Saturday, May 21, 2005

Textbooks in Bishkek

So far, I've found two Kyrgyz textbooks that I can borrow. Not bad, but I was determined to buy one. Ha! This is not as easy as I thought it would be.

It seems that I've been to every single major bookstore in Bishkek looking for Kyrgyz textbooks. The only one that I've been able to find is a blue hard-cover book (comes with two audio tapes which have to be purchased separately) with no explanations whatsoever and it's all in Kyrgyz. With my vocabulary of 10 words or so, I wouldn't be able to make heads or tails of it.

This book is on sale at Raritet (on Pushkina) and at ZUM (3rd floor). Today I went to the big bookstore on Manas, between Chui and Kievskaya, - not a single Kyrgyz textbook in sight!

Now this is something I don't understand. I really expected to find much more than just this uninspiring blue textbook, which is of no use to a beginner like me. Last night I talked to a friend who admitted that she was determined to learn Kyrgyz when she came here, but soon her enthusiasm waned. Lack of textbooks and other resources was a major factor in this.

All the people I talked to suggest that I hire a tutor. However in my studies of other languages I found that for me independent study supplemented by occasional sessions with somebody who is able to answer my questions is the most effective approach.

I better create some workable plan next week, while my motivation is still strong. And yes, I am really looking forward to studying a Turkic language. There is a different kind of logic and a different kind of beauty behind it. Could it be that learning new languages is a way of staying open-minded?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand your situation but you must remember that the Kyrgyz had no written language to speak of before the old Soviet era.



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