For people of other nationalities, the Turkish language can be a bit daunting and on 3 other occasions I have endeavoured to master this difficult language with not a lot of success. I understand the basic rules of the language and have a lot of single words in my head but stringing a sentence together and trying to converse does not seem to happen. Maybe I haven’t tried hard enough but my partner and I decided we would have another attempt at learning the language.
On a recent visit to the Girne American University on other business, we were hailed by a very familiar face we knew from a different location. This was Tariq Mahmood Chaudhry who is now the Program Director of the Lifelong Learning Centre at GAU. We told him of our desire to be able to speak Turkish as we now have contact with more and more Turkish speaking people and so we decided to enrol on a course at the University to try and master this language.
On 12th December we arrived to start our first class and found that we were a very international group with Bader from Jordan, Arjun from India, Oksana from Russia, Nadia from Poland, Seif from Egypt, Mejd from Turkey and Badreddine from Morocco all anxious to learn the language of the country we have chosen to live or study in. Our teacher, Yeṣer Özdenya is Turkish Cypriot. The course is for 2 hours on Wednesday and 2 hours on Thursday evenings and will run for 8 weeks. On the second week we were joined by a further 3 students, Thierry from the Congo, Annette from Norway and Saba from Ethiopia, so now we are a class of 12.
The first lesson progressed well and maybe we were all a little nervous and self-conscious but my initial reaction was that this time I could well master this difficult task as even on the first lesson, as well as learning about the language, Yeṣer was encouraging us to talk and make up small sentences. It isn’t easy but my feeling is that we all need to be pushed to a certain extent and who knows, maybe at the end of the 8-week course I will have grasped a little of the language. Time will tell.
The Lifelong Learning Centre runs other language courses in English, Chinese, French, Russian and German. In addition there are Vocational Courses, Personal Development Courses, Tourism & Hospitality Courses, Computer Program Courses, Dance Courses, Marine Courses, Sports and Exam Preparation. Certificates are awarded at the end of the courses. Tariq speaks excellent English as well as his mother tongue and also Turkish and he is more than happy to sit and talk about the many courses and give information on what you may be interested in.
This is a great opportunity to take up a new interest, even for the older generation, so view the website www.gausem.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can telephone 0392 650 2000 extension 1144 for further information. The opportunities are there for those who would like to take advantage of adding more learning to their life.
By Margaret Sheard