Do People Speak English in Turkey?

Wondering if people speak English in Turkey or if you’ll need to brush up on your Turkish phrases before heading off to Turkey? Whether it’s for work or vacation with family and friends, it is great to know what kind of language barriers may be encountered on your travels. While you may feel more confident traveling around being able to speak in the same language as locals, do people speak English in Turkey? For travelers, families or anyone wondering about the English barrier that awaits them in this country known for its diverse culture and landscapes- we have the answer! Read on to learn more about English spoken throughout Turkey.

English Language Education in Turkey

Did you know that English is the most widely spoken foreign language in the country? As a result of the growing demand for English proficiency, Turkey has been investing heavily in language education over the past few years. From primary school to university level, students are introduced to English as early as possible. In recent years, this investment has paid off as English proficiency rates are 15% – 20% of the Turkish population. This is due in part to the widespread availability of English language classes and materials available both online and in traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Additionally, many universities offer special programs designed specifically for English learners so they can further develop their skills after graduation. With these resources at their disposal, it is no surprise that more people than ever before are choosing to study English in Turkey.

Additionally, it’s not just in the classroom that the language is flourishing. You’ll find street signs, advertisements, and even TV shows in English. In fact, Turkey is home to a thriving English-language media industry. So, if you’re planning a trip to Turkey, don’t be surprised if you hear a lot of English being spoken around you, especially in major tourist destinations.

Common Spoken Languages in Turkey

Turkey is a country that lies at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. It has a diverse cultural background and is home to many different languages. However, the most common spoken language in Turkey is Turkish. This language is part of the Turkic language group and is the official language of Turkey. Turkish is spoken by almost 80% of the population in Turkey, making it the most widely spoken language in the country. Other languages spoken in Turkey include Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian, and Greek, to name a few. Nevertheless, visitors to Turkey can easily get by with English as it’s spoken by many people in the bigger cities, particularly Istanbul.

Tips for speaking English in Turkey

Tips for Speaking English in Turkey

When traveling in Turkey, there are several tips to keep in mind to help you communicate more effectively in English. Visiting a foreign country can be a daunting experience, especially when you’re not familiar with the language. However, fear not, because getting by with just English in Turkey is more than doable. English is widely spoken in tourist areas, so don’t hesitate to ask for directions or recommendations from locals.

Also, a good idea to have some basic Turkish phrases on hand, such as “merhaba” for hello and “teşekkür ederim” for thank you. This can go a long way in making a good impression with the locals.

Learning about the culture and customs can also improve your experience and help you connect with the locals. Don’t be shy to step out of your comfort zone and try new things, as the hospitality of the Turkish people is sure to make your trip unforgettable.

Don’t forget to download your Google translate app. It’s helpful when you need a quick helper to communicate during your trip.

How Much English is Spoken in Turkey?

While Turkish remains the primary language, English is becoming increasingly popular as Turkey opens up to the rest of the world. One of the regions where English is commonly spoken is Istanbul. As the largest city in Turkey, it is a hub for international business and tourism, making English an important language for communication. In addition, many universities in Istanbul offer English-language programs, attracting students from all over the world. English is also spoken in other urban areas such as Ankara, Izmir, and Antalya. So, if you’re planning to visit Turkey, don’t be surprised if you hear English spoken in some areas.

speak English in turkey

Learn Basic Turkish Phrases for Tourists

If you’re planning a trip to Turkey, it’s a good idea to brush up on some basic Turkish phrases. Not only will it make communication with locals easier, but it also shows that you respect the culture and are making an effort to connect with the people. Start with “Merhaba” (hello) and “Teşekkür ederim” (thank you), two phrases that are good to know. If you’re feeling adventurous, try ordering your Turkish food or haggling at the bazaar in Turkish. Don’t worry if your pronunciation isn’t perfect – Turks are known for being patient and friendly with tourists.

Taking the time to learn some Turkish basics will enhance your travel experience in this beautiful country.

  • Turkey | Turkiye  |  [Tur-key-yay]
  • Hi!  | Merhaba!   |  [Mer-ha-ba]
  • WelcomeHoşgeldiniz  |  [ho-sh-gel-dee-neez]
  • Thank you!  | Teşekkürler | [Te-shek-kür-ler]
  • Please | Lütfen |  [Lüt-fen]
  • Bathroom |    Tuvalet | Lavabo | WC   |  [Too-vah-let] | [Lah-vah-bow]

Apps for English in Turkey

To being able to communicate using English while traveling in Turkey, visitors should also take advantage of the growing number of apps designed specifically for translating or learning Turkish. These tools make it easier than ever before to pick up essential words and phrases before your trip – giving you an edge when it comes time to communicate with locals during your travels.

Google Translate

Our favorite app to use to translate English to Turkish is Google Translate. Google Translate is an invaluable tool for anyone wishing to communicate in Turkey while speaking English. This free service provided by Google allows users to quickly translate text, websites, and documents between over 100 languages, including Turkish. Not only can it be used to quickly understand text written in Turkish, but also to speak it out loud for better comprehension.

The app also includes a camera option that helps users translate words and phrases instantly from signs or menus seen in the real world.

Make sure you download Turkish on the app so you can use it without having a data connection. Easy peasy!

Sesli Sozluk

Sesli Sozluk is an online Turkish dictionary that provides users with quick and reliable translations of words and phrases. With its intuitive user interface, this platform makes it easy to find the exact term you are looking for in both English and Turkish. It’s great if you are speaking to a local in Turkish and get stuck on a word. You can look it up in English to see what it translates to in Turkish.


Babbel is an online language learning platform that offers users access to 14 different languages. Babbel’s courses are designed to help learners at any level develop their language skills with interactive exercises, audio lessons, and progress tracking tools. With its intuitive user interface and a vast library of content, the app is perfect for anyone looking to learn or improve their Turkish or English in Turkey.


Duolingo is a language app that is perfect for anyone looking to learn or improve their Turkish or English in Turkey. Duolingo’s courses are designed to help learners at any level develop their language skills with interactive exercises, audio lessons, and progress tracking tools. Users can also practice speaking and writing by participating in conversation groups hosted by native speakers from around the world. Additionally, they can track their progress over time using the app’s built-in analytics tool, which makes it easy to stay motivated on your learning journey.

Turkish Basics for Tourists

Is English Spoken in Istanbul?

If you’re planning a trip to Istanbul and wondering whether English is spoken there, the answer is yes! Although Turkish is the official language of Turkey, English is widely spoken, especially in major tourist areas. You’ll find that many locals in Istanbul speak English and happy to help you with directions, recommendations, and other inquiries. You’ll also find that many signs and menus in tourist areas are in English, which can be helpful if you’re not fluent in Turkish. So don’t worry about communication barriers during your visit to Istanbul – the city is very accommodating to English-speaking travelers.

Where Do People Speak English in Turkey?

English is widely spoken all across Turkey, especially in the major cities and tourist destinations. Learn more about the most popular cities that speak English in Turkey below.


Istanbul is the city where the East meets the West and is a melting pot of languages, cultures, and history. In the major tourist areas throughout the city, you’ll hear English spoken, as well as see signs and restaurant menus in English.


Antalya, located on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, is a popular destination to visit the country’s best beaches and stunning scenery. The city has become a hub for adventure activities such as paragliding, rafting and canyoning, while its many cultural attractions include archaeological sites like Perge Ancient City or Aspendos Theatre. You’ll hear English spoken in the tourist areas of Lara, Kale Ici, and Konyaalti. Heading down the coastline, you’ll find most small coastal towns like Kemer, Kas & Kalkan all have English speakers as well.


Fethiye has stunning natural beauty, with turquoise waters and rugged mountains providing a breathtaking backdrop to its many attractions This picturesque town has many English speakers, including foreigners that have moved into the area. It is an area where you’ll find many English-speaking expats. As a tourist, it is easy to get around and do the activities you want to do because many people speak English.


Bodrum, Turkey is a popular tourist destination for those looking to experience the beauty of the Aegean Sea. Located on the southwestern coast of Turkey, Bodrum has crystal clear waters and stunning beaches. Bodrum has something to offer everyone – from water sports and sailing to shopping in traditional markets or enjoying some delicious local cuisine. English is widely spoken throughout Bodrum, making communication with locals easy and enjoyable.


Cappadocia is a region of Turkey, made up of many small towns and villages. It is an incredibly unique and beautiful region of Turkey located in the Central Anatolia Region. Cappadocia has stunning landscapes, with striking cliffs, rock formations, caves, and underground cities making it a popular destination for tourists. The highest concentration of English speakers are in the main towns of the region. If you’re in Goreme, Urgup, or Avanos, you’ll see and hear English. In the smaller villages, you may not hear as much English or have options for signage or menus in English.


Izmir, Turkey is a city located on the Aegean Sea that offers visitors stunning beaches and crystal clear waters. It has a vibrant atmosphere, with plenty of cultural experiences and activities to explore such as historical sites like the nearby Ephesus, St Peter’s Castle or Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. Since Izmir is a major hub in Turkey, English is widely spoken making travel easy.


Ankara, Turkey is the vibrant capital city of this stunning country. Located in central Anatolia, Ankara offers visitors a unique blend of modern and ancient experiences. From historic sites like Anitkabir (the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk) to contemporary museums such as the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, there’s something for everyone. As a tourist you’ll find English throughout the city, in restaurants and signage for local things to see and do.


Absolutely! English is widely spoken in cities such as Istanbul and Ankara, as well as smaller towns like Bodrum and Izmir. It makes communication with locals easy and enjoyable. Additionally, many hotels, restaurants, and shops provide services in English so travelers make the most of their trip to Turkey. Many airports also provide bilingual signage for smooth navigation around the country. For example, Istanbul Ataturk International Airport has bilingual signs in Turkish and English for a stress-free experience in Turkey.

To say hello in Turkish, you say ‘Merhaba’. This is general greeting you’ll here as you walk into restaurants and stores on your trip to Turkey.

There are many different languages spoken in Turkey. Turkish is the official language in Turkey. The next 2 most popular languages are Kurdish & Arabic.

Conclusion on Speaking English in Turkey

All in all, English has made a language impact in Turkey that is far from insignificant. Despite Turkish being the official language there are still plenty of people who speak English, especially in tourist destinations. Even without fluency in Turkish, visitors have plenty of options to get around and communicate with locals. While some level of Turkish will certainly help your visit to Turkey, these tips will make it easier.