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Language Reference Guide For Turkish
Posted on Saturday, October 13 @ 03:49:37 EDT
Topic: Lingustics

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Contents:

1. Grammar and Spelling
2. Punctuation
3. Measurements and Abbreviations
4. Hyphenation
5. Miscellaneous Peculiarities
6. Geographic Distribution
7. Character Set



Section One - Grammar and Spelling

1. Gender: Turkish nouns do not have genders. However, a few nouns of Arabic or Persian origin have genders: e.g. memur (m) - memure (f), müdür (m) - müdüre (f).

2. Cases: Prepositions such as "to", "in", "at", "from", etc are expressed as postpositions. There are five cases:

- the nominative case: e.g. kalem (pencil), masal (story), gün (day), uyum (compliance)
- the accusative case: obtained by adding i, i, u, or ü to the end of the nominative case, e.g. kalemi, masali, günü, uyumu (note that the last letter changes in line with the preceding vowel)
- the dative case: obtained by adding -a, -e to the end of the nominative case; reflects the preposition 'to' in English, e.g. kaleme, masala, güne, uyuma
- the locative case: obtained by adding -de, -da to the end of the nominative case; reflects the prepositions 'in/at' in English, e.g. kalemde, masalda, günde, uyumda
- the ablative case: Obtained by adding -den, -dan to the end of the nominative case; reflects the preposition 'from' in English, e.g. kalemden, masaldan, günden, uyumdan
3. Postpositions: Since Turkish is an agglutinative language, noun cases, tenses, possessives, genitives etc. are expressed with postpositions:

Possessives:

- 1st person singular: -(i)m, -(i)m, -(u)m, -(ü)m
e.g: kalemim (my pencil), günüm (my day)

- 2nd person singular:-(i)n, (i)n, -(u)n, -(ü)n
e.g: kalemin (your pencil), günün (your day)

- 3rd person singular: -i, -i, -u, -ü
e.g.: kalemi (his/her/its pencil), günü (his/her/its day)

- 1st person plural: -(i)miz, -(i)miz, -(u)muz, -(ü)müz
e.g: kalemimiz (our pencil), günümüz (our day)

- 2nd person plural:-(i)niz, (i)niz, -(u)nuz, -(ü)nüz
e.g: kaleminiz (your pencil), gününüz (your day)

- 3rd person plural: i, -i, -u, -ü (same as 3rd pr. Sing.)
e.g: kalemi (their pencil), günü (their day)
4. Articles: There are no articles in Turkish. Definite and indefinite articles are distinguished with the accusative case, e.g:

Bir agaç gördüm (I saw a tree)
Agaci gördüm (I saw the tree)
5. One-letter words: There is only one one-letter word in Turkish: "O",
which means he/she/it.
6. Accents: The usual alphabetical accents (as in "i" or "ü") also appear in the upper case characters. There are no other accents.

The tone accent " ^ " was used to indicate a difference in pronunciation, where the vowels would be read 'softer'. It appears in some Turkish words (words borrowed from Arabic or Persian), however the Turkish Language Association decided to withdraw the usage of this accent in recent years, although it is still used by some people. When used, it also appears in upper case characters.

7. Plurals: The plural form can be recognised by the plural suffixes : - ler and - lar. They are used in vowel harmony: e.g. kalemler, masallar.

Section Two - Punctuation

Turkish punctuation is almost identical to that of English.

1. Full stops: Full stops are not used at the end of headings, titles, subtitles or addresses.

Full stops are used:

- to terminate a sentence
- at the end of abbreviations
- to form ordinal numbers: e.g. 1. for 1s t, 2. for 2nd, 3. for 3rd
- in dates: 19.05.2004
- in time: 19.15
- as a thousands separator: 145.757.512
2. Speech marks: Both the M dash '—' and quotation marks are used for speech. The M dash is only used at the beginning of a paragraph. The following English sentences are written as below in Turkish: 'Give me more work!', shouted Chloe. - Chloe 'Bana daha çok is verin!' diye bagirdi.

'Would anyone like some tea?' asked George. - George 'Biraz daha çay almak isteyen var mi?' diye sordu.

'I"m bored - can I go home now?', Michala said. - Michala 'Sikildim. Artik eve gidebilir miyim?' dedi.

The M dash would be used if the text followed as a conversation:

- Bana daha çok is verin!
- Biraz daha çay almak isteyen var mi?
3. Apostrophes: Apostrophes are used after proper names, numbers and acronyms to separate the suffixes: e.g. Atatürk'ün (Atatürk's), Izmir'de (in Izmir), 1990'da (in 1990), TBMM'nin (of the TBMM)

4. Colons and ellipsis: Colons, semi-colons and the ellipsis (...) are used in the same way as in English.

5. Brackets: Brackets are used:

- to separate explanations not directly related to the structure of the sentence
- to explain the gesture of the actor/actress in theatre plays
- an exclamation mark is written in brackets if it represents sarcasm, allusion or contempt
- a question mark is written in brackets if information is suspicious or not proven.
If a whole sentence, complete with a full stop, is put in brackets, it starts with a capital. There are no other special punctuation rules for brackets.

6. Capitalisation: Usage of capitalisation:

- sentences begin with a capital letter
- every verse of a poem begins with a capital letter
- proper names start with a capital letter
- day and month names start with a capital letter if they represent a specific date
- sentences following a colon start with a capital letter.
However, if examples not forming a sentence are following a colon they are not capitalized.

Section Three - Measurements and Abbreviations

1. Measurements: The metric system is generally used but some specific products, especially in the computer industry, use imperial measurements. The units are always singular, even if the quantity is plural:
e.g: 40 meters - 40 metre, 12 grams - 12 gram.

Expressions of measurement specific to Turkish:

- Old ottoman measurements can be found in old documents: okka, endaze, arsin, etc
- Dönüm (1000 square meters) is widely used in area measurements
Numbers should be written as below for Turkish:

4,5 cm / 4000 / 50.000 (thousands separator '.' is not used for four-digit numbers)

The times and dates below are written as follows in Turkish:

10.30 am / noon / 4.30 pm / midnight - sabah 10.30 / öglen / ögleden sonra 4.30 or 16.30 / gece yarisi

20 February 200420 Subat 2004
20th February 200420 Subat 2004
20/02/200420.02.2004 or 20/02/2004 or 20-02-2004
February 20Subat 2004
There should always be a space between a figure and a measurement abbreviation with the exception of the % and °C symbols. The % symbol appears before the figure and without a space e.g. %100. Temperatures should be written with no space e.g. 30°C.

Turkish currency (Lira) can be written as follows:

45 TL / 45 lira or 45 Türk Lirasi

The currency symbol, name or abbreviation is written after the figure: 45 $ / 45 ABD dolari / 45 USD.

2. Abbreviations:

The equivalent Turkish abbreviations for the following are:

N/a = No abbreviation. Usually it is written as 'yok' or 'mevcut degil'
No. (nos.) = No.
e.g. = örn.
WxLxHxD =ExBxYxÇ
1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th = 1./2./3./4. or 1'inci/2'nci/3'üncü/4'üncü
Mr. / Mrs. = Bay/Bn.
Messrs. = Bay
Miss = Bn.
Dear Sir / Madam = Sayin Bay/Bayan
m (for metre) = m
cm (for centimetre) = cm
lb (for pound weight) = lb
g (for gram) = g or gr
km (for kilometre) = km
yr (for year) = y or yl
k (for 1000) = bin (same as normal 'thousand')

EMEA (Europe, Middle-East & Asia) = No abbreviation.

Days of the week: Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun = Pzt, Sa, Çrs, Prs, Cum, Cmt, Paz.

Months: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec = Not abbreviated in Turkish.

Section Four - Hyphenation

Hyphens can be used at the end of a line when words are split over two lines and are broken down by syllabic structure.

They are rarely used to join words together. No prefixes or suffixes exist which are joined to words using hyphens.

Both short "N" dashes ( - ) and the longer "M" dashes (—) are used with the former being more common.

Section Five - Miscellaneous Peculiarities

Surnames are given after the first name and can appear upper case.

Bold and italic usages are very similar to English.

Units of measurement are always in singular form even if the quantity is more than one.

Section Six - Geographic Distribution

Turkish is the national language of Turkey, and is also spoken by minority groups in Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, and other countries. It is the most important member of the Turkic group of languages which form a branch of the Altaic family. There are about 61 million speakers. Turkish was originally written in the Arabic script which, though poorly suited to the language, had been in use since the conversion of the Turks to Islam. In 1928 President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk decreed the introduction of a slightly modified version of the Roman alphabet, consisting of twenty-one consonants and eight vowels. In Turkish the letters q, w, and x are absent.

Turkish is spoken/used in the following countries:
Bulgaria, Cyprus (Republic of), Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Turkey, Uzbekistan.

Dialects of Turkish include:

DANUBIAN, ESKISEHIR, RAZGRAD, DINLER, RUMELIAN, KARAMANLI, EDIRNE, GAZIANTEP, URFA

Language Family
Family: Altaic
Subgroup: Turkic
Branch: Southwestern (Oghuz)

Sources: KATZNER, K. The Languages of the World. Routledge. Available from: http://www.worldlanguage.com (accessed 28 May 2004).

Ethnologue: Languages of the World. SIL International. Available from: http://www.ethnologue.com/web.asp (accessed 28 May 2004).

Section Seven - Character Set

[ ] = Alt key codes

LOWER CASE
UPPER CASE
a A
bB
c ç [0231] C Ç [0199]
dD
e E
fF
g g [0240]G G [0208]
h H
i i [0253]I I [0221]
jJ
k K
l L
mM
n N
o ö [0246]O Ö [0214]
pP
rR
s s [0254] S S [0222]
t T
u ü [0252] U Ü [0220]
vV
yY
z Z



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