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Yürükler - Call to the (fool)hardy ones

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Chung
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 Message 9 of 65
12 August 2014 at 3:59am | IP Logged 
Thanks. What I didn't really say though was that the proposed sequences also align largely to the locations in Eurasia traditionally associated with these languages.

If we start with Azeri, we'd basically move in a vague arc in Eurasia starting from far eastern Turkey, crossing Transoxiana, going as far east as Tuva, before moving west through southwestern Siberia and into European Russia. If we start with Chuvash, we'd go in the other direction on this vague arc and end the "journey" in far eastern Turkey by studying Azeri.

In terms of mutual intelligibility with Turkish, I admit that trying to accommodate geography is a bit at odds with arranging things on that preceding point. Your sequence makes sense too, although geographically it's not as tidy for lack of a better term.

How to fit Crimean Tatar is indeed a bit tricky because of its appearance as a hybrid of Oghuz and Kipchak - it reminds me a bit of English being West Germanic with a noticeable amount of North Germanic. Nevertheless, I don't think that it's a huge problem to put Crimean Tatar somewhere right after an Oghuz language or right before another Kipchak language.

In any case, it'd be good to have you along for at least part of the ride.


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hribecek
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 Message 10 of 65
12 August 2014 at 11:40pm | IP Logged 
I'm planning to visit Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikstan and Uzbekistan in 2016 or 2017 so
I was already planning to study at least one or two of them. I'm not sure exactly how
I'll join you and with which language, but I'm certainly interested and have some time to
think it through.

Whatever I do, I'll definitely be following your own adventure with these languages.

Edited by hribecek on 12 August 2014 at 11:52pm

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Chung
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 Message 11 of 65
15 August 2014 at 4:40pm | IP Logged 
Great. It'd be good of you to come along for at least a bit.

The one thing that I'm increasingly finding is that knowing Russian will make things a lot easier and keep costs down. The free stuff that's available in English consists mainly of stuff from the Peace Corps or DLI (not all of which have answer keys or much accompanying audio). Using Kazakh as an example, there's an excellent and free online course of 20 lessons divided into halves for A1 and A2 coming with audio, video, dialogues, word lists and exercises with answers. The catch is that instructions and explanations are in Russian. Otherwise it reminds me quite a bit of this free course for Slovak. Learning Kazakh on your own without knowing basic Russian could mean getting "Colloquial Kazakh", which is probably more than adequate but unfortunately rather expensive (but not as expensive as the 3-part course with CD-ROMs from the University of Arizona). The DLI and Peace Corps' stuff that I've seen for Kazakh is useful but you can tell that it's really meant for classrooms as the teacher is effectively the answer key for the exercises.

Depending on how things go, I'll see if I (with or without the help of anyone else who knows Russian) can translate any particularly good learning material from Russian to English in stages, after everyone involved having agreed to use something that's not issued in English.
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hribecek
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 Message 12 of 65
15 August 2014 at 11:29pm | IP Logged 
I don't think I can be bothered to go to the effort of learning Russian just for that
reason and I've always promised my wife that I'll leave Russian to her :).

My preference is actually Kyrgyz, because I heard that Kyrgyz and Kazakh are quite
mutually intelligible and Kyrgyzstan is/was the place with better VISA regulations for
travellers, among other reasons. So maybe Kyrgyz and Uzbek would be my choices, but I'm
still far from sure and I'm also strongly attracted to learning Tajik which, as you
probably know, is similar to Persian and this could mean me focusing on just one Turkic
language for that region.

Still need to think about it a lot and do some more research etc.
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Expugnator
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 Message 13 of 65
20 August 2014 at 10:47pm | IP Logged 
Count me in! I'll temporarily revoke my realistic plans of always starting a family from the biggest languae (I'm learning Estonian anyway). It will also serve as a warm up for Turkish, which I may not start before the challenge is over.
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Chung
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 Message 14 of 65
27 August 2014 at 5:06pm | IP Logged 
Great. I'm still looking out for free and legally-available resources including ones which wouldn't be burdensome to translate to English. So far I think that I could manage a passable translation from Russian to English (with my dictionaries of course!) of short lessons in Chuvash and Crimean Tatar. However I've tried translating the first lesson in an online Kazakh course from Russian to English but there's so much material that it'd take too much time. I initially thought it'd be manageable as I was running into a lot of Kazakh-Russian word lists, instructions in Russian and even short summaries on grammar. But then I found accompanying notes on grammar that are quite elaborate and translating them would burn up all of my free time and then some.
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Chung
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 Message 15 of 65
29 November 2014 at 5:32am | IP Logged 
As the Turkic challenge draws near, I am leaning heavily toward following Sequence A mentioned earlier.

This means that for 2015, the languages will be Azeri, Turkmen, Uzbek and Kazakh in that order, with each language getting its own quarter.

2015
Dec. 15, 2014 to Mar. 31, 2015: Azeri
Mar. 15 to Jun. 30: Turkmen
Jun. 15 to Sep. 30: Uzbek
Sep. 15 to Dec. 31: Kazakh

I'm still OK with letting the starting dates for each language be about two weeks before the start of a quarter although the ending dates are fixed.

Each of these languages has enough material online in English which I think is sufficient for a short period of study. To improve the team spirit of this endeavor I suggest that when studying we use a common set of material, with no restrictions on extra material.

Azeri - core material (i.e. each person studying Azeri must use this material in addition to whatever else he/she finds suitable or within financial means)
- Brief Introduction to the Azerbaijani Language (with audio) (Peace Corps)
- Essentials of Azerbaijani: An Introductory Course (Andrew H. Siegel)

Turkmen - core material
- Headstart 2 - Turkmen (DLIFLC - Free registration required)

Uzbek - core material
- Headstart 2 - Uzbek (DLIFLC - Free registration required)

Kazakh - core material
- Online graded series of transcripts of short dialogues with audio (Indiana University - transcripts are in Kazakh and Russian but I should be able to make available English translations when the time comes for Kazakh)
- Kazakh Language Course for Peace Corps Volunteers in Kazakhstan (Peace Corps)

In addition to the core material, my supplementary material will include commercial courses (e.g. “Colloquial Kazakh”) and any freebies that I'm convinced suit my learning style (e.g. Colloquial Turkmen). It's up to each participant to decide which supplementary material to use (and if necessary purchase). One should probably have lower expectations when learning Kazakh using free material that's legally available. I suggested the old Peace Corps textbook and Indiana University's dialogues because I think that they provide the best combination of price (free), audio, grammar explanations and practice even though the textbook and audio are totally unrelated and there's no answer key for the textbook's exercises.

When the other Turkic languages come around, the bulk of what is available for free is in Russian, and could discourage some people who would otherwise be interested in dabbling in one of the Turkic languages of Russia.

Comments or even expressions of interest are welcome. I advise that anyone interested should check the list of resources in this thread's first post and download any of the material in those lists since there's no guarantee that DLI or the relevant universities or government agencies will host those gems for the duration of the challenge.
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kanewai
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 Message 16 of 65
04 December 2014 at 1:20am | IP Logged 
What a great list of resources!

I'll be in for Uzbek, at least; I'm not sure which of the others.

I checked out the Headstart course, and I noticed that ten of the modules are on
grammar, and ten are on 'military tasks.'   We are going to learn all kinds of fun
stuff! And from my quick preview, it looks really different from standard Turkish.
Though to be fair, I have no idea how to say things like "We will process military
prisoners of war" in Turkish. Or any other languages I've studied.


Also, it looks like its time to learn Cyrillic.

addendum: They have Kurdish!!! There are so few resources out there that I've never
even bothered to study it. Gonna put that on my wish list too.


Edited by kanewai on 04 December 2014 at 1:39am



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