Turkish (Türkçe), the westernmost of the Turkic languages, belongs to the Turkic branch of the Altaic language family. Turkey, by land mass, is positioned 95% in Asia and 5% in Europe. Thus, this article “Turkish Language in India” is part of Asian languages and not European languages in India.
The oldest written records are found upon stone monuments in Central Asia, in the Orhon, Yenisey and Talas regions within the boundaries of present-day Mongolia. They are the eighth century AD Orkhon inscriptions by the Göktürks, recording the Old Turkic language, which were discovered in 1889 in the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia.
When the Turkish spoken in Turkey is considered in a historical context, it can be classified according to three distinct periods:
1. Old Anatolian Türkiye (old Ottoman – between the 13th and the 15th centuries)
2. Ottoman Türkiye (from the 16th to the 19th century)
3. 20th century Modern Türkiye
It has a number of dialects such as Danubian, Dinler, Edirne, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Karamanli, Razgrad, Rumelian, Urfa. Modern Standard Turkish is based on the variety spoken in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city.
Turkish-speaking population of the world
It is the official language of Turkey and one of the official languages of Cyprus. It is spoken as a native language by over 80 million people worldwide.
Other than Turkey and Northern Cyprus, there are sizable populations of Turkish speakers in Macedonia, Kosovo, and most countries bordering Turkey, such as Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Albania, Iran, Syria, Iraq and other parts of Eastern Europe, the Balkans and in the Caucasus. Most of these countries were part of the territory formerly governed by the Ottoman Empire.
There is also a large Turkish immigrant/Diaspora community in many countries such as Germany, USA, Australia, Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Belgium, Russia, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Saudi Arabia, etc. It is the second most widely spoken language in Germany. Another 15 million people across the world speak as a second language.
Reasons to Learn Turkish Language in India
Widely Spoken in Eastern Europe, Balkans and Caucasus.
It is one of the worlds 15 most widely spoken native languages. There are large communities of speakers in the Balkans and the Caucasus and very large Turkish immigrant communities in Western Europe. It is the most widely-spoken Turkic language, a language family that also includes Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Kazakh, Uyghur, Turkmen, Tatar, Kyrgyz, just to name a few.
Since Turkish is mutually intelligible (Means they are closely related to each other to a large extent with a few exceptional) with other Turkic languages, speaking it will allow you to communicate with people from Turkey all the way to the Yakut region of Siberia and be understood the whole way. Worldwide about 100 million people can speak altogether (Native, Non-Native, & those who are learning it).
Considering that over 35 Turkic languages are spoken in the region, strategically connected, geographically and culturally and the region’s growing geopolitical importance, Ability to speak Turkish is an advantage when it comes to international business, trade and political affairs.
Job Opportunities & Career scope of Turkish language in India
India has historical relations with Turkey and that relationship resulted in influencing cultures of both nations. Language builds the bridge between nations and hence it would strengthen people to people contact between both countries.
A few years back, Turkish was gaining popularity in India. However, Currently, the relation between two countries is neither friendly nor hostile to each other. The problem with Turkey is that it has failed to detach its relation with India to its relations with Pakistan.
India is Turkey’s second largest trading partner in the Asia-Pacific region after China. India-Turkey bilateral trade was 7 billion USD last year and it has huge potential to grow. Turkey and India are also making moves to increase trade and direct investment between the two countries. Knowledge of Turkish can be greatly advantageous for anyone doing business with Turkish companies or planning to work or study in Turkey.
There are lots of Turkish jobs in India. Many big companies like Oracle, Infosys, TCS, HCL, American Express and Turkish Airways, just to name a few. Many Turkish business groups are exploring opportunities in India. Ability to speak Turkish Language in India will open a wide door of career opportunity.
Major Indian exports to Turkey are cotton, chemicals, steel, mobile handsets, clothing and apparel. Turkey’s exports to India include automotive parts, textile machinery and steel, among a number of food items.
Some 200 Indian companies, such as TATA Motors, Wipro, Reliance, Polyplex, GMR Infrastructure, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ispat, Aditya Birla Group, Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd., Jain Irrigation, and Dabur, have either invested directly or established joint ventures (JVs) in Turkey.
There are very few who are proficient in Turkish Language in India. Learning the language can give you a rare skill and make you an in-demand specialist. Skilled Teacher, translators and interpreters are finding their services in higher demand.
There are numerous advantages and benefits of learning foreign languages in India. However, Choosing the right foreign language is the most important step.
Learn Turkish for travel
Turkey is a fascinating and wonderful country to visit. In 2017, Turkey attracted around 36 million foreign tourists, one of the most popular tourist destination in the world.
Sunny beaches, calm seas, Incredible mountains, delicious and amazing cuisines, flourishing markets, richly Archaeological sites, excellent museums, mystical natural landscapes, transcontinental city, exotic baths are some of the reasons to visit this beautiful country. Turkey is opening its doors to India in a bid to encourage trade and tourism between the two countries.
As per Ministry of foreign affairs – Republic of Turkey, About 131,000 Indian tourists visited Turkey in 2015 and number is only going to move northward by 2020.
If you are planning a holiday in Turkey, Traveling through a foreign country becomes much easier if you can speak the language of that country. Fluency isn’t compulsory. Locals, however always appreciate that you’ve taken the time to at least attempt to learn and communicate in their tongue. It shows a greater level of respect and is an easy way to meet new people.
When you move to a different country, learning the local language will help you to communicate, and integrate with the local community. Acquiring the knowledge in India or abroad will help you to find lots of job, business and travel opportunities.
Turkish Language Courses in India
It is not as popular as French, Spanish or German. Currently, There are not many Colleges or language institute that offers Turkish language program in the area of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and other parts of India.
Embassy of Turkey was planning to open a culture centre in New Delhi to promote Turking language, literature, culture in India. Going forward, there will be definitely more learning centre for Turkish Language in India.
I will keep you updated once I find some more information. There are several websites where you can study online.
Turkish Language Course in Delhi
Jamia Millia Islamia
The Centre offers 3 year Full-time B.A. (Hons.) in Turkish language & Literature. Besides the bachelor’s course, Jamia is also offering a certificate, diploma and advanced diploma in Turkish.
In recent years, Jamia has emerged as one of the most prominent centres among all the Indian Universities specially in the field of Turkish Language and specialisation in its literature. Jamia is the only university in India to offer a bachelor’s degree course in the language under its Faculty of Humanities and Languages.
The Centre is a unique seat of Turkish learning in India where the entire gamut of language, literature, history, culture and civilization of Turkey, and erstwhile Ottoman World is covered in its various academic programmes covering undergraduate, and part-time courses.
The centre also offers 1 year part-time certificate and 1 year part-time Diploma in Kazakhi (Official language of Kazakhstan). 1 year part-time Certificate and 1 year part-time Diploma in Turkemenian (Official language of Turkmenistan). If you are looking for Turkish language classes in Delhi, then Jamia Millia Islamia is the best option.
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
The Centre of Persian & Central Asian Studies (CPCAS) in Jawaharlal Nehru University was established on the 7th of January 1971. The centre offers Certificate and Optional Courses of Turkish.
University of Hyderabad
In 2013, University of Hyderabad started part-time Turkish Language Course for its students. The course is conducted at the Centre for Study of Foreign Languages in collaboration with Indialogue Foundation, an international organization that was founded by Turkish and Indian people.