Saturday, June 11, 2005

First Kyrgyz lesson

This is exactly what I meant by waning motivation. My trip to Naryn made me realize once again how essential it is to learn Kyrgyz. Upon my return to Bishkek, however, I became absorbed in my everyday work and it was only on Thursday that I went back to following-up on my language-learning plans.

We found a tutor, a journalism student from a local university, who agreed to commit herself to the (almost) daily teaching of two aspiring language learners. Yesterday was my first Kyrgyz lesson. I spent an hour in the afternoon examining the textbooks and repeating endless strings of words that meant absolutely nothing to me, save for a couple of phrases that sounded similar to Kazakh.

The challenge is to let go of the notion that the words are pronounced as they are written (which is the case with Kazakh). For example, if you have a г before ы, it is pronounced like the Kazakh ғ, or similar to the Modern Greek gamma, and not like the g in "get".

I think this blog is not the proper place for storing my newly-acquired knowledge for easy reference. So, being the computer geek I am, I went ahead and started the Kyrgyz wiki. The great thing about wiki is that it can be freely updated and edited by anyone. The Wikipedia is a good example of this (and there's even a Kyrgyz version of this encyclopedia).


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