ت ر ج م
There has been noted the correspondence of this root in Arabic and the other Semitic languages to the Hittite and Luwian verb [script needed] (tarkummāi) / [script needed] (tarkummiya) of the meaning “to announce”, “to explain”, which can be explained by there not being a Proto-Semitic predecessor, but Arabic having borrowed the root via Classical Syriac ܬܰܪܓܡܳܢܳܐ (targmānā, “interpreter”) and/or Classical Syriac ܬܰܪܓܶܡ (targem, “to speak in public; to interpret”), and Aramaic from Akkadian 𒅴𒁄 (/targumannu, turgumannu/, “interpreter”), possibly borrowed or alternatively derived natively from 𒅗 (/ragāmu/, “to shout, to exclaim, to cast forth a prophecy; hence also, to speak for the gods, to speak for another, to interpret, and to rede”). Hebrew – תֻּרְגְּמָן (turg'mán, “translator”), תִּרְגֵּם (tirgém, “to translate”) – would have loaned the root from Aramaic, and the well-developed Ethiopian Semitic root is also claimed to be of Aramaic origin.
For the thesis of a loanword in Semitic speaks:
- the variation in forms, especially in Arabic and Akkadian which are else not prone to variations of vowels
- a slight strain of specialization in meaning from Aramaic to Arabic and Ethiopic, as the meaning of “speaking in public” or “announcing” gets lost south-east of Aramaic
- the observation of a “wandering from West to East”
- the identification of the ending of the Akkadian noun as not -ānu, but -annu which only appears in loanwords in Akkadian
But as for Hittite, there is no weighty Indo-European derivation for the Anatolian verb, it shows features of being denominal, and there is no attested instance of it precisely meaning “to translate” or “to serve as language mediator for”, while it is striking that the occupational noun is not at all attested in Anatolian. Also there is culturally no reason to assume that Akkadian has borrowed the word for this specific concept specifically from Anatolian, as it was a long-established practice to converse diplomatically through interpreters.
The conclusion can be that Akkadian has borrowed from an unknown language, whereas what the Hittite forms are is in sum uncertain, and their value for Semitic has been that they have incited thoughts about the origins of the Semitic root t-r-g-m whilst being unrelated.
ت ر ج م • (t-r-j-m)
- Form Iq: تَرْجَمَ (tarjama, “to translate, to interpret”)
- تَرْجُمَان (tarjumān), تُرْجُمَان (turjumān, “translator, interpreter”)
- مُتَرْجِم (mutarjim, “translator, interpreter”)
- ^ Arabic having borrowed تَرْجُمَان (tarjumān) is already suspected by Fraenkel, Siegmund (1886) Die aramäischen Fremdwörter im Arabischen (in German), Leiden: E. J. Brill, page 280. But Fraenkel knew no Akkadian and the Anatolian languages were unknown in his time.
- ^ Leslau, Wolf (1991) Comparative Dictionary of Geʿez (Classical Ethiopic), 2nd edition, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, →ISBN, page 579
- ^ Rabin, Chaim (1963), “Hittite Words in Hebrew”, in Orientalia, volume 32, issue 2, DOI:10.2307/43073741, pages 134–136
- Frank Starke (1993), “Zur Herkunft von akkad. ta/urgumannu(m) „Dolmetscher“”, in Die Welt des Orients, volume 24, DOI:10.2307/25683454, pages 20–38
- ^ Starke exercises the most in-depth try for an Indo-European reconstruction of eventual Anatolian forms, therein comparing to 𒋻𒆪𒉿𒀭𒍣 (tarkuwanzi, “to dance in a circle”), which he compares with Latin torqueō (“to twist”) and Sanskrit तर्क (tarka, “reasoning”), while pointing to Latin vertō and versō (“to turn”) also having acquired the meanings of “to translate”, to which can be added English turn with its meaning. Starke claims that “die formalen and semantischen Voraussetzungen sind gegeben”, however there is a lot of reconstruction with non-necessary relating to other languages.
- ^ Rubio, Gonzalo (2006), “Šulgi and the Death of Sumerian”, in Piotr Michalowski, Niek Veldhuis, editors, Approaches to Sumerian Literature Studies in Honour of Stip (H.L.J. Vanstiphout), Leiden: Brill, Cuneiform Monographs 35, page 167