List of Persian and Arabic loanwords in the Ottoman Turkish language

Friday, October 23, 2009


A blog post here (now unavailable; cache can be viewed here) from Milliyet includes a long list of words of Persian and Arabic origin in the Ottoman Turkish language (the language used in the Ottoman Empire before the language was reformed including a new script and the discarding of many loanwords) that should prove interesting not only to those interested in the language but IAL (international auxiliary language) creators as well. Note though that since many of these words are no longer used in Turkish anymore they do not constitute as much of a common ground as they used to until the beginning of the 20th century.

Also keep in mind that c in Turkish is read as j in justice, so cam (glass) is read as jam. Turkishdictionary.net is a good way to check whether a word is still in use (though it won't tell you whether a word is commonly or rarely used), as a word like cüda (isolated) doesn't exist there, though you will find it elsewhere. It's on the Turkish version of Wiktionary and can be found in the English version as well through inputting the Arabic script. In modern Turkish usually one would say something like yalnız or ayrı kalmış to mean isolated, but apparently cüda has more to do with being isolated from something one loves (family or country).

After the Persian words there is also a list of Arabic words. The title of the article is "Turkish + Persian + Arabic = Ottoman", which is probably the best way to explain the Ottoman language in a single sentence. It's kind of like what English might be like if it had a few more loanwords from Greek and was written in the Greek alphabet as well.

8 comments:

Joan and Brandon said...

Jeda (cüda in Turkish) is an Arabic word commonly used in Persian, or at least in the classical Persian poetry that I read. In fact, jeda appears in the famous opening line of Rumi's Masnavi, probably as well-known in Persian-speaking lands as any bit from the Bible or Shakespeare. The entire Masnavi starts like this in English translation: "Listen to the reed flute as it complains; it tells the story of separations. Saying, Since they carried me from the reed bed, men and women have wailed along with my keening."

Harkabir said...

Juda is a very popular Hindu/Urdu word as well, which means the same things: to be separated from a loved one

Harkabir said...

the milliyet link doesn't show any post on ottoman turkish, can you help me with this?

데이빛 / Mithridates said...

You're right; the post has disappeared. I found the cache though and also saved the text of the link just in case that disappears too.

Anonymous said...

I'm Turkish but I've never seen a person who uses cüda in a sentence. I've only seen it in a poem once. Most Turkish people wouldn't even understand what you're saying.

Anonymous said...

I'm Turkish but I've never seen a person who uses cüda in a sentence. I've only seen it in a poem once. Most Turkish people wouldn't even understand what you're saying.

Harkabir said...

Juda is a very popular Hindu/Urdu word as well, which means the same things: to be separated from a loved one

데이빛 / Mithridates said...

You're right; the post has disappeared. I found the cache though and also saved the text of the link just in case that disappears too.

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