Sunday, August 29, 2004

Welcome to's Turkic page seeks to improve your language learning by putting you face to face with not one, but two or preferably three languages. By approaching multiple related languages, you'll come in contact with lots of self-reinforcing material, helping your brain to build stronger, more meaningful associations.

For the Turkic languages, this project has added relevance: While linguists like to tie down what is and isn't a language and why or why not, the Turkic languages are not so much discreet entitities as speech patterns along a continuum. Experts can identify standard Uzbek vs. Uighur, but it's less clear at what point you stop speaking one and start speaking another. Undertaking the study of Turkish, Uzbek and Uighur, you won't just learn three languages - you'll be ready to take a stab at five or six others and engage speakers from Constantinople to Xianjiang.

Unfortunately, until the editors at have picked up more Turkic themselves, new articles will appear slowly. However, we'll be talking about recommended resources very soon, as well as explaining the two greatest challenges in learning Turkic languages for English speakers and some useful ways to think about them.

Geoffrey Barto