Azerbaijan International

Autumn 2000 (8.3)
Page 10

Reader's Forum
Learn Azeri? How?

As my wife is an Azerbaijani from Iran, I am trying to learn some Azeri. Therefore, I quickly peruse every new issue for your series "Sociolinguistically Speaking". Your Spring 2000 issue "Language and Alphabet in Transition" was very valuable reading material.
In that issue, someone suggested that it would be nice to see foreigners learn to speak some Azeri.

However, being in Europe, such a possibility is easier said than done. As I plan to be going to Baku this coming summer, I'm trying to obtain information on language courses offered in Baku but I have not been able to find any. As for learning materials in the modern Latin script, I have been unable to find any teaching materials that deal even minimally with the grammar. I have located a phrase book by Nicholas Awde and a mini-language course from Audio Forum called "Colloquial Azerbaijani" by Kurtulush Oztopchu. The problem is, however, that they don't treat grammar.

The only book that does offer a basic course in grammar is by Fred Householder (1965, Indiana University) but he developed his own Latin alphabet which is not the one that has been adopted in the Republic today. Where, then, are the modern day Azeri language learning materials? If your magazine or your Web site ( could offer a list of available language learning materials and language courses, you would truly complete your latest issue and make me extremely happy.

 Martin Wielemaker
The Netherlands

Editor: Finally, there's good news. In August 2000, Kurtulush Oztopchu published "Elementary Azerbaijani", a serious, highly recommended 400 page text that includes grammar along with 3 CDs to assist with pronunciation. See Opportunities.

Our Web site includes all of the articles that we have published in the Azeri language since 1993 in both Latin and Arabic scripts. Also, as you mentioned, the entire Sociolinguistics series is available with Azeri phrases. These articles do not require special fonts or plug-ins to read. We will be expanding the site to include a reference section and Store for language-learning material. In the meantime, for anyone seeking further information or wishing to purchase this volume, go to STORE at or contact:


From Azerbaijan International (8.3) Autumn 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.

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