Transcription Rules: Consonants

For specialists and students:

Accurate and precise transcriptions of Ottoman Turkish texts in Latin characters are displayed on this website in such a way as to make them easily understood by today's Turkish readers who do not know Ottoman Turkish. With the twin goals of accuracy and readability in mind, transcriptions have been prepared according to the following conventions for consonants:

1. Every Ottoman Turkish consonant is transcribed, including the Arabic letters ayin and hemze.

2. The transcriptions do not distinguish the Arabic consonants d ḍ - h ḥ ḫ - k ḳ - s ṣ s̱ - t ṭ - z ẓ ẕ because these diacritics do not occur in Modern Turkish; when strictly transliterated they tend to clutter the appearance of the text. Specialists are invited to read the original text in the upper pane and/or click on the pop-up notes where strict transliteration is featured for Arabic and Farsi words.

3. Several special characterics of Ottoman Turkish have been implemented in detail. For example, the letter ŋ (hooked n, called nef or sağır kef) is transcribed as written, e.g. in pronouns (baŋa, seniŋ), verbs (aŋladıŋ mı, diŋle) and in various words such as soŋra, tüŋ, etc. This letter and the -ng-sound were characteristic of Turkish before the language reform

4. When the soft g is represented in Ottoman Turkish by Arabic kef, it is written here as (g with macron), not as ğ (compare gideceḡim and yapacağım). Similarly, in words where the Arabic letter gayin, normally transcribed ğ, would be written in Modern Turkish as g, it is transcribed here as ġ with a superscripted dot (ġayri, peyġamber), to distinguish it from the normal g (as in gitmek, gün). In words of Turkish origin the Arabic letter gayin (ğ or ġ) was written usually with back vowels, and Arabic kef (g or ḡ) with front vowels.

5. To make the transcriptions easier to read, particles such as dek and ki are separated from the preceding word, even when they are run together in the Ottoman Turkish text; whereas the -dir/-dır ending is combined here with the preceding word, even when the Ottoman Turkish shows them as separate words.