So, I have two Turkish language textbooks. I love them. They are these mysterious objects that I keep mostly hidden on the shelf of my bed-side table or in the back bedroom with all of our books not-being-currently-read. I feel like they have a magical quality. They hold the secrets to communicating with the millions of strangers who inhabit this country I find myself living in, and they offer a glimpse into thousands of years of the linguistic and cultural evolution of people originating far off across the windswept steppes of Central Asia and the historical wonderland of Anatolia. Doesn’t that sound so motivating?
I like hanging out with these conveniently sized and nicely presented books. I like looking at their shiny covers and thinking about how great it would be to actually wake up one day speaking Turkish. I occasionally skim their crisp, clean pages with wonder and awe… and then, after learning about two words, I get lazy and bored and put them back on the shelf not to be touched again for months. I really wish learning by osmosis worked. But alas, I shan’t learn any Turkish from a closed book collecting dust on a shelf.
We did, however, have our Turkish lesson today, and I really feel like we’re about to make a communication breakthrough! The first few weeks we did some background stuff that seems necessary to learn before getting to the part where you can actually make a sentence! Today we learned the present continuous tense, as well as negative and question forms, and we practised the different forms for lots of verbs. I really feel like I might actually be able to say a thing or two to someone! Tomorrow, I’m hoping to meet up with my friend Deniz at the yoga studio for some breakfast and study time, and I’m also planning to start a language exchange with the receptionist at the studio, who wants to learn some useful English for helping foreigners who come for yoga. We’ll do a little English and a little Turkish, and who knows, we both might learn something! This is actually the most excited I’ve felt about attempting to speak Turkish so far. Previously I’ve found it all rather daunting and I usually end up feeling like a deer in the headlights whenever anyone actually tries to speak to me. It will be nice to finally not look like a sputtering and mumbling idiot when trying to communicate with people!
So, finally I can say: Türkçe őğreniyorum!- I’m learning Turkish!