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“All these languages influenced Turkish. There are lots of words from Persian, French and Arabic.“

“Adil ve Sürdürülebilir Bir Dünyanın Şampiyonlarını Eğitiyoruz means “Educating champions of a just and sustainable world.” Does “Şampiyonlarını” mean “champions”?
“Yes, and -larını is the s part, both plural and ‘of the world’. Dünyanın means world.”

So it’s reversed?
“Yes, ‘Dünyanın Şampiyonlarını’ means ‘world champions-of’. ‘Eğitiyoruz’ means ‘we're educating’.” Ayça points to the Turkish headline, translating the whole sentence word by word: “‘Just and sustainable one world champions-of we are educating.’”

The sentence is completely reversed!
“We always add elements to words so you can have really long words,” she explains. “It can actually be very difficult to pronounce. There are lots of words from Persian, French and Arabic. Turkish is like a mix of all these different languages and it has its own pronunciation that is like a combination of both French and Arabic.”

If the elements you add show how the word works in the sentence, could you then change the order of the words and still have the same meaning?
“Yes, exactly. That's why poetry works so well in Turkish because you can mix and match words and put them wherever you want.”

Does English feel a bit boring with such a set word order?
“It's less chaotic,” Ayça admits. “We have words that we can add at the end to show the sentence is a question.”

That’s like in Japanese.
“Yes, Turkish is more similar to Japanese than English. It originally came from Mongolia. Because of the Ottoman Empire, all these languages influenced Turkish, but I have no problem understanding people from Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan, especially their numbers. But new words have changed a lot. Like I said, we have a lot of words from French.”

A big thank you to Ayça for translating our manifesto to Turkish and for telling us some interesting facts about the Turkish language.

You can see all the translations of our manifesto we have so far.

Is your language missing? We’d be thrilled to hear from you and excited if you want to help us with our Mother Language project.