Learning Turkish is no easy task for the normal person let alone for someone who has dyslexia and struggles with English, never mind a new language. On a recent visit to our family for Kurban Bayram (Eid), I found one of the main topics of discuss for the week was my progress in learning Turkish. I have the basics and I can get by and I can just about work out what most people are saying to me.
I don’t have a lot of confidence in speaking Turkish yet as it takes me a bit to translate what I want to say from English to Turkish and back again and only practise and time will improve this but I am determined to learn and become fluent in Turkish.
My family’s origin is Kurdish and at home especially the older members of the family including my Husband speak mainly Kurdish in the house. Which is fine in general as I can understand the difference when Turkish or Kurdish is spoken, but the complications kick in when my Mother in Law speaks with me.
I always help when we are at home and spend a lot of time with my Mother in Law, we tend to communicate with a lot of pointing and Mum trying to explain the best she can in Turkish but mainly she tends to speak in Kurdish to me. This of course cause’s me great confusion, when she asks for something like a fork or knife she will use the Kurdish and it wasn’t until my Father in Law decided to help me learn, by picking up certain items and asking me what they were, to great amusement to everyone I gave the Kurdish meaning and not the Turkish!!
As the week went on and the family had gathered one evening, the topic returned to my learning of Turkish, I tried in vain to follow what was being said and then my husband commented on something and the whole room erupted into laughter, I laughed to just to be polite and left the question of what was said till later.
Once everyone had departed and we had sometime to ourselves I asked my husband why people were laughing about me. My husband said well my family are discussing ways to help you to learning Turkish and I pointed out that how can she improve her Turkish when we are all sitting here talking in Kurdish. Well I suppose you had to be there to find it funny but at the time it was.
By the end of the week my Turkish had improved slightly and my confidence to speak had grown, Kurdish is spoken in the home, but my lovely family now always speak to me with Turkish and bit by bit I am improving. Hopefully one day soon in the future I will be wondering how I ever struggled to speak Turkish!!
For more on Learning Turkish, visit my website Learn Turkish
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