Turkish class

On Thursday, my roommate and I went to the second Turkish language class of the semester. These non-credit classes are offered once a week for anyone interested. I had never before considered studying Turkish, but languages are intriguing to me; after receiving an email informing all students about the classes, I decided to try them. So far, Turkish has been fascinating. The only languages I have studied before are French and a small amount of Spanish—two languages that are closely related in English in both their vocabulary and syntax. Turkish, by contrast, comes from an entirely different family of languages than English, French, or Spanish: the Turkic family. As a result, its syntax and vocabulary are vastly different than those of English or the Romance languages. For example, we learned how to give someone a compliment, such as by saying, “You’re intelligent.” Rather than having the same structure of noun + verb + predicate adjective as in English, the phrase in Turkish can be said in one word: zekisin, a modification of the adjective “intelligent.” “Zeki,” the word meaning intelligent, is given the suffix “sin,” which signifies the second person conjugation. If you wanted to say, “They are intelligent,” the suffix would change to “lar”; the phrase would be “zekilar.” This process of adding suffixes to words to create new meanings is called agglutination and is a key feature of Turkic syntax. I am fascinated to learn more about this language as the semester progresses.