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Introduction to the Turkish Language
Also known as Istanbul Turkish or Anatolian Turkish, the Turkish language comes from the Turkic language family. There are 63 million native speakers worldwide, most of them located in Turkey, as well as in Iraq, Germany, Northern Cyprus, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Netherlands, and other parts of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia.
Turkish is the official language in Turkey. Cyprus has also declared it one of its official languages.
Influence from and to other languages
The Greek and French languages had great influence in the Turkish vocabulary. Here are some words that are derived from French:
- enflasyon = inflation
- döviz = currency
- finansman = financing
- resesyon = recession
- kriz = crisis
- bono = bond
English influence contributed mostly on technical terms:
- çekup = check up
- kampüs = campus
- dizayn = design
- kokpit = cockpit
- reyting = rating
- brifing = briefing
- site, data, hacker, mortgage, shop, fast food, star
- miting = meeting
There are also Turkish words that are now commonly used in English:
- kiosk from “köşk” meaning open pavillon
- agha or aga from “ağa” meaning chief
- kayak from “kayık”
- food words such as baklava, doner kebab from “döner kebap”, shish kebab from “şiş kebap”, and
yogurt from “yoğurt”
What a good Turkish translator should know:
Turkish is an agglutinative language, forming words by combining morphemes. It uses a lot of affixes, mostly suffixes to make words, and thus results to extremely long words. Here is an example:
Çekoslovakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdanmışsınız, which means “You are said to be one of those that we couldn’t manage to convert to a Czechoslovak”.
Word order is usually subject -object -verb. There are six noun cases, but no noun classes. There is also no grammatical gender. Pronouns in second -person are used to show courtesy, politeness, age, social distance or closeness to the person being addressed.
Good translators need to get a good grasp of this concept in order to properly form words and string them into accurate sentences.
Your Turkish translator will also need to know the Latin alphabet, as this is currently the writing system for the Turkish language.
A Turkish translator needs to have great accuracy. You would not want to introduce your employee ”işim” as your wife ”eşim”, nor would you want to refer to your pet cat “kedi” as a goat “keci”.
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