Autumn 2004 (12.3)
"Hello" in 29 Languages
Internet is full of tutorials, dictionaries, and materials for
learning English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and other
well-known languages; but if someone wants an introduction to
one of the lesser-known languages such as Azeri, it's still quite
difficult to find material, especially for Russian speakers.
That's why for the past year and a half, Dmitri Lovermann has
been developing a Web.site-LINGVISTO.org-during
his free time to introduce some of these languages in Russian.
"Some languages are dying out, and one of the best ways
to revive them is to publish materials about them," he says.
Photo: Dmitri Loverman
Dmitri is a university student in Prague, Czech Republic, who
majors in Economics and Information Sciences. Dmitri's itinerary
around the world via languages represented on LINGVISTO includes:
Albanian, Armenian, Assamese (India), Aymara (South America),
Basque (Spain), Cebuano (Philippines), Cherokee (USA), Cornish
(UK), Czech, Danish, Farsi, Greek, Hungarian, Jamaican, Karachay-Balkar
(Caucasus and Central Asia), Macedonian, Ojibwa (Canada), Punjabi
(India), Quechua (Peru), Samoan, Serbo-Croatian, Sesotho (Botswana),
Slovakian, Somali, Tagalog (Philippines), Tamil (Philippines),
Toki-Pona (an artificially constructed language, which was developed
by Sonya Kisa somewhat along the line of Esperanto), Turkish.
One of the most recent additions is Azeri.
got the idea to create a section devoted to Azeri this past spring
after visiting AZERI.org,
Azerbaijan International magazine's Web site dedicated to the
Azeri Language and Contemporary Literature. "I only wish
that every language had such a large selection of ethno-linguistic
articles," said Dmitry after discovering the "Sociolinguistically
Speaking" series by Jala Garibova and Betty Blair that is
included under the heading LEARN AZERI. The articles provide
social context for some of the more common expressions, which
are spoken in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Dmitry describes how
useful the material was for him. "There I found well-structured,
informational and interesting articles about the Azeri language
and culture. Russian speakers [living outside of Azerbaijan and
Russia] often don't have the opportunity to get to know this
culture and language. I want to help with the solution."
The "Sociolinguistically Speaking" articles published
in Azerbaijan International magazine are available at AZERI.org
and now include 16 articles, related to everyday situations.
The articles are written in English with Azeri phrases, and provide
excellent supplemental language learning material for those who
are serious about mastering Azeri. The articles deal with topics
such as: Greetings, Introductions, Leave-taking, Apologizing,
Euphemisms, Taboos, Offering Advice, and more.
On his own initiative, Dmitri translated the English explanations
into Russian for the first article in theseries, "Saying
Hello". In the future, he hopes to expand the Azeri section.
He also has created an equivalency table to show the sound value
of each Azeri letter in the new modified Latin alphabet as it
relates to the Cyrillic letter in Russian. It was the computer
that fostered Dmitry's love for languages, especially when his
family bought a computer and got connected to the Internet. That's
when he discovered a gigantic world and realized that there was
so much information out there that he was not able to understand.
"I love to listen to languages and often spend time listening
to music in Turkish, Greek, Arabic and other languages just to
hear how beautiful the languages sound," he says.
Dmitri knows five languages. His mother tongue is Russian. He
speaks Czech as a student in Prague, and he also knows English,
German and Esperanto.
Visit Dmitry's Web site at LINGVISTO.org.
You won't need any exotic fonts, including Azeri, to read or
print off his pages. If you want to say "Salam" to
Dmitri, contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Azerbaijan International (12.3) Autumn 2004.
© Azerbaijan International 2004. All rights reserved.
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