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Uzbek/Lesson Two

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An old Madrassa in Bukhara.

This lesson is divided up into several sections. After your done you'll be ready to have your very first conversation in Uzbek. Sure, it'll be real simple—but you'll know how to greet somebody, introduce yourself, ask some polite questions, and say goodbye. If you want to do it intensive (which I'd recommend) you can do this all as one lesson. If you don't have much time the dialogues are broken up into four sections—just do one. (Eventually I think we'll merge all four tiny dialogues)

Cultural NotesEdit

For many years Soviet histories portrayed Central Asia as a backward area with no tradition of scholarship and learning. In fact, education in the region was widespread and well developed long before the nineteenth century Russian conquest. There existed a large network of "old style" primary (maktab) and higher (madrasa) schools, which taught religious subjects. In those days many children studied at maktabs in their own neighborhoods. Some continued their studies for another ten years at a madrasa.

After the Russian conquest, the tsarist administraion established schools with instruction in Russian for the indigenous nationalities. These trained a small number of Central Asians to serve the tsarist administration. Around the turn of the century, reform minded local intelligengtsia called iadids opened "new style" schools (usul-i jadid). Unlike the "old style" schools, the jadid schools taught secular subjects.

Both the "old style" and the "new style" schools disappeared in the 1920s. Today Uzbekistan has educational institutions developed after the Soviet model, including primary and secondary schools, specialized technical schools, and institutes and universities. . . --The rest of the information from the peace corps manual is dated. Any important cultural fact about education can go here--


Uzbek Dialogue • Lesson Two •  audio: uploadupload (131 + 142 kb • help)
First Dialogue
Aziz Eshiting va gapni yozing.
Mike Iltimos, sekin oʻqing.
Aziz Xoʻp Siz meni tushunyapsizmi?
Second Dialogue
Mike Men bu gapni tushunmayman.
Aziz Qaysi gapni?
Mike "Sogʻ boʻling!" nima degani?
Aziz Bu - yaxshi tilak. Siz uni doʻstlaringizga aytishingiz mumkin
Third Dialogue
Aziz Mayk, yakshanbada siz qayerda boʻldingiz?
Mike Yakshanbada men oʻyda boʻldim.
Aziz Siz uyda nima qildingiz?
Mike Men kitob oʻqidim, televizor koʻrdim va doʻstimga xat yozdim.


Uzbek Dialogue • Lesson Two •  audio (upload)
eshiting listen (imperative, singular or plural polite)
va and
gap sentence
gapni the sentence (accusative case)
yozing write (imperative)
iltimos please
sekin slowly
oʻqing read (imperative)
oʻqiyman I will read (present-future tense)
siz you
meni me (accusative)
tushunyapsizmi? do you understand?
bu this
tushunmayman I do not understand (negative present-future)
qaysi? what?, which?
sogʻ healthy
boʻling be (imperative singular and plural polite)
sogʻ boʻling be healthy
nima degani? what does it mean?
tilak wish
uni it, him, her (pronoun, accusative case)
doʻstlaringizga to your friends (possessive, dative case)
aytishingiz your saying (possessive)
mumkin may, can, possible (verbal predicate)
yakshanbada on Sunday (locative case)
qayerda? where?
boʻldingiz you were (definite past)
uyda at home (locative case)
boʻldim I was (definite past)
nima? what?
qildingiz you did (definite past)
kitob book
oʻqidim I read (definite past)
televisor television
koʻrdim I watched (definite past)
doʻstimga to my friend (possessive, dative)
xat letter
yozdim I wrote

Grammar and Vocabulary ExplanationsEdit

For Dialogue 1Edit

In Uzbek the infinitive is formed by adding the suffix -moq to the verbal stem:

Uzbek Examples of -moq • Lesson Two •  audio (upload)
eshitmoq to listen
yozmoq to write
oʻqimoq to read

Without the infinitive or any other suffix, the Uzbek verbal stem is identical to the second person singular or imperative which is used in familiar or sometimes impolite situations:

Uzbek Examples • Lesson Two •  audio (upload)
eshit! listen!
yoz! write!
oʻqi! read!

To express the imperative for singular and plural in a polite manner, the suffix -ing is added to a verbal stem ending in a consonant. The suffix -ng is added to a stem ending in a vowel:

Uzbek Examples • Lesson Two •  audio (upload)
eshit+ing listen
yoz+ing write
oʻqi+ing read

In the sentence gapni yozing the suffix -ni indicates the accusative case and expresses the idea of a definite quality. It is equivalent to English 'the':

Uzbek Examples • Lesson Two •  audio (info •4 kb • help)
  Suffix -ni 0
gapni yozing
sentence+the write+you
(Write the sentence!)

Pronunciation NotesEdit

Pronounce the letters ng as one sound as in the American English ng in the word song, and not as two sounds n and g as in English 'in good standing'.

Imperative sentences are pronounced in Uzbek with a falling intonation on the last syllable:

Uzbek Examples • Lesson Two •  audio (upload)
sekin oʻqing read slowly

For Dialogue 2Edit

The negative of a verb is formed by adding the suffix -ma to the stem of the verb before adding any of the tense or person suffixes:

Uzbek Example • Lesson Two •  audio (upload)
  Negative of a verb (-ma suffix)
yozi write! yozma! don't write!
oʻqi read! oʻqima! don't read!

The word tushunmayman is a negative verb in the present-future tense and can mean 'I do not understand' or 'I will not understand.' It is formed by adding the suffix -i to the negative form of the verb:

Uzbek Examples • Lesson Two •  audio (upload)
  The negative of a verb (-ma suffix) and present-future tense (-i suffix)
I (will) do not understand

As in English, an adjective always stands before the noun it qualifies:

Uzbek Example • Lesson Two •  audio (upload)
yaxshi tilak
good wish

Aytishingiz mumkin (you can say) consists of a verbal noun aytishingiz (your saying) and a verbal predicate mumkin (it is possible).

The expression Sogʻ boʻling! (Be healthy) is used by Uzbeks to wish each other well when saying goodbye.

For Dialogue 3Edit

The locative case suffix -da is attached to nouns and has the meaning of 'at,' 'in,' 'on':

Uzbek Example • Lesson Two •  audio (upload)
  Negative of a verb (-ma suffix)
uy home uyda at home
yakshanba Sunday yakshanbada on Sunday

The verbal forms of oʻqidim (I read), qildingiz (you did) etc. . . contain the definite past tense suffix -di. This suffix is added to the verb stem and indicates in a factual manner that an action was completed in the recent past:

Uzbek Examples • Lesson Two •  audio (upload)
xat yozdim I wrote a letter (and finished writing it)

Sentence PatternsEdit

When a word needs to be emphasized, it is usually placed immediately before the predicate:

Uzbek Examples • Lesson Two •  audio (upload)
Yakshanbada men uyda boʻldim Men uyda yakshanbada boʻldim
Sunday+on I home+at was+I I home+at Sunday+on was+I
I was at home on Sunday I was at home on Sunday

Uzbek ProverbEdit

Uzbek Proverb • Lesson Two •  audio (upload)
 Sogʻ tanda -- sogʻlom aql 
Translation: In the healthy body is a healthy mind.
Meaning:Sound body = Sound mind


Congratulations! You can know have your first ever conversation in Uzbek--and that wasn't that hard either? Was it?

In future editions of this book we might have excersizes and such, so that you can practice what you learned, and really get it to soak in--and also so you can double check and make sure you know it. But they aren't available just yet :)

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