Friday, August 04, 2006

Kurdish giving way to Turkish in some areas?

Found a telling first-hand account of language shift. I had no idea the last decade or two had made such a difference.

until the end of 1980s the kurdish language was still preserved, because the kurds were still in their villages [...] most of them would not know one single word turkish and the women, in specific, did not know one single word turkish! [...] but at the beginning of 1990s, and since then going on, we have been losing the kurdish language [...] and it is mainly because around four or some say five thousand kurdish villages were forcibly evacuated, i should use "they were destroyed by the turkish army" instead. and more than three million people(kurds) were displaced! and of course it had its consequences! [...]

all the kurds started to go to school, where they would only speak turkish, and if, in any way someone were to speak kurdish s/he would punished for speaking kurdish and this way it would have a deterring effect on the other children(students) as well! kurdish students were despised and made fun of because of their accent so the families of those kurdish students thought that if they spoke only turkish at home it would help their children and they would be able to speak turkish better, and nobody would be able to fun of them. [...]

they only watched the turkish tv channels! and especially the mothers were very badly affected by this, because they wree the ones who would stay at home and when they did not have anything to do they would watch the tv and improve their turkish, but after a while they started to use turkish words while speaking kurdish, keep in mind that their children were not taught kurdish, so even if some of those children wanted to learn kurdish they would learn it wrong because their parents would not speak appropriate kurdish! i still cant believe that some kurds would say "qapi qepamiş bike" for "close the door" in kurdish: i have a very hard time understanding this, qepi originally is kapı(it is pronounced liek qepi in kurdish) "qepamiş" means nothing, it is supposed to mean "close", they combine turkish root of "to close" and add a kurdish suffix to it and make it kurdish. when i see people using those words, and killing kurdish it really hurts me very badly!


The extreme borrowing is an interesting point - and probably a universal of low-status languages. I can sympathise - excessively Frenchified Arabic really grates on my ears...

3 comments:

komfo,amonan said...

This is heartbreaking. And it's reminiscent of Franco's Falangist slogan "Perro catalán, habla en cristiano" or the corporal punishment meted out to Sardinian speakers in the film Padre padrone.

KNL said...

Frenchified Arabic is really funny, I think.

Anonymous said...

If you people are not idiots then you
should look to greece,to netherlands, to germany what they do to their minoritys, you`ll be scared if you`d see it, espacelly in greece, Turkiye is heaven to the kurds,with all the rights they have,i would say -Child,look further then youre nose.
(in Athens you don`t even have a mosque to 4 million muslims there,they pray in stadiums on their holidays by giving money,think about that,greece)