11.27.2006

Ўзбек тили

That’s right. I’ve got a new love affair with a new language that fits RIGHT into my current repertoire. Uzbek.

It’s spoken by about 24 million people worldwide and is a Turkic language (perfect) written in a (modified) Cyrillic script. That means I can read it, and the vocabulary is (beginning to look) somewhat familiar already. Because Uzbek is a Turkic language, it also shares the same background and relation to Persian that Turkish does: vocabulary, colloquial expressions, etc. It’s heavily influenced by Islam, so the Persian/Arabic phrases are found throughout the language. It is not dissimilar to Kazakh and Kirghiz in all of these respects.

A sister gave me an RV that she thought was Russian. She wanted me to take care of it and was not going to worry about it any longer now that I was going to handle it. I went by (it was at a business) and managed to meet the young man. He has been here a very short while and his Russian was shaky. I asked him where he lived in Russia and he said he didn’t. I asked him what other languages he spoke. Guess. That’s right, Uzbek. I showed him the Uzbek page in the booklet and he was impressed, but also busy. I’m going to try to go back some time later next week maybe and see if I can get him at a not so busy time.

Because Uzbek is only spoken by a (relatively) small population, it’s not worth pouring your heart and soul into learning it from this side of the Caucasus. However, I’m certainly not going to pass up the opportunity to speak a little and get my feet a little wet with it. It’s a unique language, and one that’s almost dead between the two I’m already interested in. Seriously. It’s very interesting. But what it has also done is given me a little bit of insight into what languages it would be worth learning if I were to continue heading down the path I’m currently going. Here they are, in no particular order:

·         Persian (because most people speak it more comfortably than Arabic, even though more people speak Arabic)

·         Urdu- an easy(ish) transition from Persian. The script is very similar, the sounds are very similar, and it’s the second most spoken language on earth, if combined with Hindi, its near-twin, which is also another excellent reason to learn it.

·         Turkish- Already in the works, but has tons of influence from the Persian language, etc.

·         Russian- again, not a new undertaking, but with the above languages, you begin to comprise a part of the country that is very densely populated. There are Russian-speakers in places like Iran, Egypt, Georgia, etc. They would more comfortably speak Persian, but it wouldn’t hurt to throw some Slavic слова their way. AND…

·         In that part of the world, it wouldn’t be rare to come across Kazakhs, Kirghiz, Uzbeks, Uighers, and other Turkic-Slavic languages. These are all heavily influenced by (surprise) Turkish and Persian, and for most intents and purposes would be a breeze to simply wing it if you knew the above languages.

Persian and Urdu are both highly practical. Persian is incredibly poetic and has lots of literature behind it. It’s spoken by a sizeable population and has sired, if you will, a lot of other languages. Urdu gets you the rest, along with almost the entire Indian population through about a 95% (ish) percent comprehension of Hindi, a hugely important language, aside from the fact that you would have to learn to read it separate from Urdu. Bummer there.

So those are my new projects (new as in ‘I’ll get to those a few (or ten) years from now’ type projects), but just seem to be practical. We’ll see. Thoughts?

Uzbek moment of the day: Барча одамлар эркин, қадр-қиммат ва ҳуқуқларда тенг бўлиб туғиладилар. Улар ақл ва виждон соҳибидирлар ва бир-бирлари ила биродарларча муомала қилишлари зарур.

5 comments:

Affable Olive said...

I do like the way Persian sounds. When you e-mailed me that stuff about Persian months ago, I listened to some and it sounded so pretty. So call me up when you start speaking Persian all the time and I'll listen to you practice. Until then, you can keep speaking Turkish while I eat those delicious chicken and humus wraps.

t said...

Amen on the Chicken & Hummus wraps. I just had a dream about Cafe Efendi. (I assume that's the place you mean...)

Affable Olive said...

Heck yes. I need to visit a'retta like ASAP. I need some Turkish fries... man I'm starved. When do I get to go home from service?

Oh Oh! My word verf says "longgyt." Sounds like something they might say where I'm from. "That sure's a longgyt trailer." Could so see Bear Clasky saying that one.

Affable Olive said...

I thought you told me that there was an update? You liar!

Affable Olive said...

OK, now this is getting serious. Neither one of you have commented or posted. I bet I'm missing something big... besides the fact that H'n'B is getting that expanded cable package this weekend.