Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My first Scrabble game in Turkish!

Look Ma!
I can play Scrabble in two languages!
My Turkish teacher is so clever. Just when she can feel her class of students running out of steam, she brings out a Scrabble game. Instantly, the men in my class sat up at competition. They had never actually played a Scrabble game before; they didn't even have the context of Scrabble in their native language to get them started on this beloved word game in Turkish. I, at least, had played the game plenty of times with enthusiasm in English.
Here is my very humble list of Turkish words in my first Turkish game: lale, maç, tel, kır, taksi, genç, kez, dolu, kanat, aşk. A Turkish as a Second Language speaker has to start somewhere!
 As I was silently lamenting that I couldn't put an 's' on the end of a word and make it plural, I thought, "wait a minute, Turkish is a language of agglutination. It is suffixes upon suffixes - that should make for super easy Scrabble." But my Teacher said "no, that would be too easy. You can't use past tense either." There were other "rules" differences too. She didn't score a word both up and down if you made one that had that possibility.
My score was 83. In English, I average over 300. No one got a triple word score. Turkish doesn't have a 10-point Q, but it does have a J worth 8 points and a Z worth four points. My Arabic-speaking friends wanted to next try the game in English, their second language.  I wondered if there was Scrabble in Arabic. Can you imagine?
So I can score better and faster, I'd like someone to create a backward dictionary in Turkish so I look up words by what letters they end with, not start with.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Getting Ready for Global Minds Book Club

A perfect day on my patio
 Yesterday was a spectacular sunny day in Istanbul. Not a cloud in the sky with total Chamber-of-Commerce weather. What a fun day of friends, food, and shopping we had! In the afternoon, my friend Barb and I just chilled out. There's nothing like the start of a three-day weekend and a new book to read. This month: Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart."
 Life's a bowl of cherries sometimes.
Sometimes you just have to slow down and enjoy it!
You may enjoy my other posts about Istanbul's Global Minds Book Club:
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