Turkish – A very interesting and international language – Part II

From my previous article you will certainly remember that I introduced you the grammatical structures of the Turkish language which is not that hard to learn as it might seem at first view. Today I will focus on the vocabulary which gave the Turkish language as much colour as you can see on the picture with the gorgeous fountain in front of the Hagia Sophia. It was Kemal Atatürk who introduced the Latin script in the 1920s as well as many new words from all languages. It is obvious that you will find many Arabic words in Turkish like kitap for book, şehir for city or cami for mosque to name only a few. You will find especially from the Egyptian dialec of the Arabic language influences in Turkish. Furthermore there’s a big amount of Farsi words which sometimes got a different meaning than the origin form. My favourite example in Turkish is hemşire which means nurse. In Farsi it is an old-fashioned word for sister. The first part hem means the same while şir means milk. So a sister is somebody who drinks the same milk. Those of you who are native speakers of French or have learned it before will have even more fun with Turkish as it has a lot of French words although with a slight difference which will require your phantasy. They say that Kemal Atatürks wife was a polyglot speaking also fluently French. However they haven’t been introduced in their original French orthography but according to their prononciation. You don’t need to be a language genius to recognize that döviz comes from devise and that you can change money there. But would you recognize at first view that lise comes from lycée in French which is a secondary school? On the other hand you will also find Turkish vocabulary in other languages with a slightly different meaning or orthography. Just take üzüm. In Turkish it means grape while the Russian loan word изюм (izyum) means raisin. And peşkir the Turkish word for towel you can also find in some Balkan languages like peškir in Serbian or peshqir in Albanian. Learn Turkish and you will have a lot of fun!


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