What I learned in Turkish class, vol. 1
My teacher is a middle-aged schoolmarm-ish lady who says things like, Remember that this word is this vowel, not that one, many people have forgotten it and it has caused many sad problems for them. Such sad stories. There's a woman in the class who learned Turkish from people who speak a different dialect. She kept asking about this word and that word, and totally horrifying our teacher. Ohhh that is a bad word! So rude! That is a slang word, that you should never, never say. I'm going to write it on the board, but save yourselves problems and never, never say this. And then, to our chagrin, she would not explain what the word meant!
This same student commented offhandedly that something wasn't too hard.
That's because I am giving you the easy ones today. I dispense my poison one drop at a time, slowly. The needle has barely brushed your skin. It will seem easy.
I am not making this up. And I am totally going to use that line tomorrow with the sixth graders.
Turkish has something called "vowel harmony" which is both fascinating and more than likely going to be the bane of my existence. Basically, there are four "low" and four "high" vowels. Instead of prepositions and plurals, you add a suffix to the end of the word, but there are two versions of the suffix, depending on whether it follows a syllable containing a low or high vowel. In practice, it seemed to me that the words just kind of "sounded right" when you used the right suffix, but I can see how keeping track of all of this, plus all the other grammatical rules that we haven't begun to learn yet, is going to get complicated.
I need to remember two plural rules (so far): 1. Never use the plural after a number! So, it's not "six forks" as we would say in English, it's just "six fork." 2. Never use the plural after the word that means "many," "much," "very."
When someone comes to visit, I say something that means, "It brings me joy and pleasure to have you here," and the person must respond with something else that means (roughly), "It brings me joy and pleasure to be here," and it is very rude to neglect the reply. I would share the words with you, but I don't know how to get the right letters to show up, with their little dots and squiggles.
Speaking of which, I have a very strong i-dotting reflex. This might become a problem in a language with both dotted and undotted i's - including dotted capital I's and undotted capital i's.
I know the words for "school" and "teacher."
I need to buy index cards. Possibly color-coded index cards.
This promises to be a wild ride.