A bite of “börek.” A sip of “çay.” Öğretmen Tuba writes Present Continuous conjugations on the board, and we students take notes, attentive and intrigued.
That’s right! Ben Türkçe öğreniyorum! I am learning Turkish!
My love for Turkish started with Zawaj Maslaha. At 8:00 PM sharp in Amman, Jordan, families tune in to MBC1 to get the latest scoop on the complicated love story of Can, Ayşegül, and other interesting characters. The show, dubbed in Shaami Arabic, is called İlişki Durumu: Karışık in Turkish, and is one of the many Turkish soap operas enjoyed across the Arab world. When I returned to the States, I found some great shows on Netflix, and was soon thrust into the action-packed and melodramatic worlds of Kurt Seyit ve Şura and Ezel. Those shows gave me my first real taste of the Turkish language… and it was beautiful! Even though I could identify numerous cognates between Turkish, Urdu, and Arabic, the language was from a completely new language family, and was structurally different from any other languages I had studied before.
Thanks to Turkish class on Mondays, I’ve noticed how much easier it is to wake up on Monday mornings these days– I have something great to look forward to! My classes remind me a lot of the instruction I received while in Jordan: intensive grammar and vocabulary, a big focus on conversation and group activities, and breaks with tea and food!!
What I really value about the classroom dynamic is my fellow students. We are people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. We are students, medical lab researchers, IT workers, and artists. At the end of the day, however, we’re a group of passionate Turkophiles who love a good grammar lesson and a piping hot cup of Turkish tea!
I’ve also learnt how motivating it is to have a community of people learning with you, especially when you are starting a new language. Since Turkish is so new to me, my class has been a source of excitement, motivation, and has made the language-learning process less overwhelming. It was probably the sense of community that was missing from my informal Farsi self-study, which is why it was hard to pick up my studies and really take them to the next level.
Also, I would like to say that although I have not been blogging as often in the past weeks, I definitely have been writing. A lot. Not on my blog, but in the form of supplemental essays for my college apps! Thankfully, I’ve submitted all my applications, so now, it’s just a matter of sitting tight and waitinggggg! Inshallah everything goes well!