Why I am not trying to Learn Turkish (or why I picked talkturkiye.com)

My blog may have been misnamed. But it has been misnamed on purpose. Though for marketing reasons it still may have been a mistake to misname it.

This is because this primarily a language learning blog and the name probably does not communicate it quickly enough for the reader interested in the Turkish language or language learning.

So why did you would name this your blog talkturkiye.com?

The answer to this question is also the answer to the question: what is language learning?

Learn a language is not like learning a new set of facts. It is not something that lives in dictionaries or on the cloud in the Rosetta Stone library. You can have all ‘A’s in classroom where Turkish is taught and still not be able to speak Turkish.

I took years of Spanish and knew a lot of it but had you dropped me off in Barcelona I would have been just as lost as I the day I arrived in Istanbul.

This is why I am trying to learn ‘Turkiye’ and not ‘Turkish’. I am not just trying to learn a really long vocabulary list- though I do need to do that. And while I have to learn sentence structure. Neither of these things are the real goal. I am learning Turkiye- a new culture and a way of thinking. This is what learning a new language is learning a new way to think and new cultural way to communicate so that I can have new shared meaning with new people.

Because when you are learning Spanish you aren’t really learning Spanish- that does not really exist. Maybe you are trying to learn what young professionals speak in Mexico City. That is more helpful then learning what a teacher in some Suburban high school is teaching you. Now when you learn that a lot of the sounds, meanings, and culture meaning will be shared.

This is why I am trying to learn Turkiye. I am trying to learn to speak what people in my neighborhood speak. I am trying to learn how to communicate with my friends and that is a lot more than verbs, possessive nouns, and grammar. There is slang and culture to be learned. And most immediately what I need to learn to what the washing machine repair man is saying.

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