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In Turkey - Türkiye'de
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Translations Turkish-English-Turkish, Part 1
Turkish phrases and sentences have a standard word order -- with deviations from the norm being for clear and logical reasons. Well, most of the time anyway...want to see a couple of exceptions?
Let's look first at a sample English sentence and see how its words are ordered...
John gave me a red book in the restaurant this evening.
That sentence could be re-stated several different ways in English without it changing the meaning of the sentence. We could just as easily have written the sentence as...
This evening in the restaurant, John gave me a red book.
John, in the restaurant this evening, gave me a red book.
The idea stays the same. The word order doesn't really matter in English. This is quite convenient for the native language speaker, but not very helpful if you are trying to learn English from scratch.
But in Turkish the standard word order for that sentence would be...
John... this evening... at the restaurant... to me... a red book... [he] gave.
The Turkish sentence would look like...
John... bu akşam... lokantada... bana... kırmızı kitabı... verdi.
Click following to see
a more complex Turkish translation example.
In basic Turkish sentences (like the above),
the order of the words within the sentence is generally influenced (not dictated) by two fundamental 'rules'.
Turkish Word Order Rule 1 -- This rule states that the subject of the sentence comes first and is followed by expression(s) of time. Next come expression(s) of place. And, the last items are the personal and main object(s) which are followed -- at the very end -- by the verb.
I'll go buy a back-scratcher today in old London town.
For example, if you've already read the article
"Do the right Turkish thing," then you already know what we're talking about.
But furthermore, as we'll see in the Deviations paragraph below
and also when we explore Devrik Cümlesi,
this rule gets abused with regularity.
And you can only break this rule... if you're Turkish!
Therefore, adjectives [as well as participles and
...bir av köpeği...
a brown hound,
...kahverengi bir av köpeği...
a brown running-like-hell hound,
...cehennem gibi koşan kahverengi bir av köpeği...
a brown running-like-hell Baskerville hound,
...cehennem gibi koşan kahverengi bir Baskerville'li av köpeği.
And, adverbs [and other verb complements] precede verbs.
So in the following Turkish translation is,
Turkish Sentence Word Order Deviations
You may deviate from the standard rules of Turkish word order when you want to emphasize a particular word or idea in the sentence -- without the need for voice inflection. To give Turkish translation emphasis then, you move the word you want to emphasize to the place right before the verb at the end of the sentence.
So if we were to re-write one of our earlier example sentences as...
Bu akşam lokantada bana kırmızı kitabı John verdi,
...the meaning of the sentence takes on a different dimension to convey the idea that...
It was John (and not someone else -- like his wife or child perhaps) [that] gave me a red book at the restaurant this evening.
This consistency of word order can be very helpful to the starting student who is trying to "de-cipher" his first Turkish sentence -- and for us ole timers too, regardless of experience level!
Because of the rule of consistent vowel harmony, it's downright hard to misspell a word in Turkish...and if you can't misspell it, it's hard also to mispronounce it. So what is this super rule that can eliminate two classic language-problems at one fell swoop? It's easiest to show it by use of a compact little chart, as follows:
Thus, you can be rather sure that the word açık; open (with the undotted ı) is correctly spelled and you can also be rather sure that no such word as açik (with the dotted i) has or ever will exist in the Turkish language!!!
Of course there are exceptions to this rule too -- as with words that are imported into Turkish from foreign languages. Examples of such foreign imports include asansör; elevator from French
A Practical Philosophy for beginners
(Found in the 'Introduction to The Whole Earth Catalog of Turkish Movies'.)
© Turkish-English Translations | Turkish Phrase and sentence word-order | Turkish Vowel Harmony | Translation Turkish