Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Civilities

This article gives you the phrases for a few basic civilities and, in the notes, a chance to see how Turkic, Persian and Arabic interact

English / Turkish / Uzbek / Uighur

Hello / Merhaba / Assalomu alaykum / æssalamu ælæykum
Goodbye / Iyi günler / Hair / Her xosh

How are you? / Nasılsınız? / Qandaysiz? / Qandaq ahvalingiz?
(I’m) fine / Iyiyim / Yaxshi / Yakhshi

Please / Lütfen / Marhamat / Mærhæmat
Thank you / Teşekkürler / Rahmat / Ræhmæt

What follows is a look at what makes up these vocabulary items, with an emphasis on the interplay between Turkic and Persian and the presence of Arabic loanwords

Ar=Arabic ; fr.=from ; Pers.=Persian ; T=Turkish ; Uz=Uzbek ; Ui=Uighur

T merhaba fr. Ar. “Welcome” (merhaba)
Uz/Ui “Good Day” fr. Ar. “Peace be with you.” (as-salaamu aleykum)

T iyi means “good” ; gün means “day” ; iyi günler = “good days”
Uz/Ui hair/her like T “blessing” (hayır)
Ui khosh like T “happiness” (hoş), taken into Pers. as khosh

T nasıl / Uz qanday / Ui qandaq = “how”
T siniz / Uz siz = “you”
T nasılsınız / Uz qandaysiz literally mean “how are you”
Ui ahval, like T ahval = “circumstances” ; ingiz = “your”
Ui qandaq ahvalingiz = “how are your circumstances”
T iyi / Uz yaxshi / Ui yakhshi = “good” ; the “yim” means “I am”

T lütfen fr. lütüf (“favor”) ; Persian and Dari, among others, have adopted the word
T teşekkürler probably fr. Ar. shokran (“thanks”) ; also adopted by Persian (with French derived merci)
Uz/Ui “Please” fr. Ar. rahmat (“compassion”) from root word meaning “mercy”
Uz/Ui “Thank you” fr. Ar. marhamat (“act of compassion”) ; same root as rahmat, namely r-h-m sequence as in rahman – merciful (reference to God and common Arabic last name)