This article explores the linguistic and cultural dimensions between “Mir’atü’l-memalik”, a work by the 16th-century Ottoman sailor and scholar Seydi Âli Reis, and “Journey to the West”, a prominent piece of classical Chinese literature. Both works emerge as linguistic treasures that reflect the social, cultural, and scientific thoughts of their respective geographies and eras. While “Mir’atü’l-memalik” offers valuable insights into the languages, customs, and nautical knowledge of the Ottoman Empire, “Journey to the West” contains in-depth analyses of Chinese mythology, Buddhism, and the development of literary language.

Our comparative analysis reveals how these two works show similarities and differences in terms of linguistic structure, narrative techniques, and symbolism. Seydi Âli Reis’s work is enriched with nautical terms and terms specific to the political events of the period, whereas the Chinese work is filled with fantastic elements, allegorical characters, and concepts specific to religious teachings. The language and narration of the works are closely related to the cultural values and belief systems of their times, reflecting the social structure of their geographies and the world view of the period.

Furthermore, this study assesses the contributions of both works to modern language studies and comparative literature research. The linguistic and literary analysis of these works sheds light on the historical evolution of modern Turkish and Chinese while offering a rich database and method of analysis for future research.

In conclusion, “Mir’atü’l-memalik” and “Journey to the West” are both key works that shaped the world and languages of their times. The analyses conducted in this article aim to contribute to a better understanding of how language has evolved in a cultural and historical context and the role of literature in this process.

Anahtar Kelimeler

Linguistics, Mir'atü'l-memalik, Journey to West, traditional Chinese, ancient Turkish.