I know Turkish vocabulary is rich because I have been trying to learn some with little success. I know there are words there that come from the Arabic, and I suppose Persian/Farsi too. But am I to believe the famous Zaman Daily Newspaper?
It says that Turkish has over 600,000 ‘vocabulary words’ (as opposed to non-vocabulary words?) and English has 430,000 vocabulary words.
Well, it certainly seems like that when I look at the next chapter of my book for the Volkshochschule (evening classes institute). I think all the language book publishers have been forced by the German VHSs to create a textbook and a workbook and a CD. The vocabulary in the textbook is never listed alphabetically together with the translation, because we aren’t supposed to think about the German word. There is an alphabetical list of Turkish words in the back, directing you to a chapter and section, where you will find the German. The grammar only becomes vaguely clear if you look at the workbook. So you finish up with fingers in about five places in the books. I have long since torn the vocabulary pages out of the back of the textbook. (I should say that the way the grammar is gradually introduced is quite good, or would be good if it were more accessible).
For a sensible approach, I recommend Colloquial Turkish, which is published by Routledge, by those mysteriously un-British and un-Turkish-sounding authors Jeroen Aarssen and Ad Backus.
But back to the article.
bq. Turkish Language Institution (TDK) President Prof., Sukru Haluk Akalin, said yesterday: “This work will show our magnificent richness. When this work is completed, we will organize meetings with writers, poets and media institutions in order to spread the use of Turkish.”
Well, it may be too late for me.