I want to and am working on learning Turkish. That may seem to be a bit of an odd choice for an American whose family is part Armenian.
Armenian is on my list
I have no problem with learning Armenian. Armenian is on my list of languages to learn. I just want to explain my reasons for learning Turkish.
An easier language spoken by more people
Turkish uses a version of the Latin alphabet, while Armenian has its own unique writing system. Turkish is spoken by around 70 million people. Armenian is spoken by roughly 6-7 million people. There are more Turkish speakers in the world. Turkish is spoken by more people and is some regards easier than Armenian.
Armenian is not a dying language
Armenian is spoken by several million people. If I wait a while to learn it, the language will not die off.
Bridging a gap
I know that it may sound strange. But I think that people learning each other’s languages can actually help to end tensions through mutual understanding. I feel that choosing to learn Turkish, in some small and bizarre way, could help to bridge a gap between Turks and Armenians. I don’t want Turkey to be an enemy. I would like to be able to understand them.
A cultural connection
Parts of my dad’s family, mainly on my grandfather’s side, came to the US from what was at the time the Ottoman empire. They came from a province and city that is now in Eastern Turkey. At the time, the city was the western part of the main area where there were lots of Armenians. I do feel some geographical connection with what is now Turkey.
We could be part Turkish. We are genuinely not sure about this. Interestingly I took a DNA test and found out that I am around 15% Caucasian/Middle Eastern (includes Turkey) and 30% Italian, but the connection to Italy was lost in the family. There is a chance that I am a little bit Turkish.
Parts of my family could speak Ottoman Turkish. This is not surprising when you consider that Ottoman Turkish was the language of the empire.
I have heard the story of how my American born grandfather, who was conversationally fluent in Armenian, got frustrated when other family members would speak in Turkish.
I do feel some connection with Turkish and would like to learn this language.