What's the chance of having a unified Turkic language?

Friday, May 23, 2008

There's an article here on Turkish-language satellite broadcasts and how they are viewed in other Turkic republics, including those in Russia. Small western Turkic languages such as Crimean Tatar are probably the most likely to be affected by all the broadcasting in standard Turkish. I don't know enough about other Turkic languages to have an opinion on the subject, except that as a foreign language Turkish would be well-served by being understood in as many regions as possible:

Turkey's satellite broadcasts are contributing to Turkish language spoken particularly in Turkic republics, the linguistics authority of Turkey said on Wednesday.

The Turkish Linguistics Authority (TDK) said on Wednesday that Turkish tv series broadcast via satellite improved linguistic unity among Turkic republics.

"Therefore actors and actresses, as well as anchormen, should be careful about speaking correct and accurate Turkish," Sukru Haluk Akalin, head of the authority, told the Anadolu Agency (AA) correspondent in the southern province of Adana.

Akalin said that actors and actresses taking role in Turkish series should speak Turkish slowly and clearly because people watching them in Turkic republics sometimes had problems in understanding what was being said.

Along with that is what I've written before on the usage of the Latin script in places like Kazakhstan:

Akalin said that Turkey and Kazakhstan would ensure a unity in written language when that country started using the Latin alphabet.

The head of the authority said that they had also prepared a dictionary of Turkish dialects to improve the common language among Turkic republics.

Turkic languages have even more linguistic unity than Romance languages in terms of vocabulary, though the grammar (especially verb usage) seems to vary quite a bit. The Turkish mi/misin/misiniz/musunuz etc. used to form questions is not used in other Turkic languages, as far as I know. Not even in nearby Azerbaijan, where they just say olar to make a question, such as "girmek olar" instead of "girebilir miyim" to say "Can I come in?"

The article finishes with a list of Turkic-speaking republics:
Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Gagavuz Yeri of Moldova, autonomous republics in the Russian Federation such as Altay, Tatar, Yakut, Tiva Hakas and Bashkir are the Turkish speaking republics.
Well then, let's see some of this Turkish broadcasting they always talk about. I think we'll go with Burhan Altıntop.


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