Language Highlight: I am a Printer

One of my favorite language exercises when my brain is tired of book or I am feeling low on motivation is to head into the city and to try to talk to the people there. This exercise is valuable because you are cementing the language you know.  This is also practicing language which is a the whole point anyways.

Some times I bring out specific words, topics or verb forms I want to try and use. This is a great way to practice even if you are the only one there impressed at your usage.

One thing I usually do is I will tell them a little about myself since as a non Turk speaking Turkish I am a rarity. One day I was doing this in the mall the clerk and I was talking to was being very kind and very interested. I was trying to follow the Turkish rule of adding the suffix -ci to words to make it a profession. (e.g. Taksi = taxi Taksici taxi driver). I was telling her about how I am writing a blog about language learning and that I am a bit of a writer (yazıcı). She said no you are not. I said that I yes I am really am. She started asking questions I did not really understand and I just kept insisting I was in fact a  yazıcı.

Well I found my way out of the conversation and later I went to buy a computer printed and found out the word for printer was in fact yazıcı. This is an exception. The word the for writer is an exception rule: it is yazar.

So the question is what did we learn from my gaff:

  1. Learn the rules find the exception and don’t complain that there are exception. English is the language of exceptions. So just learn the rules and you will be able to say a lot and along the way you will find some exceptions.

2. Pay attention to your mistakes. This is how you learn. When you cannot communicate with someone or they will not accept your answer you are doing something wrong. This is a chance to learn something new. Take it. Take it every time.

3. Laugh at yourself. You just spent 5 minutes trying to the convince a store clerk in broken Turkish that you were in fact a computer printer. That is a good joke. So laugh and have some fun.

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