Monday, July 09, 2007

Örgü dili: Knitting in Turkish!

Örgü dili 'The language of knitting'

Here are some useful knitting related words and phrases in Turkish that I learned while in Turkey. I did not really use them, though, as I was always with a Turkish friend who I had ask all my questions for me.... But in case you're caught in a Turkish yarn shop on your own...

Notes on Turkish pronunciation: Some letters (and sounds, for that matter) in Turkish are not found in English. Some of the sounds are spelled with a different letter than they would be in English. Other than that, Turkish spelling is pretty consistent--words are pronounced the way they are spelled and vice versa. Here are letters/sounds that do not correspond to English:

C, c is always pronounced like English 'j'.
Ç, ç is always pronounced like English 'ch'.
Ğ, ğ is never pronounced--it lengthens a preceding vowel.
H, h is pronounced as in English, but it is always pronounced wherever it is written, even at the end of a word.
I, ı (non-dotted 'i') is not an English/German/French sound. It is an unrounded 'oo' sound.
İ, i (dotted 'i') is always pronounced like English 'ee'.
J, j is always pronounced like French 'j' or like the s in the English word 'pleasure'.
Ö, ö is always pronounced like German 'ö' or French 'eu'.
Ş, ş is always pronounced like English 'sh'.
Ü, ü is always pronounced like German 'ü' or French 'u'

Now, the words/phrases...

I. Nouns

örgü 'handcrafts, knitting' My understanding is that Turkish has one word for handcrafts in general.
örgü şişi 'knitting needles' This is the same şiş as in "shish kebab"!

Yumak 'yarn'
(saf) __ yumağı '(pure) __ yarn'
pamuk 'cotton' (I also heard people say koton.)
ipek 'silk'
akrilik 'acrylic'

(Saf yün yumağı) istiyorum. 'I would like (pure wool yarn).'
yumağı) istemiyorum. 'I do not want (acrylic yarn).'
(Saf yün yumağı) var mı? 'Do you have (pure wool yarn)?'
(Saf yün yumağı) nerede? 'Where is it/(the pure wool yarn)?'
(Saf yün) değil. 'It is not (pure wool).'

II. Adjectives

'color' + -lEr (plural) = renkler 'colors'

You can just add adjectives in front of nouns--there is no agreement like in German or French.

açık 'light'
koyu 'dark'

siyah 'black'
beyaz 'white'
kırmızı 'red'
mavi 'blue'
turuncu 'orange'
pembe 'pink'
yeşil 'green'
mor 'purple'
sarı 'yellow'
gri 'grey'
kahverengi 'brown' (literally 'the color of coffee')

güzel 'beautiful'
çok 'a lot (of), very'

bu 'this'
şu 'that (and point)'

(Mavi) değil. 'It is not (blue).'

III. Verbs

örmek 'to do handcrafts, to knit'

Turkish verbs are fairly complicated. There are a number of endings one can use to express various characteristics of an action. There is even an ending, for instance, to say that the speaker only heard that something happened but did not witness it firsthand! I will, however, only demonstrate a few basic endings, enough to get started. Something else that one has to contend with in Turkish endings is vowel harmony. I will explain this later.

For basic conjugation, there is usually one ending for the tense and/or aspect of the action (present, past, future and/or progressive, perfect, habitual, etc.) and one ending for the person (first person singular/plural, second person singular/plural, third person singular/plural).

Some basic tense/aspect endings are:

-Iyor- progressive, in other words 'to be (verb)ing'
-(y)EcEK- future, in other words 'will (verb)'
-DI- past, in other words '(verb)ed'

Note: the capital letters indicate that this sound changes depending on the context: A vowel changes depending on the last vowel of the verb stem (vowel harmony) and a consonant changes depending on the preceding sound. I will explain these a bit later. In the future ending, a y is added if this ending is added to a word ending in a vowel.

These tense/aspect endings generally go between the verb stem (ör-) and the personal endings.

ör-üyor- 'be knitting'
ör-ecek- 'will knit'
ör-dü- 'knitted'

To this, you add the personal endings.

-(y)Im 'I'
-sIn 'you (singular/informal)'
-(DIr) 'he/she/it'
-(y)Iz 'we'
-sInIz 'you (singular/formal, plural)'
-(DIr)lEr 'they'

The vowels between parentheses are added if you are adding the ending after a consonant. So, if we conjugate for the progressive, we get:

ör-üyor-um 'I am knitting'
ör-üyor-sun 'You (sg/informal) are knitting'
ör-üyor(-dur) 'He/she/it is knitting'
ör-üyor-uz 'We are knitting'
ör-üyor-sunuz 'You (sg/formal, plural) are knitting'
ör-üyor-(dur)lar 'They are knitting'

Usually, a k at the end of a word becomes ğ if an ending beginning with a vowel follows it.

ör-eceğ-im 'I will knit'
ör-ecek-sin 'You (sg/informal) will knit'
ör-ecek(-tir) 'He/she/it will knit'
ör-eceğ-iz 'We will knit'
ör-ecek-siniz 'You (sg/formal, plural) will knit'
ör-ecek-(tir)ler 'They will knit'

In the past tense, the endings are a bit reduced. Notice, though, that the ending for 'we' is not related to the one we already learned:

-m 'I'
-n 'you (sg/informal)'
-(nothing) 'he/she/it'
-k 'we'
-nIz 'you (sg/formal, plural)'
(-lEr) 'they'

So, when we apply this to the verb, we get:

'I knitted'
ör-dü-n 'You (sg/informal) knitted'
ör-dü- 'He/she/it knitted'
ör-dü-k 'We knitted'
ör-dü-nüz 'You (sg/formal, plural) knitted'
ör-dü(-ler) 'They knitted'

You can also combine the progressive and the future endings with the past tense marker. Then, you end up with:

ör-üyor-du-m 'I was knitting'

Notice how the past tense ending is no longer -dü- like in the simple past tense given above but has changed to -du-. This has to do with vowel harmony. In Turkish, the vowels of most endings change depending on the vowel preceding the ending. There are two types of vowel endings: E-endings and I-endings.

E-endings: This represents a two-way distinction.
If the last vowel before an E-ending is i, ü, e, or ö, then the vowel of the ending is e.
If the last vowel before an E-ending is
ı, u, a, or o, then the vowel of the ending is a.

The plural ending -lEr is an example of an E-ending. You have, for instance, renk-ler 'colors' versus yumak-lar 'yarns'.

I-endings: These are a little more complicated because they represent a four-way distinction. If the last vowel before an I-ending is i or e, the vowel of the ending is i.
If the last vowel before an I-ending is ü or ö, the vowel of the ending is ü.
If the last vowel before an I-ending is ı or a, the vowel of the ending is ı.
If the last vowel before an I-ending is u or o, the vowel of the ending is u.

The stem ör- has ö as its vowel, so an I-ending will become ü.

ör-dü-nüz 'You (sg/formal, plural) knitted'

If the -Iyor ending intervenes, however, the I-ending becomes u because the vowel before the ending is o.

ör-üyor-du-m 'I was knitting'

Another change that occurs in Turkish endings have to do with consonants. Generally, if an ending begins with a consonant that has voiced/voiceless counterparts, you use the voiceless counterpart if the final consonant before the ending is voiceless. Otherwise, you use the voiced counterpart. So, the d of the past tense -DI ending may change into a t if it follows a voiceless consonant, for instance, when you add this ending to the future ending:

ör-ecek-ti-n 'You (sg/informal) would knit'

Another useful ending for verbs is the negative ending, -mE. This is usually placed between the verb stem and all the other endings. Notice how vowel harmony is cumulative.

ör-me-di-m 'I did not knit'
k-sin 'You will not knit'

With the progressive, the vowel of the negative ending is dropped.

ör-m-iyor-uz 'We are not knitting'

As you can see, Turkish endings are quite complicated, but there is a logic and a system behind it all. For more information on Turkish, you can consult any number of Turkish grammars.

Hope this is helpful! ^^


Blogger crafty chica said...

oh i loved your turkish lesson :)

one thing though,

ör-eceğ-in >> öreceksin
ör-eceğ-iniz >> öreceksiniz
ör-üyor-un >> örüyorsun
ör-üyor-unuz >> örüyorsunuz

Monday, July 09, 2007 6:33:00 PM  
Blogger gearncniht said...

thanks for the correction! that'll teach me to try to write it all from the top of my head!

Monday, July 09, 2007 10:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Nynke said...

Handig overzichtje! :-)

Monday, July 16, 2007 4:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, thx for the lesson! my Turkish is pretty rusty, it has been ages since I last spoke some. I've never been fluent anyways, but learned enough words and grammar to be able to make short sentences. words and expressions will probably be stuck in my head forever. my sarı saçlar for example :)

I remember going out to buy yün with my host family. 100% acrylic, of course, it was the eighties after all.

I might memorize some words and use them when I do what I've been planning to for ages: pick up a sock project and try and talk to the elderly Turkish lady that lives down the street. I sometimes see her sit outside and knit.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gülperi said...

super turkish lesson, tesekkür ederim ;)

Sunday, September 07, 2008 9:33:00 PM  

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