I’ve been giving it the ol’ college try on learning Turkish. Let’s be honest– the language looks cool, and it sounds cool, so who wouldn’t want to learn it.
I can’t stand by Pimsleur language courses enough. I use them for every language I learn. They are so good because you learn only through listening and speaking. I’m primarily a visual learner. But I find that when I learn a language through reading, I learn a lot more language but I can’t spit it back out quickly enough when I actually have to speak or listen to a native. Pimsleur tapes don’t give yhou any time to pull those vocab words out of some ancient drawer in the back of your memory. You have to learn to understand and speak reflexively. I think they give excellent preparation to actually communicating in a language and not hesitating.
Olmaz! “Impossible!” It’s fun to say in a dramatic way, and I break this out in the classroom sometimes. Not in a discouraging way, just when students do annoying things, like ask “can we leave early?” “can we listen to our ipods?” or say “teacher, finished!” after spending 1 minute on a 15-minute project. I’ll yell, “Olmaz!” and they get slightly terrified and behave.
Görüşürüz. “See you later.” This one I like just for its sheer impossibility. It was one of the first words I learned, and I thought I’d never learn it. Now I say it as much as I can, just because I’m pleased that I can say it.
Eşiniz nerede oturuyor? “Where does your spouse live?” This is one of the bizarre phrases that I learned in Pimsleur’s Turkish. Sometimes they come up with some really wacky target language. I thought I’d never use this one, but I’m glad I didn’t bet myself on that. Everyone got a kick out of me saying it when I first got here, since at the time I could barely even tell my name in Turkish, but then I would bust out that phrase.
Pahalı “Expensive”. I consider myself to be the world’s leading expert on this word. I say it with such accuracy, such grace. If I were on a commercial, just saying just this word, I could sound like a native speaker. It would be my face, saying “Pahalı! Pahalı! Pahalı!”