Sunday, May 6, 2012

Uzbek Pre-Study Lesson #1: People and Geography

Assalomu alaykum!

My Uzbek summer language program is approaching in just under a month and I wanted to get started with some self-study so I'm a little bit ahead of the game before I arrive.

I have collected a list of free online Uzbek language resources and have particularly enjoyed looking through the Defense Language Institute's Uzbek textbook that is available here.

My goal is to run through the 20 lessons there before the end of the month in addition to some extra practice with Uzbek culture and grammar. Before my notes and exercises for the first lesson today, please see below.

Here is how these posts will work:

  • I will be doing an introductory run through each of the 20 lessons of the Defense Language Institute Uzbek textbook as linked above.
  • On the blog I will posts my exercise responses as instructed within the textbook, but only those that involve a written component.
  • This is because I do not have the audio that accompanies the book, and I am studying on my own so cannot do group activities. Also, I am typing and posting online, so will not include exercises involving drawing, circling, etc.
  • To make the lessons useful for reference and thorough self-study, I will include key vocabulary and summarize culture and grammar points as I see fit also.
  • Vocabulary words will list English first, then Uzbek, while explanations and other notes on specific words or grammatical functions list Uzbek first.
  • All Uzbek words are italicized to distinguish them easily. In addition, I have included any mnemonics or word notes (such as “Ru.” for Russian loanwords) to help make vocabulary acquisition simpler.

Looking forward to learning, hope you’ll join me! Let's begin.

Odamlar va jo'g'rofiya

Lesson 1: People and Geography

Hello (general)  = Assalomu alaykum
Hello (response) = Vaalaykum assalom
Hi (to friends) = Salom
Are you well? = Yaxshimisiz?
How are you? = Qandaysiz?
How are things going? = Ishlaringiz yaxshimi?
How are you doing? = Yaxshi yuribsizmi?

I = men
you (si) = sen
you (sf) = siz
he = u
she = u
we = biz
you (pi) = siz
you (pf) = sizlar
they = ular

Sen is used for young children and close friends.
Siz is used for anyone else in a more polite context.
The plural of sen is siz. Sizlar means more than one siz.

to be = bo'l, no written form, only irregular verb
Men +man = I am
Sen +san = You (si) are
Siz +siz = You (sf) are
U * = He/she/it is
Biz +miz = We are
Siz +siz = You (pi) are
Sizlar +sizlar = You (pf) are
Ular * = They are

-da = in/on/at
-dan = from
-ga = to/towards
qayerda = where at
qayerdan = where from
qayerga = where to

-mi? = question suffix
Attached at end of final word, except for second person (any number or formality).

Example: Am I  Uzbek? Men o'zbekmanmi?
Example: Are we Uzbek? Biz o'zbekmizmi?
Example: Are you (sf) Uzbek? Siz o'zbekmisiz?
Example: Are you (pf) UzbeK? Siz o'zbekmisizlar?

va = and
ha = yes
yo'q = no
emas = not

ism = name
nima = what
aka = Mr. (older brother)
opa = Mrs. (older sister)
-(n)ing = genitive suffix
-lar = plural suffix

Tanishgandan xursandman = Nice to meet you
ham = too, also
yasha- = to live
-ma = not (in verb construction)

Men +man = First person singular
Sen +san = Second person singular informal
Siz +siz = Second person singular formal
U +di = Third person singular
Biz +miz = First person plural
Siz +siz = Second person plural informal
Sizlar +sizlar = Second person plural formal
Ular +dilar = Third person plural

Section 14

1. Otabek Qarshida yashaydi.
Otabek lives in Qarshi.

2. Siz Nukusda yashaysizmi? Ha, Nukusda yashayman.
Do you (sf) live in Nukus? Yes, I live in Nukus.

3. Feruza Samarqandda yashamaydi.
Feruza does not live in Samarkand.

4. Qayerda yashaysiz? Men Buxoroda yashayman.
Where do you (sf) live? I live in Bukhara.

5. Lola va Abbos qayerda yashaydilar? Ular Termizda yashaydilar.
Where do Lola and Abbos live? They live in Termez.

Section 17

1. Q: Siz Termizdanmisiz?
A: Yo'q, men Termizdan emasman. Men Samarqanddanman.

2. Q: Siz Buxoroda yashaysizmi?
A: Ha, men Buxoroda yashayman.

3. Q: U Xivadanmi?
A: Ha, u Xivadan.

4. Q: U Toshkentda yashadimi?
A: Ha, u Toshkentda yashaydi.

5. Q: U Qarshidanmi?
A: Yo'q, u Qarshidan emas. U Shahrisabzdan.

6. Q: Sizning ismingiz Doniyormi?
A: Ha, ismim Doniyor.

7. Q: U Ravshan akami?
A: Yo'q, u Ravshan aka emas.

8. Q: Siz Andijondanmisiz?
A: Ha, men Andijondanman.

End of Lesson Tasks

Section 1

A. My name is Tanya. I am from Moscow.
Mening ismim Tanya. Men Moskvadanman.

B. Do you live in Seattle? Yes.
Siz Sietlda yashaysizmi? Ha.

C. His name is Joe. He lives in America.
Uning ism Joe. U Amerikada yashaydi.

D. We are from Canada.
Biz Kanadadanmiz.

E. My name is Maurice. I am from Germany.
Mening ismim Maurice. Men Germandanman.

F. His name is Bob. He lives in Boston.
Uning ism Bob. U Bostonda yashaydi.

G. Her name is Susan. She lives in London.
Uning ism Susan. U Londonda yashaydi.

H. What is your name? My name is Tony.
Sizning ismingiz nima? Mening ismim Tony.

That's it for lesson 1.
Click here to go forward to lesson 2.



  1. I enjoyed reading it. I just put some notes here:

    Followings are Arabic origin:
    Assalomu alay-kum = word by word it means “Hello to you”
    Va alay-kum-assalom = word by word it means “and to you hello”

    Followings are similar to Turkish:
    Are you well? = Yaxshimisiz?
    How are you? = Qandaysiz?
    How are things going? = Ishlaringiz yaxshimi?
    How are you doing? = Yaxshi yuribsizmi?
    you (si) = sen
    you (sf) = siz
    we = biz
    you (pi) = siz
    you (pf) = sizlar
    they = ular

    Followings are Persian origin:
    I = men
    he = u
    she = u

    Sen is used for young children and close friends.
    Siz is used for anyone else in a more polite context.
    The same concept in Persian: The plural is used in formal conversation for even one person.

    Good luck Brian
    Masood Tavalla

    1. Wow Masood, cool comment!

      Yes, Uzbek is strikingly similar to Turkish as it is in the same overall language family. This is one reason why I wanted to learn it, as I have always wanted to study Turkish and have some familiarity with it from self-study years ago, but am often turned off by its more difficult parts like vowel harmony and an alphabet with many diacritical marks, both of which Uzbek do not have.

      Also, as Uzbekistan is near Tajikistan and Iran, there is definitely some interesting Persian influence too. Thanks for the thoughts, keep the comments coming and feel free to share my website!