Wednesday, May 17, 2006

What I learned in Turkish class, vol. 2

The value of studying. I made flashcards last night and studied them on the train this morning. And I've been taking every possible opportunity to share some of the most important new words (e.g., greetings) with friends, colleagues, even students. The students love it, incidentally. And it's working - I don't feel like I've studied that much, but there are now a few dozen words, mostly nouns and adjectives, which I recognize on sight and can produce more-or-less on demand. And it was pretty clear in class that several of the other students did NOT study, so I went from feeling clueless to feeling pretty good about the class. This is a story I am going to use in my own classroom, to illustrate the importance of strategic studying.

What do I have to do to get you to study? the teacher asked. (Reward us with chocolate?)

Our teacher is straight outta high school, or at least some 80's movie about high school. As 8:15 neared she said, You don't need to leave right away, do you? to all of us.

I made an uh-oh face: Actually, I kind of DO need to leave. I was meeting a friend for dinner 10 minutes away at 8:30. And I'd left my house at 6:45 am and hadn't been home since. And I hadn't had a thing to eat since school got out.

Tell him your teacher made you stay late, it's not your fault, she said. It is a HIM, right? She is pretty sure that we are all in class in order to learn soft words of Turkish to utter to our beloveds. That's why she taught us yumusak* (soft, tender) in the first class. Really.

Well, actually it's a HER, but... all right... Now the whole class thinks I'm a lesbian. Including that really cute guy who sits across the room from me... (told you this is like high school).

And so she kept us ten minutes late.

Ladies, you must be especially careful about your C's. The gentlemen, they can say whatever they want. Ladies, you must be careful. Only use this word, never that one. But she still will not explain exactly what horrifying thing we will end up saying by accident if we mispronounce a c (it's supposed to sound like a j).

iyi geceler - good night.

*My mac doesn't have an ALT key. And when I try to use the apple key, nothing. And I haven't set up the Turkish alphabet on my computer yet. So... you'll just have to imagine the correct letters.


Blogger Amerloc said...

I have no - I repeat, no - experience with Turkish. But I am sorta-kinda-almost-sometimes fluent in another language-other-than-English. And I'm a (at least occasionally) Mac-user. In fact, any time I need to write in French rather than in English, I use my Mac, just because it is SO very much easier.

Unfortunately, I'm on my gaming machine at the moment (waiting for a reply to something), so all I can do is suggest the "Option" key instead of the Alt key. Option-u/shift-u, for example, would give you a capital "U" with an umlatt. No codes to either memorize or scribble on Post-Its. Just straight, easy-to-remember keystrokes. Just for the record, Option-u/ whatever-letter, would give you whatever-letter with an umlatt. You just have to remember which letter a particular diacritical mark would most commonly appear above in the Euro-centric languages...

It is indeed a magical journey on which you embark.

11:48 PM  
Blogger ms. frizzle said...

oh, ha ha, there is an alt key. above the option. duh. it really is bedtime. I'll test the rest of your idea tomorrow. :-)

12:03 AM  
Blogger ms. frizzle said...



12:07 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

iyi günler çocuklar....
(this might be wrong, but I've said it to giggles, so I know it is understood)


1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:40 AM  
Blogger Jac Chan said...


9:23 PM  

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