Turkish influence on Hungarian

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Roel~, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Roel~ Member

    Nederlands - Nederland
    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?
  2. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    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.
  3. Roel~ Member

    Nederlands - Nederland
    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.
  4. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    But does it exclude the Turkish origin?
  5. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    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
  6. francisgranada Senior Member

    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".
  7. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Köszönöm! Now I know (relatively) much more about Hungarian!
  8. 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.
  9. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    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%
  10. DenisBiH

    DenisBiH Senior Member

    That's a whole lot of words of uncertain origin. Is there a list somewhere?
  11. 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.
  12. Perseas Senior Member

    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.
  13. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    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: Feb 9, 2013
  14. francisgranada Senior Member

    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.

    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.

    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 ...

    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: Feb 10, 2013
  15. francisgranada Senior Member

    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: Feb 10, 2013
  16. Roel~ Member

    Nederlands - Nederland
    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.
  17. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    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.
  18. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    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? ;)
  19. Roel~ Member

    Nederlands - Nederland
    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?:confused:
  20. francisgranada Senior Member

    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: Feb 11, 2013
  21. Roel~ Member

    Nederlands - Nederland
    I thought that I came across the word 'kopyahat' when I learned Hungarian, but I could be wrong. Your information is interesting, I always remember the word 'ház' thanks to the German word 'Haus'. :p Maybe I should obtain some linguistic-books, since I think it's very interesting how these changes are occuring in languages.

    I need to look up again what the word exactly was, because it looked like 'kopyahat', but I can't remember exactly. It had to do something with the word 'to buy', but 'to buy' is 'megvesz' in Hungarian.
  22. francisgranada Senior Member

    Perhaps, the word you are looking for is "kapható" (literally "receivable"), i.e. available or what you can get/receive/buy etc... e.g. in a shop. If so, then:

    kapni - to get, receive ... (not to buy)
    kaphatni - to be able to get, receive ....

    The stem "kap" is of Hungarian origin.
  23. Roel~ Member

    Nederlands - Nederland
    How come that a lot of wordsseem to be similar to German? Did the ancient German tribes have contact with Finno-Ugric ones in some way and in that way achieved to have some similar basic vocabulary? I think there are actually a lot of coincidences, which makes me wonder if instead of coincidence the German tribes herited these words from Finno-Ugric tribes in some way.
  24. francisgranada Senior Member

    No, no ... Kap and kaufen have totally different meanings, as well as Mund and mondani. Such "similarities" exist between whatever languages. E.g. who is in Hungarian ki, in Italian chi (prounced ki); boy is fiú (from Finno-Ugric *pi) and in Romanian son is fiu (from Lat. filius); to have is haben in German and habere in Latin (not cognates) etc ....

    Applying the same logic you could also say that the English verb to say comes from the Hungarian száj (pron. sa:j) which means mouth ... This is exactly the same as Mund and mond :)!
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  25. Statement New Member

    Turkish and Hungarian are part of the same root language group of the Ural Altai language group. Of which Hungarian relates to the Ural aspect by origin of region being the Ural Mountains. Turkish is of the latter part of the group Altaic form the original Altay Mountain region. Much of this similarity and Turkish influence of Magyar came from the conquest of the region by the Turkic Hun Atilla and of course later the Ottomans..so you can find some trace similarities all through the Slavic world and even Scandinavian regions all from Turkic conquests. These are seen from Finland to Poland to Hungary. Although there are quite a bit of similarities in world, grammar the phonetic sounds are also similar.

    Tesekkur is a frequently presented example..Tesekkur (Tesh'ek'koor) is Turkic by root with slight Arabic via Islamic influence. This word is only used by Turks and Afghans for thank you, no one else in the Middle East uses this word. The Arabic word for thank you is Shukran or Shook'ron. So you see some of slight influece.

    Tessek in Hugarian is Please, help yourself...sure they are not exact translation equivalents but you dont to be genius to see the rooted practical similarities.
  26. Statement New Member

    ubj: Turkish-Hungarian vocabulary comparison
    Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1993 21:08:25 -0800
    Sender: Turkish Cultural Program List
    From: Al Trh
    To: Suleyman Sadi SEFEROGLU

    The following is a list of basic Turkish words (mainly
    verbs) and similar languages in the Hungarian language.

    I compiled the list with assistance from the followers
    of soc.culture.magyar.


    Here is the summary

    Istanbul American Hungarian
    Turkish English
    ------- ---------- -----------
    ach open .........
    ak flow .........
    al take, buy .........
    an remember, cite .........
    as hang .........
    at throw .........
    az become furious, mad .........
    bak look .........
    bas step, press .........
    bay make sbdy. pass out ba'j charm, cause faint
    bich cut (grass, cloth) .........
    bIch cut (wood, etc) .........
    bil know bir have the power
    bin mount, ride .........
    bit grow (for plants) .........
    bit end .........
    boz spoil, break down .........
    bo"l divide .........
    bur wring,twist(helically).........
    bu"k bend, twist .........
    cay give up .........
    chak strike together, nail .........
    chal play (an instrument) .........
    chal steal csal cheat
    charp slap, hit, run into csap slap, hit, strike
    chat fit together; build csat buckle
    chek pull .........
    chel trip (verb) .........
    chim bathe .........
    cho"k squat; collapse .........
    cho"z untie .........
    de say .........
    del bore (a hole) .........
    der collect .........
    desh open up(a hole,wound) .........
    dik erect; plant .........
    dil slice .........
    din end .........
    diz put in order .........
    dogh be born (i.e. child) .........
    dogh rise (sun) .........
    dol get filled tel fill, full
    doy get full (stomach) .........
    do"gh beat .........
    do"k pour .........
    dur stop .........
    duy hear .........
    du"r fold tu"r fold
    ek plant (plants) .........
    em suck emlo" tit, nipple
  27. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    The Ural-Altaic family is a hypothesis, not an established fact.

    This (if true) would weaken your argument that they are of the same family. By the way, it is doubtful whether the Huns were Turks.

    Arabic tashakkur is infinitive stem V of the stem sh-k-r (elementary Arabic grammar). shukran is from the same stem.
  28. ancalimon Senior Member

    I don't think there is much reason to not accept that they were Turks. Few of the surviving words were found in Chinese and analyzed by Talat Tekin and those are of Turkic origin. Also their political structure was distinctively Turkic.

    The code name Attila is thought be İtilli (Turkish for "the one who is from Itil" ; the same as Itillian (as in Bulgarian or Hungarian). They are accepted as Ogur Turks (as opposed to their kindred Oghuz Turks). Magyars being known as Hungarians by many others is another hint since many think that "Hungar" is actually the word "On Ogur" itself. (Uyghur < Oy Ogur, Bulgar < Pol Ogur)

    Hun in my opinion is the Proto-Turkic word ON (probably semantically related with the word "Khan") meaning "person of order" ~ "noble person" (as opposed to savage or barbarian).

    ON also means white skinned, Western, lucky in Proto-Turkic.

    When someone died an honorable death fighting, it was thought that this person grew in strength and value and reached a superior rank to become an OQ (arrow, fighter ~ think of it like the soul traveling like a bird (OQUÇ (arrow + fly,three,furthest) > kuş : bird) to Upper World like an arrow). That's probably how the word "UĞUR" meaning "LUCK" was formed. Also the words OGUR ~ OGHUZ (lucky ones) which over time started to mean "collection of tribes of fighters". I guess arrow and luck were logically associated with each other.

    PS: Although I don't have any concrete evidence, I think http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augur might be related with "OQ, OGUR, OGHUZ" through PIE since Proto-Turkic *okɨ- (Turkish OKU) also means to read, recite, interpret. As a side note arrows (OQ) were used to tell the fortune by both Huns and many other Turks to determine which enemy to attack, which direction to go.. (I simply made the connection because augury is also related with birds and interpreting. The surprising thing is that I guess by coincidence, augur means "the one who recites, who talks, who interprets in Turkic languages). Of course this is my opinion since this this word is listed as having unknown orig
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  29. Statement New Member

    Thank you, very good feedback! I too do not understand a the urge to not accept the Turkic origin but such movements seems exist!?? Like the widely accepted Ural Altaic language group followed and adhered to for many years now trying to be dismantled anddismissed as a hypothesis? Thank you again.
  30. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    Ancalimon, since you mentioned Wikipedia, please see the article on Hunnic language. Its linguistic classification is uncertain considering there are only three known words from the language!
  31. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    I take the last not to be a spelling mistake. You effectively said Huns weren't Turks. This doesn't seem to be what you were trying to say.

    I agree with you that we do not have much reason to reject the idea that Huns were Turks.
    On the other hand, we do not have much reason to accept the idea that Huns were Turks either.

    We simply do not know enough about the the Hunnic language to be able to classify the language. Since the Huns were in all likelihood a multi-ethnic federation, traces of Turkic culture doesn't means their court/standard/imperial language was Turkic too. We simply can't tell.

    And even, if we find two or three clearly Turkic words among the handful of attested word we would still not know if those were native or loan word. Imagine 1500 years from now, all what is left of modern Turkish is a handful of words spelled in Latin script and among them the words otokar and gişe. People arguing like you do it here in the year 3500 would then probably claim that Turkish was a French dialect.

    But the topic of this thread is Hungarian (=Magyar) and not Hunnic. How and if at all Magyar is related to Hunnic is a totally open question.
  32. er1973 New Member

    Magyars are another Turanic people from Central Asia.

    But actually majority of Turanic people was not Mongolian or Chinese oriented.

    5000-6000 years ago Tarım Basin now at west China where Uygurs settled was a trade center and many migrators went there from Anatolia, Caucasia, so mixed there with natives. These people first emerged as Huns and than Turk. These were the people of SİLK ROAD.

    Genetically from Anatolia to West China (Sycian-Uyghur) people have most commonly J2, R1b, R1a and G markers. ( Now and at known history, because no migration from west to Central Asia at last 1500-2000 years) C or K markers from Asia is so minority. These people commonly called as Turk or Turkic.

    Because of starvation, or Mongols or China, sometimes these people migrated to west. Magyars are one of these tribes.

    At 10 Century Arabian Historian El Bahri called Magyars as Turks. And meanwhile Byzantians call Magyars as Turks too. At 11. Century King 1. Geza called as, "Geza Brave King of Turkish Country" ‘ΓΕΩΒΙΤZΑC ΠΙΣΤΟC ΚΡΑΛΗC ΤΟΥΡΚΙΑC’ (Geōvitzas pistós králēs Tourkías) at his Byzantium made portrait.

    Historical origin is the first connection between Magyars and Turks .

    Second connetion is Kuman Turks, migrated to Hungary at middle ages.

    Third connection is Ottomans.

    Of course these affected on language.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
  33. er1973 New Member


    "Kap" means, seize in Turkish. But it also means cup. It's written in a Turkish dictionary from 1070. But the word is orianted from Persian Language and also written in Tevrat.
  34. francisgranada Senior Member

    Even more, if we add the noun úr (=lord/sir, señor, Herr ... in Hungarian) to tessék, we obtain an almost perfect correspondance/equivalence: teşekkür ~ tessékúr :).
    So as far as I understand, the Turkish teşekkür and the Hungarian tessék not only have different meanings (see fdb's post #2), but they have not a single consonant in common at the level of the respective etymological stems (see my post #6), i.e. tet- <> sh-k-r. Are these words really similar from the linguistic point of view? ...

    P.S. The word tessékúr does not exist in Hungarian, it's my ad hoc invention for illustration purposes ...
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
  35. er1973 New Member

    Here are some similar words in Turkish and Hungarian

    Turkish-Hungarian English
    çok->sok many/much
    ata->atya predecessor
    ana->anya mother
    ben->en I
    benim->enyem mine
    o->o she/he/it
    kim->ki who
    kimin->kié whose
    de(ama,fakat)->de but
    kapı->kapu door
    sevgi->semmi love
    sarı->sarga yellow
    omuz->tamasz sholder
    yer->ter place
    uzun->hosszu long
    kısa->kurta short
    pis->piszkos dirty
    kaplumbağa->teknosbeka (tekno = tekne yani kabuk) turtle
    boğa->bika bull
    öküz->ökör ox
    tavuk->tyuk chicken
    keçi->kecke goat
    arslan->oroszlan lion
    kuçu(köpek)->kuçu dog
    koç->kos sheep
    köpek->kopó dog
    sakal->szakal beard
    küçük->kicsi little
    alma(elma)->alma apple
    batur(cesur)->bator courageus
    ikiz->iker twin
    kapak->kupak tap
    süz->szür refine
    çadır->sator tent
    kök->gyök root
    bol->bo plentiful
    yel->szel wind
    kırbaç->korbacs whip
    tekerlek->kerek (Macarca ve Mogolcada “teker” dönmek anlamına geliyor) wheel-teker Turkish ------- teker hungarian means steer
    biş(çiş)->bis piss
    baykus->bagoly owl
    beter->beter (Macarcadaki anlamı “kötü”)öl->öl (macarca’da öldür anlamına geliyor) bad stuation
    çal->csal (hile) cheat
    çarp->csap ram-hit
    dür->tür ---- roll
    eşmek->es dig
    sayı->szam number
    sek->szök dry
    yas->gyasz mourning
    yoğur->gyur mix and ram
    sür->suruség (firça) spread
    süpür->söpör brush
    süpürge->seprü broom
    çevir->csavar roll
    dalga->dagály wave
    halk->hala people
    saç->szor hair
    cici->cici(meme) breast
    kız+mak->kis+ál feel angry
    kalpak->kalpag calpac
    damga->támga label-sign
    tanıt->tanít (öğretmek) introduce
    tanık->tanú witness
    tarak->taraj hair brush
    tuğrul->turul goshawk
    tümen->tömény division
    pamuk->pamut cotton
    yemiş->gyümölcs nut
    yüksük->gyüszü thimble
    cep->szeb pocket
    var->van to be
    biç->becs cut
    erdem->erdem virtue
    er->úr male
    yurt->jurta tent-country
    kılıç->kard sword
  36. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Some words seem to be obvious loans like tömény, jurta, korbacs, oroszlan (while "jurta" being most probably loaned directly from Mongol or Tatar, not throughTurkish). Some are discutable, and some are almost certainly only accidental similarity. There are also pairs tham almost certainly have nothing to do whith each other (like yemiş->gyümölcs, where gyümölcs means fruit in Hungarian, not nut, or hal that means fish, not people).
  37. er1973 New Member

    To discuss that you have to be educated about Turkish and Origins of Turks.
  38. er1973 New Member

    "There are also pairs tham almost certainly have nothing to do whith each other (like yemiş->gyümölcs, where gyümölcs means fruit in Hungarian, not nut"

    This makes more strong connection. Yemiş also means fruit, especially fig in Turkish.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  39. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    To discuss a common etymology you should give an explanation of how the words originated from a common ancestor. The first you do is to find out what earlier words and word stems they came from, and how they came to sound today as they do. A phonetical similarity alone proves nothing, and by the way, the phonetical similarity itself is dubious in many of your pairs (you would have to explain how the consonants and vowels changed to be what they are now). A very good example is the pair "'tessek' and 'tessekür", very well explained in earlier posts.

    By the way, you don't have to have a PhD in old Turkic to discuss etymology. It is enough if you have access to both Turkish and Hungarian etymological dictionaries.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  40. er1973 New Member

    Dear Ben Jamin,

    The issue is more complex than you expect.

    For Example, the word tümen/tömeny comes from Mao-Tun-Mete-Metehan-Metin, he organized his army by 10 system and tümen means 10.000 soldier unit.
    Mao-tun was leader of Asian Huns. For Turks, Turkic Countries and some Turkologists , he is Oghuz Han, epic leader of Turks.
  41. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    I have corrected the above list.
  42. bardistador Member

    English - UK
    Beter comes from Persian بدتر (bad+tar) bad+der = badder = worse.

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