“Self-Learning French Coursebooks” as Part of French Education in Post Tanzimat Era of the Ottoman Empire

  •  Levent Ali Canakli    
  •  Sercan Alabay    


French teaching in Ottoman Turkey found its actual speed with the Tanzimat period (the political reforms made in the ottoman state in 1839). Until the proclamation of the Republic, and even until the 1950s, French was considered the leading carrier of Western culture and civilization in Turkey, and teaching French was deemed necessary. However, it cannot be said that this was a very successful and sufficient period for French and foreign language teaching in general. Failure to fulfill the primary conditions of language teaching, such as teacher, material, and method, has been the main problem of foreign language teaching. When the lack of schooling is added, “self-learning French” books have emerged as an opportunity for teaching French, although they are not many. The five books discussed in the article, written in Turkish using the Arabic alphabet between 1867 and 1928, mostly describe the basic pronunciation rules, word types, sentence features, and grammatical information of French, starting with the alphabet, in a plain language and style. Although there was a good variety of French-Turkish dictionaries at that time, since economic conditions did not allow everyone to acquire a glossary, and even if there was an opportunity, which dictionary to choose is a different problem, as a standard feature in all of them, the vocabulary parts of the books were kept very wide. Books; It has been seen that both of them are successful when the measures such as showing the pronunciation of French words, grammatical knowledge that is not suffocating, broad vocabulary, the relevance of French and Turkish translation texts, page structure, language, and simplicity of expression are taken into account.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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