Turkish – A very interesting and logical language – Part I

As I promised you I will write you about some interesting facts about Turkey and the Muslim and Turkic cultures in my follwing articles. This very article might be interesting especially for beginners who started learning Turkish want to improve their first Basics of the language in Turkey. Here you can see me standing in front of the famous Hagia Sophia which by the way is not a mosque but a museum dedicated to the Muslim culture.

Turkish – A complicated and totally different language?

But what I wanted to tell you about today is the Turkish language which in my opinion is one of the most logical languages I’ve ever been learning. Turkish has an agglutinative grammar like also Hungarian or Finnish indeed,  And although Turkish might look strange to you with its never ending words it has a very regular strucure. Those of you who are learning Spanish, French or Italian know how much time and effort you have to spend on learning irregular verbs by heart. And here I have some good news for you. In Turkish you won’t find any of them. Turkish infinitives alway end with the syllab -mak or -mek. And the syllabs for all six grammatical persons are always the same ones without any exception.

The Turkish future – And why are the Jacksons so popular in Turkey?

In Turkish you construct the future form adding the interfix form -cek- between the verb stem and the personal suffix. And now I’m going to tell you a funny anecdote. In Germany there were two Turkish men sitting in a bar and talking in Turkish. A German was sitting next to them and listening to them. He couldn’t speak any word Turkish but the only thing he could understand that they might speak about music and about the Jacksons. He asked the two men whether they are big fans of the Jacksons. The two Turkish men looked at him consternated and didn’t understand why he understood Jacksons. These two men were simply talking and using Turkish future forms like gideceksin, alacaksın, yapacaksın …

The grammar system of an agglutinative language

When opening a Turkish newspaper or reading an Internet article in Turkish you will easily get that strange feeling that the words never stop. But why are the words in a Turkish text so incredibly long? Well, it’s because the philosophy of an agglutinative language is to place as many parts of a sentence as possible in just one word. And these are for instance prepositions and possessive pronouns. areFor instance ev is house in Turkish. If you want to say my house you add the suffix -im and you say evim. The preposition is added as last syllab. So the correct form of in my house in Turkish is evimde. Furthermore most of all agglutinative languages have a so-called vocal harmony which decides about the correct syllab. The plural syllab in Turkish is always -lar or -ler. And maybe you learn the language and now you ask yourself which of these syllabs you have to use. It’s not that complicated as it might seem at first view. It simply depends on the last vowel of the noun. For instance ev requires the syllab -ler so you say evler. But kitap which means book needs the syllab -lar so the correct plural form is kitaplar. There is something that you need to learn by heart when studying Turkish namely the rules of the so-called vocal harmony.

Word constructions in Turkish

Furthermore many word counstructions tell us much about the Islam and here I mention the cultural aspect once again. For instance the daughter-in-law in Turkish is gelin and it’s a derrivation of the Turkish verb gelmek which means to come. This derrivation shows us the Muslim tradition that after the wedding the bride came into their parents-in-law house. So gelin in Turkish is a person who comes and moves into the house. Of course Turkish also has many influences from the Arabic language because of the common religion. However the Arabic influences are by far not the only ones in Turkish. But about the inluences of other languages in Turkish I will talk in the second part of my article dedicated to the Turkish language.


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