https://www.duolingo.com/OHGODIAMNO

Entry Languages for Turkish

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So when I started learning Turkish, I noticed that most people had known some degree of Arabic or Farsi before picking up Turkish. With both of these languages, there is a lot of comman vocab due to proximity, but the grammar is altogether different due to each of them being it totally different language families.

I was wondering how many people here come from a similar background before taking a serious crack at trying to learn Turkish?

For me, I had a minor amount of Arabic, but Greek also has loads of shared vocabulary with Turkish. Other languages that were once part of the Ottoman Empire would also have a similar shared vocabulary (Serbian, Albanian, Kurdish, etc). Right now I am living in Greece for the first time (I am Greek-American) and actually a lot of the time I will here things in Greek slang that are straight up Turkish, and which I understand better because of having lived in Turkey!

3 years ago

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/moncanarddort
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I know a little bit of Tatar language. It is Turkic language with Russian alphabet. I recognize some words and suffixes.

Learning this course is like speaking with my grandmothers in my childhood :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ektoraskan

A funny anecdote of mine:

I had a few Greek friends visiting İstanbul. On occasion, I was there too. They spoke a passable Turkish. They had a great understanding of the Turkish language, and once you get to know some basics, you can easily identify the Turkish loanwords in Greek, which often end in "i" or "aki", like "dulabi" (dolap), "buzi" (buz) and so on. So we were at the café, and one of the Greek girls called the waiter to ask for an ashtray and said in Turkish "Do you have 'taşak'?" Apparently "tasaki" is the Greek word for ashtray. So she must have thought "Okay! This word ends in -i, so it must be Turkic. All I should do is omit that final i and ta da!". But the moment she uttered the sentence, the waiter got embarrassed as we started laughing our asses off. She was confused and asked us what was funny. Little did she know that "taşak" is the Turkish word for "balls/testicles". Anyway, moral of the story: Not every Greek word that ends in -i is necessarily from Turkish. ;p

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1
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I took Basic Arabic a few years back. In all honesty I should be studying it now as I have access to Arabic speakers and therefore chances to speak it. And if some refugees come to stay with us in the coming weeks then I must drop everything and focus on it, and happily so. :) But I also have chances to interact with Turkish people and occasionally travel to Turkey so...here I am. I am glad actually for the differences it has with Arabic so I can more easily keep it separate in my mind! I love Greece though too (I've only been to Crete so far, but it was incredible) so it is very tempting to put that on my list as well. :)

One thing though...I thought "tamam" meant "fine" in Arabic - was a term of agreement like "ok". I notice in Turkish it means "alright." Maybe that is what it means in Arabic too...? Ah yes, it does - just had time to look it up elsewhere. It has to be the same. I asked the course creator and she disagreed, but I think she was merely mistaken on this small point. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Selcen_Ozturk
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I hope I did not confuse you, "tamam" means OK in Turkish too :) It just doesn't mean "fine" like "I am fine" or "everything is fine". We use as a term of agreement too

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ijoni
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Tamam! Tamam in Albanian has a variety of meanings: just right, just the right amount, (when you say just the right thing), etc

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yalcintarkan

Exactly the same meanings exist in Turkish usage of "tamam" too. It also means "complete" nothing is missing

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chaered
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No background at all in this direction (except maybe a bit of classical Greek). Which is a major reason to try it out!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Foudeb
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Same here! It'll be interesting to see how far I can go with Duo as my sole teacher :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xaghtaersis
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Turkish is totally new for me so far. It is really interesting to learn though.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/miacomet
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I'm having the reverse thing happen! I've been learning Turkish for a few months, and since then, I've encountered some Farsi, Bosnian, and Bengali, and it's surprising how much shared vocab pops up. I remember seeing AlexinTurkey post something about "müslümanca", which seems to be what's going on here.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OHGODIAMNO
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I didn't see that post, but often the müslümanca of which you speak would be from Arabic words which I've seen in languages spoken from North Africa to Southeast Asia. So this would include all religious language such as all the words involves Allah (inşallah, maşallah, etc) and some common words like madrasa for school or saat for time/clock.

There are also some words that are widespread through a similar band that aren't from Arabic. An example would be paneer in India and peynir in Turkey, being cheese. I can't confirm which language it's originally from, but either it's Turkish or the Turks picked it up along the way over their historical migration westward, and spread it. And as these words spread over space and time, they often adapt different usages. Whereas peynirli means cheesey in Turkish, in Greek in means only one very particular cheese pastry.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jasminedesi16
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I am an Arabic major at college and I have studied a little Farsi before.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OHGODIAMNO
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If you enjoy Turkish then you should dive into Ottoman Turkish! It is written in the Arabic script, and borrows Arabic and Farsi grammar/vocabulary even more than modern Turkish.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jasminedesi16
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Oh that's so cool! I will do this definitely!

3 years ago
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