June 23, 2003

Anything but French  

Just finished with my first day of intensive Aymara - should be a pretty interesting way to spend my mornings this summer. There's nothing quite like the giddiness that comes with learning the first few words in a new language, with all the crazy sounds you didn't know you could make and the obscene politeness of all the little dialogues. I'm not sure how useful Aymara will be for my study of public policy, but maybe I can at least squeeze a trip to Bolivia out of it. We'll see.

Aymara is an agglutinated language, which means words are built on the spot from different particles that change meaning, depending on the grammatical context. The vocabulary is of course totally unrelated to anything I've ever studied, except for the occasional Spanish borrowing. The phonology doesn't seem too difficult - the hardest thing is this class of plosive/glottalized consonants, but I think I'm getting the hang of it.

I was actually hoping to find a way to study Uzbek, which is probably a little more justifiable given my career path, but unfortunately it seems to be a little late to find a good program. Getting to Uzbekistan as an English teacher seems even more difficult, since there are usually classes you have to take. Maybe next year!

Hilda Phillips  {November 12, 2008}


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