One Term Down… And a Few New Languages

(Photo courtesy of my photographer friend in London, taken in the British Museum)


root: م-ح-ن / verbal noun of form VIII / plural: اِمتِحانات / definition: exam

As of earlier today, I’ve officially finished all of my Arabic exams for the first term! Woo hoo!

I have to say, the energy I’ve managed to build up since that gruelling four-hour drive to get to university in September has all but been depleted—but at least I’ve managed to drag myself across the finish line…

To be honest, after the two year gap between my bachelor’s degree and starting this master’s course (we can blame half of that on the pandemic), it’s been a lot harder to adjust to university studying again.

And I don’t mean that the lessons are difficult or I’ve forgotten how to take notes, but it’s the fact that when I got set my first essay, I instantly thought “how do I ‘essay’ again?!”—oh, and I actually had to do the reading for my optional module this term, something I largely managed to avoid in my BA 🙂

Anyway, well done to me and all of you reading who have also managed to get through the first term wherever you’re studying, whether prancing across that finish line or dragging your feet 👏👏👏

In other news, I’ve developed a new interest since I’ve been at university (and probably while I was putting off writing some essays). Well, it’s not new actually, it’s been in the background for a while, but recently I’d say it’s upgraded from an interest to a genuine motivation to delve deeper into the topic.

And although it’s not Arabic-related, it is about linguistics. (Note: I studied BA Arabic and Linguistics, so languages are my thing!)

So, this new obsession of mine is with Turkic languages—a group of over 30 languages spoken across Asia and parts of Europe—and I’m super interested in how they developed from Old Turkic and the similarities between them.

I have way too many tabs about Turkic languages open right now, including a 500-page PDF of a grammar book about Old Turkic which will make for some light reading (obviously). And I’ve recently ordered a multi-language dictionary which includes the eight most widely-spoken Turkic languages: Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Uighur, and Uzbek.

(By the way, if you’re familiar with one of these languages, it’s really amazing to see how similar their grammars and lexicons are!)

And as proof that this obsession has truly taken root, “learn Old Turkic script” has officially been added to my to-do list.

Ahh, I love the early stages of language obsessions, because you’re just in awe with every little thing you learn!

Don’t worry though, I’m not planning to turn The Arabic Pages to The Turkic Pages any time soon—although, who knows, maybe eventually I’ll have a blog for Turkic languages too…

I think that’s all I can write for today, I’m still mentally reeling from this morning’s Arabic oral exam. Don’t forget to check out last week’s post all about the word مهما, and I’ll catch you back here soon!

!إلى اللقاء

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3 thoughts on “One Term Down… And a Few New Languages

  1. Well, this is strange to read because Kazakh is my native language and I live in Kazakhstan. I know that Turkish people have a special relationship with Kazakh people, yada yada… when in fact I feel such distance and alienation from my native language in real life.
    I picked up Arabic a little over a year ago before turning thirty. It was not an easy thing for me to do because of the mental block of it being associated with radical Islam and being perceived as backward, etc. Yet strangely enough, I found it very nourishing and calming. I am about to finish Al Kitaab, Part 1. I’ve been liking it a lot. I found a number of Kazakh words that came from Arabic.
    Conversely, I tried to study Turkish before but could not feel connection to it, so I gave it up : )
    Have you met any Kazakh people before?

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