[...] için mi bilinmez (rhetorical statement?)

Discussion in 'Türkçe (Turkish)' started by Nogmaals, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Nogmaals New Member

    English - BBC, Dutch - Holland
    Hello, I have an exam tomorrow and was wondering how to translate the following sentence. It is from a series of letters called Seni Sevgiye Emanet Ediyorum by Hamdi Topçu

    There is no question mark at the end of the sentence. Would you translate this as a rhetorical question? What I would say is:

    Any thoughts? Keep in mind that this guy is really fond of his 'devrik cümleler'.
  2. SARI7

    SARI7 Member

    Is it because the houses with houses with tiled roofs have become commonplace that the coal black youths from my childhood got lost, nobody knows.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2013
  3. spiraxo

    spiraxo Senior Member

    turkey, turkish
    Hi Nogmaals,

    Welcome to the forum!
    Yes. Actually rhetorical questions in Turkish are generally yes/no questions. I think the writer is pretty sure about the reason but prefers to act with humbleness and asks an open question. Concerning the question mark, we do not use question mark at the end of a rhetorical question.

    I do believe that you've understood the sentence. I suggest some corrections.
    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  4. Nogmaals New Member

    English - BBC, Dutch - Holland
    Thanks for the welcome and the reply! What an awesome resource this will be as I make my way through the marvelous world of Turkish.
  5. Nihilus Member

    I disagree. The meaning is more like:

    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  6. hakos New Member

    the sentence doesn't refer to i as subject

    Nobody knows if it's because of having been widespread the houses with tiled roofs, but the coal-black skinned youths of my childhood have disappeared.
  7. Nihilus Member

    Structure versus meaning. Meanings are often lost or distorted in mot-a-mot translations.

    The author of the sentence doesn't imply others also wondered how "the coal-black faced youth" from their childhood disappeared but couldn't decide if tiled roof constructions were the reason. The sentence is very personal and nostalgic.

    And I disagreed this version, because it gives too much emphasis on tiled roofs. The author doesn't genuinely wonder if they are the reason. They are not the point. The point is, the author is nostalgic about the youth from his childhood. And indeed, there should be no question mark at the end of the sentence.

    Correcting a mistake in my earlier version:

    While it's accurate, I must admit it doesn't sound as powerful in English as in Turkish. Translating literature is hard.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  8. Reverence Senior Member

    There's no place for a question mark in this verse. The poet tells us that it isn't known whether the cause is the tiled roofs being so common lately, so the first part should start with something like "No telling if it is because..." or an equivalent thereof, preferably something that looks better in a poem. Nothing interrogative here.

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