An Introduction to Chaghatay.

Eric Schluessel has published An Introduction to Chaghatay: A Graded Textbook for Reading Central Asian Sources and made it freely available (287-page pdf) — what a great service to everyone interested in the Turkic languages! As the publisher’s blurb says:

The Chaghatay language was used across Central Asia from the 1400s through the 1950s. Chroniclers, clerks, and poets in modern-day Afghanistan, Xinjiang, Uzbekistan, and beyond wrote countless volumes of text in Chaghatay, from the famed Baburnama to the documents of everyday life. However, even more and more material in Chaghatay is becoming available to scholars, few are able to read the language with ease.

Thanks go to Wm Annis, who sent me the link and added:

I wish he cared a bit more about the vowels, but this seems to be aimed at getting Sinologists into reading original sources. On the other hand, it does try to help readers learn to deal with Nasta’liq.


  1. Publisher’s blurb, second to last line: is this some new structure I need to grow familiar with, or should there be an “as” between “even” and “more”?

  2. It is odd, isn’t it? Blurbese is its own dialect.

  3. Previously mentioned in the comments here.

  4. So it was! I guess I didn’t click on that link, so it didn’t stick in my mind.

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