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Add 'Ottoman' to the list of languages (G)
Thread poster: Özden Arıkan

Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:25
Member
English to Turkish
Nov 22, 2004

Could we perhaps have the Ottoman language added in our drop down list of languages? Rare as it is, there are colleagues working with this language and outsourcers requiring jobs from and even into this language are not unheard of.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-02-01 22:38]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-02-01 22:38]


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Seadeta Osmani  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 03:25
English to Croatian
+ ...
Enlightment for this ignorant soul... Nov 22, 2004

...who knows not the definition of Ottoman language

I am really interested to find out how does it differ from Turkish we know? I'm not gonna speculate here on what I think it is and show my bare ignorance in public so please -- a brief comment on Ottoman language would be great!

Thank you!

S.


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Carley Hydusik  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:25
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes! I second the motion! Nov 22, 2004

...who knows not the definition of Ottoman language

so please -- a brief comment on Ottoman language would be great!


Carley


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Nazim Aziz Gokdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:25
English to Turkish
+ ...
A definition Nov 23, 2004

Ottoman Turkish has at its core Turkish grammar (plus Arabic compounding, suffixes, and prefixes), on which a vocabulary culled from Persian, Arabic, and Turkish (and dozens of other languages, though to a much lesser extent) hangs, rather uncomfortably. There may be Persian grammatical contributions as well, and others of which I don't know.

The idea, put somewhat tongue in cheek, is that where a single word would do, two or three or four had to be used (in other words, the opposite of modern Turkish). The more flowery and inscrutable the expression, the better. On the other hand, it lent itself to eloquence admirably. With most of its words replaced by modern (or Turkish) equivalents, and the alphabet no longer in use, it takes an expert armed with a thick dictionary to decipher it today (reading and making sense of the modified Arabic alphabet, given a lack of clear rules, is a huge task in itself). That said, the situation wasn't that much different for the uneducated masses back when the language was in use:

"Ottoman Turkish was a creaking make-believe so truffled with Arabic and Persian, written so inappropriately in vowelless Arabic that many years later 'it was said that during the Turco-Greek war many Turkish soldiers wrote to their families in Anatolia, saying that they were wounded and requesting remittances, but that these requests, when written down by a professional letter-writer and deciphered by the village sage, were thought to be a statement that the sender of the letter was well and saluted his friends.'" (Jason Goodwin, Lords of the Horizons, 1998, p. 159)

Generally speaking, you need to take the footnote-challenged Goodwin's writing with a glob of salt, but you get the idea.

I hope this helps.

Aziz


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Carley Hydusik  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:25
Russian to English
+ ...
Thank you! Nov 23, 2004

Thank you to Tayfun and Aziz for your explanations... I am fascinated. Good luck to you with the practical matters.

Best wishes,
Carley


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Seadeta Osmani  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 03:25
English to Croatian
+ ...
Me, too, thanking you! Nov 23, 2004

Thanks, guys! I end up knowing more and more each day. Voting for Ottoman as a list choice.

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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:25
Member
English to Turkish
TOPIC STARTER
Ottoman Nov 25, 2004

is an artificial and dead language with roots in Turkish, but a different language altogether, linguistically speaking, not only with its script and vocabulary, but with the whole grammatical structure. And being the language of the elite of an empire, it has a massive body of historical archives, official documents, military literature, geneological records, land registers and the like. And maybe the most important point here is that, this does not only cover the literature related to what comprises modern Turkey, but also the Balkans, Middle East, and parts of North Africa. Therefore, it requires different and specialized skills. To make this point clear and avoid further confusion with Turkish: any English speaker (not necessarily native) can read and understand an English text written 1,000 years ago with various levels of difficulty. Today's Turkish speaker would not even make any sense of a 100-year old Ottoman text even if it's transliterated into the Latin alphabet. And as there's no Ottoman speaker today, translating and transliterating from this language is a very rare and hence expensive skill.

Adding the Ottoman in the language menu would both help those working with this language promote their skills in a more efficient and distinctive way, and also facilitate directory search for the outsourcer.

Therefore, I sincerely hope that this suggestion will be considered by the site staff.


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