What are the languages that are spoken in Istanbul?

John McCarroll
31 March, 2016

First and foremost, Turkish. Turkish is the official language of the city, and the days are long gone when Constantinople was a polyglot paradise. Outside of university campuses, Beyoglu, Kadikoy, or Sultanahmet, don't expect to hear much English, and even there, it generally won't be more than very basic. You'll find that Turkish has a lot of French loanwords and many wealthy Turks will speak French. German is also present although again, don't count on it. In the old city around the Aksaray area, expect to hear more Arabic and Russian.

Basically, although you can make yourself understood in most tourist areas, without some Turkish, it will be hard to communicate in the city as a whole.

Languages Spoken In Istanbul Languages Language
John McCarroll

Irresponsible anthropologist and fiction writer. Used to be an expat in Istanbul. 

What are some basic Turkish words I should know?

Emily Von Kohorn
05 June, 2014

The Best Rooftop Bars in Istanbul

Seza Bali
03 June, 2016

10 Foods All Turks Would Know

Jen Welter-Çaylı
12 January, 2015

Where is the best nargile (hookah) cafe?

John McCarroll
17 August, 2014
comments powered by Disqus