Thursday, May 10, 2007

Turkey fieldwork notes: languages; communication

Kurdistan/Turkey fieldwork notes extracts

At 1am on the 3rd of May 2007, I noted that:
I'm torn about what the Linobambakoi say about languages, that they need to use both Greek and Turkish, because you can say different things in different languages, that you can only say certain things in certain languages.

I like it because I do find myself expressing myself and others expressing themselves differently in different languages and because I do recognise the existence of idioms. I dislike it because I don't perceive necessary difficulties in communicating between language communities.

Perhaps I would say that you cannot express particular things equally elegantly in all languages. I'm going to cling onto that and hope that my appreciation of nuances will help me persevere until I can speak Turkish.

I noticed it again today when I found myself saying I was "waiting" in English, when I meant "bekliyorum", which means both "waiting" and "expecting". I'm glad that when I say I'm trying to learn Turkish in Turkish, I can say "çabalıyorum", which has connotations of both "striving" and "floundering".

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