I've already told you how I'm getting myself accustomed to the Turkish language by watching videos of narration while reading along. Today I'm going to share another thing that I did in preparation for my trip, so that I could be learning Turkish even as I'm wandering through Italy.
Okay, so I've shown you a way to find videos even when you don't know the language. Now I'm going to show you how I find music! It's acutally quite simple.
All I do is go to Google Translate and try phrases that are sure to turn up results for good music, such as "top songs of 2010" or "best turkish songs" and then get the translation. "Best songs" gave me en iyi şarkıları as a result, and when I put that into Google, I got a lot of results that looked promising!
When I browse the results, I see a few names come up repeatedly: Erkin Koray, Cem Karaca, Barış Manço, Tarkan, and Fikret Kızılok, among others. This is where I'll start.
How you get to the music is your own business. There are a lot of strong opinions on the topic of whether to use iTunes, or Amazon, whether or not to search google for MP3s, or the morality of bittorrent. Perhaps you're most comfortable using a streaming service like Grooveshark, Pandora, or Last.fm. I'm not going to weigh in on what's right or wrong.
All I'm going to do is tell you that I had to get the songs onto my iPod so I could listen to them offline while I wander Italy, so streaming wasn't an option for me. I've already been listening to music by the artists listed above, and a few others, for the past two weeks and I'm starting to recognize words and learn these songs.
I still don't know what the words mean, but that will come. For now, it's nice to know that already, when I meet a Turkish person, I'll know several famous artists and some of their songs, so we've already got something to talk about!