Everyone, the way Turkish does these types of words is as follows:
Nationality + suffix = Language
Türk = Turk (i.e. Turkish person)
-çe = language suffix
Türkçe = Turkish (i.e. Turkish language)
İngiliz= English person
İngilizce= English language
Alman= German person
Almanca= German language
Yunan= Greek person
Yunanca= Greek language
There are four possibilities for the language suffix: -ce, -çe, -ca, or -ça. What determines when it's one vs the other? Two rules called "vowel harmony" and "consonant harmony", which you'll pick up later.
But if you're curious now, let's look at vowel harmony, first.
Basically, in order to avoid the vocal strain caused by constant ups and downs due to switching back and forth between different types of vowels, Turkish has grouped its eight vowels into two groups of four: Aa, Iı, Oo and Uu constitute the "hard vowels". Ee, İi, Öö, and Üü constitute the "soft vowels". In essence, vowel harmony dictates that hard vowels should only be used together and soft vowels should only be used together, and that these two vowel types should not mix together. So a word like "kimono" does not fit vowel harmony rules, because it mixes a hard vowel (o) with a soft vowel (i).
Vowel harmony extends into how word roots interact with their suffixes. Again, vowel harmony dictates that the FIRST VOWEL found in a suffix ought to be in the same vowel family (hard vs soft) as the LAST VOWEL of the root. So, for example, "almak" (to take) is composed of the root "al" (take) and the infinitive suffix -mak. The "a"s correspond to each other (i.e. both hard vowels), and the word thus fits vowel harmony rules.
Similarly, the word "gelmek" (to come) is composed of the root "gel" (take) and the suffix -mek. The "e"s correspond to each other (i.e. both soft vowels), and the word thus fits vowel harmony rules.
So now that you know the first basic rule, you can figure out which of the four options (-ce, -çe, -ca, or -ça) is appropriate to append to the root "Alman" (German person) to get from the person to the language. The answer is either -ca or -ça, because the almAn (i.e. the last vowel in the root) needs to go together with a vowel in the same family, which in this case is a hard vowel (a).
So, now that you've narrowed it down to two options, how do you get to the correct one? That's where our second rule, consonant harmony, comes in.
As is the case with vowels, Turkish separates its consonants into soft consonants and hard consonants. A handful (Çç, Ff, Hh, Kk, Ss, Şş, Tt, Pp) constitute the hard consonants, while the rest, (Bb, Cc, Dd, Gg, Ğğ, Kj, Ll, Mm, Nn, Rr, Vv, Yy, Zz) are considered soft consonants.
Just like vowel harmony, consonant harmony dictates that soft and hard families should go together and should not mix. This is applied when determining how word roots interact with their suffixes. The rule is that the FIRST CONSONANT found in a suffix ought to be in the same consonant family (hard vs soft) as the LAST CONSONANT of the root. So, for example, "Türkçe" (Turkish language) is composed of the root "Türk" (Turkish person) and the language suffix -çe. The "K" of the Türk (i.e. the last letter of the root) is in the same consonant family as the "ç" of -çe (i.e. the first letter of the suffix). They are both hard consonants. Thus, the word fits consonant harmony rules.
Consonant harmony warns that in cases where the two consonants do not belong to the same family, the starting consonant of the SUFFIX should be changed to the same consonant family as the last consonant of the root by substituting a corresponding/equivalent consonant from the other family.
In such a case, soft consonants Bb, Cc, Dd, Gg become hard consonants Pp, Çç, Tt, Kk, respectively. That is, B>P, C>Ç, D>T, and G>K.
So, now that you know this second rule, let's go back to our original example.
As you'll recall, we were trying to determine how to create the word for the "German language" using the root "German person" (Alman). We had started out with four possible suffixes (-ce, -çe, -ca, or -ça), but had narrowed our options down to two (-ca, or -ça) using vowel harmony.
Now, let's apply the second rule we learned, i.e. consonant harmony, to figure out which is the correct option.
The root is "Alman". This word ends with an "n", which is a soft consonant. This means that according to consonant harmony, the first consonant of our suffix must also be a soft consonant.
Let's look at our two options. We have -ca, and -ça. The first one starts with a "c", while the second one starts with a "ç". C is a soft consonant, while Ç is a hard consonant. We're looking for the one that matches our root, meaning that we're looking for a soft consonant.
Thus, the correct option is "-ca".
Let's put it all together for the final answer: Alman+ca= Almanca (German language).
Now that you're an expert, you can tell me how to get from Arap (Arab person), Rus (Russian person), Çin (Chinese person), Hint (Hindu person), Portekiz (Portuguese person), Fransız (French person) and Japon (Japanese person) to their languages. The answers are Arapça, Rusça, Çince, Hintçe, Portekizce, Fransızca, and Japonca, respectively.
Some of your post was review for me, but very clearly presented. The way you explained consonant harmony was particularly good. The only thing I have to add to these discussions on this topic is that the words that are made when adding a suffix like this to the nationality are called demonyms in English. You can read more about them here:
And in Turkish, according to Tureng, these are called:
bir yerin sakinleri
[The word "bir" is the Turkish indefinite article ("a"), "yer" means "location," and "sakin" means "resident." You will learn about the suffixes on the last two words later, but I don't want to get too far ahead of the lesson plan, so I'll leave it at this for now. Eventually it will all make sense to you.]
Hope you find this helpful and/or interesting.
Thank you for taking the trouble to write this explanation, it's very helpful.
Turkish nationality? Turkish language? Turkish person/people? All of the above?
A little more complicated than that.
There are 4 suffixes: ca, ça, ce, çe
Alman (a German man/woman), Almanca (German language)
Arap (an Arabic man/woman), Arapça (Arabic language)
Türk (a Turkish man/woman), Türkçe (Turkish language)
İngiliz (an English man/woman), İngilizce (English language)
Having said that, it is pretty regular, so that you can make up your own languages if you want. For example, if there exists a language spoken by aliens in Mars, that would be "Marsça". Or the language of penguins would be "Penguence", and so on :)
Which vowel to use from the pair depends on the final vowel of the word, and which consonant to use from the pair depends on the final consonant of the word. The first is called vowel harmony and the second is called assimilation (although you could call it "consonant harmony"). I can't wait to see the explanation in the course xD
no. "ç" is like "ch" in chair.
c (as in İngilizCe) is like j in jam.
you can find pronunciation guides in the discussion area.
does Turkish capitalize proper nouns like in English or all nouns like in German?
I know about the -de ending, but I doubt that a phrase like „Yes, say it in Turkish“ would use „türkçede“.
It doesn't sound like the "r" when saying "Türkçe." Is this correct, or should "r" be rolled? On that note, should one roll their "r's" in general in Turkish, or not?
r's are never rolled in Turkish unless you are trying to be over the top or really trying to make sure someone gets the pronunciation of something.
The audio here isn't the best, but it is definitely understandable. :)
I've listned before that Turkish is taken from arabic and greek is it right ?
Turkish is originated in the Altai Mountains. A group of mountains in Central Asia between China, Siberia, Mongolia, the previous Soviet Union, the Central Asia states (for instance, Azebaidjan, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan, etc.). Related languages are spoken in Turkmenistan, Azerbaidjan, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Siberia, etc. Yes they took several words of Arabic (adalet = justice, insan = man, fikir = idea), from Persian (şehir = city, pazar = market, etc.), from Russian (borç, şapka), and so on but this is a Turkic language with its own words, am I wrong?
These other comments say Türkçe refers specifically to the language. Do you not say "[Person] is Turkish" in Turkish? Is it only "[Person] speaks Turkish. [Person] is a Turk.", or can you describe a person as being Turkish?
Mehmet is a Turk. ---> Mehmet bir Türk'tür. Wolfgang speaks German. ---> Wolfgang Almanca konuşıyor. Wolfgang is a German ---> Wolfgang bir Alman'dır.