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Tatar language

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Encyclopedia
The Tatar language or more specifically Kazan Tatar, is a Turkic language spoken by the Tatars
Tatars
Tatars are a Turkic speaking ethnic group , numbering roughly 7 million.The majority of Tatars live in the Russian Federation, with a population of around 5.5 million, about 2 million of which in the republic of Tatarstan.Significant minority populations are found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,...

 of historical Kazan Khanate, including modern Tatarstan
Tatarstan
The Republic of Tatarstan is a federal subject of Russia located in the Volga Federal District. Its capital is the city of Kazan, which is one of Russia's largest and most prosperous cities. The republic borders with Kirov, Ulyanovsk, Samara, and Orenburg Oblasts, and with the Mari El, Udmurt,...

 and Bashkiria. It should not be confused with the Crimean Tatar language
Crimean Tatar language
The Crimean Tatar language is the language of the Crimean Tatars. It is a Turkic language spoken in Crimea, Central Asia , and the Crimean Tatar diasporas in Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria...

, to which it is remotely related.

Geographic distribution


Tatar is spoken in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 (about 5.3 million people), Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and other countries.

Tatar is also native for some thousands of Maris. Mordva's Qaratay
Qaratay
Qaratays are an ethnic group within Mokshas in Kamsko-Ustyinsky District, Tatarstan around the village of Mordovsky Karatay. They speak Tatar complemented by Moksha words, sometimes considered as a Qaratay Dialect of the Kazan Tatar language...

 group also speak Tatar. 94% of ethnic Tatar claimed knowledge of Tatar language during the 2002 census.

Official status


Tatar, along with Russian, is the official language of the Republic of Tatarstan. The official script
Official script
An official script is a writing system that is specifically designated to be official in the constitutions or other applicable laws of countries, states, and other jurisdictions. Akin to an official language, an official script is much rarer. It is used primarily where an official language is in...

 of Tatar language is based on the Cyrillic alphabet
Cyrillic alphabet
The Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...

 with some additional letters. Sometimes other scripts are used, mostly Latin and Arabic. All official sources in Tatarstan use Cyrillic at their web-sites and publishing. In other cases, where Tatar has no official status, the use of a specific alphabet depends on the preference of the author. Guides in Tatarstan are published in two alphabets.

The Tatar language was made a de facto official language in Russia in 1917, but only in the Tatar Soviet Socialist Republic. Tatar is also considered the official language in short-lived Idel-Ural State
Idel-Ural State
The Idel-Ural State was a short-lived Tatar republic with its centre in Kazan that united Tatars, Bashkirs and the Chuvash in the turmoil of the Russian Civil War. Often viewed as an attempt to recreate the Khanate of Kazan, the republic was proclaimed on December 12, 1917, by a Congress of Muslims...

, briefly formed during the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

. One should note, however, that Bolshevist Russia
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic , commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, Bolshevik Russia, or simply Russia, was the largest, most populous and economically developed republic in the former Soviet Union....

 did not recognize official languages as such; however, there were a number of languages that could be used in trial in some republics. In the Soviet era, Tatar was such a language in Bashkortostan
Bashkortostan
The Republic of Bashkortostan , also known as Bashkiria is a federal subject of Russia . It is located between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains. Its capital is the city of Ufa...

, Mari El
Mari El
The Mari El Republic is a federal subject of Russia . Its capital is the city of Yoshkar-Ola. Population: -Geography:The republic is located in the eastern part of the East European Plain of Russia, along the Volga River. The swampy Mari Depression is located in the west of the republic...

 and other regions of the Russian SFSR.

The usage of Tatar declined from the 1930s onwards. In the 1980s it was not studied in city schools, not even by Tatar pupils. Although the language was used in rural schools, Tatar-speaking pupils had little chance to enter a university, because all higher education was in Russian.

Tatar is no longer classified as an endangered language, although it is still a low prestige language. Higher education in Tatar can only be found in Tatarstan
Tatarstan
The Republic of Tatarstan is a federal subject of Russia located in the Volga Federal District. Its capital is the city of Kazan, which is one of Russia's largest and most prosperous cities. The republic borders with Kirov, Ulyanovsk, Samara, and Orenburg Oblasts, and with the Mari El, Udmurt,...

, and is restricted to the humanities. In other regions Tatar is primarily a spoken language and the number of speakers as well as their proficiency tends to decrease. Tatar is popular as a written language only in Tatar-speaking areas where schools with Tatar language lessons are situated. On the other hand, Tatar is the only language in use in rural districts of Tatarstan
Administrative divisions of Tatarstan
This is a list of units of administrative division of the Republic of Tatarstan, a federal subject of Russia.Tatarstan is located in the center of the East European Plain, between the Volga and the Kama Rivers, stretching east towards the Ural Mountains...

.

Dialects of Tatar


There are 3 main dialects of Tatar: Western (Mişär or Mishar), Middle (Kazan), and Eastern (Siberian). All of these dialects also have subdivisions. Significant contribution to the study of the Tatar language and its dialects, made ​​famous scientist, a professor of philology Gabdulkhay Akhatov
Gabdulkhay Akhatov
Gabdulkhay Khuramovich Akhatov is the soviet tatar scientist-linguist and an organizer of science, Ph.D , Dr...

, which is considered the founder of modern Tatar dialectological school.

Mişär


In the Western (Mişär) dialect Ç is pronounced [tʃ] (southern or lambir mishars) and as [ts] (northern mishars or nizhgars). C is pronounced [dʒ]. There are no differences between v and w, q and k, g and ğ in the Mişär dialect. (The Cyrillic alphabet doesn't have special letters for q, ğ and w, so Mişär speakers have no difficulty reading Tatar written in Cyrillic.)

This is the dialect spoken by the Tatar minority of Finland
Finnish Tatars
The Tatars of Finland are a Turkic people who espouse the Muslim faith. They number approximately 1000 and form a well-established and homogeneous religious, cultural and linguistic minority. The Tatars are the oldest Muslim minority in Finland and throughout the Nordic countries and the Finnish...

.

Middle


Minzälä:
In the Minzälä subdialect of the Middle Dialect z is pronounced [ð], as opposed to other dialects where it is silent.

Slang:

In bilingual cities people often pronounce h as [x], q as [k], ğ as [ɡ], w as [v]. This could be due to Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 influence. Another possibility is that these cities were places where both the western and middle dialects were used.

The influence of Russian is significant. Russian words and phrases are used with Tatar grammar or Russian grammar in Tatar texts. Some Russian verbs are taken entirely, un-nativized, and followed with itärgä. Some English words and phrases are also used.

There was a distinct cryptolect, the Gäp
Gap
-General:* Gap , a spacing between large trees in a forest* Gap , a mountain pass, often carved by a river* Gap year, a prolonged period between a life stage-Places:* Gap, Hautes-Alpes, France* Gap, Pennsylvania, United States...

, spoken predominantly in Kazan
Kazan
Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,546 , it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the...

, but now it is extinct or near extinction.

Siberian Tatar


Siberian Tatars pronounce ç as [ts], c as [j] and sometimes b as [p], d as [t], f as p, y and j as ch, t as d, z as s and h as k. There are also grammatical differences within the dialect, scattered across Siberia.

Many linguists claim the origins of Siberian Tatar dialects are actually independent of Volga–Ural Tatar; these dialects are quite remote both from Standard Tatar and from each other, often preventing mutual comprehension. The claim that this language is part of the modern Tatar language is typically supported by linguists in Kazan and denounced by Siberian Tatars.

Over time, some of these dialects were given distinct names and recognized as separate languages (e.g. the Chulym language
Chulym language
Chulym , also known as Chulim, Chulym-Turkic, Küerik, Chulym Tatar or Melets Tatar is the language of the Chulyms. The name the people use to refer to themselves, and also to their language, is Ös, literally ‘self’ or ‘own’...

) after detailed linguistic study. A brief linguistic analysis shows that many of these dialects exhibit features which are quite different from the Volga–Ural Tatar varieties, and should be classified as Turkic varieties belonging to several sub-groups of the Turkic languages, distinct from Kipchak languages
Kypchak languages
The Kypchak languages , are a major branch of the Turkic language family spoken by more than 12 million people in an area spanning from Lithuania to China....

 to which Volga–Ural Tatar belongs.

By studying the phonetic peculiarities of dialect of the local population of Siberia, professor Gabdulkhay Akhatov
Gabdulkhay Akhatov
Gabdulkhay Khuramovich Akhatov is the soviet tatar scientist-linguist and an organizer of science, Ph.D , Dr...

 first among the scientists discovered in the Speech of Siberian Tatars is such a thing as the pronounce, which in his opinion, was obtained for the Siberian Tatars of Kipchaks. In his classic fundamental research work "Dialect West Siberian Tatars" (1963) professor Gabdulkhay Akhatov
Gabdulkhay Akhatov
Gabdulkhay Khuramovich Akhatov is the soviet tatar scientist-linguist and an organizer of science, Ph.D , Dr...

 wrote about a territorial resettlement of the Tobol-Irtysh Tatars Tyumen
Tyumen Oblast
Tyumen Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Tyumen. The oblast has administrative jurisdiction over two autonomous okrugs—Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Tyumen is the largest city, with over half a million inhabitants...

 and Omsk
Omsk Oblast
Omsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia , located in southwestern Siberia. The oblast has an area of and a population of with the majority, 1.15 million, living in Omsk, the administrative center....

 areas. Subjecting a comprehensive integrated analysis of the phonetic system, the lexical composition and grammatical structure, the scientist concluded that the language of the Siberian Tatars is a separate dialect, it is not divided into sub-dialects and it is one of the most ancient Turkic languages.

Vowels


Phonemically, Tatar may be argued to have two vowel heights, high and low. The low vowels are two, front
Front vowel
A front vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a front vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far in front as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Front vowels are sometimes also...

 and back
Back vowel
A back vowel is a type of vowel sound used in spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a back vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far back as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Back vowels are sometimes also called dark...

, whereas the high vowels are eight: front and back, round
Roundedness
In phonetics, vowel roundedness refers to the amount of rounding in the lips during the articulation of a vowel. That is, it is vocalic labialization. When pronouncing a rounded vowel, the lips form a circular opening, while unrounded vowels are pronounced with the lips relaxed...

 and unround, long
Vowel length
In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived duration of a vowel sound. Often the chroneme, or the "longness", acts like a consonant, and may etymologically be one, such as in Australian English. While not distinctive in most dialects of English, vowel length is an important phonemic factor in...

 and short. However, phonetically, the short high vowels are reduced: they are mid-centralized. They are therefore generally transcribed with mid vowel letters such as e and o: high front i ü, high back ï u, reduced (mid) front e ö, reduced (mid) back ë o, and low ä, a. The high back unrounded vowel ï is only found in Russian loans, though the native diphthong ëy, which only occurs word-finally, has been argued to be phonemically ï..

Phonetically, the native vowels are approximately high [i] [ʉ] [u], reduced [ɘ̆] [ɵ̆] [ɤ̆~ʌ̆] [ŏ] (ë may be mid-low), and low [a~æ] [ɑ]. In polysyllabic words, the front-back distinction is lost in reduced vowels: all become mid-central. Reduced vowels in unstressed position are frequently elided. Low back /ɑ/ is rounded [ɒ] word-initially and after [ɒ], as in bala 'child'. In Russian loans there are also [ɨ], [ɛ], and [ɔ]

Historically, the Turkic high vowels have become the Tatar reduced series, whereas the Turkic mid vowels have replaced them. Thus Kazakh til 'language' and kün 'day' correspond to Tatar tel and kön, while Kazakh men 'I', qol 'hand', and kök 'sky' are in Tatar min, qul, kük.
Old:

Tatar has 16 vowel symbols representing a variable number of sounds. Tatar exhibits vowel harmony
Vowel harmony
Vowel harmony is a type of long-distance assimilatory phonological process involving vowels that occurs in some languages. In languages with vowel harmony, there are constraints on which vowels may be found near each other....

, with some of the vowels considered front and others back.

Front vowels: ä [æ~ə], â [æ], e [e], é [ɛ], i [i], ó [ø], ö [œ], ü [y]

Back vowels: a [ɑ~ʌ], á [ɑ], í [ɯɪ], ı [ɯ~ɨː], o [o~oː], u–ú [u]

The usage of í, â, á, ó, ú, é is not universal, and sometimes ıy, a, ya, yo, yu and e are used instead.

Some of them are found only in Slavic loanword
Loanword
A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort,...

s, such as é, ó, long o, long ı. Acute in á, ó, ú denotes palatalisation, but sometimes a palatalised consonant is marked by following y before the vowel. This is only a problem for Russian loanwords.

The commonly pronounced 10 vowels are native Tatar vowels: a–ä, u–ü, í–i, o–ö, ı–e. The last two pairs are considered to be short vowels. They also could mean long vowels, but only in loanwords. [ə] and [ʌ] are not considered to be independent vowels. Loaned vowels are considered to be back vowels.

Consonants

caption | The consonants of Tatar
Labial
Labial consonant
Labial consonants are consonants in which one or both lips are the active articulator. This precludes linguolabials, in which the tip of the tongue reaches for the posterior side of the upper lip and which are considered coronals...

Labio-
velar
Alveolar
Alveolar consonant
Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli of the superior teeth...

Post-
alveolar
Palatal Velar
Velar consonant
Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum)....

Uvular
Uvular consonant
Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. Uvulars may be plosives, fricatives, nasal stops, trills, or approximants, though the IPA does not provide a separate symbol for the approximant, and...

Glottal
Glottal consonant
Glottal consonants, also called laryngeal consonants, are consonants articulated with the glottis. Many phoneticians consider them, or at least the so-called fricative, to be transitional states of the glottis without a point of articulation as other consonants have; in fact, some do not consider...

Nasals
Nasal consonant
A nasal consonant is a type of consonant produced with a lowered velum in the mouth, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. Examples of nasal consonants in English are and , in words such as nose and mouth.- Definition :...

m /m/ n /n/ ñ /ŋ/ ñ [ɴ]
Plosives Voiceless
Voice (phonetics)
Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless or voiced. The term, however, is used to refer to two separate concepts. Voicing can refer to the articulatory process in which the vocal cords vibrate...

p /p/ t /t/ k /k/ q [q] ' /ʔ/
Voiced
Voice (phonetics)
Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless or voiced. The term, however, is used to refer to two separate concepts. Voicing can refer to the articulatory process in which the vocal cords vibrate...

b /b/ d /d/ g /ɡ/
Fricatives Voiceless f /f/ s /s/ ş /ʃ/ ç /tɕ~ɕ/ x /χ/ h /h/
Voiced v /v/ z /z/ j /ʒ/ c /dʑ~ʑ/ ğ [ʁ~ɢ]
Trill
Trill consonant
In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation. Standard Spanish <rr> as in perro is an alveolar trill, while in Parisian French it is almost always uvular....

r /r/
Approximants
Approximant consonant
Approximants are speech sounds that involve the articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough or with enough articulatory precision to create turbulent airflow. Therefore, approximants fall between fricatives, which do produce a turbulent airstream, and vowels, which produce no...

w /w/ l /l/ y /j/ ([j~ɪ])


Uvular consonants are allophone
Allophone
In phonology, an allophone is one of a set of multiple possible spoken sounds used to pronounce a single phoneme. For example, and are allophones for the phoneme in the English language...

s of velars before back vowels.

Most of these phonemes are common to or have equivalents in all Turkic languages, but the phonemes /v/, /ts/, /h/ and /ʒ/ are only found in loanwords in Literary Tatar. /f/ is also of foreign origin, but is also found in native words, e.g. yafraq "leaf".

Pronunciation of loanwords


While the consonants [ʒ], [f] and [v] are not native to Tatar, they are well established. However, Tatars usually substitute fricatives for affricates, for example [ɕ] for [tʃ], [ʒ] or [ʑ] for [dʒ], and [s] for [ts]. Nevertheless, literary traditions recommend the pronunciation of affricates in loanwords.

[ʔ] (hamza) is a sound found in Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 loanwords and Islamic prayers. It is usually pronounced [e] in loanwords.

Palatalisation


Palatalisation is not common in Tatar. As a result, speakers have no problem using the Arabic and Jaŋalif scripts, neither of which has an accepted method for indicating palatalisation.

In general, Russian words with palatalisation have entered into the speech of bilingual Tatars since the 1930s. When writing in the Cyrillic alphabet, Russian words are spelled as they are in Russian. In today's Latin orthography, palatalisation is sometimes represented by an acute diacritic
Acute accent
The acute accent is a diacritic used in many modern written languages with alphabets based on the Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek scripts.-Apex:An early precursor of the acute accent was the apex, used in Latin inscriptions to mark long vowels.-Greek:...

 under the vowel.

Some Tatars speak Russian without palatalisation, which is known as a Tatar accent.

Syllable types

  • V (ı-lıs, u-ra, ö-rä)
  • VC (at-law, el-geç, ir-kä)
  • CV (qa-la, ki-ä, su-la)
  • CVC (bar-sa, sız-law, köç-le, qoş-çıq)
  • VCC (ant-lar, äyt-te, ilt-kän)
  • CVCC (tört-te, qart-lar, 'qayt-qan)


Stress is on the final syllable.

Phonetic replacement



Tatar phonotactics
Phonotactics
Phonotactics is a branch of phonology that deals with restrictions in a language on the permissible combinations of phonemes...

 dictate many pronunciation changes.

Unrounded vowels may be pronounced as rounded after o or ö:

qorı /qoro/

borın /boron/

közge /közgö/

sorı /soro/)

Nasals are assimilated to following stops:

unber /umber/

mengeç /meñgeç/

Voicing may also undergo assimilation
Assimilation (linguistics)
Assimilation is a common phonological process by which the sound of the ending of one word blends into the sound of the beginning of the following word. This occurs when the parts of the mouth and vocal cords start to form the beginning sounds of the next word before the last sound has been...

:

küzsez /küssez/

Unstressed vowels may be syncopated or reduced
Vowel reduction
In phonetics, vowel reduction is any of various changes in the acoustic quality of vowels, which are related to changes in stress, sonority, duration, loudness, articulation, or position in the word , and which are perceived as "weakening"...

:

urını /urnı/

kilene /kilne/

bezne /bĕzne/

kerdem /kĕrdem/

qırğıç /qĭrğıç/

Vowels may also be elided
Elision
Elision is the omission of one or more sounds in a word or phrase, producing a result that is easier for the speaker to pronounce...

:

qara urman /qar'urman/

kilä ide /kilä'yde/

turı uram /tur'uram/

bula almím /bul'almím/

In consonant cluster
Consonant cluster
In linguistics, a consonant cluster is a group of consonants which have no intervening vowel. In English, for example, the groups and are consonant clusters in the word splits....

s longer than two phones, ı or e (whichever is dictated by vowel harmony
Vowel harmony
Vowel harmony is a type of long-distance assimilatory phonological process involving vowels that occurs in some languages. In languages with vowel harmony, there are constraints on which vowels may be found near each other....

) is inserted into speech as an epenthetic vowel.

tekst → /tekest/

bank → /banık/ (not /bañk/)

Final devoicing is also frequent:

tabíb (doctor) → [tabíp]

Plural

  • After vowels, consonants, hard: -lar (bala-lar, abí-lar, kitap-lar, qaz-lar, malay-lar, qar-lar, ağaç-lar)
  • After vowels, consonants, soft: -lär (äni-lär, sölge-lär, däftär-lär, kibet-lär, süz-lär, bäbkä-lär, mäktäp-lär, xäref-lär)
  • After nasals, hard: -nar (uram-nar, urman-nar, tolım-nar, moñ-nar, tañ-nar, şalqan-nar)
  • After nasals, soft: -när (ülän-när, keläm-när, çräm-när, iñ-när, ciñ-när, isem-när)

Declension of Pronouns


Personal Pronouns
Case | Singular | Plural
Nominative мин син ул без сез алар
Genitive минем синең аның безнең сезнең аларның
Dative миңа сиңа аңа безгә сезгә аларга
Accusative мине сине аны безне сезне аларны
Locative миндә синдә анда бездә сездә аларда
Ablative миннән синнән аннан бездән сездән алардан


Demonstrative Pronouns
Case | Singular | Plural
Case "This" "That" "These" "Those"
Nominative бу шул булар шуллар
Genitive моның шуның буларның шулларның
Dative моңа шуңа буларга шулларга
Accusative моны шуны буларны шулларны
Locative монда шунда буларда шулларда
Ablative моннан шуннан булардан шуллардан


Interrogative Pronouns
Case Who? What?
Nominative кем нәрсә
Genitive кемнең нәрсәнең
Dative кемгә нәрсәгә
Accusative кемне нәрсәне
Locative кемдә нәрсәдә
Ablative кемнән нәрсәдән

Writing system



Tatar has been written in a number of different alphabets.

Writing was adopted from the Bolgar language
Bolgar language
Bulgar , also Oghur, is a historical group of Turkic languages, the only extant member of which is the Chuvash language.Suggested extinct members of the group are Volga-Bulgarian and Khazar ....

, which used the Orkhon script
Orkhon script
The Old Turkic script is the alphabet used by the Göktürk and other early Turkic Khanates from at least the 7th century to record the Old Turkic language. It was later used by the Uyghur Empire...

, before the 920s. Later, the Arabic alphabet
Arabic alphabet
The Arabic alphabet or Arabic abjad is the Arabic script as it is codified for writing the Arabic language. It is written from right to left, in a cursive style, and includes 28 letters. Because letters usually stand for consonants, it is classified as an abjad.-Consonants:The Arabic alphabet has...

 was also used, as well as the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets.

Before 1928 Tatar was written with a variant of the Arabic alphabet (Iske imla
Iske imlâ
İske imlâ is a variant of the Arabic script, used for the Tatar language before 1920 and the Old Tatar language. This alphabet can be referred to as old only to contrast it with Yaña imlâ....

 to 1920; Yanga imla 1920–1928).

In the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 after 1928, Tatar was written with a Latin
Latin alphabet
The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most recognized alphabet used in the world today. It evolved from a western variety of the Greek alphabet called the Cumaean alphabet, which was adopted and modified by the Etruscans who ruled early Rome...

 orthography called Jaŋalif.

In Tatarstan
Tatarstan
The Republic of Tatarstan is a federal subject of Russia located in the Volga Federal District. Its capital is the city of Kazan, which is one of Russia's largest and most prosperous cities. The republic borders with Kirov, Ulyanovsk, Samara, and Orenburg Oblasts, and with the Mari El, Udmurt,...

 (a republic of Russia where Tatar is most commonly used) and all other parts of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 a Cyrillic alphabet
Cyrillic alphabet
The Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...

 was developed and is still used to write Tatar. It is also used in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

.

A Latin-based system has been used mostly in Tatarstan since 2000 and generally on the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

, although this has been less common more recently due to the Russian law that all official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

s of Russia must be written in Cyrillic.

In China, Tatars still use the Arabic alphabet variant.

History


Tatar's ancestors are the extinct Bolgar
Bolgar language
Bulgar , also Oghur, is a historical group of Turkic languages, the only extant member of which is the Chuvash language.Suggested extinct members of the group are Volga-Bulgarian and Khazar ....

 and Kipchak languages. Crimean Tatar
Crimean Tatar language
The Crimean Tatar language is the language of the Crimean Tatars. It is a Turkic language spoken in Crimea, Central Asia , and the Crimean Tatar diasporas in Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria...

 is not closely related, being more akin to standard Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

.

The literary Tatar language is based on Tatar's Middle dialect and the Old Tatar language
Old Tatar language
Old Tatar language was a literary language used among the Muslim Tatars from the Middle Ages till the 19th century....

 (İske Tatar Tele). Both are members of the Kipchak
Kypchak languages
The Kypchak languages , are a major branch of the Turkic language family spoken by more than 12 million people in an area spanning from Lithuania to China....

 group of Turkic languages
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

, although they are also partly derived from the ancient Volga Bolgar language
Bolgar language
Bulgar , also Oghur, is a historical group of Turkic languages, the only extant member of which is the Chuvash language.Suggested extinct members of the group are Volga-Bulgarian and Khazar ....

.

The Tatar language has been strongly influenced by most of the Uralic languages
Uralic languages
The Uralic languages constitute a language family of some three dozen languages spoken by approximately 25 million people. The healthiest Uralic languages in terms of the number of native speakers are Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, Mari and Udmurt...

 in the Volga River
Volga River
The Volga is the largest river in Europe in terms of length, discharge, and watershed. It flows through central Russia, and is widely viewed as the national river of Russia. Out of the twenty largest cities of Russia, eleven, including the capital Moscow, are situated in the Volga's drainage...

 area, as well as Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 and Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 languages.

Examples

  • äye – yes
  • yuq – no
  • isänme(sez)/sawmı(sız) – hello
  • sälâm – hi
  • sau bul(ığız)/xuş(ığız) – bye bye
  • zínhar öçen – please
  • räxmät – thank you
  • ğafu it(egez) – excuse me
  • min – I
  • sin – you (sg.)
  • ul – he / she / it
  • bez – we
  • sez – you (pl.)
  • alar – they
  • millät – nation
  • İngliz(çä) – English

Further reading

  • Akhatov G. (1982). "Phraseological Dictionary of the Tatar Language" (monograph). Kazan. (Tatar language)
  • Akhatov G.
    Gabdulkhay Akhatov
    Gabdulkhay Khuramovich Akhatov is the soviet tatar scientist-linguist and an organizer of science, Ph.D , Dr...

     (1984). "Tatar Dialectology
    Dialectology
    Dialectology is the scientific study of linguistic dialect, a sub-field of sociolinguistics. It studies variations in language based primarily on geographic distribution and their associated features...

    " (Textbook
    Textbook
    A textbook or coursebook is a manual of instruction in any branch of study. Textbooks are produced according to the demands of educational institutions...

     for university
    University
    A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

     student
    Student
    A student is a learner, or someone who attends an educational institution. In some nations, the English term is reserved for those who attend university, while a schoolchild under the age of eighteen is called a pupil in English...

    s). Kazan
    Kazan
    Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,546 , it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the...

    . (Tatar language)
  • Bukharaev, R., & Matthews, D. J. (2000). Historical anthology of Kazan Tatar verse: voices of eternity. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon. ISBN 0700710779
  • PEN (Organization). (1998). Tatar literature today. Kazan: Magarif Publishers.
  • Poppe, N. N. (1963). Tatar manual: descriptive grammar and texts with a Tatar-English glossary. Bloomington: Indiana University.

External links



Language studies


Forums

  • Tatar mailing list
  • Tatar forum
  • IRC channel [irc://irc.freenode.net/tatar #tatar] on the freenode
    Freenode
    freenode, formerly known as Open Projects Network, is an IRC network used to discuss peer-directed projects. Their servers are all accessible from the domain name [irc://chat.freenode.net chat.freenode.net], which load balances connections by using the actual servers in rotation...

     network


History and literature



Dictionaries