Talk:Ottoman Turkish language

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Is it just me or Dative is missing in Cases section? Vassili Nikolaev (talk) 01:18, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

In real Ottoman Turkish gef was generally not differentiated, you just used a kef. Towards the 1920s they would try to use gef, but even in newpapers they would usually just use a kef.

User:Node ue said, "what on earth are you talking about? of course they exist in unicode."

User:The Phoenix said, "no, gef is not identical to arabic gaf" and added "Should look somewhat like a mix of ﻙ and گ" to the article.

I'm with Node ue, as far as I've known and can see, even on the Omniglot page, "گ" is the letter after "ﻙ" (It's not even Arabic, of course, it's Persian). I think The Phoenix needs to back up his claim that there is a different letter missing from Unicode. Pictures of differing letters used in the same text would suffice. A link to a thread on a mailing list, a blog, or the Unicode site discussing the differences or discussing the need for an extra Unicode character, would also suffice.

If it turns out that there is a similar looking letter to represent a similar sound, but has slightly different appearence in the contexts of the various languages, this wouldn't count as a different letter - normally such matters are relegated to font issues. — Hippietrail 10:13, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I think Node_ue is right, and the mini-kaf inside the traditional Ottoman and Farsi print style of gaf is a stylistic variant rather than making it a different letter. If it comes to that, you can also write kaf itself both ways. - Mustafaa 11:22, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Ok, I give up! It's the stylistic variant that doesn't exist in Unicode (at least not that I'm aware of). I suppose using the non-stylistic one is better, especially since it is Unicode. I'm sorry for this! (And of course it is Persian, that was only a careless mistake.) — The Phoenix 21:10, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for understanding. I've ammended the footnote text. Unicode does not attempt to cover stylistic variants. It merely creates a standard for what letters exist. A Persian or Urdu font using this letter would have a "normal" version of gaf that looks like گ, an Ottoman font would have a version with the "mini-kaf". A "smart" font could have both versions and decide, based on a language tag, which one to display.
So far I can't find a way to get the footnote number display to the right side of gef. I've always had trouble with this aspect of bidirectional HTML. — Hippietrail 22:32, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hi, I just thought I'd add what I know, in real Ottoman Turkish gef was generally not differentiated, you just used a kef. Towards the 1920s they would try to use gef, but even in newpapers they would usually just use a kef.

Osmalıca ve modern Türkçe arasındaki farkları gösteren örnek son derece kullanışsız. Osmanlıca olarak gösterilen kelimeler modern Türkçe konuşan cogu insan tarafından kullanılmaktadır. Lütfen örnekleri değiştirirmisiniz.

Gef is unecessary[edit]

Gef was never really used. And unlike in now a days in Persian and Urdu where gaf is considered a distinct letter gef wasn't (except perhaps at the very very end for a very brief period) considered a seperate letter. All proper lughats (dictionaries) of Ottaman treat "gef" and "sagir nun" as variants of kef that can be diffrentiated by adding an extra stroke and the three dots, but need not be, and really weren't that often. Unlike pey, chey, and zhey none of these letters were considered extra letters of the alphabet, they were just variations on kef. To accurately portray Ottoman in most contexts it would be wise to simply use a kef. Ahassan05 03:16, 3 February 2006 (UTC)ahassan05

Wikipedia in Ottoman Turkish[edit]

Would anyone be interested in working on a Wikipedia in this language? I'm interested in the Ottoman Empire, but I don't know the "Reformed" Turkish, much less Ottoman. I want to see a Wikipedia in the Turkish variant that has a rich history for centuries before Atatürk. There is however a fairly large list of users who know this language. (Category:User ota) I will contact them and ask them what they think.--Fox Mccloud 20:32, 24 August 2006 (UTC)


Hey guys,

it's a bit offtopic, but I hope you can help me. There is an urban legend in Hungary about the etymology of a word: Lófasz. That's pretty rude, it means horse's dick. The legend - which may be true - says that it comes from an old Turkish word, Lofat, which was a torturing device back in the 15th-16th century. It's a long stake or pole used for impalement. See picture here. As the picture shows there was such a device, but I have no sources if it was called lofat. Could you please tell me if that or a very similar word existed in the middle ages?

Thank you! Regards --Hu Totya 23:54, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi, I can say that the word most probably isn't Turkish. Linguistically, it doesn't seem to be derived from a Turkish root and doesn't make sense to me as a native Turkish speaker who can also understand a fair amount of the Ottoman language. This leaves the option that it might be borrowed and used by the Ottomans as a loanword from another language, and I suspect Romanian because this method of torture is -without exception- always remembered with the name of Vlad III the Impaler in Turkish medieval history books. You can try contacting User:Saposcat, who has a professional interest in the Ottoman language, or User:OttomanReference, who is knowledgeable in Ottoman history and seems to have access to good literature. Örvendek! Atilim Gunes Baydin 00:45, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, I'll write to them. - Hu Totya 10:28, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the earlier reply that lofat is not a word of Turkic origins, although it may well have been used in Ottoman Turkish. As an extreme generalisation, words beginning with the letter l in Turkish are usually of Arabic origin (and this word having three consonants l, f, t makes it look very Arabic). That being said, no similar Arabic word appears in my Ottoman dictionary. A possible connection might be the word Lofça, which is the name of the Polish city Łowicz but also means "very large nail"! In German, it is known as Lowitsch, which would be pronounced rather similar to the Hungarian I believe. Good luck! Xemxi 12:21, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Wow, thank you, that's great! I guess you meant the Bulgarian town Lovech, it's name is tr:Lofça in Turkish. As it means "very large nail" it really looks like a connection. Thank you! - Hu Totya 15:00, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
My dictionary gives exactly "Łowicz (in Poland)" for Lofça. Perhaps Lovech and Łowicz share the name Lofça in Turkish. Either way, you are welcome! Xemxi 18:08, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

A mistake[edit]

Hi. With my limited knowledge of Ottoman Turkish, I think under the history section>language reform, this line: "problem مشکل müşkül sorun" seems to be wrong. First of all, isn't müşkül the adjective form for müşkülât (problem)? I think another word has to be chosen because there is not a clear translation of müşkül into modern Turkish, if the adjective form should be used. However, if we just change müşkül to "müşkülât", and the arabic text too, then the problem will be solved. Again, I may be wrong because I have limited knowledge on Ottoman Turkish. Maestro 09:57, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

By the way, do you also think that müşkülat is more of a "hardship" rather than a "problem"? Not "sorun", but "güçlük", "zorluk", or another word. Maestro 10:00, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Müşkül was used as both an adjective and a noun in Ottoman Turkish; müşkülât, on the other hand, while exclusively a noun, is also exclusively a plural noun.
You're right on the fact that "hardship" (and thus güçlük or zorluk, the best two choices) is better as an equivalent of the word than simply "problem". Cheers. —Saposcat 11:45, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

the title[edit]

many argue that the title ottoman language is quite wrong since historically no language has been addressed by a dynasty. famous Turkish historian ilber ortaylı proposes the name "historical Turkish"

by the way treating it as a different language then modern turkish is another mistake. language is determined by grammar not vocabulary or alphabet. and grammatically it is Turkish and that s it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:16, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

The possible alternative title "The variant of the Turkish language that was in use as the administrative and literary language register during the Ottoman Empire" may be more correct, but has the disadvantage that, as an article title, it is a bit on the long side. The Wikipedia naming conventions policy, in particular Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names), requires that we use the most common name, which the preceding is not. Actually, just "Ottoman Turkish" is perhaps more common, but also ambiguous. However, just interpret "Ottoman Turkish language" as "the Ottoman variant of the Turkish language", and all is well.  --Lambiam 22:12, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
I have to disagree with the first poster on whether or not modern Turkish is a different language. Ottoman Turkish and Modern Turkish, while similar, are in fact grammatically quite different. If we were to accept the two as being the same, then Azeri (which is much closer to modern-day Turkish - in fact, they're mutually intelligible, unlike Ottoman Turkish which is the equivalent of reading the Canterbury Tales) would also have to be classed as the same language. "Historical Turkish" is just semantic play - of course the Ottoman dialect was a historical predecessor. But do bear in mind that non-Ottoman dialects of Turkish existed at the time which might also fall under the category of "Historical." (talk) 20:13, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Self-contradictory sentence[edit]

I don't know enough about the subject to be of help, but this sentence seems contradictory to me, "Historically speaking, Ottoman Turkish is not the predecessor of modern Turkish, but rather the standard Turkish of today is essentially Yeni Osmanlı Türkçesi as written in the Latin alphabet and with an abundance of neologisms added." The second part of the sentence suggests to me that Ottoman Turkish is indeed the predecessor of modern Turkish. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:40, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Persianate? No.[edit]

The article makes it seem like all Arabic borrowings to Ottoman were through Persian language. This is not true, especially not for the later centuries. Ottoman contained more Arabic words than Persian. An important information that is missing in the article is both Arabic and Persian words were often used in ways neither Arabs nor Persians used both in meaning, pronounciation and by way of neologisms. (talk) 18:45, 22 November 2008 (UTC)


The Info Box lists this language as Extinct. I fully admit that I am not an expert in this matter, and for that reason will not edit the article, but reading this confused me and therefore I am asking those that know more, is this correct. Is Ottoman Turkish Extinct or is it a Dead Language. The Wikipedia article on extinct language contains these quotes:

An extinct language is a language which no longer has any speakers. Extinct languages may be contrasted with dead languages: no longer spoken as a main language. ....Alternatively, a language is said to be extinct if, although it is known to have been spoken by people in the past, modern scholarship cannot reconstruct it to the point that it is possible to write in it or translate into it with confidence (say, a simple dialogue or a short tale written in a modern language); whereas a language is referred to as dead, but not extinct, if it is sufficiently known at present to permit such routine use, even though it has no modern speakers.

Accoring to the article, Ottoman Turkish continues to be taught not only inside Turkey but in other areas as well. Therefore, it seems to me that it is a Dead Language but not an extinct language. However, as I said above, this is not my field so I will gladly defer to those who know more. Franklin Moore 15:04, 7 April 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alexnovo (talkcontribs)

Section on educational opportunities?[edit]

What's the point of a section about educational opportunities in Ottoman if all it says is, "There are too many opportunities for education in Ottoman to list here"? That's not terribly useful, is it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:34, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Minor typo in Ref. 3[edit]

"Symthe" should be "Smythe". Nikevich (talk) 09:20, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

proper shape of gef = note1[edit]

I guess (!) that "A correct Ottoman variant of gef will have the "mini-kaf" of ﻙ and the doubled upper stroke of گ. This feature is surely rare in current fonts." is wrong, because gef does not occur in final position in Ottoman words.

Please, confirm my guess -- and remove the note -- or tell me that I'm wrong. --Xdr56tfc (talk) 19:30, 5 March 2010 (UTC)


Cf. WP:COMMONNAME: GoogleBooks Ngram Viewer comparison Takabeg (talk) 08:58, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No consensus to move - It is not clear what the most common name is in this case and no one other than the nominator has supported the move. Neelix (talk) 15:43, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Ottoman Turkish languageOttoman language – per WP:COMMONNAME & WP:USEENGLISH

Which one is more "common" from 1800 to 2011 ? :

In this situation, it's not clear which name is more "common".

But now, shall we research which one is more "common" from 1923 to 2011.

We understand Ottoman Turkish language is "démodé" and Ottoman language is more "common" today.

Furthermore, even in modern Turkish language, Osmanlıca (Ottoman language, Lisan-i Osmani) is more "common" than Osmanlı Türkçesi (Ottoman Turkish language).

Takabeg (talk) 00:52, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Alternative This would appear to be a confusion between usage in Turkish and usage in English. The most common term is Ottoman Turkish; the only reason we use language in such titles is disambiguation, which is not a problem here. (The people in this case are the Ottoman Turks; the ambiguity arises in such cases as French, which can mean either the people or the language.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:19, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your interest in this topic. But unfortunately, you search includes also Ottoman Turkish State, Ottoman Turkish Empire, Ottoman Turkish Art, Ottoman Turkish Army, Ottoman Turkish policy, Ottoman Turkish rule, Ottoman Turkish carpets, Ottoman Turkish bows, Ottoman Turkish works, Ottoman Turkish civilisation, Ottoman Turkish bureaucracy etc... Takabeg (talk) 20:27, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
All searches include false positives. Requiring language as part of the search results has reduced these, as looking at the first few pages will show, to much less than the overwhelming preponderance of the search results. If you can show me a work of general reference, in English, which consistently refers to "Ottoman language", I would be more persuaded. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:17, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Wrong spelling of Osmanlıca[edit]

Osmanlıca was spelled عثمانلوجه not عثمانلیجه as I have seen in J.W. Redhouses Grammar of the Ottoman language, so I changed it. Iı was often spelled with Waw eg. in the -malı/-meli suffix and the word "altın". Einstein92 (talk) 23:56, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Wrong Name[edit]

The name of the language is not "Ottoman Turkish language". Ottomans named their language as "Lisân-ı Osmânî" which literaly means "Ottoman language". In Turkish, it is "Osmanlıca".

Calling Ottoman language as "Ottoman Turkish" is a new movement.

There are two eccentric points with this usage:

1- Ottoman language is considered as a brach of Turkish only by some religious leaders, politicians, and their linguist supporters who are called "Ottomanist" ("Osmanlıcı" in Turkish). Considering Ottoman language as a "branch" of Turkish language is a "highly politically charged" position. This designation has roots in -or at least associated with- Islamism, Pan-Arabism, and Anti-Turkism.

It is generally used to justify that Turkish people didn't originate and come from Cantral and Eastern Asia, rather, they are descendants of Arabs as offsprings of Japheth. It is a pejorative usage to indicate that "first Turk" was the sibling of Gog and Magog. It is a way of saying "Turks are barbarian offsprings of Semitic people". Ottomans themselves used "Turk" as a cussword.

2- Even if one considers Ottoman as a branch or variation of Turkish lanuage, It can not be named as "Ottoman Turkish language". This is like "Tudor English language", "Windsor English language", or "Habsburg German language". Obviously, links are in red.

It should also be noted that, other linguists who are not Ottomanists, describe it as a "Persian Arabic with some Turkish influence". It is seen as a form of Arabic. Because no Turk can understand Ottoman language but only Arabs can. Another school describes it as a Creole language.

Thus, the article should be named as "Ottoman language".-- (talk) 02:35, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Ottoman Turkish grammars and dictionaries[edit]

A Turkish and English Lexicon: Shewing in English the Significations of the Turkish Terms, Volume 1

An English and Turkish Dictionary, in Two Parts, English and Turkish, and Turkish and English In which the Turkish Words are Represented in the Oriental Character as Well as Their Correct Pronunciation and Accentuation Shewn in English Letters on the Plan... By J.W. Redhouse: Part 2. Turkish and English, Volume 2

Redhouse's Turkish Dictionary: In Two Parts, English and Turkish, and Turkish and English

Türkische Grammatik

Hizâ Kitâb sarf turki By Artin Hindoglu

Vocabulaire Turk-Français des principaux termes de géographie et des mots qui entrent le plus fréquemment dans la composition des noms de lieu: Présenté a la section de géographie de l'Association française pour l'avancement des sciences au Congrès de Rouen, le 20 aout 1883 By Théodore Parmentier

Gramatik der osmanisch-türkischen Sprache (1917)

Einführung in die türkische Sprache und Schrift (1916)

Wegweiser zum Verständnis der türkischen Sprache: Eine Deutsch-türkische ... (1853)

File:Ottoman Turkish Version of “Sindbād-nāmah” WDL9212.pdf

Šejx Sulejman Efendi's čagataj-osmanisches wörterbuch: Verkürzte und mit deutscher übersetzung ... (1902)

Alt-osmanische Sprachstudien. Mit einem azerbaizanischen Texte als Appendix (1901)

20:46, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Scripts: Armenian[edit]

Hello, The scripts need to be Arabic and Persian. Ottoman culture was heavily influenced by Persian culture, and the written form of Ottoman Turkish used Arabic letters in the Persian style of calligraphy. Where does Armenian come from? Looks like a mistake. -Yozer1 (talk) 06:52, 11 March 2015 (UTC)


There are courses of Ottoman nowadays. What is the intended purpose? Are they for students of philology and history? Nostalgics of the empire? Are they useful for law practice, supposing some Ottoman laws are in vigor? Do the places that keep some Ottoman legislation (Civil law in Israel comes to mind) require the services of Ottoman language experts? --Error (talk) 17:41, 4 March 2017 (UTC)