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Uzbek and Tajik

  Tags: Uzbek
 Language Learning Forum : Advice Center Post Reply
Eitental
Tetraglot
Newbie
Austria
Joined 2007 days ago

7 posts - 10 votes
Speaks: English*, German, French, Russian
Studies: Indonesian

 
 Message 1 of 7
14 September 2015 at 12:21pm | IP Logged 
I'm planning to start learning a Central Asian language as I'm fascinated by the region and am
interested in doing a MA degree focussing on Central Asian history, politics and society (in particular,
interethnic relations, language policy and nation-building). I'm not particularly interested in
Turkmenistan and I'm writing off Kazakh and Kyrgyz as Russian still plays such a major role in
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (and because the Kyrgyz population is so small, with about 3.8 million in
Kyrgyzstan and another few hundred thousand in Uzbekistan, Russia and China). This leaves Uzbek
and Tajik to choose from and I really can't decide. Of course I can't ask anyone else to decide for me,
but I'd be interested in hearing about personal experiences and general advice. I've read all the
threads I could find about Uzbek on this forum, and there was a lot of interesting stuff, but I couldn't
find much about Tajik at all.

Pros for Uzbek include the greater number of speakers (Uzbekistan's population is about 30 million,
most of whom speak Uzbek, plus there are about 1.2 mil. Uzbeks in Tajikistan, 2.8 mil. in
Afghanistan, 1 mil in Kyrgyzstan, 0.5 mil in Kazakhstan and 0.5 mil in Russia; by comparison there are
6.4 million Tajiks in Tajikistan, somewhere between 1 and 8 mil. in Uzbekistan and 0.2 mil in Russia),
the possibility of going on to learn other Turkic languages and an apparently better pool of resources
than for Tajik.

Pros for Tajik are that as an Indo-European language it might be slightly easier to learn (feel free to
refute or confirm this, people!) and the possibility of going on to learn Farsi/Dari, or indeed other
Iranic languages (any comments on closeness to Farsi/Dari or other Iranic languages, e.g. Kurdish,
would be much appreciated).

By the way, I live in Russia, so I'd be able to get formal lessons in either language and would be able
to find plenty of native speakers to talk to once I got to a conversational level.
2 persons have voted this message useful



flydream777
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4538 days ago

77 posts - 102 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, French
Studies: German, Russian, Portuguese, Mandarin, Greek, Hungarian, Armenian, Irish, Italian

 
 Message 2 of 7
14 September 2015 at 1:25pm | IP Logged 
Why don't you learn Turkish? That would give you a key to languages from the Mediterranean all the way to
China and Siberia...
1 person has voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4644 days ago

9757 posts - 15779 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 3 of 7
14 September 2015 at 3:59pm | IP Logged 
Seems like in the long run you can totally do both, given how motivated you are :) Just choose which one you want to learn first.
1 person has voted this message useful



Eitental
Tetraglot
Newbie
Austria
Joined 2007 days ago

7 posts - 10 votes
Speaks: English*, German, French, Russian
Studies: Indonesian

 
 Message 4 of 7
15 September 2015 at 10:53am | IP Logged 
I did consider Turkish, Flydream777, but I guess that Uzbek would open up the rest of the Turkic
family just as much as Turkish would, and Uzbek makes more sense as I'm more interested in Central
Asia than in Anatolia and the Balkans.

And yeah Serpent, I'd definitely like to get to both eventually, but the question is where to start...
1 person has voted this message useful



kyukumber
Newbie
Japan
Joined 1781 days ago

11 posts - 30 votes

 
 Message 5 of 7
15 September 2015 at 8:31pm | IP Logged 
I'd pick the one with better resources.

Also, how about try taking up both and see how you like it? You might find yourself prefering one language to the other after a little while. And if you are still conflicted, keep studying both! Why do you have to choose between the two at all? You speak three foreign languages and it's not like you don't have much language learning experience unlike me. You know what to expect and how to proceed with the whole process. Unless, of course, you only have 20 minutes per day to study. In that case, the consensus would be that you concentrate on one. Otherwise, what's stopping you?
2 persons have voted this message useful



Luso
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Portugal
Joined 4108 days ago

819 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, French, EnglishC2, GermanB1, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Sanskrit, Arabic (classical)

 
 Message 6 of 7
15 September 2015 at 8:52pm | IP Logged 
Hello, Eitental.

Maybe this thread can help you. I know it's about Turkic languages only ("only"...) but it can help you vis-à-vis resources.

This thread may also be helpful.

Both threads mention resources in Russian, so you might find yourself with a valuable head start.

Enjoy your adventure!
1 person has voted this message useful



Eitental
Tetraglot
Newbie
Austria
Joined 2007 days ago

7 posts - 10 votes
Speaks: English*, German, French, Russian
Studies: Indonesian

 
 Message 7 of 7
16 September 2015 at 1:29pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for the links, Luso.

Today I've started dabbling in Uzbek, as there seems to be far more material available online for that
than for Tajik. If/when I find some good stuff for Tajik, I'll give that a go too and see if there's one that
I prefer.

Thanks for your confidence in me, Kyukumber, but I don't think I'd be able to manage starting two
languages from scratch at the same time and sustain any real progress. Not while maintaining my
Russian, German and French and trying to refresh my Indonesian, anyway!

Uzbek grammar is really interesting and quite different to anything I've studied before, so I'm
enjoying it so far!

I'd still be grateful if anyone with first-hand experience of either language has any wisdom to share.


1 person has voted this message useful



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