Imagine you walk into your friend's house and she is holding a turtle or tortoise. And you say "Kaplumbağa kimin?". It that scenario a more literal translation would be "Whose is the turtle?"
If the sentence was "O kimin kaplumbağası(dır)?" then "Whose turtle is it?" would have been the literal translation.
So, yours is a legitimate question, there aren't any determiners to assume it is "bu", "şu" or "o". However when the determiner is absent (what we call hidden) it is safer to assume it is "o". This is more obvious when "bu, şu, o" are used as pronouns (on their own) as the subject of the sentence.
Hi Alex, thanks for your answer. Although it is a small point, I would like to understand. In English, there is NO semantic difference between the sentences "whose turtle?" and "whose turtle is it". The turtle, may or may not have an owner. Are you saying that in Turkish you can formulate two sentences that have slightly different interpretations (sorry my keyboard doesn't support Turkish characters). One sentence at the head of this thread "Kaplumbaga kimin" which implies, the turtle must belong to someone in the immediately proximity and the second sentence in your post above "kimin kaplumbasasi", which means that the turtle may not belong to anyone in the immediate proximity (it walked in itself).
If "yes", then thanks for that tip, that you need to be super-specific in Turkish. However, that is sure a really fine point for section 1 of the Turkish course.
While perhaps more of a transliteration than a translation, "Whose turtle is this," or even simply, "Whose turtle?" is far more likely to be asked by a native English speaker. I'm not sure "Whose is the turtle?" would ever cone out of a native English speaker's mouth, no matter how formal.
Hello, MajdGawdat. We can say "The turtle is mine" ("Kaplumbağa benim") and "The turtle is yours" ("Kaplumbağa senin"); apparently we can also add a possessive suffix to "kim" in order to ask "Kaplumbağa kimin?" → "To which esteemed personage does this magnificent turtle belong?" : ) I agree that "Whose is the turtle?" sounds a little rough. (It's colloquial.) On the other hand, "To whom does the turtle belong?" while good English, may seem overly formal. "Whose turtle is this?" while not an exact match, seems to convey the idea in fairly neutral English. I think sometimes it's hard to find translations that really satisfy.
In Azari dialect which is spoken in Iran's cities near Turkey that is similar to Turkish, I am sure it sounds 'kimin'
Hi, SouBen. Well, that's not really an English sentence. (What's your native language?) I don't know if there's a very good translation for this one, although I tend to go with "To whom does the turtle belong?" A closer match in somewhat acceptable English could be "The turtle is whose?" Tricky.