Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Turkish is a member of the Turkish family of languages, which includes Balkan Gagauz Turkish , Gagauz, and Khorasani Turkish in addition to Turkish. The Turkish family is a subgroup of the Southern Turkic languages , themselves a subgroup of the Turkic languages, which some linguists believe to be member of the disputed Altaic language family (which is considered part of the even more disputed Ural-Altaic language family.)
Turkish is spoken in Turkey and by minorities in 35 other countries. The Turkish used in countries such as Bulgaria, Greece, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the Republic of Macedonia, Romania and Uzbekistan is also called Osmanli.
Dialects of Turkish include Danubian, Eskişehir (spoken in Eskişehir Province), Razgrad, Dinler, Rumelian, Karamanli (spoken in Karaman Province), Edirne (spoken in Edirne), Gaziantep (spoken in Gaziantep Province), Urfa (spoken in Şanlıurfa Province).
Many other languages are spoken in Turkey, including: Pontic Greek in the Trabzon area (pontos being Black Sea in Greek). A modern version of Aramaic is also spoken in some villages in central and southern Turkey, and an Arabic dialect is spoken southwest of the Van sea. From the South Caucasian language groups, the Laz and Georgian languages are widely used in northeast Turkey, as is Cherkess in many villages which are geographically rather spread out. Also in the soulth east Kirmanch and Zaza are spoken which is also generalised as (Kurdish) even though the two dialects are significantly different. Some scholars consider these two different languages. In addition, several other Turkic languages are spoken by small groups. A small Jewish minority in Istanbul speaks "Ladino", also called "Judeo-Spanish", from descendants of Jews who fled from Spain in 1492 and found refuge in the Istanbul area. Professor Einar Haugen (1906-1994) of Norway who studied "ekte gudbrandsdalmċl" - a dialect spoken in the Gudbrandsdalen district of Norway - among Norwegian immigrants in Iowa, found "frozen" remnants of Kretic and old Spanish dialects from Turkey, making the country extremely interesting for language researchers and social anthropologists.
One of the characteristic features of Turkish is the vowel harmony (if the first vowel of a Turkish word is a front vowel, the second and other vowels of the same word are usually the same vowel or another front vowel; e.g. Erdem). See also the Ğ (soft g).
Turkish, like Finnish and Hungarian, is an agglutinative language. Turkish is known for having an abundance of suffixes and it has no prefixes (some Arabic loan words have their own prefixes, but those are the common prefixes of Arabic). There can be upto four or five suffixes attached to one word at the same time. Suffixes can derive words and also establish the tense meanings. Two examples are as follows:
- göz means "eye." By adding the suffix -lük, we have gözlük, which means "glasses." If we add another suffix -çü, we have gözlükçü, which means "someone who sells glasses." By adding another suffix -lük, we have gözlükçülük, which means "the business of selling glasses." To this word, we can add the suffix -te (which is the suffix for "in","on","at"), making the word gözlükçülükte, which means "in the business of selling glasses."
- gel is the root for verb "come." By adding the negation suffix -me, we have gelme, which means "do not come." By adding the suffix -miş (the suffix for perfective tense), we have gelmemiş, which means "he/she/it has not come." By adding another suffix, -ti (the suffix for simple past tense), we have gelmemişti, meaning "he/she/it had not come." By adding the suffix -n (the suffix for singular second person in verbal system), we obtain gelmemiştin, meaning "you had not come." We can add another suffix -iz (the suffix which pluralizes the second person singular): gelmemiştiniz "you (plural) had not come." Finally, we can go even one step further and insert the question particle -mi (with the addition of consonant -y-, which becomes necessary to avoid having two contiguous sounds of i and d) between the two suffixes of -miş and -ti: gelmemiş miydiniz? ("hadn't you (plural) come?").
In Turkish, all verbs are regular.
The vocabulary of the Turkish language is a subject that is worth discussion, as the language's vocabulary has gone through drastic changes in history.
Replaced old words
When the Turks came from middle Asia to Anatolia about thousand years ago, they came in contact with Islam and the Arabic societies. Since the Turks accepted Islam, Arabic words (and less, yet still many, Persian words) started infiltrating the language. During the course of over six hundred years of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish kept borrowing loan words from these two languages. Towards the end of the 19th century, this got to a point where the language was rather called the Ottoman language. This is because Turkish had been inundated with so many loan words that the language became a mix of Turkish, Arabic and Persian. In contemporary Turkey, the Ottoman language is almost incomprehensible.
After Atatürk founded the Republic of Turkey, he established the "Turkish Language Foundation" (Türk Dil Kurumu, TDK), whose task was to replace Arabic and Persian origin words with their new Turkish counterparts. The foundation did succeed in expelling over a few hundred Arabic words from the language, which are now considered obsolete in Turkish today. While most of the words introduced to the language by TDK are new, TDK also suggested using old Turkish words which had not been used in the language for centuries.
It is remarkable to note that different generations in Turkey prefer to use different words to express the same meaning. While the generations born upto the 1940's have tendency to use the old Arabic origin words (even the obsolete ones), the younger generations favor using the new words. Even though most of the new words completely replaced the old ones, some new words are not used as often as their old counterparts or have failed to convey the intrinsic meanings of the old words.
Here are some examples of the old (Arabic origin) words with their new Turkish equivalents:
|Old word||New Turkish word||English meaning||Remarks|
|muharebe, harp, cenk ***||savaş||war|
|imkân *||olanak||opportunity, possibility|
|meridyen*||boylam||longtitude||the old word is French origin|
|paralel*||enlem||latitude||the old word is French origin|
|evrak *||belge||paper document||in Arabic, evrāk is the plural of vārāk, in Turkish evrak is used as singular|
|teamül||tepkime, davranış||reaction, behavior|
|vazife *||görev||task, mission|
|mecbur *||zorunlu||must, obligation||both the new and the old words can be used as noun or adjective|
|zamir *||adıl **||pronoun|
|hafıza *||bellek **||memory|
|ihtiyat||yedek||backup||This word has other meanings in Turkish, which are sometimes used in the language|
|mevkiî, mekân||yer, konum||location|
|sohbet*||söyleşi||chat||the new word is used in somewhat different contexts|
|tebrik*||kutlama||congratulate||the new word also means to celebrate|
|tekâmül||evrim, başkalaşım||maturation, metamorphosis|
|maaş *||aylık **||salary|
|meydan*, saha||alan**||open area||while the new word is used mainly in mathematics (as in area of a triangle), it is seldom used in the same meanings of the old words.|
|müzmin||süreğen||cronic||the new word is seldom used|
|irtifa||yükseklik||altitude||the old word is only used in aviation, as in "the altitude of the plane"|
|şatafat(lı)||gösteriş(li)||spectacular (noun and adjective)|
|gayri||olmayan,başka||non-, other||in Arabic, "gayri" is a prefix which means non- as in "he is a non-muslim"; "he is not a muslim"|
(* Old words that are still used in modern Turkish together with their new Turkish words.)
(** Words that are not as frequently used as the old words.)
(*** Old words that are Persian origin.)
Current loan words
Arabic loan words
Despite the expulsion of numerous Arabic words, Turkish still has a substential number of Arabic loan words that are used in the language today. However, some words have gone through phonetic changes in Turkish in order to accomodate the vowel harmony.
- Some Arabic loan words are:
|Word in Arabic||Word in Turkish||English meaning||Remarks|
|beyāz||beyaz||white||the Turkish word ak is also used, but not as often as beyaz.|
|mute:ahhid||müteahhit||contractor||the new suggested Turkish word is üstenci, but this word is seldom used.|
|ikrām||ikram||offer, give||especially used when offering guests something to eat as courtesy|
|iftirā||iftira||blame||especially used when blaming someone else for what the person has done.|
|hafif||hafif||light (the opposite of heavy)|
|temyīz||temiz||clean||the word temyiz is also used in Turkish, but in the meaning of objection to a court's decision|
|sāhīfe||sayfa||page||in Arabic, sāhīfe ("pages") is the plural of sūhūf, meaning "page." In Turkish sayfa is used as singular.|
|sufre||sofra||(laid) table (to eat)|
|kirmizi||kırmızı||red||the Turkish word al is also used, but rarely|
|merāk||merak||curiousity||also means "being interested in"|
|masdar||mastar||infinitive form of verb|
|zaif||zayıf||thin (used for persons)|
|zevāl||zavallı||pathetic(adj)||in Turkish the suffix -lı is used to derive adjectives from nouns|
|sāniye||saniye||second (as in time)|
|işgāl||işgal||occupy (a country as in a war)|
Persian loan words
- Though not as many as Arabic, Turkish still has a large number of Persian loan words. Some are:
|Word in Persian||Word in Turkish||English meaning||Remarks|
|perçīn||perçin||rivet, clinch bolt|
|bādingān||patlıcan||eggplant||the original word is Persian, but Turkish borrowed this word through Arabic|
|bahār||bahar||spring||spring and fall in Turkish are rather expressed by the compound words ilkbahar and sonbahar, the word ilk meaning first, the word son meaning last|
|siyāh||siyah||black||the word kara is also used, but not as often|
French loan words
- Turkish, like many other Indo-European languages, has also borrowed significant number of words from French. Note that most of the words are similar to English. Some French loan words are:
|Word in French||Word in Turkish||English meaning||Remarks|
|amphithéâtre||amfi||amphitheater||in Turkish only the abbreviated form is used|
|équipe||ekip||team||the Turkish word takım is also used, but in different contexts|
|virage||viraj||curve, bend (in a road)|
Greek loan words
|Word in Greek||Word in Turkish||English meaning||Remarks|
|pontikos||fındık||hazelnut||Turkish borrowed this word through Persian, but the original word is Greek|
|boreas||poyraz||boreas||in Greek this word means the Greek god of the north wind. In Turkish it means the north-east wind|
|maimou||maymun||monkey||Turkish borrowed this word through Arabic|
|stratos||strateji||strategy||Turkish borrowed this word through French|
Italian loan words
|Word in Italian||Word in Turkish||English meaning||Remarks|
|lira||lira||(unit of currency)|
|crema||krema||cream (filling for pastries)||Turkish uses another word krem, which is French origin in the context of face, skin, hand cream|
English loan words
Turkish also has borrowed words from English (especially the names of sports). Some examples are:
|Word in English||Word in Turkish||Remarks|
|off side||ofsayt||used especially in soccer|
|sport||spor||Turkish borrowed this word through French|
Turkish is written using a modified version of the Latin alphabet, which was introduced in 1928 by Kemal Atatürk as part of his efforts to modernize Turkey. Until 1928, Turkish was written using a modified version of the Arabic alphabet (see Ottoman Turkish), but use of the Arabic alphabet was outlawed after the Latin alphabet was introduced. See Turkish alphabet.
|you're welcome||bir şey değil|
|good night||iyi geceler|
A famous quotation and motto of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: "Yurtta sulh, Cihanda sulh." -Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, which is translated as "peace at home, peace in the world."
- Turkish Dictionary.
- Turkish to Turkish Dictionary.
- Learn Turkish language online.
- All free Turkish dictionaries
- Ethnologue report for Turkish
- Free online Turkish course written in German
- Online Turkish-English/English-Turkish dictionary
- Turkish - English Dictionary
- Omniglot: Turkish
- A comprehensive and accurate Turkish-(English/French/Italian/and various other languages) dictionary
- Texas Tech University, Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details