Did you know you already speak Turkish?

It’s true!  Take this quiz and you’ll agree: you’re already practically fluent.

IMPORTANT: To avoid cheating on the quiz, go to the slideshow below and stop the slideshow from cycling automatically.

(You can do this by hovering and clicking the pause button in the center. Go do it now, then come back here to keep reading.)


  1. Read each flashcard aloud, sounding out each letter in the word.  In Turkish there are rarely extraneous or silent letters. For example, while we spell the word “GROUP” with a combination of O-U that would be hard for a foreigner to sound out, Turks just spell it “GRUP.”
  2. Take a guess at the English word.
  3. Click to the next photo to see the answer.  (Use the right arrow, not the play button, so you can go at your own speed.)
  4. Post your score in a comment at the end (be honest, now); the highest score gets a first class ticket to visit us in Botswana*!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

See?  Pretty easy, eh?  If you’re interested in the reason that Turkish is very easy to sound out, read this article on the re-designed alphabet when Turkey’s visionary leader Atatürk modernized the country in the late 1920’s.  A new alphabet was just one of his reforms, which ranged from economic to women’s rights and just about everything in between.

*Fine print:  First class ticket on the local bus from the Gaborone airport to our apartment.  Transportation to the bus not included.


  1. Ha! LOVE it! Okay, I have to admit, the first thing I ever read on your blog was your budget, and as you know, I was intrigued, but I had no idea what a sharp wit you had as well! This post is funny, smart-aleck-y, witty, and more. Brava! Of course, not I wonder what your excuse was for not speaking fluent Turkish to the post office lady 🙂

    1. arg – fix my type o – “now” I wonder

    2. I could have hurled all these words at her like insults… She wouldn’t have known WHAT to think!

  2. Now I can put on my resume that I am “fluent” in 2 languages!!!

    1. See how reading this blog is even good for career advancement!!

  3. I got all but two right. I’ll have my lawyer contact you about the fine print. I think I can find a way around it.

    Hey, Ken…

    1. Don’t bother; he assures me it’s water tight.

  4. Very clever! It was fun to do! I missed two: olmaz and the word that translated as capacity.

    1. In that case, you’re winning. Olmaz was a trick: there’s a caption under the photo you may have missed that says, “gotcha! I have no idea what this means.” :o)

  5. 9 right. 1/2 ticket please, shared with Sally!
    See you in the morning!

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