London Turkish Consulate: a data collection hub!

I made my way in to the Turkish Consulate in London a few days ago and was baffled with the scene inside. Let me say: it certainly is a great spot to collect data as a non-participant observer. For those who’ve never been there the Turkish consulate is as small as a matchbox, thus inevitable to eavesdrop. Linguistically-speaking, Turkish is the matrix language both for the visitors and the staff at the counters. If you listen more carefully you will hear plenty of code-mixing and code-switching, such as one shouting “abi changein var mi?” (‘do you have any change bruv?’) when attempting to use the photocopy. Most interestingly, on the day of my visit there was a bunch of Turkish-speaking young men who had come to extend their military service (this happens to be the most common purpose of visit!) and in my opinion was the third generation Turkish-speaking bilinguals living in London. The reason I say that is that they were really struggling with their Turkish and unable to get their message across, and at one point one of them kept saying to the consulate staff in a rather assertive manner the following: “sen beni anliyormusun simdi?” instead of ” Ø beni anliyormusunuz?” . They were unaware of the “sen/siz” politeness strategy and overusing “sen” due to the transfer of English null-subject-parameter, and these were two of the typical examples  of negative transfer I was able to detect. As I left the consulate, I couldn’t stop thinking when I’ll visit again, as I’ll certainly won’t be dreading it next time round  🙂

1 Comment

Filed under Food for thought

One response to “London Turkish Consulate: a data collection hub!

  1. In my opinion, this is the influence of English exposure. They have been exposed to English more than Turkish.

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