Sunday, May 22, 2005

Some background

I think it would be a good idea to share some of my background as some of you may be wondering how I ended up learning Kyrgyz and why I am putting all this effort into this blog and especially its list of resources. :)

The primary reason for learning Kyrgyz (or, for that matter, any other foreign language I have ever attempted to learn) is simple - I am fascinated by languages. This explains why a little over four years ago I quit my job at a newspaper and started working as a translator. As if my daily encounters with all sorts of linguistic wonders weren't enough, I spent a fair share of my free time studying a couple of other foreign languages.

I also got interested in the very concept of language learning and language acquisition, which I researched quite extensively last year. I tried a variety of methods and techniques, some of them quite successfully. I will discuss these in more detail in my future postings.

If I were asked to pinpoint the first time I experienced the beauty of the Kyrgyz language, I would say it was in April last year at a concert of Central Asian ethnic music in Bishkek. I'd been to Bishkek about a dozen times before that but it was only then that I fell in love with the language. Yet it never occurred to me to study it.

Well, it so happened that I moved to Kyrgyzstan early this year. And it so happened that in a recent conversation a colleague of mine suggested we learn the language, especially since I'll be staying here for months to come. I liked the challenge (and I assure you that learning a Turkic language is a real challenge for a person with a Western mindset!) and so here I am, struggling to get my bearings in this new linguistic environment.

I am a bit of a technology addict, which explains why I created this blog in the first place. This also means that I will probably make heavy use of computer in my studies. I have already wept when I realized there are no comprehensive Kyrgyz-English (or Kyrgyz-Russian) online dictionaries out there. I guess I'll have to live with that. Or create one myself. Hm...


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