October challenge

I am a busy man. I have a responsible and demanding job. Since not a long time ago I am also a pater familias with added responsiblities. That means I don’t have as much time for dabbling with random things as I used to. But good times are coming!

For three weeks in October my workload will be reduced and at the same time my family will be away, leaving me in loneliness and grief, but also with more time on my hands. Right now I am caught in an uneven struggle between my common sense on one side and my penchant for wasting away my time in extravagant and useless ways on the other. Reason tells me to  make good use  of this added time to finally push my French up a notch and start using it. But the heart has its reasons which the reason doesn’t know, as somebody (I know who) said. And my heart (alternatively: my inner demon) tells me to embark on a linguistic challenge:

I picked five languages I had once learned to an “advanced beginner” level, but then dropped and have since forgotten almost entirely:

Italian
Finnish
Hungarian
Turkish
Arabic

Then I made another listing of five languages, consisting of those which I either never learned, or abandoned after only a couple of lessons:

Chinese
Kurdish
Somali
Adyge (or Chechen or Lak)
Latin

I thought of picking one language from each of the lists and then see how much can I re-learn or learn in a short period of time. I can’t make my mind on which one(s) to choose, and I really have no preference, so I’ll probably make a decision at random. But first, I thought, it might be amusing to fish for suggestions / opinions / comments. Which is what I am doing right now.

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Comments

  • eskandarj  On September 26, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    My entirely selfish suggestions: Turkish or Arabic (both of which I’m also slowly, lazily studying), and/or Kurdish, Somali, or Chechen (which I’ve never studied but always wanted to). If you pick any of those, I’ll be sure to leave more meaningless comments cheering you on.

    Also, have you considered Azeri instead of Turkish? (I think you know it to some degree already, IIRC you traveled/did research in Azerbaijan before). I recently found a PDF of a very useful German text for Iranian Azeri (“Das gesprochene Aserbaidschanisch von Iran”) that I can send you. I don’t know any German but have just been studying the dialogues and using Google Translate where necessary. It could be a useful language for you, especially if you’d like to chat with your local grocers in their native tongue!

  • peterlin  On September 27, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Actually, as my Lezgi blogs is getting more views than ever, I am considering dropping the idea altogether and focusing on Lezgi (and Ewe and/or Mari) instead.

    In the long run I am bound to learn Turkish and Arabic, at least passively and it would be could to learn some Kurdish as long as I am here.

    Azeri would be useful, certainly, but mostly at the level of grocery/bakery/taxi chat. Turkish has much more behind it – eg. lots of interesting political/international analysis available. Please send me that pdf though :)

  • eskandarj  On September 27, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Looks like it’s on uz-translations now. You can download it here or here.

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