mutual intelligibility between Turkic languages

lingue turche

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Italian - Italy
I've always heard that the Turkish peoples can understand each other to a great extent. Could somebody verify this?
 
  • bouquinistesofunderworld

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    It depends on the region where different Turkic peoples live.
    For instance the people from Turkey and Azerbaijan can understand each other to a great extent even if they sometimes use totally different words for different things but the people from Turkey can't necessarily understand people,sayi from Republic of Bashkortostan or Chuvashia.
     
    I've always heard that the Turkish peoples can understand each other to a great extent. Could somebody verify this?
    That's not true for almost none of them. The only one we can understand is the Azeris. And from someone who knows both Spanish and Italian I learned that the distance between Turkish and Azeri languages is more than between Spanish and Italian. So we don't understand even Azeris as much as you would understand the Spanish.
     
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    Rallino

    Moderatoúrkos
    Turkish
    That's not true for almost none of them. The only one we can understand is the Azeris. And from someone who knows both Spanish and Italian I learned that the distance between Turkish and Azeri languages is more than between Spanish and Italian. So we don't understand even Azeris as much as you would understand the Spanish.
    I speak Spanish and Italian too. I wouldn't say they're closer to each other than are Turkish and Azeri.

    Vocabulary-wise, you may be right. Although even in that department, it proves certain challenges. There has been a greater extent of sound shifts between Italian and Spanish. It takes more than an educated ear to figure out that offendere (it.) and hundir (sp.) share the same root.

    In terms of grammar, however, Turkish and Azeri are more similar. The tenses are almost the same in both languages. Show an Azeri verb form to any random Turk, and he will understand it. For example: Biz gedərik (Tr. biz gideriz; En. we go). The only different conjugation is in the 3rd person narrative past: O gedib, which in Turkish, is O gitmiş (He went). Apart from that, all the grammatical structure is completely mutually intelligible.

    We can't say the same thing for Spanish and Italian. On the one hand, Spanish has more tenses than Italian. It features the immediate future tense with the verb to go, ex: voy a comer (lit. I'm going to eat), which in Italian is rendered as a regular future tense: mangerò (lit. I will eat). Spanish also has the future subjunctive, albeit an obsolete form, which is missing in Italian. On the other hand, due to the sound shifts, it's much more difficult to track the verb forms if you're not familiar with the other language. For example: Scriverebbero and Escribirían (They would write) aren't that similar, despite sharing the same root. So a Spanish speaker who has no knowledge of Italian would figure out that it's about writing, but could, in no way, guess that it was a conditional form.
     
    I speak Spanish and Italian too. I wouldn't say they're closer to each other than are Turkish and Azeri.
    Well, do you speak Azeri?
    The tenses are almost the same in both languages. Show an Azeri verb form to any random Turk, and he will understand it.

    We can't say the same thing for Spanish and Italian. On the one hand, Spanish has more tenses than Italian. It features the immediate future tense with the verb to go, ex: voy a comer (lit. I'm going to eat), which in Italian is rendered as a regular future tense: mangerò (lit. I will eat). Spanish also has the future subjunctive, albeit an obsolete form, which is missing in Italian. On the other hand, due to the sound shifts, it's much more difficult to track the verb forms if you're not familiar with the other language. For example: Scriverebbero and Escribirían (They would write) aren't that similar, despite sharing the same root. So a Spanish speaker who has no knowledge of Italian would figure out that it's about writing, but could, in no way, guess that it was a conditional form.
    Other than the person I mentioned above I spoke to a Spanish girl once about this and she said when 2 Italians are speaking to each other and when she pays attention to what is said (which she said she was doing automatically in Turkey because she was learning Turkish and thus listening around more attentively), she was understanding everything. She said everything not almost everything. And I asked if she ever studied Italian, she answered no. On the contrary I, as a native Turkish speaker, can no way understand everything said in an Azeri conversation. Moreover, when I listen to an Azeri tv for example I rarely understand something completely.
     

    Rallino

    Moderatoúrkos
    Turkish
    It depends on the context. If it's something scientific, I understand Azeri 100%. Both written and spoken. The difficulty is in everyday words that are different. The same thing goes for Spanish and Italian. The more academic the context, the easier it is.
     
    Maybe you, as a non-native speaker for both Spanish and Italian, might be thinking different than the natives; because also while a non-native German speaker cannot understand a Dutch speaker, native Germans understand the Dutch. I might be interested in asking the issue to the Spanish and the Italian.
     

    Rallino

    Moderatoúrkos
    Turkish
    Spanish speakers usually have difficulties understanding even Portuguese, which is a much closer language than Italian. So maybe the natives you asked were acquainted with Italian.

    Anyhow, that wasn't my point in my original post. In terms of grammar, Azeri and Turkish are more similar, than Italian and Spanish. But I can't say the same fir vocabulary. Azeri has more Russian and Persian words than Turkish, which is an obstacle for us.

    I would say, the similarity between Azeri and Turkish is more like Danish and Swedish. But that's my own view.
     
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