Notes on Transliteration and Transcription

In: Orthodox Christians and Muslims in Cappadocia
Aude Aylin de Tapia
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Towns and villages had often various names, which, beyond issues of pronunciation in Greek and in Turkish, were quite different. For instance, Ürgüp was also called Prokopi, and the current village of Hasaköy was already called Hasaköy but also Akso (Aksos or Naksos). For simplicity and because some of them are still used today, we have decided to use the Turkish name, except for a few villages for which the Greek name appeared more frequently in the sources.

For all tononyms, when different names were used for the same place or when the name has changed in the time of the Republic of Turkey, the first occurrence includes the various former and current names. A list of these toponyms is given in Appendix 1.

Transliteration of Greek and Turkish Terms

There is no standard way of transliterating Greek script. The approach taken follows a compromise preserving the phonetic with the visual, and allows for exceptions. As for Ottoman-Turkish words, they are orthographied as they are in modern Turkish. When the same word was used in Greek and in Turkish, the modern Turkish orthograph has thus been privileged. Where the plural form is required in English, for readability an ‘s’ has been added to the Turkish and Greek words, instead of the plural form of each language. Turkish and Greek words used frequently throughout the text are given in italics (followed by a definition) on the first instance.

Reading and Transcription Conventions

To work on Ottoman but also Greek and Karamanli archives and publications requires to deal with various alphabers and pronunciations. It has thus been necessary to propose a compromise for the transcription. Modern Turkish pronunciation and transcription has been used for words still used today. For instance, the letter “c” needs to be read [dʒ] as in hoca [pronunced hodja], the letter “u” [ʊ] as in Rum, the letter “ç” [tʃ] as in çiftlik [pronunced tschiftlik] or the letter “ş” [ʃ] as in paşa [pronunced pasha]. However, when we quote and transcribe an excerpt of documents, we tried to followed a strict transliteration of the Arabic or Greek alphabet.

Finally, specific choices have been made concerning the transliteration of Karamanli-Turkish. To avoid difficulties in reading, the “ου” combination has been transcribed either as “ou” or as “ü”, the difference between the sounds [o/ə] and between [ʊ/y] not being done in Karamanli orthography. Because of the specificities of the Karamanli use of the Greek alphabet and limits of word processors, we have not been able to write some of the diacritical signs such as the superscript point on the σ/ς to write the “ş”, on the “π” to write the “b” [b], on the “ο” to write the “ö” and on the “κ” to write the “g” [g] but we transliterated them as “ş”, “b”, “ö” and “g” in the Latin transcription.

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