Friday, 18 May 2018

A question for semanticists



I've been speaking the Turkish language in one form or another for over 35 years but there are times when I'm stumped.   This sign went up outside the football pitch. I understand what it means and would translate it as 'Even if monkeys fall from trees, Bodrumspor won't go down' or 'Whatever happens, Bodrumspor will not be relegated', but I have no idea how the last three words make sense of this meaning. It literally says 'Monkey falls from tree,  Bodrumspor falls to father.'  It shows that the meaning of speech is not just derived from the meaning of individual words all put together but I'd love someone to explain the derivation of this saying.

(It celebrates Bodrumspor, the town football team, saving itself in the last game of the season from being relegated back to the third division, after its disappointing first season in the second. The women's handball and basketball teams did much better - both coming top of their divisions.)

5 comments:

  1. Saw the women's teams being celebrated - a bit - while we were in Bodrum. Not like the green and white celebrations that took place for the football team last year. :) So happy they avoided relegation. It was the same for Fethiyespor in the other group. Love all the banners you see, like this, and trying to make out what they could mean. There are some really clever ones. Can't help you on the derivation, sorry. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beats me! Well it would. :-D

    ReplyDelete
  3. After 10 years of living in Turkey, also speaking Turkish in one form or another, I am still continually flummoxed by phrases like this. Oh well, keep on steppin'.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This stuff is fun - many years back I was taught the following response to 'How are you?' (Nasılsınız?): 'Hiç güven sındın halıcı!' (zero/nothing; confident/confidence; ???; state/condition) but is interpreted as 'Better than the man who has to live with his inlaws!' and results in gales of laughter coming from a yabanci.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm a native Turkish speaker but I've never heard of the idiom "babayi dusmek". So it beats me too!

    ReplyDelete