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Language families of the world

(24 Posts)
MardyBra Thu 06-Feb-14 23:16:06

just saw this on twitter

Although to be frank, I'm struggling to work out all the different shades.

AnneWentworth Fri 07-Feb-14 10:52:58

I have a penchant for Turkic languages. Delighted to see they were as I thought. Of to investigate further.

alexpolistigers Fri 07-Feb-14 21:17:51

It's a nice idea, but to be honest I find the format a bit confusing, with the swirly lines of colour that blend into each other. I have some charts with the same information that I find much easier to follow!

CoteDAzur Sat 08-Feb-14 23:03:00

Anne - When I was in school (in Turkey), we were taught that Turkish was part of the Ural-Altai language family. I guess that family doesn't exist anymore.

AnneWentworth Sun 09-Feb-14 09:12:35

Hello Cote. I always think of the work Turkuc as describing a loosely defined group of people/geographic space perhaps. I am not sure why. I do have a growing interest in that part of the world.

CoteDAzur Sun 09-Feb-14 11:31:26

It's not that loosely defined. The languages are surprisingly well-connected.

I travelled in Central Asia for business and was amazed to see how close, indeed almost identical, Azeri (spoken in Azerbaijan) is to Turkish. We understood each other perfectly. Azeri sounded like broken Turkish to me, something a child or someone learning the language would say.

An example (because I know alexpoli will love it smile):

Hosgeldiniz ('Welcome' in Turkish)
Hosgelmissiniz ('Welcome' in Azeri)

The verb is the same (Hosgelmek) and it is being conjugated in both words to the second person plural (-iz). The difference is in choice of past tense - Turks use the past tense -di and Azeris use the past tense -mis, which Turks also have but use to mean "it happened but I wasn't there to see it".

Uzbek language (spoken in Uzbekistan) sounds slightly more 'broken' but it is still very much understandable to Turks. It is (or was, over a thousand years ago) the same language, with the same roots. Interesting to see, because they are the ones who have stayed in Central Asia and arguably continue to speak a language closer to the original.

Uzbeks call their language 'Uzbekcha' and Turks would call their language 'Özbekçe', pronounced exactly the same. Turks also call Turkish 'Türkçe' so you can see the same suffix at work. English language is 'Ingilizce' etc.

AnneWentworth Sun 09-Feb-14 12:51:52

I have relatives fromAzerbaijan and I think I have grown up with my dad constantly talking about the region as an extension of Turkishness for wang of a better explanation.

AnneWentworth Sun 09-Feb-14 12:59:32

It seems I have no command over English today.

What I mean is I have always been aware of connections. Many people I know have only recently become aware that these countries even exist, but perhaps that is in part due to the fact that they were all under the umbrella of the Soviet Union. I am hoping to move on to postgrad study once I finish my degree and study this area in more detail (and hopefully learn Russian).

CoteDAzur Sun 09-Feb-14 15:49:45

That sounds like a fascinating topic to study.

Then again, there is Mongol which has taken a turn somewhere and is incomprehensible to Turks, although there are many words/roots in common. At least that's what I thought while watching that fantastic film about Ghengis a Khan called "Mongol" I think.

AnneWentworth Sun 09-Feb-14 22:34:24

I have seen that film. I am excited but just have to work out how to fit in a commute to Birmingham! Kazakh and Georgian are also on the list of possible language classes.

AnneWentworth Tue 11-Feb-14 22:56:16

Cote - thought this might be interesting. Taken from the SOAS website.

Turkish is a member of the Turkic branch of the Altaic family of languages and therefore completely unrelated to the two languages it was mostly influenced by: Persian and Arabic. Given that the basic structures of the Turkic languages are not radically different, a knowledge of Turkish goes a long way anywhere in the Turkic world, from Istanbul to Urumchi.

CoteDAzur Wed 12-Feb-14 16:36:44

I would totally agree with that.

The "influence" from Arabic and Persian is limited to some vocabulary - mainly religious references Allah, hell, heaven, sin, etc.

Funny enough, there are two interchangeable words for 'God' in Turkish - Allah (from Arabic) and Tanri (from old Turkish 'Tengri' - one of the few words I understood in the film 'Mongol')

By the way, Cengiz ('Ghengis') is still a name in Turkey and still means 'warrior'. (I have a friend by this name. DH finds this equal parts hilarious and freaky. He also had a fit when I suggested Atilla, a perfectly normal name, for DS.)

AnneWentworth Wed 12-Feb-14 17:38:14

I really tried for Atilla for DS3 and DH was on board but the rest of the world wouldn't understand.

CoteDAzur Thu 13-Feb-14 13:29:55

The world is a cruel place grin

alexpolistigers Thu 20-Feb-14 12:55:29

Coming late back to this, but thanks for your example of Azeri/ Turkish similarity, Cote, it really is fascinating.

It would be interesting to compare a whole verb conjugation, I think.

CoteDAzur Thu 20-Feb-14 21:52:24

Ask and you shall receive grin

I found this - Azeri conjugation of 'oxumaq' (= okumak in Turkish = to read).

I'm adding the Turkish equivalents to the Azeri/English text below in Italics:

Verb
oxumaq
okumak
to read

kitab oxumaq
kitap okumak
to read a book

to study
Bakı Dövlət Universitetində psixologiya oxuyuram
Bakü Devlet Üniversitesi'nde psikoloji okuyorum
I study psychology in Baku State University.

to sing
Toyda mahnı oxumaq istirəm.
Dügünde sarki söylemek isterim.
I want to sing a song at the wedding.
('Mani' for 'song' and 'okumak' for 'sing' was used in our grandparents' generation. So I understand the Azeri sentence although that is not how I would said it. I can't say if Azeris would understand ours, though.)

to sing (birds)
Bu quşlar nə gözəl oxuyur!
Bu kuslar ne güzel sarki söylüyor!
These birds sing so beautifully!

Conjugation of oxumaqPresent continuousSimple pastFuture
Mən (I) oxuyuram oxudum oxuyacağam
Ben okuyorum okudum okuyacagim

Sən (You) oxuyursan oxudunoxuyacaqsan
^Sen okuyorsun okudun okuyacaksin

O (He/She/It) oxuyur oxuduoxuyacaq
O okuyor okudu okuyacak

Biz (We) oxuyuruq oxuduqoxuyacağıq
Biz okuyoruz okuduk okuyacagiz

Siz (You) oxuyursunuz oxudunuzoxuyacaqsınız
Siz okuyorsunuz okudunuz okuyacaksiniz

Onlar (They) oxuyurlar oxudularoxuyacaqlar
Onlar okuyorlar okudular okuyacaklar

Pronunciations appear almost identical to me. Azeri alphabet has x & q whereas those two sounds are written as k in Turkish. C is pronounced j in both languages.

CoteDAzur Thu 20-Feb-14 21:56:57

Forget the other post, here is the better version, with more Turkish characters (now that I see 'i without dot' prints on MN):

Ask and you shall receive grin

I found this - Azeri conjugation of 'oxumaq' (= okumak in Turkish = to read).

I'm adding the Turkish equivalents to the Azeri/English text below in Italics:

Verb
oxumaq
okumak
to read

kitab oxumaq
kitap okumak
to read a book

to study
Bakı Dövlət Universitetində psixologiya oxuyuram
Bakü Devlet Üniversitesi'nde psikoloji okuyorum
I study psychology in Baku State University.

to sing
Toyda mahnı oxumaq istirəm.
Dügünde şarki söylemek isterim.
I want to sing a song at the wedding.
('Mani' for 'song' and 'okumak' for 'sing' was used in our grandparents' generation. So I understand the Azeri sentence although that is not how I would said it. I can't say if Azeris would understand ours, though.)

to sing (birds)
Bu quşlar nə gözəl oxuyur!
Bu kuşlar ne güzel sarkı söylüyor!
These birds sing so beautifully!

Conjugation of oxumaqPresent continuousSimple pastFuture
Mən (I) oxuyuram oxudum oxuyacağam
Ben okuyorum okudum okuyacağım

Sən (You) oxuyursan oxudunoxuyacaqsan
^Sen okuyorsun okudun okuyacaksın

O (He/She/It) oxuyur oxuduoxuyacaq
O okuyor okudu okuyacak

Biz (We) oxuyuruq oxuduq oxuyacağıq
Biz okuyoruz okuduk okuyacağız

Siz (You) oxuyursunuz oxudunuz oxuyacaqsınız
Siz okuyorsunuz okudunuz okuyacaksınız

Onlar (They) oxuyurlar oxudular oxuyacaqlar
Onlar okuyorlar okudular okuyacaklar

Pronunciations appear almost identical to me. Azeri alphabet has x & q whereas those two sounds are written as k in Turkish. C is pronounced j in both languages.

alexpolistigers Fri 21-Feb-14 06:44:56

Thanks, Cote! That's fantastic.

I assume that it is unnecessary to include separate pronouns with verbs, as the person is clear from the conjugation - from your last example above, presumably I could say "okuyorlar", etc, without "onlar".

From this it seems to me that Azeri and Turkish really are the same language, a bit like say Scottish English and RP English. The difference is more political than linguistic, save a few regional varieties in expression, vocabulary choice, etc, as in the example about singing a song at the wedding.

It's amazing, really, when you consider how far apart other languages have drifted, like Dutch and English, which are not mutually intelligible.

CoteDAzur Fri 21-Feb-14 08:34:52

"the person is clear from the conjugation"

Yes. To a lesser degree when you are talking about third parties, but even then, if a question is asked you would know who you are talking about:

What are the children doing?
Çocuklar ne yapiyor?

They are reading
Okuyorlar

And of course with 1st person & 2nd person, there is little need to repeat the pronouns:

I am coming
Geliyorum

When are you going?
Ne zaman gidiyorsun? (Ne zaman = When)

alexpolistigers Fri 21-Feb-14 12:29:57

Hmm. In your last post you have also unwittingly clarified the origin of a word in Greek - zamania. I've only ever heard it used in the expression "chronia kai zamania", which would be like saying "donkey's years" or "a very long time". Chronia=years, but now I also see what "zamania" means!

CoteDAzur Fri 21-Feb-14 21:39:37

Zaman = Time
Ne zaman = What time = When

Have you been updating your blog?

alexpolistigers Sat 22-Feb-14 10:49:05

Yes! Lots of new stuff on my blog - and I shall be asking you about another expression - I am currently working on "once bitten, twice shy", if you have the equivalent in Turkish!

I'm very proud of some of the articles I've done recently, especially "sky", "empower", "yellow" and "flaw". A friend has asked me to do some more phrasal verbs, so once I've got "once bitten, twice shy" done, I'll do some.

CoteDAzur Sat 22-Feb-14 23:04:52

That would be:

"Sütten agzi yanan yogurdu üfleyerek yer"

= He whose mouth is burnt drinking milk blows on yoghurt while eating it

I can't do all Turkish characters because I'm on the phone but you should easily find this sentence written correctly if you Google it.

Good luck smile

alexpolistigers Mon 24-Feb-14 09:47:26

Thanks, Cote! I've put it in - I've published it, but am still hoping to add some more languages!!

Once bitten, twice shy

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