By Nurdin Kaparov,
HYDERABAD: World represents vast linguistic, cultural and ethnic diversity. It is necessary to promote this diversity as it will contribute to inter-cultural dialogue and understanding between different communities across the globe. Number of inter-governmental meetings and protocols are signed to increase mobility of the people and to promote trade and business. When we cherish the diversity and employ it into progressive endeavors we will be enabled to attain goal of mutual development. It also broadens horizons of knowledge and opens door of new opportunities for the learner. Learning of a foreign language acquires significance in these aspects. In this context foreign language studies play an important role especially in higher educational institutions.
University of Hyderabad has recently introduced six hours per week Turkish Language Course from winter semester, 2013 for its students. The course is conducted at the Centre for Study of Foreign Languages in collaboration with Indialogue Foundation, an international organization that was founded by Turkish and Indian friends. Indialogue Foundation is an action-oriented organization for peace, education and development; through its initiatives Indialogue envisions to eliminate illiteracy, poverty and polarization through educational, academic and cultural programs.
Prof. J. Prabhakara Rao who is a Professor of Linguistics and Coordinator of the Centre says “Since India has historical relations with Turkey and that relationship resulted in influencing cultures of both nations, it is expedient to know more about each other in modern times also. For that there is a need learning of each other’s languages. Hence we thought of offering Turkish Language Course in the Centre for the students of University of Hyderabad. Presently it is only course offered in higher educational institution in South India. We are going to organize various language and culture related activities in future. The Centre has already initiated designing online course through e-room in Turkish. It has also plans to compile online multidirectional dictionary from Turkish to Indian Languages”.
Mr. Sumit Sarma is a M.A. Political Science student who has opted for this course. He feels “West Asia is a vibrant region particularly in political and economic spheres. As a student of Political Science it is my curiosity to learn about this geography, its people and language. Turkey is a democratic nation with lots of socio-political reforms, has implemented successful friendly foreign policy and also started to play important role in the region. It is an interesting country with rich history and dynamic economic development. Learning Turkish Language will be an asset for my further research which will enable me to acquaint with this part of the world more closely. There is also a lot of scope and potentials between India and Turkey that should be realized into mutual benefits.”
Ms. Upasana Gayan is another student who is keen in learning language told “It is my fourth foreign language and each one is new experience. I am ambitious in exploring different cultures and to expend my horizon through discovering new nations. I look forward visiting Turkey one day and practice what I have studied in classroom. And I also want to try authentic cuisine and to explore rich historical heritage. Our teacher is remarkable, he integrates fun ways in teaching us the day’s topics by incorporating audios and visuals. Today we had a lokum, it is a delightful Turkish sweet.” If some students attracted because of academic scope some students are drawn to course because of their exposure to Orhan Pamuk’s works, a Turkish Nobel laureate for his literary books.
Indialogue Foundation supports the course by facilitating a voluntary language instructor as well provides study material. Mr. Cetin Cokelez is a guest faculty for this semester who has taken up this important task with keen interest. He shared his initial experience by mentioning “I am very delighted to interact with the students. We describe Turkish Language as the language of love and affection. Today it is thought in more than 130 countries all over the world. Every year Turkey hosts International Turkish Olympiad that promotes world cultures, friendship and dialogue. It makes me happy to teach now in University of Hyderabad. I strongly believe that language builds bridge between nations and hence I see continuing the course would strengthen people to people contact between our countries. It in turn will promote to further prospering of relations between India and Turkey”.