The Marvelous Middle East: Eight Key Facts about the Turkish Language

During the recent Covid-19 pandemic, I have had to spend a lot of time indoors. So during this time I have decided to attempt to learn the basics of the beautiful Middle Eastern Language: Turkish.

I have always wanted to travel to Istanbul, especially since I learned about the Ottomans and their influence around the world to date. I also know how to speak two semitic languages: Arabic and Hebrew. So, I want to see if Turkish bears any similarity to these semitic languages as I feel it may be similar to Arabic.

Here are some key interesting facts about the Turkish.

1. Turkish has about 75 million native speakers.

For the most part Turkish speakers are mainly located in Turkey and the surrounding countries. Due to a rather large Turkish diaspora, Turkish is spoken in more than 30 countries where it is not an official language, including Germany with two million Turkish speakers.

2. Before 1928, Turkish was written using a specific form of Arabic writing.

In an attempt to modernize Turkey, the Turkish administration of 1928 adapted a Latin alphabet to replace the Arabic script that was being used at the time.

3. There is a verb that has 58 different meanings in daily usage.

The verb Çıkmak has 58 different meanings in the Turkish language. Some of these meanings in English include: go out, get out, exit, leave, climb, walk, increase, spend. Therefore if you happen to translate a text from Turkish to English, or from English to Turkish you will most likely encounter this word.

4. Some of the oldest records of the Turkish language date back to 725 AD.

Some of the oldest records of written Turkish are found upon stone monuments in Central Asia as well as the Orhun Yenisey and Talas regions in Mongolia, which date back to 725, 732 and 735 AD.

5. When you speak Turkish, you speak just like Yoda.

Turkish is a subject – object – verb language (SOV language). In simple terms, when somebody writes a sentence they will begin with the subject and then continue to write the object and the verb. In contrast when writing in English, you will write the subject, followed by the verb and then the object.

Instead of writing a sentence such as “I ate bread” you would instead write “Bread I ate.”

6. There are no genders in Turkish.

One of the hardest things that I have experienced when learning a foreign languages is remembering the different genders of words. This especially rings true for the Arabic reverse gender agreement.

So you can imagine my relief to discover that Turkish has no genders. Pheww!

7. The US government called Turkish one of the most important languages on the planet.

Turkish was recently named as a critical language by the United States Bureau of Educational and Cultural affairs. This is quite interesting as Turkish is not considered one of the UN languages. I think the title of critical language might have been influenced by the number of people who speak the Turkish language.

8. The longest Turkish word has seventeen suffixes.

Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesine

Suffixes are very commonly used in the Turkish language. The longest Turkish word has been said to have seventeen suffixes. The word in question contains more than seventy letters and is quite the word to learn to impress friends.

Conclusion

I hope that you have enjoyed this article about the incredible Turkish language. I am really enjoying studying the language and I cannot wait to learn more about this incredible language.

If you know anything else about the Turkish language, feel free to write me a comment below.


Would you like to know more about learning languages? Start here!

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