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
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!