I made some Turkish speakers happy today
At least once a year Syracuse University's department of languages, literature, and linguistics hosts "Cultures on the Quad" which usually has a lot of cool information and stuff to look at for all the languages represented, but most people come for the copious amounts of interesting and free food that each language/culture brings.
I went over to the Turkish table and they had some kind of cake. I asked what it was and, after they told me (it was some kind of green looking, but delicious, poppy seed cake), I said "now, how would I ask what it is in Turkish, would that be 'bu ne'?"
The three or four of them manning the table were all impressed, and I told them I had started learning it on here, that the course had just come out a few weeks ago, to which one replied with something to the effect of "wait, there's an app you can get to learn it?" Yup, it's free and wonderful. They were more or less my age (29) so I assume they were TAs, or students who happened to be native speakers and volunteered to man the table, but either way they seemed excited to know that there was an app out there that could help other people (possibly their students) learn Turkish.
...So, there's my gushy, neat, couldn't-have-done-it-without-Duolingo experience for the day.
Right on! :D That is such a cool story. (And there was cake! eee!) Have some lingots!
Surely they would assume that it's possible that some people might know some Turkish other than any students they have or anyone that looks like they could -be- Turkish, but it was so satisfying to see them have the faces that read as (and they actually said something to the effect of) "Oh my gosh, yes(, how did you know)?" :-P
And the cake was yummy. Along with some small cup of some grain that I had had earlier from their table.
Congrats! I always love the feeling of being able to use a language skill for the first time in the real world. I didn't attend Syracuse, but some of my college's "Cultures on the Quad"-esque events were my favorite haha.
And maybe you know this already, but just to clarify, Turkish is not available on the mobile app yet, just on the online version.
On another note, way to go for learning Spanish and French as well. I'm originally from Spain and I speak French fluently, so I'm always happy to see people learning those languages :)
I knew/know it isn't on mobile yet. I don't remember if I specifically mentioned that to them. I mentioned that the app itself is on mobile and the web, but I think I failed to mention that it would be a few weeks before Turkish was on mobile.
Also, thanks. I'm actually already fluent in Spanish. I lived in Argentina for two years. That level 9 is just from me testing out as far as it would let me and then going through a few more lessons before I stopped. The French, on the other hand, I had never really wanted to learn it because (being biased from how easy Spanish vowels are) I get physically tired trying to pronounce nasal vowels...but the French TA office at SU is right next to our Spanish TA office and, as I was already good friends with some of them, I figured "it would be a shame to waste this opportunity to have friends right here I could practice with". :-P
"The French, on the other hand, I had never really wanted to learn it because (being biased from how easy Spanish vowels are) I get physically tired trying to pronounce nasal vowels"
I couldn't have said it better. I have taken Spanish for three years now and the pronunciation was always SUPER easy for me and then I get into French and I try to pronounce every single letter like in spanish and its a face palm every time I do it XD and awesome story by the way! Keep up the awesome work ;)
Haha I feel you on that one. I grew up in Barcelona, but my dad is American, so I'm fluent in English, Spanish, and Catalan. I was required to take French all throughout grade school and I absolutely hated it because the pronunciation is so hard compared to Spanish. But, I continued with it and ended up living in Nice for a year, so now I really like it.
And where in Argentina did you live? My brother and his family live in Buenos Aires, and it's such a gorgeous city.
Haha yeah, I spent the majority of my childhood in Barcelona and my mom is Catalan. I have not tried to contribute to the course, but there seems to be several people who are interested in working on it already.
I can speak and understand Catalan just fine, but I've been living outside of Catalonia for several years and don't really use it other than in casual conversation, so I just feel like I wouldn't be the best person to work on teaching all the grammar and nuances of the language.
I do hope they come out with the course sometime soon, though, and I encourage you to take it when it becomes available! Catalan is an awesome language, and although I've lived in different countries and traveled extensively, I will always consider Barcelona (and Catalonia in general) to be the best place on Earth :)
You are so lucky to have such a rich linguistic background. If you don't mind me asking where do you live now?
I was a missionary for my church, so I ended up living in 7 different areas. I was in three different cities in the north of the province of Bs As for a total of just over a year. I also spent some time in the provinces of Entre Rios, and Santa Fe.
There were some Turkish people who came into the grocery store I worked at. I could tell they were speaking Turkish and did some basic greetings. They couldn't believe it! It really put a smile on their faces to see that someone was trying their language.
I love those moments too. I think especially in the States, immigrants often expect others to just be "American", so when someone shows interest in their language or their culture it really makes their day. I've had some great conversations that way too, namely at airports/ on airplanes and at the grocery store. :)
I haven't gotten very far into the course yet at all (I'm beyond easily distracted, hello finals week) but already my pronunciation has improved so much (I'm native French speaking, so before... terrible)! I was so excited to see Turkish finished because my boyfriend is from Antalya, and that is his mother tongue... the way his eyes lit up when I asked him what we were eating, I wouldn't trade it for anything.