Monday, January 19, 2009

a little of this and that

I haven't spoken Turkish since I was ten. It's amazing how languages can just slip away if they aren't used. I've got some basic vocabulary down but I'm a little shaky at stringing words into sentences. The other day, I wanted to tell a cab driver to drop me off at the fish stand, instead I told him emphatically that "Fish is ok." We had a good laugh, then I tried to say "good evening" and ended up telling him "good night," which is only used intimately. We laughed even harder. That's the wonderful thing about Turkish people— I've never felt ridiculed or afraid to try and speak their language. People here are quite patient, kind and willing to help you learn— just today I was given a friendly pronunciation lesson at a frozen yoghurt stand. Apparently I've got my "ü" sound down!

Turkish is a very musical language with everything built on vowel harmony; words that begin with vowels that are sounded in the front of the mouth will end with front-sounding vowels. Likewise, words with throaty vowels will end with throaty vowels. Turkish is what's called an agglutinating language— "attachments" or suffixes are stuck onto words to create a sentence or part of a sentence. It sounds complicated, but once you've got the rhythm down, it comes easier than most languages. There are also very few grammatical irregularities, and everything is phonetic!

After the yoghurt and the language lesson I worked on some pigeons, a drawing of a migraine I had recently and an entry for Moleskine Exchange 48.
I also drew a guy I saw in a café this afternoon, but I don't like how it came out. If he grows on me, he'll be scanned and posted.


Anna Denise said...

isn't that amazing, how languages get lost? I met a Dutch woman living in San Francisco once. She moved there from Holland when she was about 25 and when I met her she was 50 and she barely spoke Dutch anymore. In fact, when I came back from my time in the US (which really wasn't that long), I noticed that I had some difficulty with the order of words in Dutch. Crazy! Fortunately, our brain is a flexible thing and will remember... :-)

szaza said...

It is a very strange thing— I keep hoping there will be a moment when something clicks and it all comes back :)