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How fake is this Turkish? (17th century French play)

One time during the reign of Louis XIV, an Ottoman ambassador delivered a grave diplomatic insult against the French court, causing an obsession with all things Turkish in art and literature. Below is a link to a fragment of a famous comedy, where one of the characters is disguised as an Ottoman prince.

His speech obviously based on the actual Turkish language, but how much of it is actually intelligible?


edit: Duolingo ruins timestamps in youtube links. The scene is 2 hours and 17:30 minutes in.

November 20, 2015



It's not Turkish, it's Lingua Franca. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediterranean_Lingua_Franca That film is a bit of a find, thank you.

Luc, the scene I think we're talking about is about 2hrs 23 on that video.


Sorry, Duolingo messed up the link. Add a "&" and a "t" before =2h17m25s in the URL, or just go to that time. The lines in this scene are definitely not latinic!

The whole production definitely is a goldmine in all ways. The historically accurate French just makes it even sillier, and also check out the last 40 minutes, where a lot of regional dialects are made fun of, with some Spanish and Italian afterwards to boot.

  • 2218

The clip is 3 and a half hours! :-D


The Turkish is absolute gibberish to a learner. the only actual Turkish word i could find was "yok".


This has got to be the fakest Turkish I've ever heard. It's a difficult question for natives though. This is obviously not Turkish, and to me, it doesn't even sound like Turkish, but maybe from a learner's point of view it sounds similar, I wouldn't know.


At least Molière had the good sense to throw a "yok" in there ; )


Well, yeah. ;p But then, did he have to stick precisely to what Molière wrote? If I were him, I would learn a couple of more words in random and throw them in my speech just to spice it up. :) I understand it's also a "show-off" scene where he makes the audience laugh, but I bet he could do it even better.


Hi! He is not a Turkish speaker. Though the Ottoman Turkish is very different compared to modern Turkish, it's not the case here- he only says selamunaleikum and then the rest is gibberish.


Thank you so much for the link to this absolutely great performance!

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