Saturday, November 13, 2010

Iyi, iyi değil, vocal exercises and recall

Iyi. Iyi değil.

Every language has them when you're first learning. Difficult sound combinations. "Iyi/Iyi değil" is my current pronunciation hurdle to get over. I say it. I say it again. Over and over. Truth be told, it's not all that difficult. It's just not natural yet. And so I keep saying it. And it starts to get easier, so I stop for awhile. When I go back to it, it's unnatural again. I practice some more. And it starts to feel more natural again. Rinse, repeat.

I have no doubt that it'll become quite natural in the long run. I went through the same thing with Polish, but they were consonant groupings. Words like "przez", "chcesz" and "potrzybować" were all initially really hard for me, then gradually got easier with practice. Practice.

So I look at all this as a vocal exercise. I'm just warming up. I'm transported back to my 10th grade choir, sounding out ridiculous sounds and mouth formations, third riser up on the far right - I'm the short guy with the braces. And now I'm ready for the rest of the lesson.

Part of my lessons this week included talking about and/or asking for directions to specific tourist locations. One in particular, Sultanahmet Meydanı (Sultan Ahmet Square), was often used in two of the lessons. "Meydanı", had a peculiar, yet familiar tone to it. Having actually been in the old part of Marrakesh, and perhaps recognizing the historical importance of a central town square, I'm going to make a guess and say that this is an Arab loanword (from medina). Whether that's true or not, because of the association I've made between the two, I'll never forget the word for square in Turkish. It's stored in my brain with that association. I wish all recalls were this easy.

So, that's been my language-learning week, whittled down. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how my Turkish learning is progressing.


  1. "Words like "przez", "chcesz" and "potrzybować" " - a small mistake - correctly - "potrzebować".