Learning Turkish Language Difficulties -- Agglutination involves too many Turkish suffixes!

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Learning Turkish Language Difficulties

Too Many Suffixes!

"Students should remember that when a native Turk omits the possessive suffix,
it is assumed that he is speaking colloquially; but when a foreigner omits the suffix,
it is assumed that he is making a mistake."
from Turkish Grammar by Robert Underhill

Now with sound !

In Turkey - Türkiye'de

Tüm içecek fırsatları için tıklayın !

Language-learning pages:
  • How To Learn Basic Turkish --
    A Practical Philosophy for beginners

    (Found in the 'Introduction to The Whole Earth Catalog of Turkish Movies'.)
  • Why Off-color language is important too...
  • Translating Turkish, the basics
  • Translating Turkish, advanced
  • Essential Turkish Vocabulary
  • Turkish Verbs
  • Essential Idioms, Index
  • Essential Suffixes, Index
  • Sentence Structure, Standard
  • Sentence Structure Variations
  • Turkish Pronunciation
  • Turkish Accenting
  • Turkish Numbers Revealed
  • Other Turkish Language Difficulties

  • Agglutination...One of those interesting words that is itself an example of what it means...

    According to the New World Paperback Dictionary on our desk here, "agglutination" is a noun meaning "sticking together, as with glue". When the term is used in relation to languages, it means that suffixes are attached to root words to enhance and broaden the meaning of the root.

    We use a little "suffix glue" sometimes in English -- think of forgetfulness, carelessness, merciless, enjoyable, fanciful, etc. But, in Turkish the glue-cup spilleth over.

    It's by attaching suffix after suffix to a Turkish root word that you can formulate some of the longest (and dare I say, hardest-to-decipher) words in the history of the world!

    Actually, the suffixes can add so much meaning to a word that the word transforms to become a phrase and then... a full fledged sentence -- with nary a break in the continuous onslaught of letters!

    Want some examples..?

    How about evdekiler; the people in the house or gülerlerken; when they are laughing. Not convinced that it's so difficult yet? Then how about... Koşturulmamalıymış; They say he shouldn't be forced to run. Still not convinced? Then try this... Yaramazlaştırılamıyabilenlerdenmişsiniz; You seem to be one of those who is incapable of being naughty.

    Building Long Turkish Words

    Let's build some of these "words" from scratch -- to better see how the meaning is progressively enhanced.

    We'll start with evdekiler; the people in the house

    Take the simple noun ev meaning house. Then add the suffix de meaning in, which gives evde; in the house.

    Next glue on ki to convey that and you have evdeki; in that house.

    Finally, you finish off your creation with ler to express the people (literally, "the ones") and you have evdekiler; the people in that house or more simply, the people in the house.


    And here's another long one...
    A grandaddy of a one!
    You seem to be one of those who is incapable of being naughty.

    Although this one's quite long, the procedure is the same. First find the root word...in this case yaramak; to be serviceable, useful and use it's negative adjectival form yaramaz; not useful, worthless, naughty.

    Next comes the triple suffix laş-tır-ıl to convey the idea of acting like, behaving like, being like and we have yaramazlaştırıl ; acting like [a] naughty [person].

    Continue the process by adding ; not and bile; able and the double suffix ler-den; of them, from those and you have yaramazlaştırılamıyabilenlerden [ask us about the helping letters a, y, and n -- later!] which means [one] of those not able to act like [a] naughty [person] -- and we're almost home!

    Just tack on the dubitative suffix miş to infer some doubt in the sense of it seems and follow it all at the end with the verbial suffix siniz; you are -- and voila, there you have it!

    Yaramazlaştırılamıyabilenlerdenmişsiniz; It seems that you are [one] of those [who] is not able to act like [a] naughty [person] or, more simply, You seem to be one of those who is incapable of being naughty...

    (Only on CD)

    We think the above exemplifies what they meant when they told us that Turkish was
    a "foreign" language.

    Nevertheless, who can fail to appreciate the beauty of the logic in the following:

    terbiye good manners
    terbiyesiz without good manners
    terbiyesizlik rudeness
    terbiyesizlikleri their rudeness
    terbiyesizliklerinden from their rudeness
    terbiyesizliklerindenmiş I gather that it was from their rudeness...!!!

    (Only on CD)

    Now that's nice...

    In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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