August 25, 2009
Is it really difficult to learn Ubykh language?
This language is said to be one of the most difficult languages to learn. Especially its phonetic is known to be one of the most difficult one. Because, it has lots of consonants some of which are said to be not exist in any other known languages. But is it really so? I mean is it really nearly impossible to utter these sounds? I don't think so.
The researches on Ubykh vocabulary and grammar structure has been nearly completed. Thanks to the great workers of the World Culture. I don't want to mention about how this language is recorded or its long history. There are lots of documents and materials on this subject. For example you can see these links; For seven recorded stories; http://lacito.vjf.cnrs.fr/archivage/tools/list_rsc.php?lg=Ubykh, For transcriptions and English translations of the four stories; http://lacito.vjf.cnrs.fr/archivage/languages/Ubykh.htm, For grammar structure and the history of the language; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubykh_language, For Proposed Latin alphabet for Ubykh and for A Practical Orthography for Ubykh by Rohan Fenwick; http://www.omniglot.com/writing/ubykh.htm For Ubykh Phonology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubykh_phonology
Nearly all researches done was concentrated on recording and understanding the language. These were really great works. But, an important thing has been ignored up to now. What is that? TO LEARN THE LANGUAGE, I mean TO SPEAK IT. So, although they are really valuable, after a new point of view the importance of these researches will increase. And in my opinion to speak this language is easier than to find out the grammar structures and new vocabularic items. But how? It is very simple. But, be patient please.
First of all, I am not a linguist. I don't know anything about the linguistic terminology. And I don't have any information about the other Circassian languages. I am not a prefessional Ubykh language learner, I mean this is not a part of my job. It can be only described as a hobby. Three weeks ago, I read carefully the links above and more. And I decided to built a computer vocalic dictionary. I began to cut the stories of Tevfik Esenç recorded by Dumezil into sentences and then to words. But, while I was doing these, I realized that this language is not very difficult, at least easier than it was said. I am able to utter the sounds very easily like Tevfik Esenç after four or five times hearing. And it is not difficult, the only thing can be said is very enjoyable. But, how can it be possible? It is very simple. But, be patient please.
All the people dealing with the subject deeply were non-Circassians, except Tevfik Esenç and other Ubykh native speakers. Some of the linguists were France, the other ones are German, Australian, Chinese, and hollander .. etc. Maybe there can be some small grammatical similarities between their native language and Ubykh language, there are certainly very big differences between the sounds of the language they have been trying to recover. They are really great linguists. Although they are an expert on Languages, not "they" but "I" can utter these sounds without nearly any difficulty. Because, I am an Ubykh people. My father, my grandfather and my grand grand fathers were Ubykh. My father and my uncle were speaking Ubykh language when they were young. Later, they forgot it because of some reasons. I can utter these sounds correctly because I am an Ubykh people and my throat is an Ubykh throat. These language was spoken probably thousands of years by my ancestors and the Ubykh throat evaluated for thousands of years to utter these sounds correctly and today I have the advantage of this evoluated throat which the non-native linguists not. This can be the only explanation to this magic.
I am not a good language learner. I still have some problems with my English which is not my native language. Also there are some sounds in Turkish (my native language) which I can't utter properly. But, in Ubykh language I have never had any difficulty dealing with Ubykh sounds and words. So the only explanatiın can be my evaluated throat structure. And there are lots of Ubykh people in Turkey and in other diaspora who have the same Ubykh throat. And one day I am sure with the valuable linguists rearches and our Ubykh throat will combine and then this language will be spoken again. And this will be also the combination of Ubykh linguists and Ubykh people's dream.
With my best wishes.
Kenugi J. Ubykh