Tatar (tatarça / татарча / تاتارچا)

Tatar is a Turkic language with about 7 million speakers in Russian republic of Tatarstan, and also in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkey (Europe), Turkmenistan, Ukraine, USA and Uzbekistan.

Tatar has been written with a number of different alphabets: before the 9th century AD it was written with the Orkhon alphabet; then with a version of the Arabic alphabet until 1920. A modified version of the Arabic alphabet known as Yaña imlâ or new orthography was used between 1920 and 1927. Since then it has been with the Cyrillic alphabet and a number of versions of the Latin alphabet.

Arabic alphabet for Tatar

Tatar was written using the variant of the Arabic alphabet shown below from the 9th century until 1920.

Arabic alphabet for Tatar

Latin alphabet for Tatar (Jaŋalif)

Between 1927 and 1939 Tatar was written with the version of the Latin alphabet shown below.
1929 Latin alphabet for Tatar

Cyrillic alphabet for Tatar (татар әлифбасы)

In 1939 the Cyrillic alphabet was imposed by Stalin. Stalin wanted to discourage contact between the Turkic republics and Turkey and worried about the development of alliances which might undermine the authority of the Soviet Union.
Cyrillic alphabet for Tatar

Notes

  • Tatar has vowel harmony: front vowels are ә, э(e), и, ө and ү, back vowels are а, ы, ый, о, у
  • Stress always falls on the final syllabe e.g. ничек /ni'ɕek/
  • a = [ɒ] word initially and after an a pronounced [ɒ]
  • Ё, Ж, Ц and Щ are only used in Russian loanwords. в = /v/ only in russian loanwords e.g. врач /vratɕ/
  • ф mostly appears in loanwords, but also in a few native words, e.g. яфрак, калфак

Notes and some corrections provided by 이윤호

2001 Latin alphabet for Tatar (tatar әlifbası)

In 2001 the authorities in Tatarstan decided to switch back to the modified version of Latin alphabet to write Tatar. Latin alphabet for Tatar

Sample text in Tatar in the Cyrillic alphabet

Барлык кешеләр дә азат һәм үз абруйлары һәм хокуклары ягыннан тиң бупып туапар. Аларга акыл һәм вөҗдан бирелгән һәм бәр-бәрсенә карата туганнарча мөнасәбәттә булырга тиешләр.

Sample Tatar text in the Latin alphabet (Zamanälif)

Barlıq keşelär dä azat häm üz abruyları häm xoquqları yağınnan tiñ bulıp tualar. Alarğa aqıl häm wöcdan birelgän häm ber-bersenä qarata tuğannarça mönasäbättä bulırğa tieşlär

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)




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