"If we had chosen to travel when we were nineteen we would have spoken many languages."
Translation:Eğer on dokuz yaşındayken seyahat etmeyi seçseydik birçok dili konuşuyor olurduk.
Yes. Actually "simple tense" in Turkish has many meanings. That is maybe why we call it "geniş zaman" which is literally the "wide tense". Depending on the time expression one uses along with, it can mean either present or indefinite future. Without a clear time expression the meaning is vague. As an example: "Giderim" can mean both present and future action.
- Sık sık balığa giderim - I often go fishing
- Yarın balığa giderim - (I think) I will go fishing tomorrow
So when you add the past tense suffix "-di", the first sentence becomes what you have pointed out and the second one becomes what I told.
- Sık sık balığa giderdim - I often used to go fishing
- Yarın balığa giderdim - I would go fishing tomorrow
In the second sentence you didn't plan it, it is just a wish - I am not sure this translation is precise please correct me if you have a better one.
Thank you, that is very helpful, although it's still rather daunting. So, is 'giderdim' actually geniş zaman PLUS past tense? And does your last example "Yarın balığa giderdim" use a past tense with a FUTURE time expression. I'm struggling to get a feel for the meaning of this sentence.
Sorry for confusing you. Yes, it is "geniş zaman PLUS past tense". This tense has its proper name: "Geniş Zamanın Hikayesi". As I have mentioned before "Geniş Zaman" itself can either indicate a present action, a habit etc, or a possibility for the future (unplanned future, near future etc.). Thus "giderim" may either mean "I go" or "I will go". When you add "-di" it becomes "Hikaye" which means a narration. So "giderdim" may be equivalent of "used to", which is clear I think. For the second form where "giderim" implies the future action, "giderdim" means that action is not possible anymore, it is canceled somehow. The use of past tense here has to do with the cancellation, even the event itself is still in the future. Actually, the main reason you have a hard time to understand the second form is that, it needs to be a part of a conditional sentence. I will try to make it clearer by giving complete examples.
Yarın Pazar olsa, balığa giderdim. (It is not Sunday tomorrow...)
Param olsa tatile giderdim. (I don't have money...)
Bugün güneşli olsa ne güzel olurdu. (It is not sunny today) Yarın güneşli olsa ne güzel olurdu. (It is certain that it will not be sunny tomorrow)
I hope it helps.
don't remove it, please! where can I find the full list of Turkish tenses? especially these periphrastic ones? I know that all tense suffixes -mis, -yor, -r, -ecek etc. are actually forming participles and these participles can be used with "olmak" in any tense or with a participle of olmak like "konusuyor olan adam" = the man who is talking or "konusmus olan adam" = the man who was talking here we have "konusuyor olurdu" what other combinations are possible?