The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

 

About Turkishturkish hi

About 75 million people speak Turkish as their first language, most prominently in Turkey and Eastern Europe. It is the official language of Turkey and Cyprus, and has official status in Kosova and Macedonia. There are also large communities of Turkish speakers in the Balkans, the Caucasus, and in Western Europe where Turkish immigrants have been guest workers for so many years. Turkish has 29 letters written in a modified version of the Latin alphabet.

Why Study Turkish?

Turkish will be of significant interest to students in a variety of fields. For linguistics majors, studying Turkish will fulfill the Less-Commonly-Taught language requirement and also provide a solid foundation for learning other Turkic languages. Turkish belongs to the Altaic branch of the Ural-Altaic language family and shares mutual intelligibility with most of the Turkic languages including Azeri, Uighur, Turkmen, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Uzbek and many others spoken from the Balkans across Central Asia and all the way to northwestern China and Siberia.
The US government considers Turkish to be a critical language. Numerous government jobs, scholarships and fellowships are available for students studying Less-Commonly-Taught-Languages like Turkish.(Link 1).
Study of Turkish will benefit anyone majoring or minoring in international affairs, journalism, political science, global finance and business. Turkey is a Eurasian country on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean and strategically connected in geography and culture to Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. Knowledge of Turkey and Turkish will make you a valuable asset for corporations, government agencies and research institutions promoting closer ties with these regions of vital strategic importance.
For students of anthropology, archeology and history, Turkish language skills will open up exciting research opportunities. Anatolia, the territory of Modern Turkey, has been a heartland of human civilization, hosting some of the world’s greatest archeological sites including ruins from the oldest known human settlement, Çatal Höyük (7500 BC), the city of Troy, Nova’s Ark, Ephesus, and Istanbul-the only city in the world located on two continents (Link 2). Turkish archives today offer an immense amount of documents and historical information pertinent to Hittite, Assyrian, Hellenistic, Persian Roman, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman-Turkish civilizations.

 

Some Fun Things about Turkish Grammar
Turkish is an agglutinative language. Suffixes indicating different grammatical functions are attached to a root-word to modify meaning. The process of agglutination –literally meaning- a gluing on transforms a single word-stem into a meaningful phrase or a complete sentence. The rules governing how suffixes are attached in Turkish are highly regular, making agglutination easier than it seems.

 

resim
picture
mutlu
happy
resimler
pictures
mutlusun.
You are happy.
resimlerim
my pictures
mutluydun.
You were happy.
resimlerimdi.
they were my pictures
mutlu muydun?
Were you happy?

 

Turkish uses postpositions, for example, ailem için (for my family), okuldan sonra(after school). Sentence construction in Turkish is based on the subject-object-verbpattern.

 

Turkish:
Selin
Istanbul’a
gitti.
Ali
pazardan
sebze
alacak.
English:
Selin
to Istanbul
went.
Ali
from bazaar
vegetable
will buy.

 

Another fundamental characteristic of Turkish is the rule of vowel harmony according to which vowel(s) of a suffix must have the same properties with the last vowel of the word to which the suffix is added. Turkish has eight vowels grouped in terms of presence or absence of three phonemic features: front-back , rounded-unrounded, high-low. For example, if a word stem has a back vowel (a, i, o, u) subsequent suffixes will also contain vowels pronounced in the back of the mouth, with the same rule holding true for front vowels (e, i, ö, ü).
Example: noun + plural suffix (-ler after front vowels and –lar after back vowels)

 

adamlar
men
               
kediler
cats
doktorlar
doctors
sözcükler
words
yildizlar
stars
pencereler
windows
armutlar
pears
köyler
villages

 

Turkish is a phonetic language-each letter always retains one single sound. This makes spelling and pronunciation of new words in Turkish much easier than in English, which has long and short sounds for a single letter such as cut/cute, can/cane or silent letters like knife, know.
Turkish Culture
Students in the Turkish class will learn a great deal about the Turkish culture, which is a unique blend of eastern and western traditions (Link 3). In each class, cultural features will be introduced in relation to particular vocabulary and grammar forms being studied. Turkish is a highly idiomatic language with a set of cultural expressions that are crucial for effective communication in Turkish society. It is a lot of fun to learn these expressions, and they will make communication in Turkish easier and more authentic.
Students will also learn socio-linguistic rules of everyday speech including gestures, body language, linguistic fillers such as sey, efendim, paralinguals like öf, ya, aman.Particular attention will be given to culturally appropriate ways to address and greet people, express gratitude, ask questions, agree or disagree with someone in different conversational situations.
Aspects of Turkish cultural identity like rituals, customs and traditions will be presented through proverbs, folktales, myths, simple poems, rhymes, songs, magazine and newspaper clips and national holidays.
Links