Ottoman Turk translation help?
May 29, 2014 8:44 AM   Subscribe

How would one write "The Fast Ones" in Ottoman-era Turkish? I'm making a mildly humorous sign for a Turkish friend, and for various reasons I'm pretending it's Ottoman-era (1650).

I have the graphic styling solved, but my Turkish is nearly nonexistent. I'm aware of the alphabet changes wrought by Ataturk, but I have no idea how this phrase would have been written circa 1650. If it makes a difference between Arabic & Persian scripts, I'd want to use whatever the imperial court would have used (ie., not a random official in an eastern province).
posted by aramaic to Writing & Language (2 answers total)
What do you intend "The Fast Ones" to mean? It's not at all clear in English, and it can't be translated without further explanation. Also, Ottoman Turkish is extremely recondite and impossible to read (even for Turks) without a great deal of background; I seriously doubt you're going to find anyone here with the necessary skills. You would do better to check with a university that offers it; even a busy scholar might well take a few minutes off to help with such a short phrase (as long as you can explain it adequately). I wrote about the language here and cited some resources; that was some years ago, but it might give you a start.
posted by languagehat at 12:11 PM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Hmm. I think I shall hie myself to a University -- the phrasing was sort of intentionally vague in order to set up a rude and obvious English-language double-entendre using a sign that ostensibly refers to unusually speedy cyclists who are very pleased with their velocity, using Ottoman-era language & imagery for anachronistic humor as well (the recipient prides himself on being "modern").

It may ultimately be better to just go with either modern Turkish or Arabic for the language, and just rely on Ottoman imagery. It's not quite as pointlessly thorough as I might have wanted, but a heck of a lot easier & he can decipher Arabic with some effort.
posted by aramaic at 12:50 PM on May 29, 2014

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