Chinese borrowings in Turkish

dihydrogen monoxide

Senior Member
Slovene, Serbo-Croat
I was looking at an etymology for the Slavic word (ex. Slovene 'knjiga') and the word is supposed to be of Turkish origin. However, Turkish word is borrowed from Old Chinese. This to me sound strange, are there any other examples of Turkish having Chinese loanwords? Usually Turkish borrows from Persian and Arabic. Maybe it's a one off case.
 
  • AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    This to me sound strange, are there any other examples of Turkish having Chinese loanwords? Usually Turkish borrows from Persian and Arabic. Maybe it's a one off case.


    It's not surprising at all. If you look at the map of Central Asia, you'll see that the are Turkic languages spoken right next to, and even inside China (Uyghur).

    .
    There are some other examples:
    The Hungarian word "gyöngy" (pearl) is an old Turkic loan (see also Russian жемчуг), ultimately deriving from Chinese "zhēnzhū".
     

    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    There were Turkic words in Old Chinese...

    P.S.: There are a few words of Chinese origin in Spanish too.
     

    djara

    Senior Member
    Tunisia Arabic
    The word tibsi تبسي exists in various Arabic dialects with various meanings. In Tunisian, it means a cone-shaped bowl (see here). The word is a borrowing from Ottoman Turkish تبسى and it is tepsi in modern Turkish, meaning tray, from Chinese diézi 碟子 (Source)
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    The word tibsi تبسي exists in various Arabic dialects with various meanings. In Tunisian, it means a cone-shaped bowl (see here). The word is a borrowing from Ottoman Turkish تبسى and it is tepsi in modern Turkish, meaning tray, from Chinese diézi 碟子 (Source)
    "Tepsi" is used in Hungarian, too (=baking pan/tray).
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    It's not surprising at all. If you look at the map of Central Asia, you'll see that the are Turkic languages spoken right next to, and even inside China (Uyghur).
    The modern day language distribution is a bit misleading anyway. About 20 centuries ago Turkic languages were spoken on the most part of modern day Mongolia as well as in the Ordos (while there still were no Turkic speakers to the West of the Ural river and the Amu Darya). Turkish didn't exactly loan anything from Chinese directly, but it inherited something from the Proto-Turkic and Early Standard Turkic stages (some words were loaned from Chinese when "Türk" didn't even exist as any kind of etnonym).
     
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