The Uzbek language is one of the unknown gems of the world. As Uzbekistan is starting to play a more important role in the world, the need for resources to learn the language is growing. Unfortunately, the available materials are scarce, expensive and sometimes outdated. There are even less simple text anthologies available for learners. The only one known to me is O’zbekcha O’qish Kitobi by Jo’liboy Eltazarov and Zarnigor Donaboyeva. The learning curve in the books is, however, very steep. In order to acquire a language, texts should follow the comprehensible input idea. In order to learn to read efficiently, a learner must read a lot and preferably texts that are easy to read. That is because easiness is the key factor in developing pleasure from reading. Taking all these into consideration, I decided to launch a small project to provide Uzbek languages learners (such as myself) with a wider variety of resources.
About the project
The idea of this project is to create a free anthology of simple texts for Uzbek learners. All the submitted text will be compiled and published in a free electronic form (preferably a pdf file). There might be a printed version too, which cost will have to cover printing and other necessary costs but will be published as cheaply as possible. All the authors will be credited unless they specify not to.
The texts will be also published on my website free of charge to allow quicker access. Creating a book is a time-consuming process and that way the resources will be available for the public and easier to find in search engines like Google.
Additionally, you might want to record the text you have written. That would be an even greater help to all the learners. The recordings should be as clear as possible, with no background noises. They should be read naturally but not too fast. You can use your intonation to make it sound more interesting. Try to avoid the robot-like voice of a speech synthesizer. All mp3 files will be available for free on my website: ioannesoculus.com.
Who is invited?
Anyone speaking Uzbek on an advanced or native level. If you want to participate, your task is to write a text or more in Uzbek. As mentioned earlier the texts are going to be free and help others learn the language. You can invite others too. The more, the merrier!
You can send your texts via email (if you have mine) or the contact form (https://forms.gle/F8HBW1vHG7BuCijG6). If you need my email or have any additional questions feel free to ask on Facebook or Twitter.
How to write the text?
Beginners have a very limited range of vocabulary so it is necessary to keep it as simple as possible.
- Use common words (in English these are e.g. get, go, do).
- Avoid sophisticated, poetic style.
- Use short sentences. Uzbek sentence structure is different from the Indo-European one. Most of the learners are from the Indo-European background and therefore they face additional challenges in learning the language. Therefore, long and complicated sentences are often too difficult to understand for beginners.
- Use standard Uzbek. Learning dialects is also fun and interesting but if you are going to write using your dialect please make a note about that. Texts written in dialects are, by their nature, much more difficult. It might be useful to have the same text in standard Uzbek and in your dialect. However, the majority of text should be in standard Uzbek to best serve the purpose of helping learners.
There is no word limit. You can write five sentences, a short essay of 300 words or even something longer.
Please double check your text for errors. If possible find someone to proofread read it. Another person may see things, error, stylistics misuses easier than you, the author. People will be learning Uzbek from what you have written, so try to provide them with as error-free text as possible.
When and where will it be published?
The texts will be published on my blog as posts and/or a pdf file which everyone will be able to download. The file will, hopefully, be also available on other websites.
I will publish the texts as blog posts as quickly as possible. The pdf file will take more time to be prepared, depending on the number of texts. There might be various editions of the pdf book as new texts might come in the future.
A published version is also possible. It will have to be sold unless a sponsor will help in producing the book. The cost will have to cover all the necessary expenses but I will try to keep the price as low as possible.
The project is a totally private initiative with no founding. I use my private resources to create the pdf etc. I might not publish a text if I find it offensive or breaking the law. I also might edit it in order to correct minor mistakes (e.g. spelling), add titles and subtitles. I will not, without the author’s consent, deliberately alter the meaning of the text.
The authors agree that their texts will be published on my website ioannesoculus.com, a pdf form, a printed book and any other resource free of charge. I have no funds to pay for the texts. The project is a non-profit project. All the adverts on the website are not at this moment covering even the hosting costs.
The texts will be published as licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Others will be able to use the work provided they credit the authors.
Topics of potential interest for beginners:
Here are some ideas that might help you write your text(s). The list is not complete and you might write on a topic of your choice. You can even write two texts on the same topic (e.g. an easier and a more difficult one). In some topics, you are asked to describe a holiday or a person. Please considers the feelings of others. They might not like to be recognised as the heroes of the story, so please change their names. You also do not need to describe the very factual situation or person. It is not a documentary, so you can use your imagination, add or remove details to make your text more interesting and useful.
Describe your friend or a family member.
What are your hobbies?
What do you do in your free time?
What do you like doing?
Do you like shopping? Why (not)?
What is your favourite book or film? Why?
What was the weather like yesterday?
What is the weather like now?
What is the weather forecast for tomorrow?
How to stay healthy?
What is a healthy diet?
Do you do a sport? Which and why?
What do you usually have for breakfast?
What is the traditional food of your country or region?
Describe your family
Describe your family traditions
What do you do every day?
What do you do at the weekends?
House and city
Describe your house.
Describe what is near your house
Describe your city
What is there in your street?
How were your last holidays?
What was the most important moment in your life?
What did you do yesterday?
What did you do at the weekend?
What will the world look like in 10, 50, 100 years?
How is/was your school?
What is/was your favourite subject and why?
How does university education function in Uzbekistan/the country you live in?
Who is/was your favourite teacher and why?
What is your dream job?
Describe your current job.
Describe a historical event
Describe a historical person
What are the people in the photo doing?
Questions for hypothetical situations:
What would you do if you were rich?
If you won the lottery, what would you do?
If you could go for a month’s holiday everywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
If you could travel in time, would you prefer to see the future or the past?
What are you going to do next weekend?
What are your holiday plans?
Do you know any ghost stories?
Tell a traditional story in a very simple language.