Turkish Vowels and Consonants

There are 8 vowels in the Turkish Alphabet. We categorize each vowel by the shape of the lips (either unrounded or rounded) and the position of the tongue inside the mouth (either back or front).

Turkish is a harmonic language. It relies heavily on the Harmony of the Vowels when you’re making words or sentences.

TongueUnroundedRounded
Backa , ıo , u
Fronte, iö , ü

The first thing you need to focus on is whether the vowel is a Back Vowel or a Front Vowel.

If your tongue is in a neutral position or touching the back of the bottom teeth, it’s a Front Vowel. If your tongue is raised and going backward, it’s a Back Vowel.

The shape of the lips is the second categorization. If your lips are rounded, like a circle, it’s a Rounded Vowel. If they are relaxed and not rounded, then it’s an Unrounded Vowel.

Now let’s look at the two categories for Consonants. Unvoiced Consonants are sounded with just air from our lungs. Our vocal cords don’t vibrate to make these sounds.

Voiced Consonants are voiced both with the air from our lungs and the vibration of our vocal cords.

Unvoiced Voiced
p, t, k, s, ş, ç, h, f b, d, g, v, z, c, ğ, j, l, m, n, r, y

The reason we categorize consonants is that this categorization is also required for Consonant Assimilation.

The Soft G (Ğ), in the Voiced Consonant category, is not voiced, but only used to lengthen the vowel (about a second longer) that it’s put after. Soft G is never put at the start of a word. Even if the Soft G (Ğ) is an Unvoiced Consonant, it functions as a Voiced Consonant inside a word.

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