I started to learn Turkish in Tehran’s recently opened Yunus Emre Cultural Center. An interesting institution and a decent course. Not without its problems, though.
My main difficulty thus far is with unfortunate timing of my travel and Iranian vacations, which altogether mean that for a full month either I am unable to attend classes or there are none held. The actual class, for which I enrolled is ok-ish, with a well-trained, enthusiastic instructor and modern teaching method (we’re using Yeni Hitit). The students, on the other hand, as would happen in any other course I frequented, are not that diligent and motivated and as a result the pace of learning is only slightly faster than glacial.
There will be no choice, then, but to learn on my own and use the course just as an opportunity to practise conversation (once I switch to a higher-level group) and to learn more of the spoken language (thankfully the instructor speaks normal Turkish, not dumbed-down teacherese). We shall see and in any case I’ll keep you posted.
UPDATE: to illustrate what I mean by ‘normal Turkish’: burada -> burda; değil -> diil (or just dii); yapacağım -> yapacım.
Also, interesting how open Turkish ‘e’ can be. Often ‘-lar’ and ‘-ler’ sound almost the same to my ears.
Also2, apparently Turks have problems with differentiating Persian vowels. My teacher -who speaks good Persian- consistently prounounces ‘ast’ as ‘est’. And she is not the only one, as that’s how my Persian-Turkish dictionary (by prof. Kanar, I don’t recommend it, but doubt there’s anything better on the market) transcribes it.