How to say?

Navigating A New Language
July 9, 2015 – 03:45 pm
How to Say You re Sorry

Some individuals see learning a language as an obstacle course or, even more euphemistically, as a second coming of age. Whichever way you look at it, when it comes to Turkish, English speakers are faced with a much harder task than with an Indo-European language.

Why does the Turkish alphabet not contain the page w? Very few Turkish words remind me personally of these equivalents in the languages i am aware; nothing uses a familiar structure. Over and once again, we read definitions into words that turn into untrue pals. Why does engel suggest “obstacle, ” kalender “unconventional” (it can also be a male first name), tabak—“dish”? Why do you “drink” a cigarette—sigara içmek? Exactly why is a sunflower labeled as a “moon rose, ” and a hornet a “donkey bee”? Which developed the idea to choose inmek for “get off”? Can I ever before figure out how to end dotting the ı?

Turkish does not have any direct spoken equivalent for “to be” or “to have”: both tend to be expressed using buildings that seem totally odd to my ears. Its an agglutinative language, therefore individual, tight and case are all expressed by adding appendages to a word. “Istanbuldayım”—i'm in Istanbul—is one word. As you don’t know the verb before you arrive at the termination of the phrase, you usually have to juggle a number of subordinate clauses while attempting to workout what connection these components must the other person.

Rather than he, she, also it, there’s one-word: o. Therefore, to start with, you have to pay close attention to who or what is being discussed. Most of the time, the aesthetic of noise in Turkish employs the concept of singing harmony: whatever comes later has got to remain in the series associated with the vowels that features gone before. The longer you learn Turkish, the greater amount of you can get a feel when it comes to style of the complex syntax, which can be impractical to make exactly in English because words tend to be built differently and phrases consist in another method.

There’s some terms you need to consider or tune in to very carefully whilst never to confuse all of them. Kış means “winter” but kiş implies “quiche”; kişi implies “person, ” but however, kız means “girl.” Sometimes only accent changes the meaning: kar indicates “snow, ” and kâr—with a far more available and longer-sounding â—means “profit.”

It takes time to come to grips with some for the principles. Hayır, the direct same in principle as “no, ” is seldom used. The most popular way of saying no is yok; it's the exact opposite of var and indicates “there isn’t/aren’t.” An example through the marketplace:

“Elma var mı?” (“Do you have got any oranges?”)
“Yok” (“There aren’t any.”)

Yok is oftentimes utilized and a slight backward movie associated with the head and a brief clicking for the tongue. The phrase itself could often be left out together with meaning however results in. A widening associated with eyes can also indicate no. Headshaking is recognized as a reaction it is maybe not itself common amongst Turks. Another polite means of saying no could be the Arabic maalesef, indicating “unfortunately.” A clear no is only used an individual would like to strongly deny some thing. Plus after that, sağol or “thanks” is usually made use of.

As a Christian foreigner, seeking expressions like Allah Allah (“gosh”), İnşallah (“hopefully”), or a greeting such Selamün aleikum (actually “Peace be to you, ” a greeting this is certainly answered with Aleikum selam) without hesitating? Undoubtedly, as a foreigner, you could get away with a great deal. Numerous Turks appreciate the reality that you’ve made your time and effort to understand their particular language and they are large once you state something that might be considered a faux pas.

You will find about five thousand terms with French origins—halüsinasyon, like meaning hallucination. But people who genuinely believe that their French abilities can get them halfway you can find sorely mistaken. Many terms are also Arabic or Persian in beginning. Which in case you utilize? The first Turkish term or perhaps the one with Persian or Arabic origins? Right now, two terms tend to be used in synchronous, and often their meanings have drifted aside.

This is how the have trouble with the consequences of Atatürk’s history comes into play: by producing today's Turkish language, he wished to release Ottoman Turkish from its cargo of foreign-language influence, including bridge the gulf amongst the dialects of intellectuals and lower-class people. A committee had been hired to displace Arabic and Persian loanwords with Anatolian, Azeri, Tatar, and synthetic words. Within a few months, the changeover toward Latin alphabet had been completed. The application of Arabic script ended up being made a punishable offence on January 1, 1929.

Let’s cast a glance at Geoffrey Lewis’s (2002), where the author unveils a few “linguistic monstrosities” with a pleasure for detail. Among Lewis’s interesting claims is that the greeting selâm is less frequent these days than merhaba (both have Arabic origins) due to the fact lip moves for selâm in dubbed United states films tend to be more just like hello than merhaba. Lewis tends to make no bones about his sympathies: in his viewpoint, contemporary Turkish doesn't have the variety of meaning that Ottoman Turkish has. But what may be the option? The resurrection of Ottoman Turkish? This past year, it was fiercely debated in chicken whether it must certanly be supplied as a compulsory topic for high schools over the country. In the meantime, the discussion has actually ebbed away. You will find not really adequate those who nevertheless master this vanishing kind.

But all isn't lost. Besides Turkey’s populace of very nearly eighty million men and women, Azerbaijan (ten million residents) makes use of an alphabet similar to that of Turkish. And some thirty million Azeri Iranians speak a language extremely similar-sounding to Turkish, although they compose it with Arabo-Persian figures. In Uzbekistan, too, in which a Turkic language is spoken by nearly twenty-five million folks, the numbers from to five are bir, ikki, uch, t’ort, besh (in Turkish: bir, iki, üç, dört, beş), and even one of the Uyghurs in northwest Asia, five thousand kilometers far from Istanbul, the direction they tend to be talked is not therefore different.

Bernd Brunner’s most recent guide may be the Art of Lying Down: helpful tips to Horizontal life. He divides their time passed between Istanbul and Berlin.

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