to dictate something to someone

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Jian Cho

Banned
Chinese
Hello. I've recently been reading up on the ideology nationalism quite a bit. I'm reading about different countries' take on nationalism and today it was Turkey's turn. In an article about 1930s nationalism in Turkey, I came across a sentence and I couldn't make sense of it.
In 1931, the TOTTTH was reorganized as the Society for the Study of Turkish History. Atatürk dictated a programme for the new organization to Afet İnan, a prominent member of the organization, and his adopted daughter. The Society was responsible for disseminating Turkish national history ‘to its real owners, the Turkish people'.

Race, Assimilation and Kemalism: Turkish Nationalism and the Minorities in the 1930s
What does the bolded part mean? Did Ataturk command Afet Inan to start a programme in the organization?
Thanks!
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Hello. I've recently been reading up on the ideology nationalism quite a bit. I'm reading about different countries' take on nationalism and today it was Turkey's turn. In an article about 1930s nationalism in Turkey, I came across a sentence and I couldn't make sense of it.


    What does the bolded part mean? Did Ataturk command Afet Inan to start a programme in the organization?
    Thanks!
    It could mean that, or it could mean that he read the text of the programme aloud for the others to write down. Or both.
     

    Jian Cho

    Banned
    Chinese
    It could mean that, or it could mean that he read the text of the programme aloud for the others to write down. Or both.
    The sentence could have been written much better, am I right? The author of the article is Turkish, so not a native speaker of English. If he had written "Ataturk dictated Afet Inan to start a programme for a the new organization...", I think it would have been clearer.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Atatürk was president at the time, so it is probably more in the nature of a presidential degree. Dictate meaning 'read aloud for someone else to write down' sounds unlikely.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The sentence could have been written much better, am I right? The author of the article is Turkish, so not a native speaker of English. If he had written "Ataturk dictated Afet Inan to start a programme for a the new organization...", I think it would have been clearer.
    It would have to be "Ataturk directed Afet Inan to start a programme" (or words to that effect). "Dictated" wouldn't work like that.
     
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