Sunday, January 15, 2012

Introduction to Uzbek and Uzbekistan

Assalomu alaykum!

Before beginning with lesson and resource posts I want to share some quick profile information on Uzbek and Uzbekistan, because most people are unfortunately not familiar with this country or its language.

Name: Republic of Uzbekistan
Population: 28 million
Capital: Tashkent
Area: 450,000 sq km
Major language: Uzbek
Currency: som (UZS)
PPP: $85 billion
GDP: $37 billion

Why Study Uzbek?

Why should someone learn Uzbek? What's the point? Why am I learning it?

Well, besides my general love of interesting languages, here's a couple reasons I thought of:

* Uzbekistan is one of the major developed countries in Central Asia, a region with a long and diverse history e.g. as part of the Silk Road. It holds many of this region's history's most dynamic cities, cultural sites, and natural landmarks.

* Uzbekistan has a growing importance in the world economy, especially for cotton, gas, coal, oil, and important minerals. Central Asia in general is a largely untapped region whose growth opportunity is excellent.

* Uzbekistan is largely a Muslim country, and Islam is a religion that is widely misunderstood and in need of people who can learn to respect it and also help promote basic freedoms in situations where fundamentalism has taken place.

* Uzbek is a Turkic language, which is one of my favorite language families for its creative grammar and lilting sound. Uzbek has the bonus of being all romanized as compared to languages like Kazakh and Kyrgyz which still use the Russian (Cyrillic) alphabet.

* Uzbek is a rare and sort of obscure language with a cool "chic factor" (impress your friends!) and also opens you up to opportunity should the US government ever need to enlist translators or ambassadors etc to visit Uzbekistan.

* And many more reasons. You can find your own!

Here are two resources on reasons to study Uzbek:
* "Why Study Uzbek?" @ University of Chicago Central Eurasian Studies
* Uzbek FAQ @ Indiana University Center for Languages of Central Asia

More around the web:
* Uzbekistan: Wikipedia Entry
* Uzbekistan: CIA World Factbook

* Uzbekistan: Department of State
* Government Portal of Uzbekistan

* Uzbekistan: Lonely Planet Travel
* Uzbekistan: Wikitravel Guide

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!



  1. Thanks for this info
    I got to know things which I was not aware of my own language

  2. Hi Brian,

    This is an excellent list of resources. Especially, the DLI materials. I was surprised that I hadn't come across them before. I was aware of the Peace Corps textbook and have been working through it, and creating Quizlet flashcards to go with each lesson.

    Like I said I really like the DLI materials, especially since they include audio to go with the dialogues. Although everything I need is there to work with on a computer, I can't play the audio on my iPad which is what I use for most of my studying. I'd like to create flashcards with the audio from the DLI lessons, but I haven't been able to figure out how to isolate the audio files.

    So my question for you... Do you know if there is a way to download the DLI audio files?