View Full Version : Huge mistakes in the article 'Name of the china’s largest desert misinterpreted '

20-08-05, 06:15
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uygurlar/message/5259 elindi

Huge mistakes in the article 'Name of the china’s largest desert misinterpreted '

Teklimakan, original name of the China’s largest desert in Uyghur, where the Desert is located in the heart of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, caused numerous disputes about its original implication. As the matter fact the name Teklimakan is in Uyghur. The following meaning, 'once you're trapped there's no escape' in Uyghur, that the Uyghur People used in their daily life is originated from the charismatic nature of the desert. Never the people used that meaning in academic research or purpose

After a thorough phonetic study into the Uygur dialect, Qian, a historian, said "Taklimakan" actually means "land of poplars" because "Takli" is the derivative of the Turkish word "Tohlak" or "Tohrak", meaning "poplar". "Taklimakan is known in Mandarin as Taklamakan," he added[1]

I am wondering if the Mr Qian Boquan had any chance to read the some of the articles by the Uyghur Archaeologist, and Linguists such as

1. Molla Ismetulla Binni Molla Nimetulla Mojizi, ‘Tewarihi Musqiyyun’ ( History of the Musicians’ written in 1854-1855 and reprinted by Nationalities Press, 1982 Beijing, ( Page 40 )

2. Qurban Weli, ‘On the derivation of the Teklimakan’, Vol 2 ‘Journal of The Unity of the Nationalities, 1987 (Qurban Weli, < Teklimakan Atalghusining Kelix Menbesi Toghrisida > <Milletler Ittipaqlighi> Zjornili 1987 Yil 2 – San.

3. Abdurep Polat , Researches and Essays on Chaghatay Uyghur Language , Nationalities Press 1993 Beijing ( Page 243) ( Chaghatay Uyghur tili Tetqiqatidin Ilmi Maqaliler. Milletl;er Nexryati 1993 Beijing

4 M T Zunun . On Derivation of the Ziyali , http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uygurlar/message/3508

In those articles and essays it was clearly indicating the true meaning of the Teklimakan

study the Teklimakan in lexically and phonetically


A, Tek,

Actually this word was originated from the word Terk ( desert, abandon) Uyghur People are still using the word Terk as terk etmek ( Desert, Abandon) , Trek[2] came straigt from Chaghatay Word. So

Tek = Terk (Desert, Abandon)

B. Li

Li is a suffix. in Old Uyghur, it was not the li , It was -gli, -kli[3] glu, klu , ( the one who does , makes adjective)


Yaratigli Yaratquci (Creator) yarat (Create)

Edgu ogli Dost (Friend)

Buzuglu buzghunci

Erkli Bolmakta bolghan (Being done) er (To Be

C. Makan

Makan same as the nowadays Uyghur, means place location

At the end we see that Teklimakan equals to Terkklimakan

Teklimakan equals to Terkklimakan

terk + kli+ makan = Terkklimakan

in phonologically , as the time passed by the there was phonetic loss of phonemes in the words ( that happens in every single languages excepts some languages such as Chinese)

The ‘r’ in Terk and ‘k’ in kli loss and it became Teklimakan meaning is Deserted Land, Abandoned Land.

Yes there are many sites of Ancient Toghraq (Poplar Tree) Forest in and around the Teklimakan Desert and there numerous archaeological expeditions in the region and amon them Qurban Weli, (well-known archaeologist, ‘On the derivation of the Teklimakan’, Vol. 2 ‘Journal of The Unity of the Nationalities, 1987) was among them as well. As the matter of fact the Teklimakan is linguistically easy to sort out and not that much complicated issues.

If we search for the relevant words and expression about toghrakli makan from main resource such as The Dictionary of the Turkic Languages by Mehmut KAshgari (Turki Tillar Divan ) and Kutadgubilik by Yusup Has Hajip and even Discussions on the Two Languages by Elishir Nawayi ( Muhakemet’ ul Lughatayin) we can see no trace of Toghraq -à Takli derivation form,

Even from other resources like Turkic Languages by N. A. Baskakov. And Old Turkish Grammar A Von Gabain , you can see the relevant derivation about that.

As the MR Qian indicating in his article that the suffix ‘ma’

The syllable "ma" that follows the "Takli" stands for "big"[4]

In old Uyghur form a noun from verb it was rarely used [5]

1. -ma, -me

e.g. Yelma Knight , Horse Rider (Yel –Ride)

Kesme (Mint ) ash[6] A kind of food

2. -ma’ forms negative in old Uyghur[7]

Turgurma don’t stop

And some more examples given in the A Von Gabain , but non of the has the meaning as Mr Qian

In Modern Uyghur the suffix ‘-ma, -me’ form a noun from a verb

1. ma, -me

bu ek, fiilere gelir. İsim ve sıfat yapar.

Yazma Article

aylanma Roundabout

Süzme Kind of dairy product

Konukme Exercise

From these samples and examples we can that the word Teklimakan is derived from


Terk------li-----makan ( loss of repeated Consonant ‘k’ in the process of language development

Terk------li-----makan (consonant ‘r’ was gradually dropped. loss of Consonant ‘r’ in the process of language Development ..

Teklimakan appeared in Modern Uyghur.

Mr Qian Said

"It's widely believed the name of the desert means 'once you're trapped there's no escape' in Uygur. It's a huge mistake," said Qian Boquan, a researcher at Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences.

It is believed, it is belief in Uyghur that is the legend and it’s the mirage but it not the academic research. It is not a huge mistake.

If we really said huge mistake there are mistakes those mistakes were/are not originated from the local people.


In Kashgar There is a famous tomb called ‘Tomb of Appaq Hoja’ But the Chinese People call that tomb ‘Tomb of Fragrant Concubine’ the Uyghur People never called this Tomb, ‘Tomb of Fragrant Concubine’ it was huge mistake, which was the huge mistake by the Chinese Poet called Xiaoxong. He was adviser to the army of Zuo Zongtang to conquer the Kashgaria. When he return back to Palace of Qing Dynasty, he had nothing to the wrote his poet by his memories and described ‘Tomb of Appaq Hoja’ as ‘Tomb of Fragrant Concubine’[8]later this poem appeared in the ‘Colletions of Guanzhong’ , First Volume of Collections’ [9]

Later one of the Academic researcher of Social Sciences in China wrote an articles say, he found out the huge mistake that Uyghur people believed ‘Tomb of Fragrant Concubine’ as ‘Tomb of Appaq Hoja’

These kind mistakes are too many in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, but the mistakes how and where the mistakes originated from.

Teklimakan is the place 'once you're trapped there's no escape or in other word, once you get into the desert you can returned back. Until recently this desert is called Simang zhi hai (Sea of the Death) in Chinese and by Chinese. It was overcome recently with the help of modern Technology. But it was overcome by the people from and around the Desert thousand years ago.

Now it became the Sea of the Oil and is playing his very important role for the development of the People’s Republic of China.


[1] http://english.people.com.cn/200508/18/eng20050818_203332.html

[2] Abdurep Polat , Researches and Essays on Chaghatay Uyghur Language , Nationalities Press 1993 Beijing ( Page 243) ( Chaghatay Uyghur tili Tetqiqatidin Ilmi Maqaliler. Milletl;er Nexryati 1993 Beijing

[3] A Von Gabain ‘Eski Turkcenin Gramari, P52

[4] http://english.people.com.cn/200508/18/eng20050818_203332.html

[5] A Von Gabain ‘Eski Turkcenin Gramari, P53-57

[6] A Von Gabain ‘Eski Turkcenin Gramari, P57

[7] A Von Gabain ‘Eski Turkcenin Gramari, P59

[8] Collections Lingjian Mension by Xiao Xong

[9] Essays on the history of Qing Dynasty , Zhonghua Press 1977.

Sizge Isenlik Tilep

Herdaim Oq Ya

Original :


Name of China's largest desert misinterpreted, expert