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201[tatar-l] Re: TATAR

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  • SabirzyanB@aol.com
    Mar 1, 1999
      In a message dated 99-03-01 11:57:41 EST, Almaz Sharipov wrote:

      << How should I pronounce the word TATAR in spoken English and French?
      And why in my dictionary this word is presented as TARTAR?
      Is there some difference between them?

      I think most people use the word TATAR to refer to modern Kazan Tatars and
      Crimean Tatars.

      As to TARTAR, it is generally used to refer to the ancient people known as
      cruel and bloodthirsty conquerors of Asia and Eastern Europe. The word
      TARTAR has many negative connotations: In Latin, the word TARTARUS means
      HELL. In ancient Europe these two words, Tartar and Tartarus, were
      inextricably connected in peoples' minds. I also remember reading that in
      ancient Chinese the word "tar-tar" meant " a barbarian."

      According to my American Heritage dictionary, the word Tartar has two meanings
      (both of them negative): 1. A hard, yellowish deposit on the teeth commonly
      known as plaque. (If you have a tube of Crest toothpaste, you might see an
      inscription on it, saying: "Fight Tartar with Crest") 2. A ferocious or
      violent-tempered person.

      There is also an expression "To catch a Tartar", which means "to grapple with
      an unexpectedly formidable opponent."

      To put it in a nutshell, TATAR should be used for modern times, and TARTAR
      should be used for ancient times.

      Sabirzyan Badretdinov

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