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LPT Symbol Reverse English!

Can set your head to spinning...
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A Standard -- in reverse
A Modest Example
Sentence Parsing Table

The Turkish sentence may have a standard word order, but, God...what an order!

In our Regularities of Turkish section, we pointed out the advantage of consistent and regular word order in Turkish sentences.

But since the word order is basically the opposite Reverse Englishof English, this is really a two edged sword...On the one hand, it's helpful to the new student of Turkish, and on the other -- it's brain twisting.

Let's look again -- this time with a more jaundiced eye -- at the notion of the standard word order of sentences in Turkish.

Since the English sentence we used -- in Regularities of Turkish section -- was quite simple, let's look at a slightly more complex example here...

We'll observe the example in English and then work with the Turkish translation, a phrase at a time, until we understand the whole sentence.

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Here's the example...
The United States has long held a leading position in science and invention.

In Turkish that will become...
Amerika Birlesik Devletleri bilim ve yeni buluslarda eskiden beri basta gelmektedir.

Now look at the way the Turkish sentence is structured. If we translate it -- phrase by phrase -- back into English, we'll get a full appreciation of the difficulty of the word order for us English speakers...

Turkish Sentence Parsing Example
TurkishLiteral TranslationComments
Amerika Birlesik DevletleriAmerica-United-StatesIn one respect Turkish and English sentences agree...the subject of the sentence is its most important part and, in both languages, it gets "top billing". Note that "The United States [of America]" could be abbreviated to ABD in Turkish.
yeni buluslardanew-inventions-in
eskiden berilongpast-since
bastaat-the-top; at-the-head; first; before-everything, in-the-lead (leading) Note that in-the-lead (leading) is not the first choice for the meaning of basta
gelmektedirhas been in the act of coming The verb gelmek means to come, usually. But in this sentence, instead of insisting on to come as the meaning, we must allow the sense of to come to be or simply to be. So that the meaning of gelmektedir here is...
[The USA] has been in the act of being, or more simply [The USA] has been...

So our sentence in Turkish word-order sequence would read...

America-United-States __ science-and-new-inventions-in __ longpast-since __ in-the-lead __ has-been.

Thus, except for the sentence's subject
(which comes first in both languages)

the Turkish sentence must be
read from back to front
in order to understand the English meaning.

We think you'll agree that this word order,
(no matter how consistent and regular it may be)
ain't easy for native English language speakers!

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