Learn Uyghur: An Elementary Textbook for Beginners (Review)

Learn the Uyghur Language: A Beginners Textbook Review

March 6, 2014 | 2 Comments

–>Check pricing for this Uyghur Textbook on Amazon.com<–

Uyghur: A Beginner Textbook by Georgetown University PressSo you’re thinking about learning Uyghur, eh?

There aren’t a whole lot of resources available for learning the Uyghur language, but if you are planning to live in Xinjiang someday you’re probably desperate for something.

Late last year Georgetown University Press officially published Uyghur: An Elementary Textbook by Gulnisa Nazarova and Kurban Niyaz.

If you haven’t been able to watch the video review above, here’s a quick summary of my review.

Review of Uyghur: An Elementary Textbook

With over 540 pages and weighing in at around 3 pounds, Uyghur: An Elementary Textbook is by far one of the largest Uyghur textbooks I’ve come across.

The whole book is divided into 15 chapters that touch on the most basic of language topics (introduction, foods, weather, health, etc.) and is geared more towards the classroom than self-study.

I’ve spent almost a month with this textbook and here’s what I see as the various pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Pictures: Lots of colorful pictures of the Xinjiang province from various travelers
  • Supplemental Materials: In addition to the lesson topics, each chapter also has various additional materials like Uyghur proverbs, historical notes and cultural context.
  • Easy Grammar: explanations of the grammatical structures are simple to follow
  • Relevant Examples: illustrations and exercises all have a Xinjiang or Uyghur flavor to them.

Cons

  • Classroom Only: the book format doesn’t work well with self-study, although it could be possible to use it with a tutor
  • Poor CD Quality: the CD that comes along with the book is disappointing. Bad audio and video quality. Also, the audio files aren’t downloadable to use with a mobile phone or mp3 player.

Conclusion

Despite a disappointing supplementary CD, Uyghur: An Elementary Textbook is beautifully laid out and is certainly one of the best tools available for beginners learning the Uyghur language. There’s no doubt this textbook will become the default Uyghur text in classrooms everywhere.

For those who need something to guide their one-on-one tutor time or teachers who are looking for a good textbook for their Uyghur class, this is an excellent resource.

About Josh Summers

Josh is a writer, musician and entrepreneur who currently resides in Urumqi, capital of China's western province of Xinjiang. He has been traveling and writing about this region since 2006 and has no plans to stop in the near future.

Leave a Comment

  1. Hi, great introduction to the book. The only thing that caught my attention was that you used the term Xinjiang province which in not correct. I know it’s just like another province, but it would be great if you actually use the actually name Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region instead or just Xinjiang if you need to shorten it. I do not think people should start calling it Xinjiang province, not quite yet…

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  2. Hi, thanks for the video you posted. I have a friend here in Canada who has the opposite problem – he is trying to learn English from Uyghur and he is having a difficult time finding helpful resources. Are there any tips and resources that you recommend? Any beneficial advice that you provide would be appreciated. Thanks, Phil Chisholm

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