Uyghur/Uzbek/Turkish: mutual comprehensibility

Discussion in 'Other Languages' started by SofiaB, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. SofiaB Senior Member

    English Asia
    I know people from many turkic countries. Most say they can understand each other (at least 90%).These three use Arabic,Cyrilic and Latin alphabets respectively. The Uyghur say that they are in the original Turk homeland. Some say they all speak the same language but with regional differences others say they are not the same language but similar languages.What do you think? examples:
    Bir kün yahxikurmeydighan bir hoxnisi Nasirdin Hojaning ixigini urup, exigini bir künlik ötnige berixini soraptu.
    Bir küni,yahxi körmeydigen bir hoxnasi,nasirdin hojanin ixigini kakip, exegini birkünlik arindige(otnige) berixini sorapti.
    Bir gun sevmedigi bir komsusu Nasreddin Hoca'nin kapisini caldi; bir gunlugune esegini kendisine vermesini rica etti. Hoca:
  2. Hello Sofia, I have been wanting to respond to your post, but I was hoping someone more knowledgeable than I would do it first. But nobody did, so...

    This is the beginning of a Hoca joke, in English it reads: "One day, an unwelcome neighbor whom Hoca did not like, knocked on the door and asked if he could borrow his donkey for a day..."

    The similarities between the three texts are obvious, although the Turkish "g" in words like "gün" is a "k" in the other two languages. In the first two you see the word "yahxsi", which I presume is "neighbor." In Turkish it is "komsu". But in Turkish the word "yakin" means "close, near". So a Turkish person would probaby understand "Bir yahxsi".

    There is no X in Turkish as in the first two. So I guess the word "Hoxnasi" is related to the "Ho?" which is "welcome". Here again, similar, and I think it would be understood.

    What I wonder though, and I cannot answer this question myself, is if it would have been possible to write the sentences differently to highlight their likeness.

    For example, by finding a different Turkish elocution for neighbor, or finding a way work with or around the root word "kurmek/körmek" ("görmek" in Turkish) which probably corresponds to "görmek" in Turkish., in the Turkish translation. The same goes for the above "hoxni"/"ho?" thing...

    Also, there is something interesting in the sentence structure that I think could also be changed to highlight the similarities.

    In the Uyghurqe and Uzbek versions, there is no semicolon after the "knocks on the door". Rather you see verbs that end with a -up/ip morpheme (ixigini urup/ixigini kakip), while in Turksih it is "kapisini caldi".

    I know that in Turkish, when you use this -up/ip morpheme, it is like saying "and then", as in "the neighbor knocked on the door, and then...". So I assume from this that the Uyghurque and Uzbek are using this same verb form, whereas in the Turkish, the author did not choose to use this phrasing, and put a semi-colon instead. Hope that makes sense.

    Anyway, I think that the three are very much alike, and also believe that the translations could be re-written to reinforce that (or even re-written to reinforce their differences...)

    I would love to hear from someone else on the subject though, as I am making assumptions based on a very weak knowledge of just one of those three languages...
  3. SofiaB Senior Member

    English Asia
    Çok tesekkur ederim. Good replies.
  4. MarcB Senior Member

    US English
  5. Yes, I read that one, too. Doesn't look like there are a lot of people on this forum that speak these Altaic languages. That's probably because they are hanging around on other forums such as, which would be a great place to post this question and receive lots of interesting replies!

  6. Honour Senior Member

    Türkçe, Türkiye
    Hello Sofia, We can mutually understand what we say with Azerbaijani people. As seen in your examples, uygur and özbek are also similar but i could say that i cannot understand the context without the turkish sentence up there.
    The other point to mention is there is not a consensus over the subject if Azerbaijani is a branch of Turkish or a language. We some times call it "Azeri Türkçesi" (Azerbaijani Turkish) and sometimes "Azerice" (Azerbaijani)
    The Uyghurqe, Uzbekqe and Azerbaijani are heavily affected from russian language and on the other hand Turkish is heavily affected from Arabic, Persian and French. For example "republic" means "cumhuriyet" in turkish which comes from the , if i am not mistaken, Arabic word "cumhur" meaning (people). In azerbaijani republic means, "respublika" which is obviously derived from republic.
    :) In bottom line, the situation is very similar to the portuguese-spanish similarity.
  7. SofiaB Senior Member

    English Asia
    Hello all. Thanks for your input. It seems from the post that the eastern Turks can understand each other and western Turks better than west to east this is what people I know also say. So it appears that the many Turkic variants are the same language to some and related separate to others. Outside of this forum I am told that it is same or different due to social, political and national pride reasons as well as facility to be understood.
    By the way my friends from Eastern Turkistan (do not use Xinjiang the Chinese name) say that they use as much if not more Persian and Arabic than the others and they are the last remaining Turks to use the Arabic/Persian alphabet.
    They are persecuted by China and ethnic Chinese are being moved into their territory like the Stalin/Saddam repatriation policies.
  8. avok

    avok Banned

    Hey, this is an old thread but I need to intervene.

  9. AbdulAhad

    AbdulAhad New Member

    I am sorry, but the "uzbekqe" is completely incomprehensible here. It should be like this:

    Bir kuni hushlamaydigan bir qo'shnisi Nasriddin Ho'janing eshigini taqillatib, eshagini unga bir kunga berib turishini iltimos qilibdi.

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