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Thread: Turkish influence on Hungarian

  1. #1
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    Turkish influence on Hungarian

    I read that Turkic languages have influenced Hungarian. I remarked in the word 'tessek' that it resembled 'tessekür ederim' a lot, but I couldn't really find other words which resembled Turkish. Except for the way the words sound, I can't really find any resemblance in a lot of vocabulary. Does anyone here know words which can be found both in Hungarian and Turkish or another Turkic language?

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    tessék (sic recte) means “please, help yourself”; teşekkür (sic recte) means “thanks”, so they are hardly the same in meaning. The latter, by the way, is from Arabic tašakkur.

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by fdb View Post
    tessék (sic recte) means “please, help yourself”; teşekkür (sic recte) means “thanks”, so they are hardly the same in meaning. The latter, by the way, is from Arabic tašakkur.
    Oh ok, I guess I remember them wrong. I thought they were related. Well, that means that I couldn't find any resemblance at all.

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by fdb View Post
    tessék (sic recte) means “please, help yourself”; teşekkür (sic recte) means “thanks”, so they are hardly the same in meaning. The latter, by the way, is from Arabic tašakkur.
    But does it exclude the Turkish origin?

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    I found a following list, but my knowledge of both Hungarian and Turkish is negligible, so I don’t know how correct this list is (I think that at least the word bika meaning ox or bull is of Slavic origin (byk or bik)
    Horse riding: gyeplő
    Tribal law, nomadic society: gyula, kündü, karcha, kapu, sereg, tábor, bilincs, törvény, tanú
    People's Names: besenyő, nándor, böszörmény, káliz, bular (belár)
    Religion, Belief world: báj, ige, igéz, boszorkány, ünnep, egyház, búcsú, gyón
    Breeding: barom, ökör, bika, tinó, ünő, borjú, ürü, kos, kecske, disznó, ártány, tyúk, túró, író, köpű, ól, karám, vályú, komondor, kuvasz
    Agriculture: arat, búza, árpa, őröl, ocsú, kölyű, eke, sarló, tarló, borsó, gyümölcs, alma, körte, som, dió, kökény, kender, csalán, tiló, csepű, orsó, szőlő, bor, seprő, csiger
    Fishing: gyalom, vejsze, tok, süllő, gyertya
    Birds: sólyom, keselyű, ölyv, turul, karvaly, tőr
    Crafts: ács, szűcs
    Transport: tengely, szál
    Trading: bársony, gyöngy, bors, tár, szatócs
    Natural environment: tenger, sár, szél
    Wildlife: oroszlán, bölény, gödény, túzok, ürge, borz, bögöly
    Flora:: gyertyán, kőris, katáng, kóró, gyékény, gyom, bojtorján, kökörcsin, üröm
    Family: gyermek, kölyök, iker
    Test and physical properties: térd, boka, gyomor, köldök, tar, csipa, szeplő
    Property and equipment: sátor, cserge, karó, szék, teknő, bölcső, koporsó, balta
    Clothing: süveg, saru, ködmön, csat, tükör
    Verbs: gyűl, dől, szór, szűr, csavar, söpör, arat

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Jamin View Post
    But does it exclude the Turkish origin?
    Probably yes, because the original stem of the verb is "tet", and "-jék" is the suffix of subjunctive/imperative 3rd. pers. sg. So tet+jék becomes tessék and the literal meaning is "(que) guste", "(che) piaccia", "niech się podoba".

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by francisgranada View Post
    Probably yes, because the original stem of the verb is "tet", and "-jék" is the suffix of subjunctive/imperative 3rd. pers. sg. So tet+jék becomes tessék and the literal meaning is "(que) guste", "(che) piaccia", "niech się podoba".
    Köszönöm! Now I know (relatively) much more about Hungarian!

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    A considerable time ago I was interested in Hungarian and afterwards in Turkish. I found a lot of similarities between the two languages in grammar structures, but not in vocabulary. My assumption was that the Hungarian vocabulary did not have so many influences from outside languages, whereas Turkish vocabulary changed much from outside languages. This may be a cause why there are similarities in grammar structures whereas the vocabularies of the two languages differ.

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by rogermue View Post
    A considerable time ago I was interested in Hungarian and afterwards in Turkish. I found a lot of similarities between the two languages in grammar structures, but not in vocabulary. My assumption was that the Hungarian vocabulary did not have so many influences from outside languages, whereas Turkish vocabulary changed much from outside languages. This may be a cause why there are similarities in grammar structures whereas the vocabularies of the two languages differ.
    Wikipedia gives the following distribution for the Hungarian language:

    Uncertain: 30%
    Finno-Ugric: 21%
    Slavic: 20%
    German: 11%
    Turkic: 9,5%
    Latin and Greek: 6%
    Romance: 2,5%
    Other: 1%

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Jamin View Post
    Wikipedia gives the following distribution for the Hungarian language:

    Uncertain: 30%
    Finno-Ugric: 21%
    Slavic: 20%
    German: 11%
    Turkic: 9,5%
    Latin and Greek: 6%
    Romance: 2,5%
    Other: 1%
    That's a whole lot of words of uncertain origin. Is there a list somewhere?

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    These percentages concern the vocabulary of Hungarian. Is there anywhere some reference to a similarity in grammar structures between Hungarian and Turkish? I found the similarities striking.

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by Roel~ View Post
    I read that Turkic languages have influenced Hungarian.
    To what factors would someone attribute such an influence? To the Turkish conquests in Europe in the previous centuries perhaps? On the other hand, if we speak about similarities in grammar structures, then the subject is different.

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by rogermue View Post
    These percentages concern the vocabulary of Hungarian. Is there anywhere some reference to a similarity in grammar structures between Hungarian and Turkish? I found the similarities striking.
    As I said my knowledge of both Hungarian and Turkish is very little (I can make some simple sentences in Hungarian but not in Turkish), but I know following grammatical features that are common:
    - agglutinative structures
    - postpositions rather than prepositions
    - suffixes marking possesion: his father= apja (H) babasi (T)
    - vowel harmony.
    You can read more about both languages in Wikipedia
    Last edited by Ben Jamin; 9th February 2013 at 10:31 AM.

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by Perseas View Post
    To what factors would someone attribute such an influence? To the Turkish conquests in Europe in the previous centuries perhaps?
    No. The Turkic influence “happened” before the arrival of the Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin, when the Magyar tribes lived “together” with various Turkic tribes. Some words could be borrowed also during the Turkish conquest, of course, but this is statistically irrelevant. The Turkic loanwords in Hungarian are typically not from Turkish (language spoken in Turkey), but they come from various Turkic languages and, according to phonetical correspondencies, mostly from “Chuvash-like” languages.

    Quote Originally Posted by Perseas View Post
    On the other hand, if we speak about similarities in grammar structures, then the subject is different.
    Yes, the subject is different also because these similarities are present in other Uralic langages as well (including e.g. the Finnish that has not been exposed to Turkic/Turkish influence). These similaraties resulted in the theory of a possible Uralo-Altaic language family, but this theory is today rejected by most of the linguists for many serious reasons. However, these similarities cannot be expained “simply” by mutual influence, at least not during the last 3-5 (or even more) millenia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Jamin View Post
    Wikipedia gives the following distribution for the Hungarian language:
    Uncertain: 30%
    Finno-Ugric: 21%
    Slavic: 20%
    German: 11%
    Turkic: 9,5%
    Latin and Greek: 6%
    Romance: 2,5%
    Other: 1%
    Other sources may give different values, but (as far as I know) the differences are not too relevant. So, I think, these numbers can be considered approximately valid.

    On the other hand, these statistical data reflect rather the origin of the word stems and not the whole existing lexicon of the language. From this point of view, the most “productive” words in Hungarian are those of Finno-Ugric origin as, according to various sources, more than 80% of the total lexicon of the modern Hungarian (including derived words, neologisms, compound words etc … ) seem to be of Finno-Ugric origin.

    The great number of the words of uncertain origin is primarily due to the fact that the Hungarian is the oldest documented Uralic language (from the 10th century A.D.) and there are not enough ancient written documents in other Uralic languages to be compared with ...

    Quote Originally Posted by rogermue View Post
    ... My assumption was that the Hungarian vocabulary did not have so many influences from outside languages ....
    Your assumption/observation is indeed valid to a great degree (especially for the last centuries), but not necessarily true for the origin of all the “historical" stems of the Hungarian language. Further details could be discussed in a separate (probably interesting) thread …
    Last edited by francisgranada; 10th February 2013 at 1:13 AM. Reason: Precision

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by rogermue View Post
    ... I found the similarities striking.
    I agree with you . If we "simplify" a bit Ben Jamin's post #13, then we can speak practically (i.e. from the "Indo-European point of view") about two main common phenomena typical for both the Hungarian (Uralic) and the Turkish (Turkic/Altaic):

    - Vocal harmony
    - Agglutinative character

    The postpositions and the suffixes marking possesion are "logical" (though not absolutely necessary) consequence of the agglutinative character of both the Turkish and Hungarian. On the other hand, the suffix pairs (or even triplets) -de/-da, -ban/-ben, -on/-en/-ön ... are "logical" consequence of the vocal harmony.
    Last edited by francisgranada; 10th February 2013 at 10:05 PM.

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by francisgranada View Post
    I agree with you . If we "simplify" a bit Ben Jamin's post #13, then we can speak practically (from the "Indo-European point of view") about two main common phenomena typical for both the Hungarian (Uralic) and the Turkish (Turkic/Altaic):

    - Vocal harmony
    - Agglutinative character

    The postpositions and the suffixes marking possesion are "logical" (though not absolutely necessary) consequence of the agglutanive character of both the Turkish and Hungarian. On the other hand, the suffix pairs (or even triplets) -de/-da, -ban/-ben, -on/-en/-ön ... are "logical" consequence of the vocal harmony.
    Right now I learn both Turkish and Hungarian and I recognize this. For me as a layman who is interested in linguistics, I would say that a far kinship between Hungarian and Turkish could be possible, but of course I don't know all the scientific theories about it, although I can see very striking resemblances in the grammar of the two languages.

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Jamin View Post
    As I said my knowledge of both Hungarian and Turkish is very little (I can make some simple sentences in Hungarian but not in Turkish), but I know following grammatical features that are common:
    - agglutinative structures
    - postpositions rather than prepositions
    - suffixes marking possesion: his father= apja (H) babasi (T)
    - vowel harmony.
    You can read more about both languages in Wikipedia
    These are typological similarities (agglutinative suffixing languages with vowel harmony) which you will find in Africa, Australia, Americas, everywhere. They do not prove genetic relationship.

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by DenisBiH View Post
    That's a whole lot of words of uncertain origin. Is there a list somewhere?
    I agree with francisgranada, a book of mine gives a completely different data:

    15% unknown
    18% uncertain or discussed
    5% onomatopoeic
    2% German
    1% Latin
    3% Slavic
    2% ancient Turkish
    54% Finno-Ugric

    Yes, there's a whole list in my book. Do you want to puzzle out the etymology?
    [ɒkinɛk humorɒ vɒn, mindɛnˤtud, ɒkinɛk niŋʧ, mindɛnrɛ ke.pɛʃ]

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by Encolpius View Post
    I agree with francisgranada, a book of mine gives a completely different data:

    15% unknown
    18% uncertain or discussed
    5% onomatopoeic
    2% German
    1% Latin
    3% Slavic
    2% ancient Turkish
    54% Finno-Ugric

    Yes, there's a whole list in my book. Do you want to puzzle out the etymology?
    2% German? That's weird, because I came across a lot of words which looked German, but maybe that has to do with the a lot of basic vocabulary.For instance: 'Ház' looks like: 'Haus'. 'kopyahat' looks like 'kaufen'. 'mond-' looks like the German word 'Mund'.

    By the way, what is onomatopoeic?

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    Re: Turkish influence on Hungarian

    Quote Originally Posted by Roel~ View Post
    2% German? That's weird, because I came across a lot of words which looked German, but maybe that has to do with the a lot of basic vocabulary.For instance: 'Ház' looks like: 'Haus'. 'kopyahat' looks like 'kaufen'. 'mond-' looks like the German word 'Mund'...
    Mond is of Uralic origin, the -d at the end is an old frequentative formant (as in kérd, áld ...). The original Hung. stem is mon- (man- in Finnish, Samoyedic etc). For curiosity: if mondani (infinitive) were from Mund, then it should be *mundolni, as it is impossible to turn borrowed nouns into verbs without any suffix.

    Ház is of Finno-Ugric origin and the similarity with Haus is accidental. Examples from other FU languages: kat, kud, kota. For curiosity: if ház were from Haus, then the accusative would probably be *házt and not házat, as this "a" is part of the original "full" stem (Finnish kota). And more, the German diphthong au would become probably ó in Hungarian, so the result should be rather *hóz than ház.

    What is 'kopyahat' ?
    Last edited by francisgranada; 11th February 2013 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Precision

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