Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 25th Oct 2012 14:52 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, one of its most prominent and most controversial features was the on-screen keyboard. In as world dominated by devices with physical keyboards, it was seen as a joke, something that could never work. We know better by now, of course, but while I still prefer the physical feel and clicks of a real keyboard, a recent new endeavour of mine has made me appreciate the on-screen keyboard in a whole new way.
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What about Turkish?
by earksiinni on Thu 25th Oct 2012 19:25 UTC
earksiinni
Member since:
2009-03-27

Since you expressed an interest in Japanese and are now learning Korean, why not take up a language in the same family (Altaic) that is much closer to your swamp* and easier to learn the orthography of: Turkish.

Like Korean, political/rational reform has determined Turkish's system of writing. The Arabic script was replaced with Latin characters in the 1920's at the behest of Ataturk, first president of Turkey/father of the country/hero figure, who decided that the difficulties of the Arabic script were hindering literacy. I don't think that Arabic script is inherently more difficult to learn than any other, but it was part of his push to make Turkey a European and "modern" country.

However, from an orthography nerd's perspective (who, me?), the switch to Latin script was legitimate because of how Ottoman Turkish in particular used the Arabic script. Unlike English, which is a hodgepodge in its vocabulary but fairly pure in its grammar, Ottoman Turkish is a combination of Turkish, Arabic, and Persian with Western influences in its vocabulary, grammar, and orthography. I should know, I've studied it, and it's a complete mess.

Moreover, the orthography continues to get simpler as vestiges of Arabic script are continually purged away. The "a" with a circumflex over it has traditionally corresponded to the "thin alif" sound, roughly corresponding to the long vowel "a". They've gotten rid of that now, the "they" being the Turk Dil Kurumu, which is something like your Taalunie. Except now with the Islamists in power they are trying to bring back Arabic features into the language, like rearranging the order of the alphabet from "ABCDEF..." to "ABJDHW...", etc.

Just my two cents ;-)

*Just across the border in Deutschland, that is ;-)

Edited 2012-10-25 19:31 UTC

Reply Score: 3