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Chagatay (جغتای)

Posted: 2013-08-10, 8:15
by eskandar
Also spelled Chagatai, Chaghatay, etc., sometimes simply referred to as Turki or Türki. This extinct Eastern Turkic language is considered the precursor to modern Uzbek and Uyghur. More importantly, it was a classical language of literature and statesmanship in territory stretching from Mongol-controlled Central Europe in the west, to Xinjiang in the east, and from as far north as Mongolia to as far south as Mughal India, in use (alongside other languages) from the 13th-19th centuries. As such, it has a very rich body of literature including poetry, treatises on various topics (ie. Muhakamat al-Lughatayn), and memoirs (ie. the memoir of Mughal emperor Babur). For that reason, I've had a longstanding interest in learning to read Chagatay; I thought I'd start a thread to stir up some interest in it.


Chaghatay (Encyclopedia Iranica)
Chaghatay Language and Literature (Encyclopedia Iranica)

The Wikipedia article is also not bad. Some of the editions of the Wikipedia article written in other Turkic languages (ie. Turkish, Uyghur) are interesting in that they feature comparisons between Chagatay and modern Turkic languages, and also delve into the orthography.


In English, Eckmann's Chagatay manual and Bodrogligeti's A Grammar of Chagatay are probably the best sources available and are fairly comprehensive. They can both be found for free on e-book filesharing websites.

I have come across many other resources for learning Chagatay written in Russian, German, and Turkish, but I can't comment on their quality. It is taught in many Turkish universities.

Re: Chagatay (جغتای)

Posted: 2013-08-10, 10:34
by księżycowy
I used to have a copy of Eckman's book. It was quite nice, the only thing that disappointed my was the over use of transcription. But then again every letter could easily be matched up with it's Perso-Arabic letter, so it's not that bad.

Re: Chagatay (جغتای)

Posted: 2013-08-10, 14:18
by kalemiye

Re: Chagatay (جغتای)

Posted: 2013-08-10, 14:52
by Yasna
How does the available literature in Chagatay compare to that of Persian?

Re: Chagatay (جغتای)

Posted: 2013-08-10, 15:21
by eskandar
I assume you mean in terms of quantity. Chagatay literature is very limited compared to Persian, which has an incredibly vast body of literature associated with it. Historically Persian has been written by a greater variety of different peoples and in different geographies, and its life as a literary language is also longer (~9th century to present, with even the earliest texts still quite accessible for contemporary readers). Chagatay literature had a more limited geography and timespan, and consequently fewer texts. Nevertheless, it seems like there are quite a few things worth reading in Chagatay.

Re: Chagatay (جغتای)

Posted: 2013-08-11, 10:05
by Limagne
Chagatay literature ... Itemid=210

Note that Uzbeks apparently tend to refer to the body of literature written in Chagatay as O'zbek mumtoz adabiyoti.

Re: Chagatay (جغتای)

Posted: 2013-09-24, 16:02
by eskandar

Re: Chagatay (جغتای)

Posted: 2014-02-22, 14:32
by Limagne
I have found a Chagatay - French dictionary in the arabic script :)

Dictionnaire Turk-oriental

And here is a bilingual French/Chagatay edition of the Miraj Nameh, a prose work. Original text in the arabic script, annotated and translated.

Mirâdj-nâmeh : récit de l'ascension de Mahomet au ciel, texte turk-oriental

I think there are a few 'eastern Turkish' manuscripts on Gallica too.

Re: Chagatay (جغتای)

Posted: 2014-02-22, 17:12
by Limagne
Muntakhab-i divân-i Navâi
Choix des poésies en turc-oriental de Mir ʿAli Shir Nevaï, précédé de la préface des quatre divans, en prose mêlée de vers, avec la dédicace (folio 5 recto) à Sultan Hoseïn Mirza, souverain du Khorasan ; il contient, pour la plus grande partie, des ghazels, rangés alphabétiquement d'après l'ordre de leurs rimes, et il se termine par des quatrains.

The Legend of Oghuz Khan (Uyghur script!)
Le livre d'Oughouz, histoire du fondateur mythique de la race turque, ou d'Attila, en turc-oriental, en prose et en vers octosyllabiques, qui sont la formule de la poésie populaire turque, avant qu'elle n'ait imité la prosodie persane

Divân-i Huseyni
Le divan en turc-oriental de Sultan Hoseïn Mirza, souverain timouride du Khorasan, né en 842 de l'hégire (1438), qui régna à Herat entre les années 873-911 (1468-1505)

Lisân ut-tayr - Navâi
Dialogue des oiseaux , en turc-oriental, traduction, par Mir ʿAli Shir Nevaï, du Mantik el-taïr de Ferid ed-Din ʿAttar.

Kulliyât-i Navâi
Recueil des œuvres en turc-oriental, en prose et en vers, de Mir ʿAli Shir Nevaï (m. 906 de l'hégire = 1501).

Re: Chagatay (جغتای)

Posted: 2014-02-25, 5:19
by eskandar
None of the Gallica links are working for me. In fact, I haven't been able to connect to or itself at all. Is the site down, or are these sites restricted to users with French IPs or something?

Re: Chagatay (جغتای)

Posted: 2014-02-25, 18:00
by Itikar
All the links work for me.

Re: Chagatay (جغتای)

Posted: 2014-03-06, 10:49
by eskandar
Maybe the site was just down when I tried to access it - looks like they're working for me as well now!

Another repository of Chagatay material as well as contemporary Uzbek, in both Latin and Cyrillic:

Re: Chagatay (جغتای)

Posted: 2018-11-28, 3:36
by eskandar
An Introduction to Chaghatay: A Graded Textbook for Reading Central Asian Sources

A full, high-quality PDF is freely available from the publisher. Buy it on Amazon here.

Good to pair with the Eastern Turki Glossary, a searchable Chaghatay dictionary.

Re: Chagatay (جغتای)

Posted: 2018-11-28, 9:24
by księżycowy
Oh my gawd!

And actual Chagatay textbook in English!? :shock: Instabuy! :partyhat: