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A question about Turkish and influences from elsewhere
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[1] 2
1.       trip
297 posts
 18 Sep 2012 Tue 09:22 pm

On my latest exercise, I was asked to describe the main character in a story. He is very attached to his red sports car, and I wanted to say that he seemed "obsessive." When I looked this word up in the TC dictionary, I was given one option: "obsesif." When I used this, my evaluator said it was not a Turkish word and offered me an alternative: Zannedersem Emre takıntılı bir kişi. My evaluator says he prefers using Turkish words over those borrowed from elsewhere, unless there is no choice. ("Obsesif" looks to me like a French borrowing, but when I look up "obsessive" in the French dictionary, I find "obsedant.") This has raised a question in my mind:  

Turkish is a beautiful language for many reasons, but one is its richness. This richness of language reflects a richness of culture and history: the Ottoman Empire and its stretch across North Africa, parts of Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia; the decline of the Ottomans and the rise of Western influences; the forging of a new identity in the 20th century; and the resurgence of Turkey today as an economic and political power. Turkish, Arabic, Persian, French, English, and probably more: All of these are part of Türkçe. How do you feel about this?

 

 

 

2.       Abla
3647 posts
 19 Sep 2012 Wed 12:27 am

Loanwords are a natural part of vocabulary, not bad or good as such. It seems to me that due to rich cultural contacts in the past the amount of synonymes is remarkably high in Turkish.

 

But still I think the language reform of the 20th century was for the good. You see, foreign words are not just words, in great numbers they also weaken the structure of the language. Turkish has a developed system of word formation. Derivation and compounding are the original means of increasing vocabulary. Your evaluator suggested for you to use a derived word instead of a loanword.

 

Take a look at Turkish computer terms. Language planners have made such a beautiful work with them. Instead of opening the doors for English terms Turkish resources have been utilized to their fullest.

 

It is not enough to reflect when you have a light of your own also.



Edited (9/19/2012) by Abla

Umut_Umut liked this message
3.       gokuyum
5049 posts
 19 Sep 2012 Wed 12:56 am

 

Quoting Abla

 

 

But still I think the language reform of the 20th century was for the good. You see, foreign words are not just words, in great numbers they also weaken the structure of the language. Turkish has a developed system of word formation. Derivation and compounding are the original means of increasing vocabulary. Your evaluator suggested for you to use a derived word instead a loanword.

 

Maybe you are right if we look at the subject through the perspective of a linguist. We didn´t only borrow words, we also borrowed some structures and those were totally not suitable with Turkish grammar structure. But as a literature student, I observe that language reform weakened variaty and the richness of the Turkish language and it also cut our all ties with a 600 years of Ottoman literature tradition. This was a very big sacrafice and it was not necessary. If you observe Ottoman literature you will witness the perfection of a language whose main goal was to express love in the most beautiful manner. I think we need that beauty.

 



Edited (9/19/2012) by gokuyum

4.       trip
297 posts
 19 Sep 2012 Wed 08:54 am

When you talk about the language reform of the 20th century, you are partly talking about the stripping away of Arabic and Persian words from the language, correct? But didn´t language reform also involve adopting some Western words as Atatürk encouraged modernization? For instance: taxi, taksi.

5.       Umut_Umut
485 posts
 19 Sep 2012 Wed 11:35 am

 

Quoting gokuyum

 

Maybe you are right if we look at the subject through the perspective of a linguist. We didn´t only borrow words, we also borrowed some structures and those were totally not suitable with Turkish grammar structure. But as a literature student, I observe that language reform weakened variaty and the richness of the Turkish language and it also cut our all ties with a 600 years of Ottoman literature tradition. This was a very big sacrafice and it was not necessary. If you observe Ottoman literature you will witness the perfection of a language whose main goal was to express love in the most beautiful manner. I think we need that beauty.

 

 

I think, the main part of a language is the structure. If a language save it is own grammatical rules, borrowing words from any other language is not that much important. I am not against borrowing the words. I am against using foreign alternative of the words if there is already a Turkic origin one. And the words which are borrowed from any other language should go along with Turkish grammatical rules.  Unfortunately Turkish people have always been using foreign words to show themselves cultured, highly educated, noble, linguist etc. 

Although Turkish has advanced rules and capabilities to derive new words, some researchers say much more capable than German, we dont have enough brilliant linguists who should work for this and derived words are named as "made up" words by our noble, known-all, smart ass people. (Unfortunately our biggest problem is that everyone knows everything. And people speak about each topic as they were  expert on it.)

Thanks to God we are saved by the structural problems eventhough we still have some little issues such as saying or writing  Süleymaniye Camii instead of Süleymaniye Camisi. But these little wounds will be fine in a natural progress.

I dont agree with Gokuyum about the bad effects totally but partially. Eventhough there are some problems  i am still supporting to give up borrowed words and replace them with Turkic origin ones if we can. For example we had 3 words for "night" as gece, şeb and leyl. All were used. One is Turkic, one is Persian and one is Arabic. The word gece is being used for centuries and then we borrowed the other two? For what? So i am supporting not to use the other two. But for instance "nekahet"  should not be deleted from the language. It is an arabic origin word and we have been using it for roughly 400 years. And there is no exact word to be used instead of it. For me if a word is widely accepted, used and understood by the community and if the word follows the pattern of Turkish grammatical rules, it is Turkish. (I agree with Gokuyum here)

And for me it  doesn´t cut our all ties with 600 years Ottoman literature but just a period since Ottoman literature should be seperated into ages. And yes i agree that we understand nothing but some words  when we read a poem but i dont think so it is our fault. It is the natural result of  ignoring self culture and language.  And i dont think so insisting on a fault is a good idea.  

I hope we will have  a good and effective organization to derive new words or better to say our institution that is responsible of Turkish language will work properly. And i hope our people will understand the importance of their own language.  The smart ass? No hope for them.

All languages are special and i hope English wont eat em all

 

 

 



Edited (9/19/2012) by Umut_Umut

Abla liked this message
6.       Abla
3647 posts
 19 Sep 2012 Wed 11:54 am

Is it in Turkish also that new loanwords have their special use in professional language? For instance, takıntı could be used in everyday speech but obsesyon by psychiatrists.

7.       trip
297 posts
 19 Sep 2012 Wed 01:09 pm

I can see I am way out of my league here, but I have learned from your answers, so thank you. I agree that all languages are special, Umut Umut, so I hope I did not offend you by raising this subject in the forum. ... By the way, English has adopted Turkish words, or words central to Turkish culture, although English speakers probably don´t realize it. Yogurt, kiosk, divan, sofa. The sharing goes in may directions! ... Teşekkürler!

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8.       AlphaF
5677 posts
 19 Sep 2012 Wed 02:27 pm

 

Quoting Umut_Umut

 

And for me it  doesn´t cut our all ties with 600 years Ottoman literature but just a period since Ottoman literature should be seperated into ages. And yes i agree that we understand nothing but some words  when we read a poem but i dont think so it is our fault. It is the natural result of  ignoring self culture and language.  And i dont think so insisting on a fault is a good idea.  

 

 

 

 

 

The rightfully ignored part of Ottoman legacy are worhless poems (elite junk) in Arabic and Persian languages, with no universal value what so ever.

From the same era, Turks have gracefully carried literature and music created in Turkish Language (folk literature), by poets much closer to their own hearts.. We now come to realize that, that the latter was the part of Turkish literature which carried universal messages anyway, observing the the comperative interest non-Turks show to each group, respectively. Anyone you know reading Nedim nowadays ? Karacaoğlan is well known in all circles of international literature.

Who is ignoring what culture and language ? Even  at the time those Ottoman junk were written by so called great poets who totally despised Turkish language,  95% of Anatolians never read them.

 



Edited (9/19/2012) by AlphaF

9.       Umut_Umut
485 posts
 19 Sep 2012 Wed 02:57 pm

 

Quoting AlphaF

 

 

The rightfully ignored part of Ottoman legacy are worhless poems (elite junk) in Arabic and Persian languages, with no universal value what so ever.

From the same era, Turks have gracefully carried literature and music created in Turkish Language (folk literature), by poets much closer to their own hearts.. We now come to realize that, that the latter was the part of Turkish literature which carried universal messages anyway, observing the the comperative interest non-Turks show to each group, respectively. Anyone you know reading Nedim nowadays ? Karacaoğlan is well known in all circles of international literature.

Who is ignoring what culture and language ? Even  at the time those Ottoman junk were written by so called great poets who totally despised Turkish language,  95% of Anatolians never read them.

 

 

I agree with you Alpha. But i think you got me wrong. Who ignored self culture and language are the ones who wrote poems which can not be understood by the their grandchildren right now.

For example this poem was written in 1900s and i am sure just a very few part of population can get what it means. And it is not our fault but his.

And i am sorry if it is Turkish, i dont know Turkish.

                     "Ey cism-i latif hâba râm ol;
                     Âsûde-i zulmet-i garâm ol;
                     Rûhun gibi mâil-i hırâm ol;
                        Zîb-âver-i menzil-i merâm ol." 

And this is a poem from 1200s written by the great poet Yunus Emre. And i am sure all can understand it since it is Turkish.

 

Ne varlığa sevinirim,

Ne yokluğa yerinirim,

Aşkın ile avunurum,

Bana seni gerek seni.

 

 

 

10.       Umut_Umut
485 posts
 19 Sep 2012 Wed 03:05 pm

 

Quoting Abla

Is it in Turkish also that new loanwords have their special use in professional language? For instance, takıntı could be used in everyday speech but obsesyon by psychiatrists.

 

 As far as i know, medicine and  law have their own loan words which can not be understood by the population. And also most professionals use loanwords not to be professional but to be seen professional.

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