June 15, 2008

Learn Turkish, Marx and Engels Style

Although Conversations With Greatness has long been popular with the Dutch and the Germans, today the illustrious ranks of inexplicable European CWG fans have been joined by... the Turkish! ek$i sozluk, the Turkish MetaFilter (more or less), has sent 140 visitors to the CWG microsite in the last two or three weeks — an increase of about 140 visitors!

Now, my Turkish ain't great, and neither Google nor Babelfish will translate it, but my knowledge of CWG has allowed me to at least work out which strips cause particular Turkish delight (wah-wah).

The first entry on CWG says something like "Nineteenth century intellectuals [konulu] bombastic comic series", and then proceeds to transcribe what is clearly CWG XII:
[yılbaşı partisi, tüm çete oradadır]

weber: parti nasıl, hoşuna gidiyor mu?
durkheim: evet de, kızlar nerde?
w: biz 19. yüzyıl akademisyenleriyiz. kızların önemli olduğunu düşünmüyoruz.
d: ah, tabii.
w: biraz daha şampanya?
d: god, yes.
Apparently there is no direct Turkish translation for "God, yes." But it seems like "kizlar" means "girls", and I would imagine that "tüm çete ordadır" means "everyone is wearing hats" (you might want to remember that one if you're going to Istanbul anytime soon).

Next, they transcribe CWG LXII (this one took me a while to work out, I'll admit), from which we learn the very useful Turkish phrase: "şeyyyy... 20 papel borç alabilir miyim?" (Or, "Say, will you lend me twenty bucks?")

They then move on to CWG XXVI — which yields the extremely useful vocabulary item "smileylendirilmiyecek", or "smiley face" — and CWG XXXIX, which you should check out if you want to know the Turkish for "Is this jerk bothering you, Fred?"

I will now, naturally, sue the pants off Turkey.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're turning into a linguist. And anyway, when was the last time you saw a Turkey wearing pants?

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