Ottoman Turkish

Ottoman Turkish – لسان عثماني

Ottoman Turkish was the major bureaucratic, literary and cultural language of the Ottoman Empire from its inception in the 14th century until its dissolution in 1922. Turkish spoken in the Ottoman Empire derived from the Oghuz Turkish spoken by the Seljuqs who conquered Iran and swathes of Anatolia in the 11th century. Borrowing extensively in terms of grammar, syntax and vocabulary from Farsi and Arabic, ‘Ottoman Turkish’ refers to the near hybrid language used by the intellectual elite and imperial bureaucracy of the Ottoman Empire. 

Vital for those interested in studying the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman Turkish is the key with which modern scholars can access the vast corpus of works produced in the Ottoman realm.  

The group meets once a week to work through texts chosen on a rotating basis. Those interested in Ottoman but without prior knowledge are also welcome to attend. Please contact Richard Sutherland for further details.