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Translation Works For Advanced Learners

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This topic, as the title says, may be an interesting attempt for our members who want to go further by translating Turkish texts into English. Let's begin with proverbs, any other idea is welcomed.'Atı alan Üsküdar'ı geçti'(Üsküdar is a town of İstanbul.)

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Did you really know it Cukur or were you just saying that? I'm hopeless at these Saffron. Haven't you got any easy everyday sayings that I might hear in conversation?

Well done Vic and if you think about the way trees are grown here, everyone makes a dip or hollow to hold water around the base of the trunk, then it makes sense and I'm a bit thick for not having se

Great job Vic, you're on a roll, so rush out quick & get that lottery ticket before it rubs off !

That one took some thinking about.

Atı = the horseAlan = a space, area or town square. Also the thing bought or taken.

Geçti = third person singular past of passed.

The horse taken has passed Üsküdar.

But what the meaning is I haven't a clue.

Edit: Been mulling this over and came up with two possible meanings:1. The horse that has been bought was a good buy because it has got as far as Üsküdar without going lame.2. The chance to do something has passed, the horse has had time to get to Üsküdar.

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Almost right..

Somebody lost an opportunity because somebody else (or others) has already put his plan into action..

Why? Because the one who took the horse (atı alan) has already passed Üsküdar...

Ok another proverb for translation: 'Kaz gelecek yerden tavuk esirgenmez'

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Almost right..

Somebody lost an opportunity because somebody else (or others) has already put his plan into action..

Why? Because the one who took the horse (atı alan) has already passed Üsküdar...

Ah that's why I was confused about it, I would have said "Atı alan adam....."
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'Kaz gelecek yerden tavuk esirgenmez'

I suppose the fact that a lot of these proverbs are old "Osmanlıca" makes them more difficult to fathom out. This one is really difficult but I think I've done it.

Kaz = Goose. But it also is the name of a fish, Kaz balığı.

Tavuk = Chicken but that also can be the name of a fish, Tavuk balığı.

esirgemek = to spare or to begrudge.

So the translation could be:

(When) The hen is not spared the goose will come from it's place.

But substituting the fish it could be

Don't spare the whiting to get the (bigger) fish

or

Set a sprat to catch a Mackerel.

I'll have to admit to getting out my big dictionary for this one.

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Ok, let's try to solve it step by step.. (No, proverbs are mostly Turkish, the Ottoman period is shorter as compared to the history of Turkish)Esirgemek is to spare, in the sense of withhold, here. (Another sense is to keep safe, protect). So we should understand the part 'tavuk esirgenmez' as an advice 'don't withold' (grammatically, esirgenmez = (it ) is not withheld, but this is the style of Turkish, it should be understood as 'don't withhold, in an advice). In other words, 'don't refrain from giving chicken'.

Ok, let's give our chicken, but to whom?

Here what we need to know is the function of a suffix, together with the true meaning of a verb:The structure is : '.....den esirgenmez. Just like English, where to, on, etc tells us something about the relation between a verb and the other sentence elements, here the suffix 'den' should be considered with the meaning of esirgemek. In Turkish something is 'withheld' 'from' something/somebody, in this sense. If I refrain from giving something to you, actualy I 'withhold' it 'from' you.

So, from the suffix '...den' we can understand to whom we should give our chicken or we shouldn't refrain from giving.

Answer: kaz gelecek yer+den.

Thus far we have seen that the proverb goes like that: don't refrain from giving chicken to 'kaz gelecek yer'Yer, although known as place, can be used figuratively as well. Here we are not talking about a location from which a goose is expected to come. Actually a person, a group of people, a family, an office, a neighbour, anything that would give you a goose is the 'yer' here. The people in question occupy a place, so place is used figuratively.

So the proverb says, if somebody is likely to give you a goose, don't refrain from giving a chicken to him.

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This one will sound easy, I hope. The sentence structure is simple, the idiomatic meaning can be felt. It includes an important grammar detail, which this example will clearly show what it is : kendi, kendini, etc..'Aç tavuk kendini arpa ambarında sanır'

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Yes it does sound easy, what's the catch?

The hungry chicken imagines itself in the barley store (grain store).

Like we say a sleeping dog dreams of bones.

Sorry I'm late, been to Antalya.

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Yes...

Something came to my mind, when I read 'dogs'. It may not be classified as a proverb, as it has a humiliating tone, but I will write it:'Köpeklerin duası kabul olsa gökten kemik yağardı'This saying, used to humiliate an enemy is actually a good example for conditional tense. More precisely, one of the available forms of conditional tenses. While translating, please take it into consideration that, this sentence is not: 'Köpeklerin duası kabul olursa gökten kemik yağar'. There is a likelihood in this one, but in the first one above, there is no likelihood whatsoever.

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'Köpeklerin duası kabul olsa gökten kemik yağardı'

Bones would have fallen from heaven if the prayers of dogs were answered.

This doesn't seem quite right, it's the past (yağardı) that is confusing me. Of course it might be easier if I knew more about English grammar too!

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Yes, there is an unreal situation here. The prayers of dogs are not likely to be answered. 'Olsa' and 'yağardı' defines this unreal sitiuation. However, this 'yağardı' type of conjugation can also be used in the 'past unreal situations' as well, like, 'if I had known that you were a cook, I wouldn't have competed with you' : '(Eğer) aşçı olduğunu bilseydim seninle rekabet etmezdim'. Etmezdim or yağardı are same type of conjugations. Etmezdim (negative), ederdim (positive), ederdi (third person sing.), ..yağardı (third person sing.).

If we convert the sentence I wrote into 'past unreal', then we should say 'köpeklerin duası kabul olsaydı...yağardı' (which is used, too). What is the difference, then? 'Olsaydı' is like 'had been' here.

On the other hand, if the sentence were 'köpeklerin duası kabul olsa gökten kemik yağar' (this one is used, too) still gives a chance to dogs' prayers: 'If the....are to be answered, bones would fall..'In summary : olsa...yağardı is about an imaginary situation.

Olsaydı.. yağardı, tells us that there was some possibility in the past (if ..had been answered). There was a chance that prayers could be answered. The chance is only in the past now. But in 'olsa ..yağardı' the chance is only imaginary. There was no way for prayers to be answered.

Olsa..yağar is a conditional situation. There is some likelihood.

Finally ; we can consider this alternative: If the prayers of dogs are answered, bones would/will fall from heaven: Köpeklerin duası kabul olursa, gökten kemik yağar' In this example the we have a real situation. In other words, we don't hesitate, if prayers answered, bones would fall. What we need to pay attention here is 'olsa' versus' olursa'. Olsa denotes less likelihood than olursa.

I wrote that list for reference, Actually the grammar of Turkish is pretty detailed in terms of tenses and conjugations. Real or hyphothetical situations can be expressed in the more ways than I list.

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Yes that was my line of thinking with "yagardı". Glad I got that right.

I had this word in an email from a chap in Izmir today, "değişikleikler", that threw me for a while.

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Yes I thought it was a spelling mistake too until I thought to ask Google. I found many examples of that spelling and this was his complete sentence:

Mesajınızda sadece aşağıdaki değişikleikler yapılırsa TAM TÜRKÇE olacak yani kusursuza çok yakınsınız.

I'll have a look at that new one you posted now.

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'Dilencinin duası kabul olsa bitpazarına nur yağardı' I wonder about the connotation put on "nur" in this one but:Divine light would fall on the flea market if the prayers of the beggar were answered.

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Yes..

Beggars are supposed to be around 'flea market' : second hand items bazaar..

So much prayer would cause a divine atmosphere around the flea market, which can be felt or seen as 'divine light'I picked up a simple one, about chickens and gooses againKomşunun tavuğu komşuya kaz görünür

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Komşunun tavuğu komşuya kaz görünür

The chicken of the neighbour eyes the goose next door

It's an envy that is going on here. This looked more simple than it really is.

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Yes, an envy is going on here. But let me write a clue for the correct answer:

This simple sentence is a good example for the basic suffixes, this is why I picked up this one.

The goose next door means komşunun kazı. But we have the chicken next door here: Komşunun tavuğu.

Now let's ask this question, the chicken next door, is the subject or the object of the sentence? What 'görünür?' . Görmek is to see, but görünmek is to be seen. What is the subject of the verb 'to be seen'? Actualy to be seen should be understood as 'to be percieved'.

It's your turn..Posted Image

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Yes, there is no goose! I was convinced that the neighbour with the chicken envied the goose next door. But the neighbour sees the chicken and perceives a goose because he doesn't even have a chicken.

To the neighbour the chicken of his neighbour is perceived as a goose.

To expand it "to the neighbour with no chicken, the chicken next door is perceived as a goose"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

By the way the plural of goose is geese.

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Yes, the message is the same with 'the grass is always greener...'The proverb in question is an example for expressing something in the shortest way possible. Proverbs, by their nature, are the shortest formats of expression. If I had written it as : 'Bir komşunun tavuğu öbür komşuya kaz gibi görünür', the meaning would be clear. But as you see, it is still possible to write a logical sentence by removing some words..

Another simple one which demands attention to suffixes: Dağ dağa kavuşmaz, insan insana kavuşur.

Clue: kavuşmak has two meanings.

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Dağ dağa kavuşmaz, insan insana kavuşur.

Mountain doesn't touch mountain, man meets man.

Seems too simple even with the two meanings of kavuşmak. I wonder if there is something along the lines of "going to meet" or "getting in touch".

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Yes, correct..the only difficulty was the exact meaning of the verb 'kavuşmak'. To meet is actualy 'karşılaşmak'; when two people are far from each other, or didn't see each other for long, and , if they miss each other because of this obstacle, the verb 'kavuşmak' is used when they meet..

In other words, if you meet your local friend on the road, 'kavuşmak' is not used, but karşılaşmak is the right choice..

As to the other meaning, yes, to touch is one choice, but when two objects are supposed to hardly touch each other, this is called kavuşmak. Just like when you put a jacket smaller than your size, the two sides will hardly touch each other. (Or will not touch, then you can say 'kavuşmuyor'). The proverb means, though the obstacles between the mountains cannot be removed, men can meet even when there is no hope to meet..

Probably you have heard the word 'kavşak' for crossroads..

This comes from the same root. The old form was 'kavuşak'. The suffix 'ak' is very functional, and is an inherint part of many words today.

Ok, here is another one: 'El elin eşeğini ıslık çala çala arar'

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'El elin eşeğini ıslık çala çala arar'

I'm having trouble with this one. Literally it translates as "Hand your hand your donkey whistle call call search

ıslık çala çala arar can translate as "search (while) whistling"

Eşek can be a donkey or a coarse person

I need help here Saffron (or anyone?)

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