Friday, 1 November 2013

Trying, trying, trying to learn Turkish ........

Why is it that sometimes I go to my Turkish lessons and feel I am really starting to get somewhere with learning this (for us Brits) tricky language, and on other days I feel like it is a total waste of time and money and I'm never going to manage it? I don't seem to have an in-between state it always seems to be one extreme or the other.

I find learning Turkish incredibly difficult. As I have mentioned in previous posts I do not have a natural 'ear' for languages, and with the structure of the Turkish language being so very different to English, sometimes it seems an almost impossible task.

Funnily enough I do understand the grammar side of the language fairly well. It's remembering it all that I have a problem with. I actually like the fact that Turkish is an agglutinative language - meaning basically that you string extra bits on the end of words instead of adding a whole load of extra words like us English people do. The confusing bit is in which order to add them.

Turkish doesn't really translate into English very directly, the way things are said and sentence structure is entirely different. It is therefore very difficult to use any of the on line translation sites because the English equivalent of the Turkish words usually makes for a paragraph of indecipherable gobbledygook!

My spoken Turkish (what little I do know) is very badly pronounced until I really absorb a word and then it is slightly better. I often wonder what the Turks think to our accents and mine in particular! English people often consider English spoken by a foreigner to be quite endearing. I feel absolutely sure this is definitely not the case with me speaking Turkish!

On the encouraging side, I find I can now shop for most things and conduct the conversation fairly well in Turkish. Plus the small amount of Turkish that has actually stuck inside my head I am now able to think in Turkish rather than think in English to then translate in my head first. That's an improvement.

I have definitely learnt enough to impress David when we go shopping, but as he gave up learning after a couple of lessons he is easily impressed! But it's still good for my ego anyway.

But if I'm honest half my trouble is that I don't put any time in between the lessons to study. We have been so busy all summer, that it has been impossible to find the time. If we have homework, more often than not it is done quickly just before I leave to attend the next lesson. So I have high hopes that during the winter months I am going to be a reformed character and put in the time to crack this Turkish speaking lark.

So just wait until the spring when I am still telling you all that I'm still struggling and that I lied!

6 comments:

  1. It may be some consolation to you that even after nearly 16 years my Turkish is still rubbish. Like you, I'm not a natural when it comes to languages, and I really struggle. My pronunciation is good. I have a fair vocabulary, but I cannot attempt a proper conversation. It's very frustrating. I can understand a fair amount of what people are saying when I listen to conversations, but it's almost like a brick wall comes up when I attempt to join in. You would think being married to a Turk would make it easy wouldn't you? No chance...his English is now fluent thanks to me!

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  2. Oh Ayak, You have made me feel so much better! It's so encouraging to hear that someone else struggles too. Thank you for that.

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  3. As an English language instructor in Turkey, it is almost impossible for me to understand the everyday language of native English speakers. So it is not a surprise to see vice versa. The language of "common people" is totally different from the standard grammar.

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    1. So very true Michael. Here I am 2 1/2 years on and I still can't grasp it!

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  4. What about private conversation lessons from a native speaker ?I was very usefull when I was learning dutch in The Netherlands.Twice a week I used to speak with a native dutch about daily subjects and it was a considerable good step to make my self esteem higher.I live in Fethiye-Göcek and work part time as a volunteer pharmacist.I would be more than happy if I could give a hand.e-mail:happyno@yahoo.com

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  5. What about private conversation lessons from a native speaker ?I was very usefull when I was learning dutch in The Netherlands.Twice a week I used to speak with a native dutch about daily subjects and it was a considerable good step to make my self esteem higher.I live in Fethiye-Göcek and work part time as a volunteer pharmacist.I would be more than happy if I could give a hand.e-mail:happyno@yahoo.com

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