled life. He basically creates awareness and supports the process and thus, it is a very popular podcast in Turkey.
Do not miss out on our other blog posts and grammar articles where we take you through YouTube channels, books, and other resources to help you achieve your goal of learning Turkish.
Also, be sure to check out our “Practice Turkish” page. There, you’ll find recommendations for Turkish TV shows and channels where you can listen to authentic spoken Turkish.