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Turkish Language Between Past and Present

Posted on 10 February 2016
Updated On: 3 July 2020

The Ottoman Empire embraced a wide spectrum of ethnicity and assets, such as the Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Persians, Romans and Albanians etc. This diversity played a big role in bringing about an overlap between the languages of the different nationalities that has border for many years.

A kind of linguistic overlap noticeable between the Turkish and Persian and Arabic languages has happened, and that because of the stay of peoples who speak those languages under The Ottoman Empire who foster them for a long period of time that lasted for more than 600 years, but when compared to the size of the overlap between the three languages mentioned, it is clear that the Turkish language is the most quotation of the words and terms of the other two languages.

The historical researcher, ” Osman Akkoşak,” attributed in his academic studies, “The Words Coming from The Arabic and Persian to the Turkish language” The Turkish language quote many words and terms from Persian and Arabic languages, to the fact that the Arabic language is the language of the Quran, where most of the Muslims citizens of The Ottoman Empire are keen to learn and master it to be able to read the Quran and understand it, as Ottoman citizens keen on the tendency to use the Arabic language in talking describing it the “holy” language,  as that enforced in some time eras the basic teaching language which contributed in one way or another in entering many Arabic words into the Turkish language.

Akkoşak shows that the main reason that the Persian language occupied the third place between the languages, after the French language that has been used for scientific terms only, that the Turkish language quoted from them is the literary rich in Persian language which impressed a lot of writers and poets of the Ottomans

The Turkish site News 7 indicates in its report, “How many are foreign words in the Turkish language?”, that the Turkish language faced a number of deletions the foreign words, after the founding of the Turkish republic in 1923, but these operations did not succeed in making the Turkish language pure because of the lack of a strong conception of the previous state of the Turkish language. The site mentions that these operations on Turkish language contributed to the impoverishment of the Turkish language significantly, so that Turkey’s new generation has become incapable of understanding what their ancestors had written in the past, noting that the number of the Ottoman language words before the founding of the Turkish Republic reached nearly to one million words, but after the founding of the Turkish Republic and doing the deletions operations, the number of the words became 111 thousand and 27 words.

The site explains that the number of the foreign words within the Turkish language is 14 thousand and 198 words, and nearly half of these words are derived from the Arabic words, pointing out that the Persian language that constitute the Turkish rhymes moral to this day, are also in an important degree in the formation of the Turkish language.

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