Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Self-Talk Uzbek

In learning a language, practice is of the essence - practice speaking, practice listening and, finally, practice thinking. If you are to speak Uzbek, it is not enough to know many practical sentences. You must also know how to manipulate them to create new sentences, indeed, new thoughts.

The self-talk program that follows is designed to put the barest bit of structure beneath what is learned in phrasebooks so that you can see to your needs and find out about your options in your own way. When you are done, you will not speak particularly good Uzbek. Your Uzbek may even be rather bad. But it will be sufficient for you to start thinking on your own of what you want to say and how you want to say it. And then you will be ready to get into the habit of speaking Uzbek, however poorly, all on your own, and to integrate the feedback you get from others into your understanding of the language.

Do not fret about mastering what is here. Like the vocabulary program, make use of that which you can, discard that which you cannot. Your goal here is merely to think in some form of Uzbek: to discard English as your medium of thought and take new words and new phrasings as your crutch when you're stuck for what to say. And then, practice. Mumble to yourself. Imagine yourself in conversation. Just so you use this to move from translating English to thinking in Uzbek.

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