Wikijunior:Languages/Ottoman Turkish

What writing system(s) does this language use?Edit

The Ottoman Turkish language uses a variety of the Persian alphabet made specifically for Ottoman Turkish. The Persian alphabet itself comes from the Arabic alphabet. The Ottoman Turkish alphabet is cursive, which means that the letters are connected. Thus, there can be 4 different forms of just one letter: one for when the letter is at the beginning of a word, one for in the middle of a word, one for at the end, and one for when it's all by itself! There are 34 letters in all; here is a table of all of them.

By Itself End of a Word Middle of a Word Beginning of a Word Name Modern Turkish Letter(s)
elif a, e
hemze ', a, e, i, u, ü
be b
pe p
te t
se s
cim c
çim ç
ha h
dal d
zel z
re r
ze z
je j
sin s
şın ş
sat, sad s
ﺿ dat, dad d, z
ayın ', h
gayın g, ğ
fe f
kaf k
kef k, g, ğ, n
gef g, ğ
nef, sağır kef n
lam l
mim m
nun n
vav v, o, ö, u, ü
he h, e, a
lamelif la
ye y, ı, i

How many people speak this language?Edit

Since Ottoman Turkish was replaced with Modern Turkish in 1928, very few people speak the original Ottoman Turkish language.

Where is this language spoken?Edit

Ottoman Turkish was spoken in the Ottoman Empire, which lasted from 1299 to 1922. That's over 600 years! At its height, the Ottoman Empire stretched from Qatar, to Hungary, to Somalia, to Algeria, covering 3 continents! Since Ottoman Turkish was replaced with modern Turkish it is spoken in very few places.

A map of the Ottoman Empire. Different colors show different times when places became part of the Ottoman Empire. To see the words on the map more easily, click on the image.

What is the history of this language?Edit

Until the 1500s, a language called Old Ottoman Turkish was spoken. From the 16th century until 1839, a type called Middle Ottoman Turkish thrived. When most people think of this language, they think of this era. From the 1850s to the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1922, Modern Ottoman Turkish was alive. This type of Ottoman Turkish was influenced by Western culture.


influenced — affected.


Western culture — Culture coming from Europe. Culture from Asia is called Eastern culture.

Who are some famous authors or poets in this language?Edit

Agah Efendi published the first Turkish newspaper. Ibrahim Muteferrika was an Hungarian Ottoman Turk who created the first Muslim printing press.


Muslim — one who follows the religion of Islam.


printing press — a device that is used to put an image on something like paper or cloth.

What are some basic words in this language that I can learn?Edit

What is a simple song/poem/story that I can learn in this language?Edit


  1. The English Wikipedia